The Ralphie Report sat down with the fantastic Kansas blog on SBNation, Rock Chalk Talk, to discuss this week's game in Lawrence. Thanks to Owen for some great answers.
You can check out our answers to their questions here.
Outside of the the Georgia Tech upset, it has been a pretty long season for the Jayhawks this season. What is the feeling on Turner Gill so far and how has he changed the Kansas offensive and defensive philosophies?
Pretty mixed bag on Turner Gill with many, in all reality it's probably shifting toward the pessimistic side for most. The fact is many of us somewhat expected a rough season, 4 wins would have been perfectly fine based on the turnover. The problem is the manner in which Kansas is losing. It's just hard to believe a team can fall this far overnight without something being seriously wrong at the top and that's the concern. There are just too many things that don't seem to be working right now and at some point the buck stops at the top.
Philosophy wise I think he'd like to make changes, but things are so disorganized right now it seems difficult to distinguish. Offensively I'd say Gill would like to be more run/pass balanced, he'd like to control the clock and he'd like to have a quarterback that can be equally effective running or passing.
Defensively, he wants to attack and create mistakes whereas before we were very "bend but don't break". The problem is it just isn't happening either because he doesn't have the confidence in the personnel or maybe the personnel doesn't have the confidence in him. We're thin and we've been hit hard by injuries so I think that has a lot to do with it also. Tough to say, things are pretty bad right now.
What is the one area where you have seen the biggest improvement and biggest decline under Turner Gill?
Biggest Improvement???? I'm struggling here. I'd love to say team morale, but when you are losing 50+ to 7 that goes to hell. Obviously there isn't much on the field that I can point to either. I suppose if there is an improvement at all, it's in the appearance of our Head Coach? Does that count? no more fat jokes.
The biggest decline has to be discipline. Mark Mangino took a bunch of ragtag players that nobody wanted to an Orange Bowl by being the jackass of all jackasses, but it worked. His players worked as hard as anyone, they played disciplined, fundamental football and they overachieved. We've taken a 180 in the approach of our coach and in a lot of ways a 180 in the results. I'm not ready to write him off yet and I'm not defending Mangino...but the honeymoon period ended in a hurry for Coach Gill.
Again, the guy is going to get time and I'm ok with that, but there is a long way to go. I'm rooting for him no doubt but it's been discouraging.
What names do Buff fans need to know heading into Saturday's game?
I think the Buffalo defense has the ability to make this game VERY difficult for Kansas. While it hasn't always translated on the field I've seen CU play and I think they have some good athletes defensively and they do some things that will give Kansas trouble. I think for Kansas a strong start is critical or they get that "here we go again" feeling and I have serious reservations about them getting a off to a fast start against Colorado's D.
Now on the other side of the ball the Kansas defense is good when things are good. The problem is they have no support, they have no depth and they will wear down. Probably not what you want to hear, but if I'm Dan Hawkins I go ultra conservative on offense to start and I'd be content to tire Kansas out. Run...run...run. Defensively I'd go aggressive and try to force a mistake. Before you know it, CU could be up 2 scores and it's ballgame.
How has attendance fared with the season KU is having? Fans still showing up? What do you expect this weekend?
From what I hear fans are still showing up fairly well, at least better than when I was there...but it's a fickle crowd. Patience is wearing very thin and at the first sign of quit, the fans quit too. It's been more than a little disheartening this season and unfortunately with a program lacking tradition you have to work VERY hard to build things up and they can crumble in a hurry. This weekend I'd suspect a good but not great crowd, they'll be skeptical and any sign of early troubles will be demoralizing. Key for CU is a strong start, just as it is for Kansas. Do that and they can eliminate the road game factor.
Prediction time! What does Kansas need to do to win? What does Colorado need to do to win? Final score?
Kansas absolutely has to come out strong early. They just don't have it in them to battle back and with a deficit of 2 or more scores it's just hard to envision a great comeback.
Secondly Kansas needs to win field position. That's a simple thing to say but very difficult to do and when you have a team struggling offensively and defensively it's about the best way to help both sides out because it gives them a little more room for error.
Defensively I'd say Kansas stopping the run would be big, force things into Cody Hawkins hands and then try to force him into a mistake.
At the end of the day this is the last chance Kansas has at a win most likely, it's the last chance for Turner Gill to show the fans some progress before the schedule get's VERY difficult. I think Kansas keeps it close, but CU ultimately wins. 27-17 with CU taking it in the 4th.