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UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS FOOTBALL MEDIA CONFERENCE
October 17, 2017
DAVID BEATY: Our guys are on fall break this week, our school is, so it allowed us to kind of use some extra time with our guys in the morning. We just got done meeting with them, and we'll go out to practice this afternoon. We'll be over at the practice fields at 2:00. So you guys are more than welcome to come out there.
Just a couple of things getting started. Just, I tell you what, we're about halfway through, so let me just kind of make sure that I can clear this up for you, because I want to make sure that you can know who you will be seeing again and who you won't.
I've already told you about quite a few of them. But these guys will be officially unavailable because they've either had a season-ending injury or season-ending procedure. Willie McCaleb, you know about him. Keaton Perry is a recent addition, John Wirtel is a recent addition, Bobby Hartzog is a recent addition. You already knew kind of about Jay Dineen, but he's unavailable. Kenyon Tabor will be unavailable. You know about Isi Holani, Cam Durley, Denzell Evans. All those guys have had season-ending procedures. And obviously you knew about Octavious. I think that clears it up, so you'll know who to expect to possibly be seeing again.
This week, Vaughn Taylor, we're waiting on a diagnosis from our doctors on him to see what his availability is, and then Mesa Ribordy, Khalil, and Dru Prox, those guys will be game-time decisions as we work into this week. So it gives you a little bit of an idea of clearing it up, who you can possibly see again; that way there's no confusion.
Guys, we've got six games left in this season, six great opportunities for us to write a great ending, and it starts Saturday night in Fort Worth, Texas, at Amon Carter. We've had some really good football games against this team in the last three years, three or four years. Certainly during my time, they've been entertaining.
We've got to find a way to get over the hump against these guys. We've been close, we just haven't been able to get over the hump. We've got to find a way to do that. We can't think of a better time than on national television at 7:00 o'clock right down there in Fort Worth.
We know a bunch of those guys. Our guys are from that area. We had a bunch of guys that went to school with a bunch of these guys; they know them well. I think that makes a great rivalry. There is a lot of spirit involved in that. A lot of those kids here will be getting back home close to their parents. There will be a lot of family there. So it will be a good opportunity. It's going to be a terrific stage.
They are playing really good. They're one of the top-ranked teams in the country. But it's just a great opportunity for us to go down there and play in a great environment and go down and get our first Big 12 win, so we're excited about doing that. I think I talked to you about availability. Let's take your questions so I can get specific on what you need.
Q. With the offense so off track the past couple weeks, how do you kind of recover from that and make sure your guys aren't lacking confidence going into TCU? That's one of the better defenses in the nation?
DAVID BEATY: Right. We obviously -- last week's offensive performance is unacceptable. There is just no other way to say it. We all shoulder that burden -- myself, our staff, all of our players -- and we have to do a good job of looking inside. Really, our entire team does.
Some of the issues that you run into, it's just real easy to say, man, can you believe that happened? But that's not how you deal with it. There is a reason why some of those things can be happening, and it forced us as a team to really look inside and really go back to the very foundation of how we're building this program. And it starts with entitled to nothing and grateful for everything.
We basically are just working back to tightening up all the details. Our kids are doing the same thing. Our coaches are doing the same thing. Not waiting on someone to do anything for us. And that's one of the things that if we live our life like that, then we'll play like that, which will be a deal that you love. You have people that go make things happen instead of people waiting on things to happen.
You know, we say it all the time, how you do anything is how you do everything. So it's a big deal when you keep your locker room spotless and you keep it recruit ready. It's a big deal when you always park your car in the right spot.
I mean, it's a big deal when you always run off the field. Those are all things that, as a head coach, as a coach, and as players, you can't lose those details. Because the answers to all those issues that pop up in a game, they're in the details.
The good thing is our kids are the ones that understand and ID those things. So we're looking forward to going back out there this week and atoning for those performances.
Q. Where's Bender's confidence at right now? He's had a couple of rough outings.
DAVID BEATY: I haven't noticed anything from Bender other than normal. He's such a calm, cool, collected guy. His demeanor doesn't change a whole lot. I think that's a positive for him, because he keeps a steady demeanor no matter what.
I've seen him make ridiculous throws, and you're like, man, do you have a heartbeat? Are you okay? You should be jumping up and down. But he's just a steady guy. Which you really appreciate that about him because you know he's not going to get too high and he's not going to get too low. His confidence is fine.
Like I said, the quarterbacks are going to shoulder a lot of the burden, but as we go look at that tape, every one of us were responsible in some way, shape or form. So I know it's vogue to try to find somebody to blame it on. The truth is, it's all of us. We've got to all work collectively together to get it fixed.
Q. How much confidence comes from how competitive these games with TCU have been?
DAVID BEATY: Well, I think a lot. Our guys expect to down there and play in an unbelievable environment and really play at an unbelievably high level and come away with the victory. Those guys are the ones that articulate we've got to get over the hump against these guys.
I mean, we had three field goal opportunities last year to win the game against these guys, and we weren't able to close it out on any of those. We had an opportunity late in the game to be able to still close it out, and we just missed that field goal at the very last minute.
So our guys have been looking forward to this game for 364 days. So they're excited about playing them.
Q. Did you sense kind of a better step and confident step of the defense on Sunday, a little more confidence from them and something they could build on?
DAVID BEATY: Absolutely. The really unfortunate thing about that performance the other day was that our defense, they played really, really well, particularly early in that game. I want to say four of the first five drives were three-and-outs, we had seven three-and-outs in the game. Throughout the entire first half the play of that defense kept us in the game, even when we had some mistakes that really put us in a hole.
I think I said it the other day, I looked up in the middle of the third quarter, we're in a TV timeout, and we're down 31-0, and we've surrendered 123 yards total offense is what we surrendered. I look up, and we have 58 yards, but they only have 123, and we have 31 points on the board on the other side.
That's where we've got to do a great job of playing collective football. We've got to do a better job of putting points on the board and taking advantage of what the defense did. That first turnover, the defense went right back out there and stopped them. We had the unfortunate turnover on the first play of the game that puts them right back out there, and we wound up giving up a touchdown from eight yards out, but they went right back out there and stopped them again.
I thought our front seven played easily their best game of the year. They played fanatically. They played strong at the points of attack. Joe Dineen played outstanding, J.J. Holmes, Dorance Armstrong, Daniel Wise. Throughout the entire game, those guys all played really well. I thought Osaze Ogbebor showed up in that game and did some things we thought he could do. I thought Keyshaun Simmons came in and gave us a real lift. He had five or six tackles in that game, and that's what we needed him to do, particularly with some of the injuries we've had. For him to step in and have that production was good.
Like I said, our guys believe in their staff. The real difference was they actually -- every one of them did exactly what they were supposed to do, and when you do that, you give yourself a chance.
Q. What kind of relationship do you have with Gary Patterson?
DAVID BEATY: I have a good one. Gary, I've got a lot of respect for him for what he's done. For the years that he's been there at TCU. You don't find many coaches that have a statue of him at their place and they're still coaching there. He's certainly earned that. There is no doubt about that.
Defensively, they're very much like they always are. They're going to be tough. He's going to work at it and find a way to create some pressure. He's got some really good players that are playing really well on the other side of the ball over there. But we've got a couple of our coaches on the staff and they highly respect him. Highly respect the way they run that program over there. I think he's one of the best coaches in the country, no doubt about it. It's always a challenge to go out there and coach against a guy like that.
Q. You said that landing Coach Meacham was a top priority for you. Why was it so important, and what was that recruiting process to get him here? What was that like?
DAVID BEATY: You hit it on the head. That was a recruiting process. That's part of the deal. You have to recruit coaches just like you recruit players. That was a situation where we really needed that. For us to be as effective as we could be, to be able to get a guy like Meacham in here was going to be so important because it was going to allow me to be able to do the job that the head coach has to do on game day -- manage, understand time management -- and really put your focus on that. Because it does get more difficult when you have to do both of them.
So, man, he's really released me to be able to do that part of it. I don't really have to say a whole lot to Coach Meacham. He's usually asking me a couple things. But he's a guy that's done it at a high level for a long time. You don't see Coach Meacham have outings like we had last week and our staffs very often back to back. So I'm looking forward to him getting back on the field. I know it's going to be a fun game for him. I know he's got a lot of energy going into this, so it's exciting to be able to get him to go back there and play against those guys.
Q. How do you have him find out a little more on personnel from their offense?
DAVID BEATY: I would be lying to you if I told you none, but, yeah, you understand personnel better when you do that. It's just like when you have anybody and you've been there. The thing about guys on your team, sometimes you know too much. If you just watch a guy on tape, you don't know anything about the way they conduct their life and the things off the field, and those things can kind of blur you when you're with them all the time. But when you don't see any of that and you just see them playing, you just see a super player, right?
So there are some things that you can learn when you have actual relationships with people and you know -- the hard thing for us is just about every one of them that are playing, evaluation is that they're really good. I mean, he likes a lot of those kids because he recruited a lot of them and they built a good team there.
Q. In talking with him this week and being around him, is he any more juiced up?
DAVID BEATY: Man, I don't know how you could get any more juiced up than that guy lives his life, to be honest with you. He doesn't drink a lot of energy drinks, but he sure looks like it. He could be a poster boy for Red Bull and never have a drink of it. He's just got a lot of energy. He's a guy that coming in here Sunday, watching him with the team, you realize the talent that individual has. Watching how he handled the offense, how he handled that situation from Saturday, and handled it in reality. Not what perception is, because we don't get to live in perception. We get to live in reality and how we're going to fix it and the things that caused it and what we go to, he did a really nice job with the team and the rest of the stuff.
Q. What did the film tell you about the offensive line? You've had success before (indiscernible) obviously Iowa State was a real issue?
DAVID BEATY: We had some changes up front. To have changes you have to be able to keep that production going. I think the challenge this week will be getting that group together to go back to playing the way that we were in the previous weeks. You know, we've got to do a really good job of understanding that we've got to make sure that we get the run game going. We want to be able to get that run game going. It wasn't all on the offensive line. Sometimes it's just not hitting great aiming points and you're not in the right spot sometimes at the running back spot.
But I tell you what, that offensive line shoulders a lot of that burden. I have to kind of take it off of them a little bit, because they're what you want them to be. They know and think that they can move the ball on anybody. So those guys, I look for them to bounce back. I really do.
Q. The double whammy of Ribordy and Herbert, were they equally missed, do you think?
DAVID BEATY: There is no doubt. Those two guys are really good players for us. You know, it's just like basketball. If you take one of their really good players off the field or off the court, it changes things a little bit, right? That's a little bit different when you take those guys off. We have guys that are capable of doing it in that role when they get their chance. So there is certainly no excuse there. But you can't hide from the fact that Khalil, I think, may be one of the better backs in this league, and Mesa Ribordy, he's a pre-season Remington candidate. We all forget that he's a walk-on, and he came here as a tight end.
Trying to get that body ready to play in the Big 12, it takes a little while. Unfortunately, he doesn't have the luxury of waiting. He's got to get on the field now because he's one of our best ones. So he doesn't get to have that body completely built. Sometimes that affects you when it comes to your ability to stay healthy sometimes. Hopefully we'll be able to get him back. He is a talented player, and he does make a big difference for us up front. A big difference.
Q. Is Hasan kind of playing through mono, or is he over it?
DAVID BEATY: He's cleared. I guess I'm not violating my policy there. He's obviously playing so he's cleared. But he looks like he's getting close to being back to the same Hasan that I knew before. You could tell definitely in his stamina, just some breathing things; that he wasn't able to play the number of plays we're normally used to him playing.
The good thing is Kyle Mayberry stepped in and did a bunch of good things the other day, which is good too. We need to get that to happen anyway. It's a tough league. You could lose guys at any time. You have to have your depth ready.
Q. Do you have any explanation for why you guys played TCU better than you play some teams that just aren't as good as TCU?
DAVID BEATY: Man, I really don't. I mean, I don't understand why you would play better against one team than any of the others. But we have in the past. That doesn't mean that you're going to this time. You've still got to go earn that, right? They're one of the best teams in the country. So we better have everything ready to go and hitting on all cylinders.
I do think that the fact that a lot of our guys hail from that area, which gives them the potential to be recruited by them, right? Some of which don't get recruited by them. I'm sure there is a natural chip on people's shoulders.
The other thing is they're playing in front of their family a lot when we go there. There is something about that. Whether it's a free meal or whatever you're going to get after the game, sometimes it's just a hug and seeing your mom, your dad, your sister and brother. There is just a pride factor when the name's on the back of that jersey and they're sitting in the stand, it makes a little bit of a different difference, I think.
It's close to home for those Dallas kids. Even our Central Texan kids, it's an easy game for them to get to. I think it might be one of the reasons they have a little bit more juice going into that game. It shouldn't be that way, but I think sometimes subliminally it happens that way.
Q. As regimented as your schedule is on the road, do those players from the area get to see the family before the game?
DAVID BEATY: We allow their family to see the kids for just a block of -- there's about 30, 40 minutes in there in the evening before we go to bed where we'll actually interact with the parents. The parents will be there with their kids in the lobby. None of them are allowed -- we don't let them go to the rooms or anything like that with them. But we basically hang out as a family down there. I saw the Bookers last week. You get to see all the families that you sit in their living rooms, and that's the time we can do it, right. We get to still be able to spend some time alone in there, so we encourage that.
Q. They've been to every game, Jeremiah's (indiscernible)?
DAVID BEATY: Yeah, you talk about some very unique, interesting, wonderful people. If you don't know the Bookers, no wonder that kid is like he is. His mom and his dad are super, super people. They make me feel lazy, and I thought that was hard to do, but obviously it's not. They're super people. We've got some great parents. We really do.
Q. How about for you going back to Dallas-Forth Worth where you spent a lot of time?
DAVID BEATY: Well, it's home for me being back there in the Dallas area. My mom's from there. She's 88 years old, so it's hard for her to get up into those stadiums. She's got a little bit of a bum wheel. I keep telling her to tough it out and get going. But she's a tough coot, man, she really is. But she's going to be there, hopefully, if we can get her in the stands there, but my whole family will be there, and they'll be there supporting us more than anything.
Then I've got a bunch of coaching buddies that are there. That's the fun thing is getting back to see those guys. Getting back down into that area, with a bunch of guys that worked with me or I worked for or worked for me, we all get to hook up there at that family time. So that's good. My twin brother will be back there for the first time. He's not near as good looking as me. We're fraternal. He's got a lot more hair than I've got, though.
Q. With the game being at 7:00, how do you manage game day?
DAVID BEATY: You know, you have your organization and your agenda set on the Big 12 starts, so you have an 11. You might have a 2:30, 3 o'clock, you might have a 6:00, and then you have that 7:00 p.m. slot. So those things are built well in advance. You'll get a chance to rest a little bit more, which is good.
We've had a lot of 11 o'clock starts which requires a lot of 5:30, 6:00 a.m. get ups for guys that are having treatments and things like that. That can build on you a little bit because you don't have as much rest. One thing that we've learned through our years is that you can't get them to take the rest on the front end. Kids just don't do it. Neither do we. They'll sleep in the morning, but they won't sleep at night. They're going to bed when they go to bed. That's just the way it is.
So allowing them to sleep a little bit longer is a good deal. So normally you don't have as many 11 o'clock games as we've had, and you can kind of spread it out a little bit. But this will allow us a little bit more sleep time, which we need. That's going to be critical as you go through a Big 12 schedule.
Q. During the bye week I know you guys went out and talked to recruits, and you've been talking to recruits every day. What's been their perspective on the drawings and the new facility coming?
DAVID BEATY: It's been unbelievable. The thing that I've noticed is that the people that we've talked to are just amazed at the commitment level. A lot of them don't understand what a great place this is, because they've never really been here. That's why those drawings and all of those renderings are so important, because they open their eyes to what this place looks like. And until you've gone somewhere, a lot of times you don't really understand how beautiful it is. You go up there to the top of the hill and look down, I don't know if I've seen more beautiful sites in the world. That thing is unbelievable.
But that's the thing is the coaches have been like, wow, that is exactly what you guys need, right? It's the investment that you guys needed. You don't get something for nothing in this game. The ones that are able to get it turned, they do it because of their investment. Their investment is there in all areas. And that takes time. I never said this is a three-year deal. Never said that. I said this thing is going to be a process, not an event. We're upset that we're not better than we are right now, but we are certainly on the right track in my mind. I know we're where we need to be in terms of our program. You can change culture quick, it's turning the program around sometimes when your numbers aren't right. It takes a little bit longer, right?
But part of that is continuing to have vision about what you need, and man, we've got the best administration. Our chancellor, just what those guys' vision is right now for our future, I'm so happy for Kansas football because it's going to be where it needs to be.
Q. With your running backs, certain guys have had good weeks, but there's really not been any consistency for any of them. Obviously, Khalil's been hurt. But Dom had some good games earlier, and now he's more limited. How are they all handling that?
DAVID BEATY: The best they can. You can only do what you can do when you're available. That's probably the best way to say it. The good news is I've been on teams where we've had two running backs. What happens when the other one goes down? We've got a luxury there where we have a little bit of depth.
And Deron Thompson has been a blessing, having him here, because he's been a guy that's given us extra depth as well. So it's been good to have that. We have some depth even when we lost Octavious Matthews. That's another key piece to it, right? We still have some depth. I think that's where our coaches are so grateful that we have Deron here, because that's a guy that you can't count on that's here. So, that's been really good for us. Those guys do it by committee. They are for one another, and they're selfless guys. Tony does a great job with them.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports