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Saturday, November 4, 2006

The Fifth Quarter: Kansas 41, Iowa State 10

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What this means...from the press box

Ryan Wood, Journal-World KU football beat writer

"Though Iowa State was dreadful in defending its own turf, Kansas still got the job done on the road. Considering how things always implode on the Jayhawks away from Lawrence, that's a big step in itself.

You have to wonder whether rotating quarterbacks is beneficial in the long run, but it worked fine on Saturday. Meier had just five incompletions in 22 attempts, and at least two were dropped. Todd Reesing improvised a great touchdown to Derek Fine that started the beatdown the Jayhawks dropped on the lowly Cyclones.

Meier has played just three games since struggling against Toledo, but he was good in all three. When he's healthy, he's got to be the guy. The Jayhawks' best chance at a bowl is with Meier under center."

Tom Keegan, Journal-World sports editor

"K-State and Missouri remain on the schedule and a bowl bid is the bait. For a season that couldn't have opened in much more agonizing fashion, KU has a chance to finish it with some worthwhile memories.

All the frustration-packed losses drove KU fans nuts, but it could have been worse. They could have been fans of Iowa State, one of the weakest Big 12 football teams in recent memory."

Ryan Greene, KUSports.com editor

"This win could go much further for the Jayhawks than getting them to within just one win of bowl eligibility. It was a blowout win, which could potentially look very attractive to bowl game suitors combined with the fact that KU has yet to lose a game by more than 10 points.

Plus, Kerry Meier solidified himself as the team's starting quarterback. Todd Reesing will still get snaps, but there's no reason to rush to conclusions saying he should 1) be starting or 2) have stayed redshirted. If KU gets to a bowl game, his contribution will have been a big part of it."

Inside the numbers

714: That's how many days it took KU to notch it's first Big 12 road victory since defeating Missouri 31-14 on Nov. 20, 2004 in Columbia, Mo. KU couldn't have possibly done it in more convincing fashion, posting it's widest margin of victory since defeating Toledo 63-14 at Memorial Stadium on Sept. 11, 2004.

1: That's how many fumbles each of the KU quarterbacks committed and lost to the Iowa State defense. Mark Mangino praised his team's play after the game, but was quick to point that out as a bugaboo which must be solved if the Jayhawks are to win in either of their final two contests.

13: That's how many days lie between Saturday's win and KU's next contest - The Jayhawks' first extended break after playing 10 consecutive weeks to start the season. Mangino said there will not be a full slate of practices this week, and would prefer having the bye week now rather than play next Saturday. KU host's Kansas State on Nov. 18.

Just in case you missed it...

The day's feel-good story? Jonathan Lamb. Lamb, who started as at safety as a redshirt freshman in 2003 had endured a series of injuries over the past two years, and late in his senior season has finally found his niche at wide receiver. Lamb, who was both a safety and quarterback in his days at Olathe North, had career highs with his five receptions for 76 yards, including a huge 43-yarder in the first half which was acrobatic to say the least as he practically picked it off his shoe laces. He also had three first-half punt returns for 49 yards.

Hopefully you didn't miss it...

KU had an absolutely fantastic stretch in the first quarter which ultimately blew the game wide open. It started with a 50-yard touchdown pass from Kerry Meier to Brian Murph on third-and-six. It was a ten-yard hook pattern, but Murph used his natural speed to jet-set down the sideline for an emphatic score. It was all set up by Iowa State's Ryan Baum muffing a Kyle Tucker punt and giving KU the ball back at midfield.

Later in the first, it was Todd Reesing fiddling around on a broken play in the pocket and lofting a jump ball to tight end Derek Fine in the front of the end zone. He won a tug-of-war for the ball, and after the refs agreed it was a catch, it sent the nearby KU cheering section and the Jayhawk band into a frenzy. That was all the momentum the Jayhawks would need the rest of the day.

Yep, they really said it...

Jonathan Lamb on his 43-yard reception almost not happening at all: "It was actually weird, because I didn't see the ball. I saw the ball thrown, and then I lost it in the sun and didn't see it until it was probably five feet from my face."

Derek Fine on his 29-yard touchdown catch from an improvising Todd Reesing: "I wasn't sure exactly what they were going to call, because I wasn't exactly sure what happened...I've got to give credit to Todd. I was just running my route, and he waved me to go on."

Kerry Meier on how playing two quarterbacks can affect one's rhythm:"A little bit, you know, I felt like I got in a groove there in the second quarter and we threw Todd in there for a series, but like I said, that's coach's decision and I'm all for it."

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