The Norman Transcript

National Sports

November 15, 2012

Jayhawks are finally competitive again

LAWRENCE, Kan. — One of the first goals for Charlie Weis was simply for Kansas to become competitive.

He inherited a program that had won just one conference game the previous two years, had won two games total the final season under Turner Gill, and had floundered to the bottom of the Big 12 five years after winning the Orange Bowl.

Weis wanted to see his team fight, and learn how to win again. And despite a 1-9 record with two games in his first year, the Jayhawks have at least accomplished that much.

“If you were an outsider looking in at KU football and you see our record at 1-9, you obviously wouldn’t think we are a very good team,” said senior offensive lineman Tanner Hawkinson, who is preparing for his final home game Saturday night against Iowa State.

Last week’s double-overtime loss to Texas Tech was the latest in a slew of one-possession losses that show — even if the program is not winning yet — that it may be turning the corner.

Kansas has lost five games this season by a touchdown or less. Hawkinson said team has a new attitude this season.

“I feel that it doesn’t show a lot of the heart we have on our team,” said Hawkinson, who has endured two coaching changes and just 13 wins in his career.

“It takes a lot of heart to have a lot of those close games and be able to come back the next week and go out to practice and work just as hard as we do,” he said, “and then going out there the next week and fighting till the end of every game.”

When Weis first started meeting alumni from around the state, he expressed to them his disappointment in the way Kansas was not competitive. Fans were slinking toward the exits before halftime because the Jayhawks were usually out of the game.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Emmert seeks big changes to NCAA

    INDIANAPOLIS — Mark Emmert wants the NCAA to fast-track upgrades for college athletes — regardless of whether a player union is pushing for them....

    April 24, 2014

  • Mets edge Cards

    NEW YORK — With a 360-foot relay in the ninth inning, the New York Mets prevented a hard-fought victory from vanishing in the wind....

    April 24, 2014

  • Seahawks will open against Packers

    NEW YORK — As Super Bowl champions, the Seattle Seahawks get to kick off the NFL’s regular season by hosting the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 4....

    April 24, 2014

  • Heat hold off ’Cats

    MIAMI — LeBron James drove to the rim as time was winding down, got clobbered by Josh McRoberts and sat on the hardwood gathering himself for a few seconds afterward. It was fitting. Miami took Charlotte’s best shot, and survived....

    April 24, 2014

  • Mavs even series with Spurs

    SAN ANTONIO — Monta Ellis scored 21 points and the Dallas Mavericks rolled to a 113-92 victory over San Antonio on Wednesday night, snapping a 10-game skid against the Spurs and evening their first-round series at a game apiece....

    April 24, 2014

  • Popovich wins Coach of the Year

    The San Antonio Spurs, the model for stability and sustained success in the modern NBA, were still a shaken team when they showed up for training camp in October, less than four months after a devastating loss to Miami in the NBA Finals. ...

    April 23, 2014

  • Tony Allen’s hounding defense a challenge, even for Durant

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant is tired of hearing about Tony Allen’s defense....

    April 23, 2014

  • Albert Pujols hits 500th HR of major league career

    WASHINGTON — Albert Pujols reached 500 homers in a hurry....

    April 23, 2014

  • Lawmakers seek change in MLB Cuban player policy

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Two Florida lawmakers motivated by Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig’s dangerous escape from Cuba are trying to change the way Major League Baseball treats Cuban players and are willing to tie state money for ...

    April 23, 2014

  • Physical stars ruffling Ducks’ feathers

    DALLAS — Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf was asked about the Dallas Stars trying to get under his skin or into his head with their physical play in Game 3. “Trying to hit my head how about?” the already stitched-up and visor-protected ...

    April 23, 2014