“We have been through this before,” Ford said. “We have been punched in the mouth before. And our guys, I don't think liked the taste of it at halftime.”
Ford didn't like it either, but found himself in the spot of needing not to jump his team, but poke it and prod it.
Apparently, he said the right things.
Is this the optimistic take? Absolutely.
Yet for a young team with talent and upside even KU coach Bill Self admired for the future, why not?
Ford warns that the growing pains will continue this season. There are some matchups, like Saturday, that just tilt too heavily against the Cowboys. Playing bigger teams, they struggle to defend the interior and rebound. And their efforts to cover up their size limitations often leave holes exposed elsewhere.
A return of Darrell Williams and further development of Jurick, Soucek and Cobbins would go a long way toward shoring that up.
And there's something to be said for OSU's athleticism and skill. And in time, it only figures to get better.
Maybe Saturday will prove to be nothing more than a tale of two halves, one team's lost interest and the other's accompanying rise.
Or maybe it'll prove to be a turning point.