LAWRENCE (AP) — Only one week separated the worst game of Tim Biere’s life from just about the best.
With a much larger role in a brand new offense, the Kansas tight end thought he might begin a breakout year in the opener against lowly North Dakota State. But before he’d completed the first game of his junior year, he was booed off the field. He had fumbled both of the passes thrown to him, including one late in the fourth quarter that doomed any chance of avoiding one of the worst losses in Jayhawk history.
Seven days later, however, he caught the first touchdown pass of his career to help Kansas redeem itself with a shocking victory over then-No. 15 Georgia Tech.
Boos turned to cheers, frowns to smiles and he’s happy headed into Saturday’s home game against New Mexico State.
“It was kind of a relief,” said Biere, an Omaha, Neb., native. “I had the worst game of my life the first week, and then bounced back. Though it still wasn’t the perfect game by any means, but it was better than the first week.”
Nearly anything would have been an improvement from week one. Biere put the blame on himself for Kansas’ embarrassing 6-3 defeat after his costly fumbles. The second, on third down with less than 3 minutes left in the game, all but sealed the victory for the Bison in a stunning disappointment for Turner Gill’s debut as Kansas coach.
The crowd cheered when he was subbed out. All the next week, Biere didn’t even feel like showing his face on campus.
His teammates, however backed him and Biere didn’t want to be anywhere in Lawrence except with his team for that week.
“I think that really helped out that, as teammates, we didn’t get down on Tim Biere,” said wide receiver Daymond Patterson. “We know how good of a player he is.”
Biere redeemed himself immediately with a touchdown that gave the Jayhawks their first lead against the heavily favored Yellow Jackets. That 2-yard reception was Biere’s only catch in what he called “one of the best games of my life.”
Perhaps no player reflects this year’s overhauled Kansas team more than Biere. Under a new coach, new staff and new playbook, he has had a rebirth at tight end. In his first two years under former coach Mark Mangino, he was barely visible behind standout receivers Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier, who now sit at No. 1 and 2 respectively on Kansas’ all-time receiving list.