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Saturday, November 25, 2006

KU looks to punch postseason ticket at MU

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COLUMBIA, Mo. - Bowl eligibility is one thing. Physically being invited to a bowl is another.

Last week, with a 39-20 win over Kansas State, KU secured its sixth win of the season for the third time in four years. For the first time in those three bowl eligible campaigns, it was accomplished before the regular season finale. Also for the first time, getting to a bowl game isn't such a slam dunk.

To secure their Christmas plans, the Jayhawks need to win today against archrival Missouri at Faurot Field in Columbia, Mo., in a game set to kick off at 11 a.m.

Bowl officials are hand, too. Representatives from the Texas Bowl, played Dec. 28 in Houston, and the Insight Bowl, Dec. 29 in Phoenix, are in the press box to watch the game unfold. The Insight Bowl has already had one invitation extended and accepted by Minnesota, coached by former Jayhawk frontman Glen Mason.

The Jayhawks enter their regular season finale having recovered from a 3-5 record after a heartbreaking 36-35 loss on the road to Baylor with a three-game win streak. Kansas is 6-5 overall and 3-4 in Big 12 play.

Mizzou is coming off of a 21-16 loss at Iowa State, and enters the game at 7-4 overall and 3-4 in the conference.

FIRST QUARTER

KU gave Mizzou outstanding field position at its own 35 to start the game when Scott Webb's opening boot sailed out of bounds at the five-yard line.

The Tigers opened the game with a bit of trickery, running a double reverse to receiver Jared Perry for a nine-yard gain. It was followed by a seven-yard Tony Temple run to the right side.

From there, KU was able to force a third-and-four, but Daniel picked the Jayhawk secondary apart with a 28-yard bullet down the seam to Brad Ekwerekwu. It set Mizzou up in the KU red zone at the 15. Two plays later, Daniel struck Jason Ray on the left side to the three. But the play was waived off by a 15-yard personal foul call on tight end Chase Coffman, putting the ball at the 31.

MISSOURI 3, KANSAS 0

The drive was unable to build much from there. An incompletion downfield to Coffman was followed by a four-yard gainer from Daniel to Temple. Jeff Wolfert hammered home a 44-yard field goal to put the Tigers on the board first, 3-0.

******

KU was unable to open with the same offensive pop with which Missouri did. After Jon Cornish was stuffed in the backfield on the Jayhawks' first offensive snap, Kerry Meier hit Jonathan Lamb for a minimal gain, and then misfired while getting hit on third down. Kyle Tucker's punt was returned to the Missouri 40-yard line, again giving the Tigers solid starting ground.

Daniel escaped pressure on second-and-10 to find Tommy Saunders for 16 yards to again put Mizzou in KU territory.

Daniel then hit yet another target, this time making it Martin Rucker for an 11-yard gain, coming on the heels of a near-pick by Aqib Talib on a deep ball to the endzone. Daniel was aided by a Tony Temple eight-yard run, making a third-and-two easily convertible on a short out pass to Terry. Daniel then ran it himself for 10 yards inside the KU 10.

MISSOURI 6, KANSAS 0

But Missouri again couldn't punch it in from close range. Daniel was flushed from the pocket on third down and fired a rocket through a pack of players on the right side of the end zone. The result was a 27-yard Wolfert field goal to make the score 6-0 with 6:05 to play in the first quarter.

******

Marcus Herford returned the ensuing kick to the Missouri 37, following up his first return of the game which also gave KU decent field position. But KU was immediately pushed back five yards on a false start call.

The return went to waste, though. KU earned another false start call, sandwiched around a seven-yard gain from Dexton Fields. Kyle Tucker's punt set Mizzou up at its own 11-yard line.

MISSOURI 13, KANSAS 0

After a couple of nice Tony Temple jogs on the option read, Daniel hit Perry on a quick slant, and the freshman receiver streaked 74 yards upfield for the game's first touchdown. It also went down as a career-long pass for Chase Daniel, and a career-long haul for Jared Perry.

******

Herford was true to form on his third kick return of the day, taking the ball 37 yards to the Mizzou 48.

Cornish took just his second carry of the game six yards up the middle to start the drive.

MISSOURI 13, KANSAS 7

One more carry was all Cornish needed to give KU some momentum of its own with just a minute left in the opening frame. He took the option pitch 42 yards down the left sideline, tightroping the final 20 or so yards to put Kansas on the board.

******

KU had a chance to seize some control on the first play of Mizzou's next drive on a Daniel overthrow, but senior safety Jerome Kemp dropped a wide open interception opportunity. A one-yard Temple run brought the first quarter to a close.

SECOND QUARTER

The long third down was converted as Daniel fled the pocket to find Ekwerekwu on a slant ahead of Dominic Roux up to the Mizzou 39.

Mizzou went into the bag of tricks again, running a double reverse flea-clicker, leaving Martin Rucker wide open deep. Daniel hit him down to the KU 10.

MISSOURI 20, KANSAS 7

Following the big play, Mizzou experimented again with the run. After it was unsuccessful in finding paydirt, Missouri went back to what worked. Daniel hit Coffman for a five-yard score. On the play, he beat Dominic Roux, who also lost his shoe and fell down in the end zone.

******

KU was subsequently set up with its first unfavorable field position of the game. Meier started the drive with an eight-yard strike to Dexton Fields, and it was followed by a nine-yard jog by Cornish to quiet the crowd a bit.

Cornish followed it by ripping off another 10 yards, continuing his march toward the KU single season rushing record. He started the game 112 yards away from Tony Sands' record, set in 1991.

KU's ground-oriented drive was shut short, though, on a third-and-two from the Mizzou 42, when an option play was blown, and Meier was dropped for a loss, giving the ball back to the Tigers at their own 14.

After a seven-yard gain to start the drive, Daniel continued his connection with Coffman, getting 24 yards over the middle on second-and-three. That was followed by a pass to Tommy Saunders down to the KU 36.

KU was able to stop the swelling there, though. A reverse on second-and-seven gave Missouri a third-and-three, but a short pass play after that netted just one yard, leaving a fourth-and-two at the KU 28.

On the fourth down play, after a timeout, Daniel took off up the middle when his routes broke down, gaining three yards to the 25, keeping the drive alive with less than five minutes to play in the first half.

Mike Rivera made Daniel pay two plays later, though, sacking the Mizzou signalcaller for a 15-yard loss on second-and-12. The drive stalled there, as Jimmy Jackson took a handoff for just four yards on third-and-27. It marked the first series Mizzou's offense was unable to put points on the board. Though Mizzou's special teams was able to put teh ball down at the one-yard line, leaving KU with the longest of long fields with 2:55 to go in the half.

******

KU got a little breathing room with a short Brandon McAnderson run, but then earned much more on a Cornish run out to the 24-yard line, leaving him 18 yards from tying the record. Kerry Meier followed it with a seven-yard run on a broken play, and then a six-yard pass to Cornish for another first down.

The drive stalled out short of midfield, and a Kyle Tucker punt followed by a Chase Daniel kneel-down brought the half to a close, with Mizzou leading 20-7. KU will get the ball to start the second half.

THIRD QUARTER

KU started the second half on its own 33-yard line, and Cornish moved the Jayhawks ahead 10 yards on the first play straight up the middle.

Cornish would lose two on his next carry, but Kansas then executed its prettiest pass play of the game on a 26-yard toss from Meier to tight end Derek Fine, moving KU into Mizzou territory.

Meier took the ball five yards himself on the next play, and a 10-yard pass to Fields set KU up in the red zone for the first time on the afternoon at the 20-yard line.

MISSOURI 20, KANSAS 10

The run game failed from the 20, and on third-and-six, Meier was sacked back at the 20, setting up Scott Webb for his first field goal attempt of the day. He struck the 37-yarder from the right hashmark, pulling KU to within 10 points wtih 10:42 to play in the third quarter.

******

It didn't take Chase Daniel long to continue his torrid first half pace. He bettered his 74-yard first half touchdown pass by three feet with a 75-yarder over the middle ot Ekwerekwu.

But hold the phone.

Offsetting penalties on KU's Jerome Kemp and MU's Jared Perry brought the play back and forced teh third-and-five to be replayed, bringing on a drowning dose of boos from the home crowd.

The potential turning point continued to spin, as Daniel lofted an incomplete pass on third down, and Jonathan Lamb's punt return set KU up at its own 44.

MISSOURI 20, KANSAS 17

KU stuck with the run for two plays before pulling the fast one on everyone. Meier threw a swing pass to Aqib Talib for his first career reception. The All-Big 12 candidate took the ball 42 yards in swift fashion for a score to make it a three-point game.

******

Missouri worked the ball nine yards on two plays, and on third-and-short held Tony Temple to a loss, visibly upsetting Chase Daniel who wanted to throw the ball. KU was called for lining up in the neutral zone while lining up for the punt, though, giving MU new life on the drive.

MISSOURI 27, KANSAS 17

The Tigers continued to be unfazed by KU's momentum-changing push. They took advantage of the special teams penalty earlier in the drive by putting together a workmanlike drive, capped with a 20-yard touchdown run by Rockhurst product Tony Temple.

******

Jon Cornish opened the next drive with an eight-yard run, giving him the single season rushing record at Kansas, set by Tony Sands in 1991. He then followed it with a seven-yard gain to give KU a first down and a bit more breathing room after starting the drive at its own 13.

The drive wouldn't advance much further, though, as Meier threw a deep incompletion on third-and-nine, bringing Kyle Tucker back onto the field. His punt was somewhat shanked and set Missouri up at its own 39.

FOURTH QUARTER

Missouri started the fourth quarter with Daniel taking the ball himself 11 yards down the right side. He was then pelted by Jerome Kemp while going out of bounds and drew a 15-yard penalty on top of it to put the ball at the KU 34.

KU again forced Mizzou into a third-down situation, but again couldn't hold the fort, as Daniel hit Tommy Saunders for seven more yards.

MISSOURI 30, KANSAS 17

The drive finally stalled after Temple carried the Tigers inside the Jayhawk 10-yard line. Wolfert came in to knock home a 23-yard field goal for Mizzou to make it a 30-17 contest, keeping the Jayhawks within a two-touchdown range.

******

On KU's next drive, not only did a chop block penalty lose ground for KU, but on third-and-long, Meier was sacked and turned the ball over on a fumble recovered by MU's Lorenzo Williams at the KU 14.

It went down as the game's first turnover.

MISSOURI 37, KANSAS 17

Daniel might have put the game on ice three place later by finding Coffman for a 10-yard strike in which he spun around a defender to put KU up 36-17 following a failed two-point conversion. This leaves teh Jayhawks 9:52 to generate three scores and stop a Mizzou offense which hasn't slowed for most of the day.

******

Todd Reesing came into the game at quarterback on the Jayhawks' next possession looking to provide some kind of a spark, but it certainly did not happen. The three-and-out series culminated in a one-yard loss on a sack following two incompletions, and led to an embarassing fair catch interference call on the ensuing punt against KU's Justin Thornton.

It set MU up at the KU 43.

MISSOURI 42, KANSAS 17

To rub some dirt in KU's face, Daniel set a new career-high with 356 passing yards on the day, the final 26 of which coming on a 26-yarder over the middle to Greg Bracey. The two-point conversion failed, giving MU a commanding 42-17 lead with just 5:06 to go.

******

With Reesing behind center, the Jayhawks mount a promising drive but on second-and-ten from the Tigers' 12 yard line, Reesing lofts a pass to the endzone that falls short and is intercepted by MU's Domoni Johnson. The turnover was the second of the game for Kansas and the Tigers run out the clock to snap a three-game losing streak to KU, posting a final score of 42-17.

Comments

deepind 13 years, 2 months ago

The only bright spot so far in KU's performance is Marcus Herford's kick returns!

actorman 13 years, 2 months ago

I'd say Cornish's 42-yard-run was pretty bright. But it's a shame the defense seems to be getting back to its old ways, including dropping wide-open interceptions.

deepind 13 years, 2 months ago

It seems like the defense that played against K-State last week missed the bus to Columbia! :) Can anyone please give them the directions to Columbia?

Cora Smith 13 years, 2 months ago

Put in Reesing and add another dimension and we will score more points. Meier was holding his arm after the first series. Defense has to blitz more.

trngchiefgary 13 years, 2 months ago

Flat, flat, flat. Meier definetely is not going to play well enough to win and the defense can't stop anybody. Daniel will end up with 500 yards of passing, Mizzou will go to a bowl and KU will stay at home. Probably as well, a 500 team doesn't deserve to go to a bowl game.

FlaHawk 13 years, 2 months ago

Meier cannot come from behind and KU will be looking at Mizzou's behind for a long time today (sigh). The defense is making Daniels Big12 Player of the Week!

deepind 13 years, 2 months ago

If Meier doesn't prove that he can throw the ball accurately in the opening drive of the 2nd half Mangino MUST put Reesing in!! This has to be an easy call!

KURUSH1530 13 years, 2 months ago

Now I wasn't expecting that, but what can you say from Talib. A playmaker makes plays..and by the way, somewhat of a good call by the refs on that TD pass being called back. Although there should have only been one penalty for a clip, I think our defender had the right to hit the Mizzou man. I saw that as soon as it happened and was freaking out.

rgreene 13 years, 2 months ago

I don't know about all of you readers out there, but that's about the weirdest 5 minutes of KU football I've seen in awhile.

cwrist 13 years, 2 months ago

wow, two personal fouls and a dropped pick-six that eventually led to a Missouri touchdown. I guess a line like that will take Jerome Kemp out of contention for Player of the Game honors?

deepind 13 years, 2 months ago

Just about when it looked like the defense is breathing some life again, STUPID individual mistakes cost us again! That field goal was teh final nail in the coffin! The game is over now.

trngchiefgary 13 years, 2 months ago

Give Mizzou credit. They were the better team not only today but all year, in spite of their coach. I'd take Daniel or Freeman in a heart beat over Meier.

Too much history to overcome as well. No MU coach had ever lost 4 straight to KU and no KU team ever has gone to back to back bowl games.

Now basketball season can start for real.

ophawks 13 years, 2 months ago

I say fire Mangino and pick up Larry Coker.

The guy can recruit, win close games, and win on the road, even though this past year didn't show it. But still, he'd win more than six games a year.

Outcoached indeed.

Ted Adams 13 years, 2 months ago

I'm with you. I've been a Mangino fan since the beginning, but NOW he has to go. Bring on Coker, that's fine.

Cornish 15 carries for 126, and you can't figure out to get him the f*cking football?

Your too stupid to coach at KU. You must have gotten you schooling from KSU or MU maybe.

Andrew Monshizadeh 13 years, 2 months ago

nick quartaro cost us that game. not sure what he was thinking not giving cornish the ball with 12:30ish left in the 4th quarter. i would really like to know the thinking behind running 3 passing plays on two consecutive drives (except for mcanderson's run play to partially negate the foul yardage) instead of giving the ball to cornish. makes absolutely no sense. fire quartaro.

Kyle Rohde 13 years, 2 months ago

Cornish is averaging almost 10 yards per carry. Meier can't complete a throw over 7 yard to save his life. We can't stop their passing offense. Logic would dictate that we run the damn ball all game long, like Nebraska used to or like Wisconsin does. But no, Mangino and Quartaro put the game in the hands of a QB who has continually proved throughout this year that he CANNOT win a game for us. That, coupled with extraordinarily stupid penalties, ruined our chances today. We don't deserve a bowl game. This team should have been 8-4 minimum.

deepind 13 years, 2 months ago

I totally agree that KU fans should not be contempt with an "I don't care what it is" Bowl game! I also think it is fair to give Mangino another year or two to prove that he can do better than this. Speaking of Coker, I certainly hope that KU never hires someone like him who has the dubious reputation of recruiting thugs with absolute disregard for the school and the NCAA!

ophawks 13 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, the things that make me mad about him is that:

1) The contract we gave him is way to much. If you compare it, money wise, to other coaches in the big 12, his record compared to the others is no where close to being remotely close.

and

2) He cant get the big name recruits to even come visit KU. According to Rivals.com, as of today, we have only 8 commits, and only three of them are 3 star. I think he could go for a visit with BS to find out how to recruit.

Rock_Chalker 13 years, 2 months ago

We definitely need a new coach...Mangino can't recruit and the team may be pointing "in the right direction" but what good is that if you can't get them moving. The question was raised, "what are we going to do when Cornish graduates?" I second that...this kid is our offense. Do we have any hope coming in? I'm all about giving coaches some time to develop their team but give me a break! How long is this going to continue!?

Jay_lo 13 years, 2 months ago

Sure the game wasn't well coached, but the players were definitely in mid-season form. From the opening kick-off out of bounds, to the fact that Mizzou had three scoring drives before we ever had a first down, there had to be a lot of sore feet, what with all the shooting going on.

Offsides on offense the first play after a return across mid-field, offsides on the defense when Mr. Momentum took up residence on our sidelines after a 14 point swing, and on fourth and three no less.

Absolutely no fire on the defense, missed tackles by the boat load, a long snap into the center's own rear end. They didn't give themselves any chance to win the game.

What I don't understand is why not hand the ball to Cornish, and let him get his 1500 yds. once the hole was dug. I'm glad he got the record, but I don't think another 50 yds. or so were out of the question. Plus I think we had as good a chance of him breaking a long run for a touchdown as the ineffective quarterbacks had of throwing one.

I hate to say it, but I think they played themselves right out of bowl consideration with the big spread.

killjoy 13 years, 2 months ago

Mangino should have put the fork down and prepared the team for this game.

I'd like to have seen him offer to not eat until they won their seventh game; which would show some commitment on his part. He needs to be fired. How many times have we been outcoached this season? This makes five!

Mangino himself was spouting about this being gthe most important game of the season, that "Missouri is our real rival", and then we come to the game unprepared and with the wrong QB playing.

Mangino isn't doing his job. He has to go!

deepind 13 years, 2 months ago

One thing I hate the most about Mangino is how he sidesteps some valid/importnt questions... like - Why wasn't Webb playing most of the game? - Why wasn't Cornish running the ball in the 4th quarter?

It's ok to make mistakes Mangino... but first man up and ADMIT your mistakes, then work to correct them!

KURUSH1530 13 years, 2 months ago

Mangino out, Mark Turgeon in..if we can't get him hired on as basketball coach, atleast get him into the athletics department somehow..obviously I'm kidding, but seriously, Mangino hasn't made KU football what it is..Perkins has done that.

GIHAWK 13 years, 2 months ago

I guess I'm missing something here....How EXACTLY did Mangino get outcoached today? I don't remember him making costly penalities and missing interceptions. The play of the game was KU going offsides on the Missouri punt, leading to a mizzou score.

beebe1 13 years, 2 months ago

We are disappointed; but we need to be a bit careful about pointing the finger at responsibility. Mangino has been the best recruiter we've had in years, probably better than Mason. But he has neglected some geography -- PA,OH,MI, maybe others. He over eats grossly, but maybe he is a 'guide' for the heavy weight interior linemen he maybe covets. But less fat and more muscle would do better. And sooner or later the weight will kill him. But the problem isn't centered on Mangino. Top culprit is the Defense Coordinator. He learned too much of the wrong thing. All the top pro QB's can beat the Cover Two, take a look at the IN pro QB. There are others. But we need a defensive genius who understands the weakness of cover two and when to avoid it. Second cuprit is the Offensive Coordinator. His failure today may have been trying to call a game in the 4th quarter that would suit Webb's talent. He missed. The mistake made at the top was raising Mangino to $1.2 mil. He's good, but not that good. What we need to do is take $400k off his salary, divide it for the pay of the two coordinators, and then recruit geniuses that are worth the money. Our problem is not talent, it is getting someone who knows how to use the talent. We have our linebackers coming back next year; Sharp; receivers; two passer QB's; talented D backfield. No one knows how to use them. Geniuses show up in this game, about 1 person every 10 years in the whole industry. Let's get the comers in the industry and pay them enough to keep them. I doubt that Mangino can see the problem with his coordinators. All he can see is the pointed fingers. Point them where they'll do the most good -- get the AD to adjust his start and get the supplemental people we need!

GIHAWK 13 years, 2 months ago

KURUSH, Didn't you mean Self out and Turgeon in? Give Mangino Self's talent and at least he wins a national championship.

Mike Blur 13 years, 2 months ago

Napoleon, I believe Phred IS a KU sports fan. He ofen wears KU gear during protests. (Makes many 'Hawk fans cringe.)

jehillia 13 years, 2 months ago

So...does anyone else notice how much BS Mangino is full of. KU does not deserve to go to a bowl game...they did not play a good game against A&M they blew a huge lead. And how do you lose some close games? I think the more appropriate quote would be. "we blew a lot of second half/fourth quarter leads and we don't really deserve too much of anything right now" man up Mangino.

minuteman60 13 years, 2 months ago

KURUSH... You're an idiot!! "I think our defender had the right to hit the Mizzou man"!!! Where did you learn football?? If someone hits you you have "the right" to hit him back??? Mangino should have spent more time watching the game, insisting that the best player on the KU side of the ball ran the ball, rather than having a bad arm QB throwing the ball and argueing with the officials the whole D___ game!!

Brad Miller 13 years, 2 months ago

The season is a failure. Mangabbathehut is the reason. On a brighter note, KU leads Florida at the half 37-31.

jayloco 13 years, 2 months ago

Tough loss for the football Hawks. You could almost see the momentum die with a loud thud on that MU punt attempt where we were flagged for offsides. It was 20-17, MU was flustered because of the TD that was taken off the board, they had just gone 3 and out, and we were about the get the ball back with a chance to tie or go up. Then that dumb ass penalty came. You could literally see MU right the ship right there and then. They did what any good team will do to an inferior opponent, they took advantage and put the nail in the proverbial coffin. The KU chances of winning died on that bone headed play and the rest of that drive.

I don't think we should go to a bowl either. What purpose does it serve? I have said it here before and will say it again, KU fans need to increase their expectations for this program. It is time for us to take the next step. That shouldn't be to shamelessly accept a bid to a mediocre bowl. No way the KU football fans travel like they did last year. This team just doesn't excite the fans like last year's squad.

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