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Saturday, November 18, 2006

KU gains bowl eligibility, knocks off K-State 39-20

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It's been awhile since the Sunflower Showdown has meant so much on the gridiron for both parties involved, but both Kansas University and Kansas State have plenty on the line this afternoon at Memorial Stadium.

The Jayhawks (5-5 overall, 2-4 Big 12) need to win one of their two final games to attain bowl eligibility for the third time in four years. Multiple bowl representatives are on hand to watch the game, as K-State, who is already bowl eligible at 7-4, is looking for the best postseason contest possible.

Obviously, the talk coming into the game mostly revolves around K-State's landmark 45-42 win last weekend at home over Texas. KU has had two weeks since its 45-10 win over Iowa State to prepare for its in-state rival, and is looking to avenge last year's 12-3 loss in Manhattan. In 2004, the Jayhawks knocked off K-State at home to set off a frenzy of an atmosphere in Lawrence. A win today would probably provide a similar setting.

Kickoff is at 2:30 p.m., with clear skies and a slight wind blowing to the open end of the stadium. KU is donning its blue uniform tops, while K-State is in white.

FIRST QUARTER

Kansas State 3, Kansas 0

Any emotional edge KU had to start the game looked like it would be erased fairly quickly. On the game's first snap, K-State quarterback Josh Freeman ran a play-action pass and found a wide open Jeron Mastrud down the seam of the field. After bobbling the ball, the lumbering tight end took it 66 yards to the KU 20-yard line. After an offsides call before the next snap, K-State earned a first down on a seven-yard pass from Freeman to James Johnson. But KU held K-State out of the endzone on three straight plays, stalling the drive at the four-yard line, leaving the Wildcats with a 21-yard Jeff Snodgrass field goal.

******

On KU's first offensive possession, KU didn't go for the big play right off the bat like its counterpart did, but still moved the ball well. Kerry Meier found Dexton Fields for a pair of first-down passes, including one right at the sticks on third-and-four, which was followed by a 12-yard Jon Cornish run to set KU up at the K-State 34.

Meier followed it with his third completion to Fields, who spun out of a defender's grip for an 11-yard gain and another fresh set of downs.

Kansas 3, Kansas State 3

Cornish had a pair of short carries sandwiched around a false start call, which set up a third-and-eight situation at the K-State 21-yard line. Meier floated a ball for Brian Murph down to the three-yard line, but the ball forced Murph to come back and fell incomplete. The drive ended just like K-State's, with a 38-yard Scott Webb field goal to even the count at 3-3.

Kansas 10, Kansas State 3

K-State overcame a 15-yard late hit penalty on its next drive to nearly pick up a first down on a long run by James Johnson. But KU's defense made its biggest play yet when Aqib Talib picked off Josh Freeman while rolling to his right on first down. The return set KU up at the K-State 23, and it took Jon Cornish just two carries to find the end zone, doing so on a 13-yard run with 3:31 to go in the first quarter.

******

Kansas State didn't go away from the pass upon taking the ball again. Freeman threw a pair of long passes to Jordy Nelson and Cedric Wilson.

But it didn't matter.

Freeman fumbled a first down snap near midfield, and KU's Russell Brorsen pounced on it quickly to give KU the ball again, this time at the K-State 36-yard line.

Kansas 13, Kansas State 3

On the first play, sprung by a vicious backside block from Cesar Rodriguez, Jonathan Lamb took a reverse nine yards down the sideline. A false start gave KU third-and-six from the 32, and Fields dropped a bal inside the five on a lobbed ball from Meier, setting KU up for a 49-yard field goal attempt. Webb nailed his career-long kick with with ease to put KU up 13-3.

SECOND QUARTER

After tiny Leon Patton squirted for a first down on the first play of the second quarter, Washington High product Darrell Stuckey nailed K-State's Rashaad Norwood - a high school rival who played at Schlagle - for a one-yard loss. K-State, though, managed a first down thanks in large part to a receiver screen to Jordy Nelson.

On second-and-11 again near midfield, Freeman showed some escapability, as Kansas continued to bring good pressure but fail to wrap him up off the edges. He ran for a first down, setting K-State up at the KU 44.

Kansas 13, Kansas State 10

After that, Patton provided the game's biggest highlight yet, as he moved to the left sideline, and after three tackles were missed while he teetered against the boundary. He then sprinted to the end zone in front of the K-State faithful seated in the open end. But when the replay was shown on the big screen, Mangino erupted down the sideline to get the play reviewed.

The play stood, and Snodgrass' extra point was true, again making it a three-point game.

******

KU's next drive appeared to go three-and-out, but K-State clobbered Kyle Tucker on the punt attempt, bailing the Jayhawks out of a not-so-hot kick. The penalty set KU's offense back up at its own 30-yard line.

KU was again aided by a K-State penalty on second-and-10, after a short route was thrown to Murph. He only gained three yard, but 15 more were tacked on thanks to a Justin McKinney late hit, putting KU at its own 48-yard line.

KU moved the chains without the aid of penalties after that, sparked by a 22-yard pass from Meier to Jonathan Lamb on third-and-13, to put KU at the K-State 33.

Meier then kept the ball on a pair of runs to put the Jayhawks two yards away from another first down. Cornish ripped off a five-yard to give KU its fourth first down of the drive.

Though it all went to waste when Meier looked for Derek Fine in the end zone and left a little too much air under the ball. K-State freshman Joshua Moore soared in for the pick, giving K-State back the ball.

******

K-State couldn't build momentum with the ball back in its hands, as they went three-and-out, capped with Talib breaking up a third-and-five pass.

On KU's first snap of the ensuing drive, Cornish took a handoff up the middle for 32 yards, and Meier followed it by finding Fields for the fourth time on the afternoon.

But another drive stalled with the arm of Meier, as he floated another pass into triple coverage looking for Lamb, and this time it was picked by Byron Garvin, giving K-State the ball back at its own eight-yard line with 1:47 left in the half.

Kansas 20, Kansas State 10

On the first play of K-State's next drive, Freeman was grabbed at the goal line by Joe Mortensen and James McClinton, and instead of a safety, the ball was jarred loose. Brorsen fell on it in the end zone, giving KU a 10-point lead once again.

******

KU secured its 10-point lead going into the half when Anthony Webb stymied another K-State drive, keeping KU up 20-10.

HALFTIME

KU is up 10, but the passing game just hasn't been there. Meier is 6-of-14 for just 68 yards with two picks. Cornish has 11 carries for 85 yards and a score, while on the other side patton has 65 yards on seven carries with a touchdown. Freeman is 11-of-19 for 163 yards, but has also been intercepted twice.

THIRD QUARTER

KU opened the half with a three-and-out when Meier overthrew Fields on a third-and-four, but Kansas State saw the same fate with the ball, as James Johnson was smothered by Mike Rivera after catching a pass on third-and-short.

KU got the ball at its own 20, but on the first play, the ball was slapped from Cornish's left hand and recovered by K-State's Eric Childs at the KU 23-yard line.

Kansas 20, Kansas State 13

K-State continued to stumble offensively, capitalized with a nine-yard loss on third down when McClinton sacked Freeman, but K-State didn't go away empty-handed, with a 47-yard Snodgrass field goal capitalizing a four-play, -8-yard drive. It's a one-touchdown game at 20-13 with 9:56 to go in the third.

******

KU started its next drive by Meier completing his first pass of the second half on an 18-yard strike to Fields. The catch meant that Fields was on the receiving end of five of Meier's seven completions to date in the game.

KU was again aided by a K-State pass interference call, this time being blown against Byron Garvin when he cut a Brian Murph route short. Cornish followed it with a 15-yard run, putting him over the 100-yard mark for the game, and a Meier 18-yard run put KU at the KSU 12-yard line with another first down.

Though Meier turned the ball over for the third time in the game by fumbling it away at the KSU six-yard line.

******

The Jayhawk defense was again able to be stout, forcing another three-and-out, this time capitalized by an Anthony Webb pass breakup along the near sideline on a pass thrown to Jordy Nelson.

Meier completed two more passes on the next drive, but KU again failed to get a first down, and was forced to punt to Nelson again. The defense again was given plenty of room to work with with the ball at the KSU 20 yard line, and Freeman was again pressured into a pair of bad throws, giving the ball to the Jayhawks yet again.

KU finally found another groove, as Meier started it with an eight-yard strike to Fields, giving him seven catches for 72 yards on the day. He followed it with an option play to Cornish which moved teh ball inside the K-State 40-yard line.

After an incompletion, the game took a break while the medical staff attended to K-State's Joshua Moore, who was left motionless on the turf after a nasty collision with teammate Chris Carney while breaking up a pass.

******

After the break, KU went for it on a fourth-and-three, and Cornish took the ball up the left side for a six-yard game, giving him 125 yards on the night. One more snap - a one-yard gain by Brandon McAnderson - brought and end to the third quarter.

FOURTH QUARTER

Kansas 23, Kansas State 13

The drive stalled out, leaving Webb with a 42-yard field goal attempt, which he drilled for his third trifecta of the day, and giving KU its first points of the second half with 14:14 to go int he game.

Kansas 30, Kansas State 13

On third-and-long, Freeman was picked off for the third time on the afternoon, this time while throwing a halfback screen to Patton. The ball was high and flipped off of Patton's fingers and was picked by Anthony Webb, who took the ball 42-yards uncontested to push KU's lead to three scores. Webb was flagged 15 yards for excessive celebration when he sprung into the end zone, but it could not quiet a raucous Memorial Stadium.

Kansas 30, Kansas State 20

The penalty wound up hurting KU more than it had thought, as James Johnson took the ensuing kickoff - booted from the 20 rather than the 35 - 85 yards for a score, outrunning Dominic Roux at the end of his jog.

Kansas 33, Kansas State 20

Cornish opened up the next drive in a hurry by picking up back-to-back first down runs, with the latter of the two being a 39-yarder which put him at 181 yards for the game.

The drive became the fourth on the day punctuated with a Scott Webb field goal. The 35-yarder gave him a career-best for field goals made in one game, and put KU's lead at 33-20.

Kansas 39, Kansas State 20

The odd bounces continued to go KU's way on KSU's next possession, which would prove fatal. After hitting Mastrud for a first down over the middle facing a third-and-seven, Freeman was pursued from the backside with the ball knocked loose before he threw. The ball popped into the hands of Wayne Wilder who rumbled to the K-State 12-yard line.

It took Jon Cornish one play to go 12 yards for his second touchdown of the game, and putting the game all but out of reach at 39-20 after the failed extra point with 4:08 to go.

******

KSU orchestrated a desperation drive, needing three scores, but the final outcome was all but sealed on Cornish's second touchdown run of the game, which also gave him 201 yards on 25 carries.

The game came down to turnovers, and while KU gave it away four times, there were six on the other side. No two were bigger than the last two, which led to 13 KU points.

Josh Freeman, who entered the game as one of the hottest QBs in the nation, went 23-of-43 for 244 yards, three picks and one fumble with no touchdown passes.

Comments

nbnozzy 13 years, 2 months ago

I've been to a lot of KU football games in my 35 years of living in Lawrence, and that was the sloppiest game I've seen by both teams. But our side won and let's be happy and now on to Missouri and lets win there.

Saad Saifeddine 13 years, 2 months ago

if there is again to save the season, this is it! Rock Chalk !!

nikesasquatch 13 years, 2 months ago

MANGINO NEEDS TO BENCH MEIER AND BRING IN THE REAL QUARTERBACK! JOSH FREEMAN IS WINNING THE GAME FOR KU SO FAR! MEIER HAS MORE AIR UNDER HIS BALLS THAN BARMANN THROWS! BRING IN THE LAKE TRAVIS HIGH SCHOOL QUARTERBACK AND WIN THE GAME!

ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK KU!

Roy Scherff 13 years, 2 months ago

The stats look horrible. The scores okay. We can't count on back to back halves by the defense playing offense to win this for us. Rock Chalk KU

Kyle Crenshaw 13 years, 2 months ago

o and im sure cornish's 85 yards rushing have nothing to do with us winning too?

coloskihawk 13 years, 2 months ago

you always have something to bitch about sastwat

nikesasquatch 13 years, 2 months ago

MEIER SCREWED UP AGAIN DEEP IN KSU TERRITORY! HOW MUCH LONGER IS MANGINO GOING TO KEEP KSU IN THE GAME? JOSH FREEMAN HAS BEEN THE DEADLIER QUARTERBACK FOR KU!

nikesasquatch 13 years, 2 months ago

WHY ISN'T MURPH OR SHARP RETURING PUNTS? LAMB ISN'T GOING TO BREAK ANYTHING EXCEPT A SWEAT!

nikesasquatch 13 years, 2 months ago

IF KU WINS THIS GAME FREEMAN SHOULD GET THE GAMEBALL. FREEMAN MIGHT BE SAVING MANGINO'S JOB. THE GAME ISN'T OVER YET AS KU ALWAYS FINDS A WAY TO KEEP THE OTHER TEAM IN THE GAME!

nikesasquatch 13 years, 2 months ago

JON CORNISH IS AN AMAZING RUNNINGBACK! IMAGINE IF MANGINO HAD LET CORNISH START FOR 4 YEARS! HE WOULD HAVE ALL OF THE KU RUSHING RECORDS! HOPEFULLY MANGINO CHANGES QUARTERBACKS FOR THE MIZZOU GAME BECAUSE MEIER HAS DONE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ALL DAY! IF KU WINS THE GAME IT WILL BE DESPITE MEIER!

nikesasquatch 13 years, 2 months ago

A GREAT EFFORT BY JON CORNISH, KU'S DEFENSE, AND MR. JOSH FREEMAN!

ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK KU!

Daniel Kennamore 13 years, 2 months ago

Great game...it was obvious that both teams were playing with a lot of passion. Instead of the turnovers showing sloppiness on either team (State's 6 vs. KU's 4) I think it showed how hard both defenses were playing. I know Kstate will get a bowl bid, and after this I'm sure KU will as well...both school will represent the state well.

filmhawk 13 years, 2 months ago

okay. nice win defense. if we beat the misery tigers next week, we'll have 7 wins, beating our two rivals, and go to a bowl game. that's all i expect out of our football team. i can't stand mangino. he is embarassing to look at and listen to. but if this is what our team does...

i'm sorry to say...

i'm good with that.

rock chalk

b_asinbeer 13 years, 2 months ago

nikesasquatch....

throwing 3 interceptions and having a fumble is not a great performance....look at the final score if you don't believe me.

coloskihawk 13 years, 2 months ago

you want mason or allen back ????????? you all make me sick as a former walk on for mason in 94-95 seasons we went 10-2 that doesnt make mason a good coach though!!!!!!! Mangino has this program on the right track we should be 8-3 right now!! when was the last time we had a passing attack???? norseth, hillary?????? that wasnt for real, We have one of the better QB's in the big twelve he is young he will make mistakes but it is the best since cromwell!!!!!!! give mangino and KID ROCK ( meier) some time and respect

Lance Hobson 13 years, 2 months ago

You all need to work on your grammar before you post things on a public website. It's an embarrassment to KU.

hirschtodd 13 years, 2 months ago

coloskihawk is right on....I worked for the team under Mason...the guy was a scum bag who belittled and demoralized anyone in his path...he could give a damn about anyone...I screamed for joy when he left for georgia...oops that didn't work out did it...Mangino is doing all the right things and is making KU football build into something great...quick fix programs go back to bust very quickly. Bring on those punks from Mizzou...they are holding our bowl ticket...

nikesasquatch 13 years, 2 months ago

WHY DID KU FANS TRY TO TEAR DOWN THE GOALPOSTS? KU NEEDS TO ACT LIKE THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BEAT KSU. KU WAS FAVORED IN THE GAME. DID ORAL ROBERTS TRY AND TEAR DOWN THE RIMS?

kuhawksr1 13 years, 2 months ago

Bring on the next great Big XII QB. All the freakin hype about State and Freeman this week ... give me a break! I heard the same crap a few years back when Brad Smith rolled into Memorial Stadium. We made Smith look like a B team, junior high quarterback then and did the same with Josh today. KSU was top of the world with the win over Texas ... glad we put that to an end. Thanks for fillin in the edges of the stadium, though, purple pansies. God knows most KU fans are too fair weather to keep you out by buying the tickets first.

Kylee Manahan 13 years, 2 months ago

My prayers are with the KState fan that died at 15th and Iowa before the game.

HillbillyHick 13 years, 2 months ago

Way to go KU!!!!

By the way I agree that even going on the field after winning a game that you were favored in is completely ridiculous and shows no class!!!

We closed as -160 favorites......

Kylee Manahan 13 years, 2 months ago

didn't have to read the article (which isn't saying anything yet) I live across Iowa from where it happened. Proud of KU, but feeling sad for the family and friends.

easyfive 13 years, 2 months ago

I think snatchsquat is one of them muzz fans trying to under mind KU sports programs. Them are the ones that try to fire Bill and Mark if they lose a game. Them people must be really in pain to be so sad. He thinks Freeman is a KU player.

jayloco 13 years, 2 months ago

Way to go Hawks. Good game defensively where we played with a lot of intensity and "want to". I will be the first to admit I posted a lot of displeasure with Mangino with the closs losses earlier this season. A win next week in Missouri and the Hawks will finish about where I had them at the beginning of the season, 7-5. While it is tough not to think about the fact that this team could be at least 8-3 right now, here's hoping the Hawks will muster a win against a reeling MU squad right now. Go Hawks.

jayloco 13 years, 2 months ago

Hawk fans, it is ridiculous to go on the field after this win. At some point, this program and its fans must get to a point where we fully expect to win every home game. Let's raise the bar and expectations Hawk fans.

babyjay84 13 years, 2 months ago

Any word on the injured K-State player?

babyjay84 13 years, 2 months ago

Gotta love those Jayhawks! Nothing's better to watch than dejected K-Staters leaving Memorial Stadium with their tails between their legs. Now let's go take care of business at MISERY next weekend! ROCK CHALK!

John Myers 13 years, 2 months ago

babyjay - I haven't been able to find any information. Probably in the hospital runnin' all kinds of tests. I'm hoping there will be some info available tomorrow. I'm thrilled that we won the game, but man, stuff like that really makes you realize how completely unimportant it is.

Bone777 13 years, 2 months ago

I would much rather see KU fans tearing down our goal post, than KSU fans tearing down our goal post.

Been there, seen that.

coloskihawk 13 years, 2 months ago

preach on brother beavis was on the field for that !gutwrenching

filmhawk 13 years, 2 months ago

hey STRIKEWSO - mangino is still an "EMBARRASSMENT" and spelling has nothing to do with grammar you idiot.

actorman 13 years, 2 months ago

Man, that was a fun game to be at! Wild, entertaining, sloppy and intense. The kind of game that you love to watch.

On the other hand, I am sometimes embarrassed at the UNBELIEVABLE stupidity of some KU fans. First of all, "undermine" is one word. It is not two words, and it is not "under mind." Next, we have the comments of b_asinbeer, who obviously has had WAY too much of the sudsy stuff (or is just a complete idiot). Hey beer, Nikesasquatch (who may be a jerk but he's not an idiot) did not say that Freeman had had a great game, he said that Freeman had been great for US. Do you understand the difference, or is your brain too fuzzy to comprehend it?

And then, of course, we have easyfive. It is hard to imagine anyone actually being that stupid. Let me explain this to you simply, easy: Nike does NOT think Freeman is on the KU team, he is saying that Freeman helped KU win by playing so horribly. Can you process that through your thimble of a brain? And as for your grammar, etc., the only word that comes to mind is YIKES.

As much fun as it is to see KU destroy KSUck, it would also be nice if there were some sort of minimum IQ necessary to post on these boards--say the level of a first grader.

seattlehawk_78 13 years, 2 months ago

I'm 51 and I have a job, a mortgage and a kid. Given my demographics I should be of the opinion that tearing down goalposts is immature and lacking in class and sportsmanship. My only question to those who think the goalposts should stay in place is, what the f@#$ is wrong with kids today? You're not students for long so take this opportunity to get drunk and act stupid. I think it's a great tradition and I hope to see it more often.

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