Inside the Huddle with Daymond Patterson (Oct. 6)
Oct. 6, 2011
Hey everybody! I'm back for my second blog. These past few weeks have been crazy for me. I went from thinking this would be my final season here at KU--to all of the sudden planning on being here for a fifth year pending the approval of my medical redshirt. This injury has shown me several things that I have not experienced as a college athlete, and has allowed me to do things that most students do during their freshman year. Since I have been injured, I have watched my team play twice. First, I watched on television when we played at Georgia Tech and this past week, I sat in the stands and watched as we took on Texas Tech. Let me tell you one thing--it is a lot more difficult to sit and watch the team in the stands than on TV. It took me until about the second quarter to get over not being able to help my team out there. On a positive side, though, I was able to walk around and tailgate with some of the fans and interact with them, which was a lot of fun before the game. The sad thing is I had to ask some of the fans where to go so I could get my ticket to get into the game!
Since I'm out for the rest of this season, I have used some of my extra time to do additional workouts to help improve on my skills and work on areas that I usually don't get a chance to work on during the season. I'm not the only one getting in extra workouts though. Our media relations lady, Katy Lonergan, is in the gym trying to get into better shape. I was there to witness her first workout and I'm not going to lie, it was pretty intense. She performed really well throughout the whole workout, but let's just say she was not the happiest person during the workout. Coach McPherson was pushing her the whole time and wouldn't let her slack off and she definitely let him hear about it. I am very proud of her. Even though I could tell she was hurting, she pushed through and finished strong--something our strength coaches are always encouraging us to do.
Now let's talk about the Texas Tech game. There were things we did well and things that we can improve on to get better the rest of the season. First off, I want to say that I loved the Throwback jerseys and felt it was a very nice tribute to the 1961 team. I almost snuck into the locker room to throw one on so I could update my Facebook profile picture with me wearing a Throwback jersey! As far as the game, we started out really strong and came out fired up just like I knew we would. The offense had a very good rhythm going and the running game was carrying us early in the first half. On top of a strong offense, the defense came out and played really well and was able to get some key stops and get off the field. Through most of the first quarter, we were in complete control and things were looking really good for us. After we came out playing a very solid game in the beginning, there were some costly mistakes and turnovers were made. As Coach Gill said after the game, these were all pretty much self-inflicted wounds that allowed Texas Tech to get back into the game and to have momentum swing back their way. With that being said, we still went into halftime with a three-point lead and believing we were very capable of winning this game. After halftime we came out really slow, which has been a problem for our team throughout the first few games. This allowed Texas Tech to retake the lead and the momentum once again. In the fourth quarter we fought back with some good drives and a touchdown, but Texas Tech managed to keep the lead and eventually won the game.
On the positive side, even though we were down, the team continued to fight hard the whole game. I know just trying hard doesn't win you games, but I can see so much growth in this team from last year. Something else that I enjoyed seeing Saturday was TE AJ Steward and RB Rell Lewis both getting their first career TDs. These two guys have been here with me since I stepped on campus and are great individuals both off and on the field. I was happy to see them reap some rewards for all the time and hard work they have put into this program over the years.
I had time to talk to both AJ and Rell after the game and I asked them each how it felt to get their first career touchdown on Saturday versus Texas Tech.
"It was a bit rewarding just because of the hard work and trials that I've been through in my career," said AJ, who is from St. Louis. "I couldn't get total fulfillment though because it came in a losing fashion."
"It felt good and was a sigh of relief," said Rell.
With an answer like that I see how all the media across the world feels with the generic answers a lot of athletes and coaches give. C'mon man you got to give me something better than that Rell!
On the serious side, Rell did also say that he was very excited to get to go back home (when we play at Oklahoma State this week) and be able to play in front of friends and family. Getting a win would make going back to Oklahoma that much better.
The keys to beating a top-ranked team like Oklahoma State according to AJ (the assistant head coach if you ask him) are "to play with determination and be fundamentally sound. That's the only way you beat good teams."
I completely agree with AJ's statement, but I also think it will be very interesting to see how our team reacts after two tough losses in back to back games. This could be a big turning point in our season if we can go to Stillwater and knock off an extremely talented Oklahoma State team.
Ok--I am wrapping this up now--but before I go, I would like to give a shout out the KU women's soccer team for a great double-overtime victory against Texas this past week. That was a huge victory--great job ladies! Also the Kansas volleyball team had a good comeback victory over Nebraska-Omaha during the week and looks like they are making a run at the NCAA Tournament. I know that our women's basketball team started practice Wednesday and it seems like they could be in for a very good year. My fellow Texas native, Carolyn Davis, was named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team--that is so tough to do. To be named one of the top five players in this conference in women's hoops is tough! Congrats to you Carolyn! I'm looking forward to catching some games this winter. Men's basketball will start practice next week. Both the men and women have `Late Night in the Phog' next Friday (Oct. 14). Since I am not playing right now--I will definitely have to check that out for the first time ever!
Well that's it for the second edition of `Inside the Huddle with Daymond Patterson.' Everybody have a safe and fun weekend. As always Rock Chalk Jayhawk!