off track

A former track athlete figures out what to do when she is no longer able to run

fresh talent
Freshman football standouts talk to the wave about their transition to playing at the college level

Game day
Volume 2 Issue 3

kAnsAs Vs. new mexIco stAte sAturdAy, sePtember 25, 2010
sePtember 24, 2010

Presented by the unIVersIty dAIly kAnsAn


table of contents

The Wave vol. 2, iss. 3

sepTember 24, 2010

From The ediTor
The Jayhawks were supposed to win against North Dakota. No one could have guessed the triumph over Georgia Tech. Momentum was lost with Southern Miss. With this track record, is making a prediction for this Saturday’s game even worth the time? If nothing else, the game against New Mexico State will show if the team will be able to establish any kind of consistency. Our game day preview attempts to shed light on the upcoming match. It’s been a year of new beadam vossen ginnings for the football team and quarterback Jordan Webb has garnered attention for his status as freshman starter. Our story on Webb and other freshman standouts Keba Aghostino and Keeston Terry charts the transition from high school ball to college and how the three have made names for themselves on the team. If you’re absolutely sick of reading abut football (no shame in that), be sure to read the story on former KU runner Laura Nightengale. Rather than flounder after a terrible injury, Nightengale set out to find another path, one she admits to still figuring out.

The Wave staff
editor-in-chief managing editor The Wave editor sports editors designer

Young guns
Freshmen football players make a name for themselves amongst the seasoned vets

14 Running pains

A former track athlete is forced to say goodbye to the sport she’s lived and loved since high school

about The Wave
photo editor business manager sales manager news adviser sales and advertising adviser Ryan Waggoner Joe Garvey Amy O’Brien Malcolm Gibson Jon Schlitt The Wave is a weekly sports magazine produced by The University Daily Kansan. Copies come out with The Kansan every home game week

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The WAve

SepTeMbeR 24, 2010




Big 12 – Week 4
Central Florida at Kansas state
11:30 a.m. on Fsn

nortHern ioWa at ioWa state
6:00 p.m. on mediacom

MiaMi (oH) at Missouri
1:00 p.m.

baylor at riCe
7:00 p.m. on CbsCs

uCla at texas
2:30 p.m. on abC

last WeeK’s results texas 24, texas tech 14 tulsa 28 Fiu 20 san diego state 24 tCu 45 washington 21 air Force 24 hawaii 13 iowa state 20 kansas 16

New Mexico State quarterback Matt Christian

neW MexiCo state Kansas
6:00 p.m. on FCs

oKlaHoMa at CinCinnati
5:00 p.m. on espn2

Oklahoma state 65, texas a&m 27, missouri 27, baylor 10, nebraska 56, Oklahoma 27,


soutH daKota state at nebrasKa
6:00 p.m. on ppv

Colorado 31, kansas state 27, southern miss 31,

the university daily kansan

the wave

september 24, 2010


Words from the Big 12 Writers from around the conference weigh in on their teams
Oklahoma Sooners Missouri Tigers

‘Sloppiness’ nearly cost OU the game
By Clark Foy
The daily Oklahoman The Sooners are glad they don’t have to see an offense like Air Force’s on a regular basis. The Falcons entered the game leading the nation with 423 rushing yards per game. OU allowed 351 yards total. The Sooner defense only allowed three points in the first half nut 21 in the second. “I don’t care about the yards, I just don’t like the sloppiness,” defensive coordinator Brent venables said. “Yards don’t matter, winning does.” venables said the team’s tackling worsened as they allowed Air Force to fight back. redshirt freshman linebacker Tom Wort said the defense should have executed better in the second half. “We were slipping off tackles that we should have made,” Wort said. venables said earlier in the week that Air Force’s triple-option attack is unique. Junior linebacker Travis Lewis said facing the Falcons’ offense was challenging, and he doesn’t want to play a team that runs anything like it again. Coaches and players said all week that they felt uncomfortable preparing for the Air Force offense. One of

Psychologists try to help Missouri win
By John Montesantos
The maneater The most recent addition to Tigers’ arsenal is an advantage that cannot be seen. Coach Gary pinkel is a firm proponent of a sound body in his players. That’s why he has two sports psychologists on his staff that train the Tigers throughout the year. “What triggered it is the term ‘focus,’” pinkel said. “my concern is that we don’t focus well enough.” pinkel and the psychologists strive to condition the players to focus, whether it is during the game or while preparing the week before. Sophomore wide receiver T.J. moe knows the benefits of the program firsthand and is happy to see his teammates take advantage. “Our team has taken it very seriously,” moe said. “That’s the only way it can help you is if you really take it seriously and use it.” Although pinkel praised the services the doctors provide for his team, he said there is no “magic” to the system. There is much more to playing good football than the mental side of things. “ninety-five percent of football is still being physically strong enough,” pinkel said. “But there’s that other little edge that we can get to help our players.” moe pursues that extra edge with the same passion he uses to improve his play in practice. The budding wideout takes advantage of the psychology meetings that have helped him since his freshman year. “I think it’s been a tremendous help,” moe said. “It’s just focus. A lot of times, especially for young guys, it’s hard for us to go from one thing to another and re-focus every time.” no matter how mentally sound they are, nothing can compare to live action and game experience for the Tiger youngsters. Injuries and suspensions on the missouri defense have given a chance for some underclassmen to prove themselves early in the season. Senior linebacker Andrew Gachkar knows how important those opportunities are for the depth chart. “It’s definitely a big thing,” Gachkar said. “It’s key in getting depth, and that’s something you need when you go into conference play. They all got good time, so that’s definitely positive.” The Tigers are now focused on San diego State as they prepare for Saturday’s game.

AssociAted Press

Oklahoma wide receiver Ryan Broyles, front, is tackled by Air Force cornerback Jon Davis, right, in the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game in Norman, Okla. the hardest parts, venables said, was knowing the strategy and preparation would not translate to any of the Sooners’ other games. “You know, we did enough to get the win,” Wort said.

Kansas State Wildcats

O-line leads Kansas State in right direction
By Ashley Dunkak
Kansas State Collegian Head coach Bill Snyder distributed accolades at Tuesday’s press conference, but he did temper them with caution. Amid his positive comments about the running backs, offensive line and even this week’s opponent, University of Central Florida, Snyder wants the team to stay level-headed. With Saturday’s home game, the Wildcats have the opportunity to start a season 4-0 for the first time since 2006. Last year, K-State won four of five games in the middle of the season but finished by losing three of four. The K-State offense faces a test in the Central Florida defense, which is nationally ranked in several categories. Snyder said with the exception of last week’s interception, senior quarterback Carson Coffman has been fairly consistent. “That was just a glitch that was so costly,” Snyder said. “If that were an interception at the other end of the field, you still wouldn’t like it, but it wouldn’t have had the ramifications that this one did. But I would say that he’s been consistent throughout.” The one getting the ball to Coffman is senior center Wade Weibert. Snyder said he has become proficient at the position - not an easy one, especially having to come right up from hiking the ball to block a 300-pound lineman. In addition to making communication contributions and last-second changes to blocking schemes, Weibert also operates as a leader of the team. “I think he’s provided and offered quality leadership within not just our offensive line but our offense in general,” Snyder said. “He just continues to work extremely hard to get himself better.” As far as the offensive line in general, Snyder said it is not without glitches, but that is the case everywhere. He said the time together has made the linemen much better. “A lot of pass protection is being able to work together,” Snyder said. “It’s not always just the one-on-one environments. Being able to make the right calls, get into the right protection, be able to help each other out, and I think the more you work together, the better you become at that.” When asked about how important it is for the team to go 4-0, Snyder paused, with kind of a funny look on his face, until finally people started laughing. “It’s like saying, ‘Would you rather be dead or alive?’” Snyder said. “You’d rather win than lose. It’s better than the alternative. The important thing is whether or not we’re getting better and what direction that we’re going.”

AssociAted Press

Iowa State wide receiver Jake Williams dives into the end zone under pressure from Kansas State cornerback Tysyn Hartman.

THe WAve

SepTemBer 24, 2010




the university daily kansan

the wave

september 24, 2010


Nebraska Cornhuskers

Huskers disappointed despite last week’s win
By Dan Hoppen
the daily nebraskan amid the swirl of excitement surrounding taylor martinez’s debut, it was easy to overlook something that most husker fans now take for granted. nebraska’s defense didn’t play to the same level as last year. not that it should have right away. it was the first game of the year, and the huskers were replacing five graduated starters, not including the losses of will Compton and sean Fisher to injuries. when coach bo pelini claims that this year’s defense will upstage last year’s, the expectations are going to be high. the huskers gave up 179 rushing yards, more than they gave up in any one game last season. western kentucky’s bobby rainey had 155 yards, the most any running back has rushed for since pelini became nu’s coach. some of the responsibility falls on the starting linebackers, lavonte david and alonzo whaley. david led nu with 13 tackles, but pelini said he still has work to do. david said he agreed with pelini’s assessment. “yeah, most of it was our fault,” david said. the highlight for the blackshirts was a fumble forced by deJon Gomes just before rainey crossed the goal line in the third quarter. rainey sprinted 46 yards up the middle before Gomes caught him from behind. the ball popped out in the end zone, where it was recovered by eric hagg. “i had the opportunity, and i was just going for the tackle, but the ball came out too,” Gomes said. without that fumble, the hilltoppers would have had another seven points, which would have given them more than any nu non-conference opponent last year. but it’s just one game. the huskers had five players making their first career start, including both starting linebackers depended on to make calls and direct the rest of the defense. and the team that had the most rushing yards against nu last year? that would be arkansas state, another overmatched earlyseason opponent. “it’s the first game,” pelini said. “i’ve seen a lot of good things defensively through camp. i think we’re going to be a good defense.”

Texas Longhorns

Freshman Jeffcoat proves himself
By Laken Litman
the daily texan after saturday’s 24-14 win over texas tech, defensive coordinator will muschamp was awarded the game ball by his players. and rightfully so, as it was the defense that drove texas to its first big 12 win of the season. in august, before football season had started, head coach mack brown remarked that this year’s defense was going to be the best he’d ever coached. and he wasn’t kidding. in their first real challenge of the year, the longhorns limited texas tech’s offense to 144 total yards and just one touchdown. “we were pretty dominating,” brown said. “i thought the defensive staff did a tremendous job of playing a lot of guys and keeping fresh legs on the field.” texas played as many as 10 down linemen, even though the starting front four that consisted of acho, kheeston randall, eddie Jones and Jackson Jeffcoat never seemed to come off the field. Jeffcoat played a crucial role in the longhorns pass-rush. the true freshman started his second game in a row and although he didn’t rack up that many stats, he had a hand in almost every momentum-swinging play the defense made. both the players and coaches have noticed how quickly Jeffcoat has grown accustomed to the speed of the college game. Jeffcoat made the longhorns’ first big play of the game when he recovered a fumble on a bad snap that went through potts’ hands to set up a short, 7-yard scoring drive for texas in the opening minutes. the red raiders couldn’t capitalize on many plays thanks to texas’ ball-hawking secondary that made three interceptions and the defensive line that controlled the line of scrimmage throughout the entire game. “we came into enemy territory and came out victorious,” acho said. “we were resilient and we fought and played until the game was over.”

the wave

september 24, 2010

the university daily kansan



Baylor Bears

Baylor ‘embarrassed’ by 45-10 loss to TCU
By Chris Derrett
The Lariat The Bears were outplayed in most aspects of the game they lost to TCU, 45-10, Saturday in Fort Worth. Redshirt sophomore Quarterback Robert Griffin connected 16 of 28 passes for 164 yards in what he considered a humiliating defeat. “It’s just embarrassing. I’ve never been more embarrassed in my life,” Griffin said. Redshirt freshman Aaron Jones’ 48-yard field goal in the first quarter was the Bears’ lone first-half score. Griffin hit freshman receiver Josh Gordon on a third-quarter sideline route for a 53-yard touchdown, but the game proved too far out of reach. “The thing that bothers me is we didn’t challenge them enough. That’s something we’ve got to do better in environments like this,” head coach Art Briles said. Briles shared Griffin’s sentiment that the Bears did not represent their university in a way the team felt was possible. “I feel embarrassed for Baylor University, but we are going to fight our tail off and get it right. We aren’t going to let this be the thing that defines us in 2010,” Briles said. After Baylor’s first possession went threeand-out, the Horned Frogs attacked with the running game that helped them beat No. 24 Oregon State and Division I-AA Tennessee Tech. Running back Ed Wesley helped push the TCU lead to 14-0, finding a hole and bursting down the left sideline for a 49-yard touchdown. Wesley gained 165 yards on the ground on 19 attempts, which bested the Baylor team’s 131 rush yards. The Horned Frogs finished Saturday with 291 rush yards and 267 through the air, an offensive yardage total not surpassed since their 41-0 win over UNLV last year. Senior linebacker and team captain Antonio Johnson said getting in an early hole caused thoughts about previous plays to linger in the defense’s minds. With the Baylor secondary frequently playing TCU receivers seven or more yards off the line of scrimmage, questions also arose concerning the choice not to use press coverage. “Really, we have schemes and techniques that allow us to play up close and we, as players, need to utilize those and do what coach [defensive coordinator Brian Norwood] has taught us,” sophomore cornerback Chance Casey said. TCU took just 2:20 to score its first touchdown, a 28-yard, play-action pass from quarterback Andy Dalton to a wide-open Jeremy Kerley as Baylor’s pressure could not reach


Baylor linebacker Chris Francis, right front, sits with teammates on the bench in the closing minutes of an NCAA college football game against TCU Dalton in time. After reviewing game film, Griffin said Monday that he saw an offense unable to operate the way it wanted because of TCU’s early scoring. “They got up on us really quickly, so we had to go to some drastic measures on offense to try to put some points on the board. We couldn’t really establish a rhythm,” Griffin said. Baylor’s offense began to show life on its second drive, as three rushes moved the ball 40 yards to the TCU 33-yard line. On the resulting set of downs, though, a penalty and two incomplete passes forced the Bears to settle for Jones’ field goal. Gordon’s touchdown was a glimmer of Baylor’s offensive capability, but it was not nearly enough to overcome TCU. “That was the first time we went deep the whole game. I felt as though we could have been doing it more,” Gordon said. With an upcoming game against Rice on the road, the Bears are already looking past Saturday. “None of us wanted to come out and have a showcase like this. It’s a disappointment for our fans and for us. Hopefully our fans will travel to Houston, and we’ll give them a good showing,” Griffin said.



SEpTEMBER 24, 2010

8 gamE Day
at a glancE
New Mexico State comes into Memorial Stadium as heavy underdogs, but that says more about the Aggies than the Jayhawks. Coach Turner Gill’s team has had an extra day to prepare for New Mexico State, but they should not need it. The Aggies have allowed more than 40 points in each of their first two contests, both losses.

gamE Day 9

kansas (1-2)
For only the third time in Kansas football history, two freshmen lead the team in both passing and rushing. Quarterback Jordan Webb and running back James Sims have both taken starting jobs from their older counterparts and look to become Webb the first duo since Frank Seurer and Kerwin Bell in 1980 to accomplish the feat.

new mexico state (0-2)
The Aggie offense is led by junior Matt Christian. This is his first year starting for New Mexico State. In his first two games, he has attempted 74 passes, completing only 38 of them for 423 yards and two Christian touchdowns. Two running backs split carries for the Aggies, senior Seth Smith and sophomore Kenny Turner. Combined they have 110 yards and two touchdowns.

at a glancE

When senior cornerback Chris Harris is sent on the blitz, good things happen. While the front four have been unable to rack up sacks, Harris has two already. Cornerback blitz schemes are risky, but the defense has yet to be burned for it. The Harris secondary has still not allowed a massive pass play, which gives defensive coordinator Carl Torbush a riskier playbook.

The Aggies, who are 0-2 this year, gave up 41 points and 563 yards of total offense in their first game against San Diego State and 42 points and 495 yards House of total offense in their second game against UTEP.’s Mel Kiper listed senior cornerback Davon House as their best NFL prospect. The Aggie defense has not created a turnover yet this year.

New Mexico State is not very good. has ranked them in their bottom 10 of FBS teams every week this season. The Aggies were picked to finish eighth in the WAC. They haven’t come close to winning either one of their games this year and the Jayhawks are 23point favorites.

playEr to watch
Senior wide receiver Johnathan Wilson: When the Kansas coaching staff finally called Wilson’s number last Friday, the team scored on one play, a seven second drive late in the fourth quarter. Wilson gobbled up a Wilson 41-yard pass and made the difficult play look relatively easy. If the Jayhawks want to open up their vertical passing game, Wilson has got to start getting open more often.

playEr to watch
Senior wide receiver Marcus Allen
Allen caught four passes for 114 yards and a touchdown in his first game of the year against San Diego State. Last week, he caught five passes for 65 Allen yards against UTEP. Allen is the Aggies’ most active receiver, as he currently ranks 29th in the nation in reception yards per game.

spEcial tEams
For the second time in three weeks, the special teams unit allowed a blocked punt. This time, it cost the Jayhawks seven points. With the score still a respectable 14-3, senior punter Alonso Rojas was engulfed by a Southern Mississippi player Rojas who proceeded to return it to the end zone. The special teams also over-snapped the ball on an extra point attempt. Needless to say, this is the team’s biggest problem area.


spEcial tEams
Sophomore kicker Tyler Stampler is a transfer student from Ventura College. This is his first year with the Aggies. Last year, he made seven field goals 35 yards including a career long 53 yards. This Stampler season he is 1-1 on field goals and 4-4 on extra points. Last week, sophomore Tommy Stuart blocked a field goal attempt, the first time the Aggies had blocked a field goal since 2007, although last year they blocked a school record three points.


quEstion marks
When will Jake Laptad breakout?
Laptad, a senior defensive end and team captain, has struggled all season against double teams by opposing offense. He’s come close to dragging down the quarterback but so far has only forced hurries. Laptad is the best player on the field for the Jayhawks, but he has been somewhat invisible through the first three games. Will he break out against a below-average Aggie offensive line?

Coach Turner Gill placed much of the blame on himself and his staff for the communication issues on both sides of the ball against Southern Mississippi last Friday. The defense struggle against the Golden Eagle’s nohuddle and the offense Gill had trouble getting plays called in critical moments.

Head coach DeWayne Walker is beginning his second season with New Mexico State. Last year, he went 3-10 overall. The Aggies finished tied for eighth in the WAC last season Walker as they went 1-7 in conference play. Walker had previously been the interim head coach at UCLA for the Bruins’ Las Vegas Bowl in 2007, which they lost 16-17.

quEstion marks
Will the Aggie defense find success against the Kansas offense?


Sophomore wide receiver D.J. Beshears

Neither team has momentum in this contest, but the last time the Jayhawks played in Lawrence, they defeated then-No. 15 Georgia Tech, 28-25. At least the student section should be rowdy. — Matt Galloway

New Mexico State hasn’t won a game since October 10, 2009 when they beat Utah State. They have been defeated every game since, as six of their last nine opponents have scored at least 40 points against them. This will be the third meeting between Kansas and New Mexico State, the last time being in 1991 when the Jayhawks won 54-14. — Max Vosburgh

The Aggie defense has been plain awful. It ranks 114th in the FBS in points allowed and hasn’t caused a turnover this year. The Kansas offense is looking for a spark after a disappointing and inconsistent showing last week against Southern Mississippi. If the Aggie defense wants to turn things around, the young Kansas offense and struggling Jayhawk offensive line should be the perfect remedy.

by thE numbErs
The number of bowl games coached by members of the Kansas coaching staff.

75 6

Jayhawks starting linEup
Pos. QB RB WR WR WR TE T G C G T Name Number Jordan Webb 2 James Sims 29 Johnathan Wilson 81 Bradley McDougald 24 Daymond Patterson 15 Tim Biere 86 Tanner Hawkinson 72 Sal Capra 59 Jeremiah Hatch 77 Trevor Marrongelli 69 Brad Thorson 76 Year Fr. Fr. Sr. So. Jr. Jr. So. Sr. Jr. So. Sr

Big Jay will cheer if…
Year Sr. Jr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Sr. So. Sr.
…Kansas decimates the Aggies. Let’s face it, this is probably the last shot at a blowout win the Jayhawks will have this season. Fattening up against New Mexico State should build some much-needed confidence before a trip to Baylor.

aggiEs starting linEup
Pos. QB RB FB TE WR WR RT RG C LG LT Name Number Matt Christian 2 Seth Smith 20 Brandon Perez 38 Kyle Nelson 17 Marcus Allen 32 Darrius Preston 19 Aundre McGaskey 76 Ruben Escarsega 66 Mike Grady 62 Dejuan yates 58 Davonte Wallace 74 Year Jr Sr Sr Sr Sr So Jr Jr Jr Jr Fr

by thE numbErs
Name Number Pierre Fils 48 Kawika Shook 94 John Finau 54 Donte Savage 52 Frank Padilla 5 Boyblue Aoelua 47 B.J. Adolpho 36 Davon House 4 Donyae Coleman 3 Alphonso Powell 2 Jonte Green 1 Year Jr Sr Sr So Sr Jr So Sr Jr Sr Jr
The number of third down conversions the Aggies had their first week against San Diego State.

Pos. DE DT DT DE OLB MLB OLB CB SS FS CB Name Number Quintin Woods 93 Richard Johnson, 97 Patrick Dorsey 92 Jake Laptad 91 Drew Dudley 49 Justin Springer 45 Steven Johnson 52 Isiah Barfield 19 Olaitan Oguntodu 44 Lubbock Smith 1 Chris Harris 16


2 9

Six different players have scored touchdowns for the Kansas offense.

Baby Jay will weep if…
...the Jayhawks finish their non-conference schedule 1-3, losing to the redheaded stepchild of the WAC. yes, this is clearly a rebuilding year, but if the team cannot soften up against a team picked to finish eight in its own conference, who on earth can they beat in Big 12 play?

Time of possession for the Jayhawks against Southern Mississippi, their longest since last season’s matchup with Southern Mississippi


Teams in the WAC. New Mexico State is the only one who is without a win this year.

Kansas 45, New Mexico State 10


Number of people on the Jim Thorpe Award preseason watch list for the natoin’s best defensive back, which includes Aggie cornerback Davon House.



SEPTEMBER 24, 2010



SEPTEMBER 24, 2010



Growth of team has been inconsistent


wo weeks ago i wrote about a kansas team that not only struggled to grasp the simple concept of special team formations but also looked as if their football iQ was that of a pop warner team. it seems not much has changed from week one to week three. six days after one of the most uplifting victories in kansas’ football history against heisman hopeful Joshua nesbitt and the then-no. 15 Georgia tech, Jordan webb and the rest of the kansas team had their wings clipped again, this time against larry Fedora’s southern mississippi squad. with the bright lights of espn’s Friday night crew invading the small town of hattiesburg, miss., many sports anchors and questioning fans around the nation were watching kansas closely to see if last week’s win was a fluke or if the kansas team was for real. what did we find out? after three weeks, i have come to a few conclusions.

no one thought the smaller defensive front of the Golden eagles would have their way with kansas’ offensive front.

AArOn Berlin
Guest columnist
defenses. the major knock on webb coming into the 2010 season was his lack of mobility. this has become apparent in early quarters of the game when the Golden eagles were able to record four sacks against kansas’ young gunslinger. if you’re counting at home, that’s 12 sacks in three games for kansas quarterbacks.

lets face it, the redshirt freshman-turned-kansas savior looked respectable again Friday night. webb, who has thrown for 365 yards in a run-first attack, went 16-for-26 with no interceptions and has secured his spot starting for the Jayhawks for the remainder of the season. the only question left is how much longer can turner Gill and Chuck long allow webb to get hit so often by opposing

Jordan Webb

perhaps the biggest storyline of the 2010 season so far has been the abysmal play of the Jayhawks o-line. kansas allowed 10 tackles for a loss of yards 13 yards (per rivals) against southern mississippi’s defense. this is surprising since that same defense allowed over 210 yards of offense to an inferior Mike Gunnoe/KANSAN prairie view a&m team last week. while it became Breaking away from a Southern Missippi defensive player, freshman apparent the offensive front would struggle after quarterback Jordan Webb carrties the ball down the field during last the season opener against north dakota state, Friday’s game.

Offensive line

what is there to say really? the special teams units looked equally bad against southern mississippi as they did against north dakota state. they allowed another blocked punt toward the end of the second quarter that swung all the momentum in usm’s favor. after three games, it’s safe to say the only bright spot here has been senior punter alonso rojas. his 14 punts that the offensive line hasn’t allowed to get blocked have averaged 43.7 yards, and rojas has easily been the only bright spot for a special teams unit that has looked confused and unsure of itself more than anything else. with kansas starting freshmen at quarterback and running back, it’s safe to say that more games like this will come. Just remember that while this kansas team may struggle early on, eventually these infant hawks will get their wings back and take flight. the only question becomes, how long does an aching fan base have to wait for these hawks to mature?

Special teams

the wave

september 24, 2010

the university daily kansan




By Kory Carpenter Chris Harris has seen it all during his time at KU. As a freshman, he started alongside Aqib Talib for 10 games, including the Orange Bowl victory where he snagged an interception. He then moved to safety eight games into his sophomore campaign, helping out a depleted defense while grabbing another pick and leading the Jayhawks to an Insight Bowl win. The tumultuous 2009 season was anything but for Harris. He moved back to his familiar cornerback spot and tallied 84 tackles with a sack. His seRyan Waggoner /KANSAN FILE PHOTO nior season started out tough Senior cornerback Chris Harris speaks at a recent media day. once again. After being upset by North Dakota State in week showing signs of a young team with a brand one and another tough loss at the hands of Southern Miss last weekend, new coaching staff. On numerous occasions the defense had trouble getting the play call Harris still believes in the defense. “We feel like we should be 3-0 right now,” in against the fast moving Southern MisHarris says. “We’re definitely disappointed in sissippi offense. That was something Harris our two losses so far, but we still have time to contributed to a lack of rhythm within the defense. put it together.” “Having a young team you see the ups A win following the upset of Georgia Tech might have been too much to ask for Harris and downs. I’m just trying to be a leader and and the rest of the defense. In 2009, teams help everybody out and get them ready for that played the following week after facing this week.” If the Jayhawks have any shot at a bowl the Yellow Jackets’ powerful running attack only won two times, and both of those teams game this season, beating New Mexico State had extra rest. The Kansas defense was on Saturday is practically a must-win. The Agshort rest. After focusing on Georgia Tech’s gies come to Lawrence winless in two games spread option running attack, the team had with losses to San Diego State and UTEP. only 6 days to prepare for Larry Fedora and Supposedly the last easy game the Jayhawks his spread offense. It was something the Jay- have this season, Harris hopes to apply preshawks had not seen the first two weeks of sure to Aggie quarterback Matt Christian. “I’ll definitely be blitzing throughout the the season. “We really didn’t have any practice for year,” Harris says. “Coach Torbush is continutheir type of up tempo offense, but we ing to find ways for me to make plays.” Cornerback blitzes are a big-risk, bigshould be better against the spread the rest reward play. If executed successfully, Harris of the year.” Now that the defense has seen an array and his counterparts catch the quarterback of multiple offenses, it is now time to put off guard for a sack. A wrong move or bad everything together if they plan to make a timing and the defense is left vulnerable for bowl appearance this season. Consistency, a big play downfield. The veteran defensive back knows the risks at hand. Harris says, is key. “I feel like I have to go make the play be“We need to have an overall complete game coming up: special teams, defense and fore the quarterback gets the ball off,” Harris offense. We just need to put it all together says. “If not, I leave my other 10 guys hanging.” and be consistent.” Although they’ve taken a different route, Sometimes that is easier said than done, as these Jayhawks have been on a roller the team is right where many people precoaster ride early on this season. They start- dicted, sitting at 1-2 going into the last noned off terrible in week one but came back conference game. The Jayhawks go into strong against Georgia Tech. They relapsed Saturday’s game as heavy favorites over the a bit against the Golden Eagles, often times Aggies. Kickoff is set for 6:00 p.m.



SEPTEMBEr 24, 2010


By Chris Ceman

on the


Young talent important to Jayhawks


the wave

september 24, 2010

the university daily kansan

ost college freshmen experience their first college test in a quiet room after a couple nights of study. For freshmen on the football team, their test came after weeks of practice and in a stadium full of thousands of Jayhawk fans with high expectations. Freshmen players Jordan webb, keeston terry and keba agostinho have become leaders on the team. day in and day out redshirt freshman quarterback Jordan webb, freshman defensive end keba agostinho, and freshman safety keeston terry have been jockeying for spots on the roster for their respective positions. webb brings great enthusiasm to the game and a lot of optimism at the quarterback position. this is just one of the many reasons Gill likes him leading the team. “i’m always encouraging my linemen to just make one big play or saying something like, ‘Come on, boys, we need this one,’” webb says. webb comes from union, mO. union high school’s head coach brent eckley always believed webb had what it took to play at the college level. each game eckley always had confidence in webb that he would lead his team to victory. eckley says that webb was a hard-worker, polite and smart – all making him a great leader. webb also had the ability to make a play no matt what the situation. “Jordan just seemed to have that ‘it’ factor about him,” eckley says. although keeston terry played wide receiver at blue springs high school in blue springs, missouri, he decided to join the kansas defense at strong safety. the change in his position has helped the ku defense be the strong wall that they are. agostinho’s high school coach, Flint risien, always knew agostinho had a shot at playing in the big 12 because of his great work ethic and determination to be a great player. the coaching staff at James taylor high school in katy, texas, felt strongly of keba’s potential to play at the college level, risien says. after agostinho broke his arm during his junior year he had to miss the post season. rather than lose steam, agostinho worked throughout the off-season to gain back what he had lost with his injury. he came back his senior year and played exceptionally, risien says.


“that is when we knew we had something special,” risien says. On top of his work ethic, agostinho uses senior captain defensive end Jake laptad as his mentor. For some athletes, the person they are battling for a starting position is an enemy – but not for agostinho; he enjoys having laptad around. he feels that laptad serves as a great leader, friend, role model, and someone that helps teach him the ropes. what agostinho enjoys the most is that laptad is just someone he can look up to or go to when he has any questions and being behind laptad has helped him with every aspect of his game. “being laptad’s back up is the best position on the field for me,” agostinho says. “every day at practice i get to learn from a very experienced player.” after the loss to north dakota state, webb says the team didn’t change their mindset quickly, it would be another week of disappointed fans. “we need to have confidence in every game we play, if we don’t have confidence then we are already beat before we step onto the field,” webb said. webb stressed that he and his fellow teammates had to pull a 180 with their mindset going into the Georgia tech game, or it would be a no contest right out of the starting gates. the team knew that a performance like the one against ndsu would not even put them close to the number 15 Georgia tech yellow Jackets. the whole week leading up to the game Gill stressed one word: fast. Gill believed that if his team could pick up the tempo it would have a shot at their nationally ranked opponent. not only did Gill have to worry about getting his team to be quicker, he also had a big decision on who he wanted to put behind center for the game. his decision ended on webb. he always felt that webb had the spunk to be the leader of his offense, but he just didn’t know when to pull the trigger with him. “it wasn’t because we didn’t feel webb was ready to play, it was more because the coaching staff and i thought pick had earned the spot in practices and scrimmages throughout the week,” Gill says. “with some of the things we saw, we felt webb deserved a chance to start in the Georgia tech game.” For webb, this was the first start of the


Freshman safety, Keeston Terry and Senior line backer Drew Dudley dive for a ball fumbled by Georgia Tech. Dudley snagged the ball giving him the only fumble return of the game. season and he was facing Georgia tech’s senior quarterback Joshua nesbitt. although webb knew he had a rigorous task in front of him, he had confidence in himself and his team that they could get the job done. in the second half, the offense went out and duplicated its first half performance by putting up two more touchdowns, one of which came in the fourth quarter when webb threw a 32-yard pass to wide receiver patterson. this touchdown sealed the deal for the hawks, proving his first start to be a success. he threw for 179 yards and three touchdowns. with one win under his belt, webb feels like he may be getting into the swing of things. “but we need to stay humble, which shouldn’t be too difficult after our week one performance,” webb says. the hawk’s defense prevailed two weeks in a row allowing the offense to have a chance to put up some points to keep them in the game. agostinho and terry have done their parts by getting a combined 11 tackles in the two games. agostinho credits the coaches and the daily tackling circuits in practice for this. the hawks played at southern mississippi on Friday. this was their third test, but their first one on the road and their first time being nationally aired on espn. the consensus between the players and the coaching staff was that the team needed to not take their opponent lightly. the team knew that the crowd would be a factor, but webb says that he didn’t notice the fans when on the field, only on the sidelines. “i take their chants as an incentive to play better on the field and get the win,” webb said. although the hawks lost the game to southern mississippi, the team is looking to bounce back yet again after a tough loss and stepping onto the battlefield against new mexico state on saturday. as long as the offense can execute and keep up the speed it will have a strong showing against new mexico state, webb says. as for the defense, Gill is looking for consistency and he also would love to see some of that passion for football they showed in their first two outings. these freshmen have gone from the high school field to the college stadium in a matter of months. according to agostinho, the biggest difference between the two is, “Quickness, everything happens so much faster,” but from the looks of it these hawks are picking up the pace just as Gill had wanted.


Keba Agostinho
Hometown: katy, texas High School: James taylor hs Height / Weight: 6-3 / 253 Position: defensive end Experience: hs


Keeston Terry
Hometown: blue springs, mo. High School: blue springs hs Height / Weight: 6-2 / 185 Position: wide receiver Experience: hs


Jordan Webb
Hometown: union, mo. High School: union hs Height / Weight: 6-0 / 210 Position: Quarterback Experience: redshirt

the university daily kansan

the wave

september 24, 2010

14 feature

After her injury ended her running career, junior Laura Nightengale found other activities on campus to occupy her and distract her from the loss of her favorite past time.

Ryan Waggoner/KANSAN

Runner moves on after career-ending injury
By Abbey Otte like thousands of times before, laura nightengale moved her legs in perfect rhythm during track practice. but unlike all the other times, when her right leg came forward and hit the ground, she felt it recoil, giving way underneath her. the junior from el dorado knew something was wrong. after years of running track and experiencing cramps and aches, she knew this time the pain was different; the sharp sting with each step was much more severe. two years ago nightengale joined the team as a runner on scholarship. she imagined the career she’d have as a Jayhawk. she worked with her coaches on a plan to improve and set goals for her running career. her freshman year and the fall of her sophomore year had been continually hampered by leg injuries and nightengale was only able to compete in a few races during those seasons. after redshirting for indoor track during the winter because of stress fractures, nightengale was practicing on the indoor track in anschutz in February of 2010 and preparing for her first full season when she hurt her leg for the final time. she limped toward the trainers who examined her leg, told her there was nothing they could do and advised her to finish her run.

knowing that was impossible, nightengale told her coach that she couldn’t complete the work out. unable to move her leg, nightengale sat there knowing it wasn’t a cramp but trying to convince herself it wasn’t anything worse. “i was in serious pain all of a sudden,” nightengale says. “there’s a difference between hurting and being hurt.” all runners experience cramps, all have aches that make it difficult to run the last lap, but few feel the sharp snap that signifies the end of a season or the end of a career. nightengale says she could immediately tell the difference. the following weeks were some of the hardest of her life, she says. she forced herself to attend class, trying not to cry as she limped from building to building. after she had an mri nightengale learned a muscle in her right calf tore away from the bone and she’d sustained a fracture where it was supposed to be attached. despite the bad news, nightengale continued meeting with her coach to discuss her future with the team and her future as a runner. they devised a new training regime, focusing on finding a plan to fit her specific needs and to accommodate her individual limits. Four weeks after hearing this news, in march of 2010, nightengale was told she was medically disqualified from the track

the wave

september 24, 2010

the university daily kansan



“I have never felt so heartbroken. there’s nothing anybody can say that’s gong to make you feel better” — Laura Nightengale
team. nightengale felt the goals she’d spent seven years running toward topple. even though trainers and other athletes surrounded her, there was nothing any of them could to do to comfort her. “there’s nothing anybody can say that’s going to make you feel better,” nightengale says. after discussing her options with her coach, nightengale decided to become the manager for the track team so that she would be allowed to keep her scholarship. no longer being an athlete left nightengale feeling like a huge part of her life was missing. “i have never felt so heartbroken,” she says. nightengale felt lost at ku without the niche she had inhabited for two years. she tried to find a routine that didn’t involve the sport she had been competing in since her freshman year of high school. in an effort to take her mind off the life-altering news, she went to mexico last summer with projects abroad, a volunteering organization. “i wanted to do something that’s not related to sports, not related to school, not related to anything or anyone,” nightengale says. nightengale worked with a wildlife conservation project to ensure baby sea turtles survived until hatching. she patrolled the beach each day, searching for sea turtle eggs among the sand. they pitched their tents along the shoreline and guarded the eggs they’d recovered from predators. For a month, nightengale dedicated her days and nights to the protection of sea turtles, finally watching as the baby turtles hatched and dug their way from the sand and eventually to the ocean. although she was still adjusting to a life without track, the experience provided nightengale with the escape she needed and the reminder that life without track is still a life with goals. when track practice started this fall,

Contributed photo

Working with some rescued sea turtles, Nightengale and fellow volunteer Lauren Dragicevich, a student from Sydney, Australia, spent their summer on the beaches of Mexico. nightengale didn’t run laps with her teammates and friends. she didn’t force her feet forward with visions of crossing the finish line first. she didn’t push herself the last mile in the hope of shaving a second from her time. she watched from the side. she watched as other girls ran along the path she had dreamed for herself. nightengale is focusing on school and working to carve a new path for herself, though she’s not entirely sure where it will lead. she still thinks about running every day, but knows that it’s not part of who she is anymore. “i think that is hard for a lot of athletes to understand,” she says. “that your life isn’t over when your athletic career is over, but i’m making it work.”

the university daily kansan

the wave

september 24, 2010