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September 7, 2010Sunday was not a fun day for the Kansas football team. A day after losing to the Division I-AA North Dakota State, Kansas players had to file into the film room and take their medicine. For members of the offense, watching play after play of failed opportunities that led to just 3 points wasn't easy.
"That film was bad," senior running back Angus Quigley said. "You could see from the film that the effort was low and the enthusiasm wasn't there."
Quigley said for most of the players the practices leading up to the game were sharp and physical - the coaches even raved about how many plays they could run in practice because of the quick tempo. Still, there is room for improvement, and the running back said it will be up to the captains to hold the younger players accountable.
"We talked about it on Sunday," Quigley said. "It starts with the leaders. Me and Sal are the captains so during practice when everybody is gassed, me or Sal have to speak up. When times get tough in practice and people are getting fatigued, we can't take shortcuts and maybe not run as hard. I think the little things in practice that people are getting away with might be carrying over to the game."
As far as the players staying in shape to finish the game, Quigley said neither the coaching staff nor the conditioning staff should be blamed for Saturday's outcome.
"I didn't see anybody who was dog-tired," Quigley said. "It's not a conditioning thing, but a mind thing."
"We owe the coaches more than what we showed them on Saturday. They have been respectful and have been everything that we asked for."
Kansas offensive coordinator Chuck Long said he is still unsure who is going to start Saturday's game against Georgia Tech.
"The quarterback position didn't have a great game against North Dakota State," Long said. "We made our share of mistakes. There were some positives there too. There were some examples of them standing in the pocket and taking a hit and keeping their composure, which I think is impressive for a young quarterback."
One area Long wants to see improvement in is for the quarterbacks to do better in is working through their progressions. Although Long said every young quarterback he has coached has had the problem of locking into one receiver at some point - even a Heisman winning quarterback like former Oklahoma star Jason White.
"He would either go with his first receiver or run with it," Long said. "He was athletic enough to get away with that because he could run, but he had two blown out knees after that. He had to learn to go from one receiver to his second and third option."
The remedy for the problem though is one that impatient fans won't want to hear.
"The thing is it is going to take some time" Long said. "You just have to let them grow and we don't have a lot of positions settled including that one. It is just game-to-game."