Sunday, October 7, 2007

Beyond a doubt

Jayhawks prove worth with big victory

Kansas University's Brandon McAnderson, left, gives the slip to Kansas State's Chris Patterson in the Jayhawks' 30-24 victory. McAnderson had a game-high 81 yards Saturday in the Jayhawks' first victory in Manhattan since 1989.

Kansas University's Brandon McAnderson, left, gives the slip to Kansas State's Chris Patterson in the Jayhawks' 30-24 victory. McAnderson had a game-high 81 yards Saturday in the Jayhawks' first victory in Manhattan since 1989.


KU upsets K-State in Manhattan

For the first time since 1989, the Kansas football team is victorious in Manhattan. On Saturday, KU defeated rival K-State 30-24.

Audio clips

2007 KU-KSU Football

Go figure


First downs by Kansas University


First downs by Kansas State


Yards per offensive play for Kansas (437 total yards)


Yards per offensive play for Kansas State (363 total yards)


Kansas rushing yards


K-State rushing yards

0, 3

Fumbles, interceptions by each team


The last time KU scored a touchdown in Manhattan (it had 4 Saturday)

— The doubters have nothing left.

Some will still lurk, of course, questioning Kansas University's football team for this, or showing skepticism because of that.

But as of right now, the peg leg those cynics were standing on was chopped down Saturday, after Kansas triumphed over No. 24 Kansas State, 30-24, in a thrilling showdown at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

"We finally played a Top-25 team, on the road, and we got the win," KU cornerback Aqib Talib said. "What are they going to say now?"

What could they possibly come up with? After Saturday's gritty, come-from-behind victory, Kansas stands at 5-0 and has proven its worth away from Lawrence against Big 12 Conference competition.

It was exactly what critics thought was the chink in the Jayhawks' armor: A soft nonconference schedule in September did little, they cried, to prepare them for the Big 12.

Well, maybe it did and maybe it didn't. Either way, 50,924 hostile fans and some early adversity didn't rattle the Jayhawks like they might have in the past.

No, this looks like a different team. A special one.

"I told our players that this was the day," Mangino said. "The time was right. Our program, our players are confident. They feel good about themselves. This 2007 team feels like they can win anywhere."

They felt it. Even after throwing an interception on the first play from scrimmage. Even after Talib, the team's unabashed star cornerback, got toasted for a 68-yard touchdown early on. Even after a Todd Reesing pass boinked off of Dexton Fields' facemask in the fourth quarter, went straight in the air and was intercepted, setting up a touchdown that put K-State up 24-21 with 7:32 left.

"That was the kind of game," Talib said, "we would've gave away last year."

But there's something to be said for KU's unprecedented combination of talent and will. The two working together, like they did Saturday, could take this team out of the darkest and deepest of tunnels.

Exhibit A: After Fields had the pigskin clank off his face, he caught two passes for 53 yards on the ensuing drive, including a 30-yard touchdown strike that put the Jayhawks back on top, 27-24, with 6:27 left.

Exhibit B: After getting burned for the early score in the hyped matchup with KSU's Jordy Nelson, Talib came back and clinched the game by intercepting a Josh Freeman pass with 1:12 to play. Oh yeah, and he caught a critical touchdown pass with 11 seconds left in the first half to tie the game at 14.

Exhibit C: Reesing looked out of place in the first quarter, throwing the interception and struggling to figure out K-State's aggressive defense. But in the end, the intangibles that make him a winner bled through. The rest of the team followed, sure that the game never would get away.

"He's awesome," Mangino said of Reesing, who had 267 passing yards and three touchdowns. "There isn't anything in the world that he thinks he cannot do."

It started with such an attitude, continued with KU's victories on the offensive and defensive lines and culminated with just enough playmaking to seal what might be the biggest victory in the Mangino era.

But what looms largest from Saturday's thrilling victory isn't so much the present as it is the future. It dares Kansas fans to dream.

The Jayhawks already are one victory away from bowl-eligibility with seven to play. They might be placed in the Top-25 poll released today. There's no doubt they should be considered a real candidate in an up-for-grabs Big 12 North race.

"I thought clearly (KU) was the best team we have played all year," said K-State coach Ron Prince, whose team also has battled Auburn and Texas. "I tried to say it very clearly to our team, to anybody that would listen, that this team had no weaknesses."

It remains to be seen how far the Jayhawks will go with what they have. But after Saturday's big rivalry victory, KU surely will continue on with a few more believers.

About time, the players will tell you. They've believed all along.

"It was really great," running back Brandon McAnderson said. "The camaraderie of the team and the way we came together? That was one of the best experiences of my life."


jayhawkinATL 13 years, 4 months ago

So, where is our friend, willie2x, this fine morning?!?!?!

McGuzzo23 13 years, 4 months ago

Congratulations Jayhawks and Jayhawk Fans that was a fun one. Now lets continue on with this special ride with the Fighting Mangino's. One game at a Time and we can have a very very special year. Rock Chalk.

sevenyearhawk 13 years, 4 months ago

You know what's really funny?!?

Aqib Talib and Jordy Nelson caught the same number of offensive touchdowns ... and Talib doesn't even play full-time offense!!!

And Lou Holtz gave Talib a sticker ... woo-hoo!

CaramelMacchMan 13 years, 4 months ago

One game at a time!! excellent game plan coach!

"The time was right. Our program, our players are confident. They feel good about themselves. This 2007 team feels like they can win anywhere."-Mangino

Lets win it all!

I'm getting me Two Carmel Macchiatos today! One for the win and other for wining the verbal fight over kitty fan in manhattan!

Displayhawk 13 years, 4 months ago

Correct me if I'm wrong, but we lined up and kicked their purple a$$ without resorting to any "Gadget" plays! K-State had to use a halfback pass to score one of their touchdowns! CONGRATS to the team! Don't let down against Baylor!

sevenyearhawk 13 years, 4 months ago

willie should show up Monday ... maybe!

I really wished KU has made the point after, 31-24 KU, so I could tell willie he was half right (31-10)

just the wrong half!

Kevin Long 13 years, 4 months ago

Huge win! The best game that I have seen between the two. I gotta give Jordy Nelson credit, that kid can play. But in the end the better team won. I was close with my prediction of 30-20, but i'll take it.

What happened with the goal posts? And most important where are you willie?????

JBurtin 13 years, 4 months ago

In defense of K-State fans, KU hadn't been on TV all year. If they had seen us play, some of them wouldn't have been so cocky. It's plain to see for anyone that has watched Todd Reesing play that he will not fold up the tent and go home at the first sign of adversity. His first game played in a Jayhawk uni was a come from behind victory, so him never backing down is not a surprise to those of us that have seen him. Combine that with a Solid offensive line, talented backs and some playmakers at receiver and you have a very tough team to beat.

As for the defense, they have been incredibly impressive all year long. Sure they weren't playing great competition, but anybody with a good football I.Q. could see that these guys were athletic and assignment sound. Those are traits that don't go away when you're playing on the road.

Then again, why defend a K-State fan for being a blowhard jerkoff. Idiots like willie deserve every piece of crow that they are now forced to eat. I would never dream of going on somebody else's message board and talking smack about a team I knew nothing about.

sevenyearhawk 13 years, 4 months ago

I ventured into enemy territory ...

I've seen enough of this team this year and with my travels to have felt pretty darn confident!

Beak 'em, Hawks!

Kyle Crenshaw 13 years, 4 months ago

good job hawks! thing i noticed is we didnt miss many tackles (besides the patton one they just had to replay throughout the whole game). but thats what did the cats was not bein able to tackle. good job wrappin up boys!

Dan Harris 13 years, 4 months ago

Great win Hawks! Lets keep it going against Baylor( don't look past them)Where are you Willie? Here kitty kittty kittty kitttty kitttty!

sevenyearhawk 13 years, 4 months ago

I have some great stories about Baylor and Waco in general coming up ...

should be a fun week!

troutsee 13 years, 4 months ago

I told you guys we would win. This team is special and we have good coaches. 12-0 is very possible.

A great team victory in Manhattan. And, I'm sorry. I can't give KSU any credit. We gave them every opporturnity to win the game and they couldn't. Our team is that strong.

Watch out for the Hawks B-12 opponents. We are "aflyin."

McGuzzo23 13 years, 4 months ago

12 & Oh ! One game at a time but I like your thinking. We whipped K-State in all areas of the game. Just keep it going into the upcoming weeks. Rock Chalk

Machawk 13 years, 4 months ago

I suspect willie2x may be on a permanent retreat.

1977kufan 13 years, 4 months ago

Great job coaches, offense and defense. You guys on the O-line and the D-line are nothing short of tremendous. Talk about guys knowing their assignments and then taking care of the business!!! Now, let's get Baylor!! Go Hawks...and it will be nice to "try to find a seat in the crowded Stadium".

justanotherfan 13 years, 4 months ago

KU played well yesterday. I wish that they would have put the 'Cats away earlier, but they came back after the miscue and scored, so it's all good.

Nonetheless, the task now is to beat Baylor. KU is somewhat in the driver's seat after yesterday's action (Nebraska looked terrible yesterday while I was watching) in the North. A&M put together a good half to win yesterday. I think KU has a chance to be no more than a touchdown underdog in any game they have left.

This could be special, but I'm not ready to break out the 12-0 kool-aid yet. KU was good yesterday, but not overwhelming, which means a bad bounce here or there could cost us against a similarly talented opponent, of which we have at least three (A&M, Missouri, Nebraska) left, plus a solid Colorado team and a couple of very pesky squads in Baylor and Oklahoma State. Then we have the don't-look-past-them game with Iowa State. Right now I'm a lot more focused on 6-0 than the overall possibility of undefeated.


beebe1 13 years, 4 months ago

Mangino, spread the money around and KEEP THAT STAFF. You have extremely good performance in all facets of the game. Keep them, and include Dawson as well!

A year ago, some fans were worried abut the defense. Many thought you needed a good Defensive Coordinator. You went for the new Offensive Coordinator instead, and thankfully got the right man for that job. The defensive thing sort of went subrosa. The linebacker coach moved on and you picked a replacement for him. The guy you hired was from Dawson's staff. JW gave him a very nice write up last summer. Played very well at linebacker in Ohio State U and went on to an excellent linebacker in the pros. Unfortunately, Ohio devotes very little TV time to Big XII and specifically, Kansas. Radio is good ( use your computer on, push the live radio button), but you can't tell what your defensive backs are learning from the new coach.

Ohio State played Purdue last night, the team with similar experience with our preseason opponents. Purdue couldn't play with OSU. The OSU backs are watching the 5 potential receivers and covering them. When Purdue holds the running back for protection, if he isn't busy he goes short thru the line. Last night he was killed. The middle line backer didn't always get there in time to prevent the reception, but the receiver never got a chance to turn around; he was laid right in his tracks where he caught the ball. The TV announcer, Hiebriet (sp?) was an OSU quarterback; he was quoted saying, at the end of the game, "Don't use the Cover Two." They didn't. The only 'mistakes' the defensive secondary made was when they were confronted with the problem of covering one and a half to two receivers, because one secondary was sent for the blitz. Purdue never got more than a first and ten for it. With that kind of defense, I would guess that our coach is teaching OSU secondary defense. Congratulations, Coach, and Thank You!!!

As for Mangino, give that man a BIG raise. Make him so expensive that no one but the rich guys can come in and offer him a Defensive Coordinator's job. He is at the right place for us! Keep him there.

jhox 13 years, 4 months ago

Great game yesterday. As I drove to Manhattan I was really worried about the wind and what it would do to our passing game. It did affect us in the first quarter, but after it slowed down a bit Reesing and company got it going. The only downer was that our receivers continue to drop catchable passes. If not for that we would have won by at least 2 touchdowns. Let's hope we get that corrected soon.

I recorded the game on DVR and managed to take a great picture of Nelson pushing off on Talib to catch that first TD pass. Watching the Texas game, and the game yesterday it's clear that Nelson is a great player, but also a player that gets away with a lot of pushing off (not unlike Todd Blythe at Iowa State, before the officials started cracking down him for doing it.) No question that Nelson has NFL talent though. He's a speedy dude with great hands. I thought after Rivera put the big hit on him (third quarter I think) that he wasn't the same after that. It was sure good to see Talib bounce back with a nice game from there forward.

Another DB who is not getting enough accolades is Phillip Strozier. I believe he may be the next Kansas All-American defensive back candidate. He covers well, tackles well and always seems to be in the right place. And how about Joe Mortinson? He's just a blue collar guy who keeps racking up the tackles. Reminds me a lot of Nick Reid.

I felt sorry for Tucker yesterday kicking into that wind all day. I don't recall him getting a chance for redemption by having a chance to kick with the wind at his back. Despite our ugly punts, the net yardages weren't too bad when you factor in how strong the wind was.

Anybody else out there sick of hearing the national media call it an upset? We controlled both lines of scrimmage. We had the better athletes, and we got the job done. Let's hope we start to get a little love now.

I'll say one thing about Prince...he's a great communicator, very confident, and he never hesitates to tout how strong his program is. We kicked thier butts last year, too, yet coming in to the season, everyone just assumed in their predictions that they were a notch better than us. The Phat man just keeps getting it done against the Wildcats though. Imagine how he's going to recruit as the program grows in stature. The guy definitely has an eye for talent. It's no coincidence that the most talented KSU and OU teams in recent years were put together under his watch as recruiting coordinator. Talent levels have declined since he left both schools.

One final comment before I end this long winded post. Our offensive coordinator is a feaking genius! Great hire. Let's hope we can keep him a few years.

Sparko 13 years, 4 months ago

Kansas has the finest offense we have had since the Riggins or Jaynes eras. I will remind everyone that protecting the ball is now critical. Look at USC for guidance. There are things to work out now, not the least of which is concentration for receivers, qbs, and punt returners.

I love this team--even bought tickets and flew back to see them. They need to get over the jitters now and see that they can play with anyone and excel.

That was the difference between last year and this. Last year's team should have won at least 10 games. Maybe all 12. They just didn't believe and perform.

seattlehawk_78 13 years, 4 months ago

I was impressed with the poise of this team. Everyone made up for their mistakes. Aquib got burned and then caught a TD pass and an int. Briscoe dropped a TD pass and then caught one in the same series. Reesing starts the game with an int and follows with 3 TDs. The special teams made a couple of costly mistakes but overall played a sound game. Even though Todd had 3 picks (the 3rd shouldn't be counted) he was never forced into making any foolish passes. Overall this team made enough mistakes to lose the game but showed enough poise and mental toughness to pull out a W.

seattlehawk_78 13 years, 4 months ago

jhwkfan1625, I'm not cringing but after the first half I felt fortunate we were tied because I felt K-State was the better team at that point. It wasn't apparent to me that KU was the better team until the second half.

Postscript to my earlier comment. Fields misplay of a pass that caused an interception and subsequent TD was followed by his own TD catch.

100 13 years, 4 months ago

Congrats to KU and Mangino. We need to not settle for this success now. Recall Missouri last year. We've got to keep the ball rolling, no laying low. The biased Lawrence press, if possible, should not worry so much about being "bowl elgible". Who cares. If we play, every week, the way we are capable of playing, much bigger things can happen. A word to the local press -- let's not let these stories get color this football team like we "have reached the pinnacle". The season has just begun -- and this is a great football team that needs to work hard every day and have incentive to be the best. The local press can help by hyping up the dominating stats more, or focusing on specific plays, players, etc. Just like tradional powers do.

Michael Leiker 13 years, 4 months ago

justanother - I think we got a few bad bounces yesterday and did some dumb things from a coaching standpoint (not kicking a field goal to go up by 7 in the 4th quarter). The last interception was a fluke, and KSU took advantage of unreal field position. Reesing's first interception pass was somewhat of a fluke given that the wind gusted to 25 mph right as he threw it.

Yeah, they're not unbeatable, but I don't see anybody on this schedule other than Missouri that KU is not better than, and the hawks have plenty of time to get ready for that one....Mangino always comes up with a gameplan for that game.

KU at #20 - Pretty cool

frompekka2sasha 13 years, 4 months ago

KSU is not ranked yet Auburn and Texas are in both polls. I think we can argue that it's a put-down to KU as much as KSU.

frompekka2sasha 13 years, 4 months ago

Excuse my previous post. Auburn does deserve to be ranked over KSU but "TEXAS???"

Dale Koch 13 years, 4 months ago

Excellent game plan Coach Mangino. Clearly you out-coached "the Prince".

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