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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Mangino: Cupcakes served their purpose

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KU's running backs the key in victory over KSU

Heading into Saturday's showdown vs. KU, the K-State Wildcats' run defense was ranked 11th in the nation. That was before the Jayhawks' Jake Sharp and Brandon McAnderson took the field.

Reesing looked rattled in first quarter vs. KSU

For the first time in his college career, Todd Reesing looked rattled vs. K-State. After a terrible first quarter, the Jayhawk QB quickly returned to form to help lead the 'Hawks to a 30-24 victory over the rival Wildcats.

It was laughed at, ridiculed and verbally beaten for weeks. Four games for Kansas University's football team in the notorious nonconference schedule, against four tremendously inferior opponents: Central Michigan, Southeastern Louisiana, Toledo and Florida International.

All were in the cozy confines of Memorial Stadium, and none ever was in doubt.

Kansas outscored the pastries, 214-23.

So after KU beat Kansas State, 30-24, Saturday in Manhattan to start Big 12 Conference play, it was time to examine just what the September slate did to help the Jayhawks win their latest game on the road.

"I think it's a key factor," Mangino said Monday. "You have to reflect back a year ago. We were a 6-6 team, lost some tough games. There are several factors involved, and we addressed each and every factor head-on.

"One of the factors - it wasn't the biggest factor - but one of the factors was confidence. We felt like being 4-0 in nonconference play developed confidence in our players for Big 12 competition."

Certainly, KU's players showed a sense of poise they didn't have last year. When a pass from quarterback Todd Reesing thunked off Dexton Fields' helmet and was intercepted by K-State's Chris Carney with 8:52 remaining, it was just the sort of bad break - especially late in the game - that doomed the Jayhawks in 2006.

K-State ended up scoring to go up 24-21 with 7:32 to play. But just 65 seconds later, Kansas answered when Reesing found - who else? - Dexton Fields for a 30-yard redemption score to put Kansas back on top 27-24. It proved to be the winning score.

Would a 2-2 or 3-1 team have recovered like that? It's hard to say. But a 4-0 team did. And now the Jayhawks are 5-0 heading into Saturday's home game with Baylor.

"They do a good job of scheduling to help their program and help them come out of the hole, which is always good," Baylor coach Guy Morriss said of the Jayhawks. "They took advantage of that."

Besides the confidence aspect, Mangino felt September was helpful in terms of personnel. Players like safety Patrick Resby, cornerback Chris Harris, receiver Dezmon Briscoe and left guard Adrian Mayes proved their worth in September, and all had big games against Kansas State.

"It gave us a chance to look at who we have," Mangino said. "Do we have people in the right spots, and what adjustments do we need to make when we get to conference play?"

Comments

jhox 6 years, 11 months ago

OK, I hate to point out the obvious here, but how about the title of this article? "Mangino: Cupcakes surved their purpose" and on the KUSports.com home page that title is super imposed over a picture of the Phat man himself. Classic! Someone should print this one out and send it to Leno for his Monday night headlines.

Coach, we love you, but you need to do something about that weight. We'd like to keep you around as long as possible.

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troutsee 6 years, 11 months ago

Please see JBurtin's comments and my comments at the end of Ryan Woods column from yesterday. They were late postings but represent food for thought.

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KURiggins 6 years, 11 months ago

I do think its wrong the Jayhawks are getting slammed for running the table. Regardless of the competition the Hawks posted 50pts a game. We are on our way to a great season. ..Rock Chalk !

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quigley 6 years, 11 months ago

All right, we get it. We played easy teams to start the year, then we beat a pretty good KSU team on the road. Why don't we do what the hawks and Mangino are doing, GET OVER IT!!!! We have a lot of football to go, these articles saying that our schedule saved the season are a little bit premature. Keep humble hawks!!

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sevenyearhawk 6 years, 11 months ago

Someone (not sure who he was a fan of) said to me following the K-State win: "man, Kansas really hasn't played anyone decent this year, have they?

My response: "... and apparently, not today either!"


Who was it that said "just win, baby!"

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bluvnku2002 6 years, 11 months ago

Does anyone know any bars in Lawrence that carry FCSC and is showing the game on Saturday?

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caddie733 6 years, 11 months ago

I think KU needs to shore up some inconsistencies to become a real threat to do something special this year. We were very fortunate to win after a lot of mistakes we made: Fields' causing an interception deep in KU territory, Fine dropping an easy touchdown, Briscoe dropping another sure touchdown, 3 ints, Talib getting burned, Running into the kicker after a crucial 3rd down stop, Going for it on 4th down when a field goal would have put us up by 2 possessions and caused the game to be out of reach anyways. I'm not saying we gotta play perfect, but we can't afford this many mistakes as the season goes on. I'm confident we will get it worked out though!

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Kevin Long 6 years, 11 months ago

I do think they need to take care of those dropped balls. I was worried about that before the season started, and its slowly starting to become a bigger issue. Although Fine's drop was very unusual, Fields and Briscoe seem to be making it a habit. They all make some good plays, but those drops have to stop for them to win the Big 12. Against better teams those would cost us more.

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Kevin Long 6 years, 11 months ago

That is a terrible pic of Mangino, I would not be suprised at all to see that in an email, or on Leno. Come on people, we all know he is huge and you have to put cupcake in the pic?! Think McFly!

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seattlehawk_78 6 years, 11 months ago

caddie733, we did make a lot of mistakes that could have easily cost us. I think some can be atributed to it being a road game and our first real test. But, on the bright side we were good enough to overcome them. In fact, I believe everyone who made a critical mistake came back and redeemed themselves with a big play. Even though the special teams booted a PAT and committed a crucial error in roughing the kicker, they played a solid game. K-State's special teams crucified Texas but KU contained them. My biggest concern would be the dropped passes. Way too many.

7, I think that comment was originated by Al Davis.

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troutsee 6 years, 11 months ago

I worry more about our punt returner, Pendleton. He looks very insecure and unsure of himself. I was watching him in pregame last week and he was dropping a lot of punts. We better put Briscoe back there.

Incidently, Meier looks like he could be another Jordie Nelson. I agree with Mangino, he's too good of an athlete to sit on the bench. Of course, first we need a reliable back up QB. Stewart looks good in pregame warmups.

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bmcmich1 6 years, 11 months ago

Say all you want about the miscues on Saturday--I don't think anyone on earth expected us to go in there and play a mistake-free game. The MAIN point is that we overcame them and found a way to win--that's what great teams do, and it's also something that KU has had IMMENSE troubles with on the road in the past. It really says something about this year's squad that they can go on the road to a hostile environment, not come even close to playing their best game, and still come away with a W.

That said, I think that Mangino and the staff will pay special attention to CATCHING THE BALL this week in preparation for Baylor. Attention to detail and the little things is something I've noticed from the coaching staff this year and has been lacking for the last, oh, DECADE. Expect us to come out crisp Saturday morning.

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Kevin Long 6 years, 11 months ago

I am very happy just to get a win on the road don't get me wrong. This dropping the ball stuff has gone on for the last several years though. It sucks because I think we have some great potential in our recievers, but I don't think it can be fixed in a week, or it would have already been done. That said KU wins Sat. 38-10.

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6 years, 11 months ago

bluvn, is the game sold out?

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justanotherfan 6 years, 11 months ago

The drops are a concern because drops are ultimately what took down USC against Stanford (that and turnovers).

Pendleton hasn't been the same since he caught all the flack for the dive. He seems to have lost focus in the return game. I feel bad for him because his talent is pretty apparent, but he's really struggling back there right now.

The big thing for KU this weekend is execution. If we run our gameplan against Baylor, we will win because we are the superior team. If we fail to execute we will lose because they aren't nearly as bad as they have been.

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sevenyearhawk 6 years, 11 months ago

I don't know about this Saturday's game being sold out ...

but there are actually tickets for Kansas vs Baylor ...

BEING SOLD ON eBAY!!!

shop victoriously ...

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Dirk Medema 6 years, 11 months ago

caddie733 - Wasn't KU only up 4 at the time of the non-FG? Even if it were 2 scores, if a team can pass, the game is almost never out of reach. Going for it on 4th was not a bad call, because we had been blowing open holes in their line for several possesions which allowed B-Mac and Jake to gain 5-10 yds per carry. As has been said before, the decision was solid, the call (a sweep) was questionable.

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Michael Leiker 6 years, 11 months ago

That picture is awesome....I'd love to play golf w/mangino. Could be entertaining.

He was walking up the steps at 1/2 time on saturday to get to the locker room and one of his assistant coaches accidentally stepped on the back of his shoe. It was hilarious, there were a bunch of KU fans standing there, rooting them on, and he turned around and just lit this guy up, mf this...if you ever gd that...you mf. Everybody just went silent. Hilarious!!

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Christian Hinton 6 years, 11 months ago

That is one of the most hilarious title/photo combinations I have ever seen.

Wow.

Wow.

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bluebackslider 6 years, 11 months ago

Wood, you made deadspin with this one.

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Alan Halvorsen 6 years, 11 months ago

Are you serious leikness? He cussed out his coach for stepping on the back of his shoe?

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bmcmich1 6 years, 11 months ago

There have been numerous stories (and the infamous youtube clip) going around that Mangino isn't the nicest guy during the heat of games. If the one leikness is telling is indeed true, wow...belittling one of your assistants for an innocent mistake? Guess you better not get too close to him, geez...

I guess I should reserve judgment because I didn't see the incident, and he's the head guy so whatever he wants to do is his prerogative but man, that's pretty harsh!

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sevenyearhawk 6 years, 11 months ago

It's Division I football! It's the Big XII! It ain't intramurals!


The couple times I met the Big Guy - for a photo after his coaches show and an autograph at the KC Rally - he was very nice.

But you know those pretzels they serve at sporting events, they had those at the restaurant where his coaching show was ... I think I saw him eat one in like 2 to 3 bites!

And I weigh about 300 lbs, he's easily got 100 on me ... but he was SOLID!

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seattlehawk_78 6 years, 11 months ago

Fox Sports has projected KU to play Oregon in the Holiday Bowl. Talk about premature.

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NyteRider45 6 years, 11 months ago

When we talk about the cupcake schedule that we played I want everyone to remember that we were considered underdogs against Central Michigan. I realize that they haven't played as well this year as expected but they have put up 50+ points at least once. I'm not saying that our schedule was terribly difficult but people are blowing it way out of proportion.

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sevenyearhawk 6 years, 11 months ago

CBSSportsline has KU playing Purdue in the Insight Bowl in Tempe ... didn't this used to be the Copper Bowl?

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MitchumMan 6 years, 11 months ago

We first need to keep winning to get to those Bowls. Should happen, but I've seen crazier things. I hope we do get a good one though and go to San Diego. How sweet would that be?

And there should still be tickets left for whoever wanted to know if the game was sold out. kuathletics.com said the only game sold out so far is the Nebraska game.

And does anyone know how to get football tickets for the OSU game with the KU crowd? I thought I could do it on kuathletics.com but I didn't see a link for it. A push in the right direction would be awesome!

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MitchumMan 6 years, 11 months ago

Oh, and people can say all they want about our easy schedule. If you've looked at next years schedule it doesn't look that easy. We play South Florida, Oklahoma, and Nebraska all away. Then we play Texas and Texas Tech at home, along with Missouri at Arrowhead. Sounds to me like next year will almost make up for our "cupcake" schedule this year.

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Chicago_JHawk 6 years, 11 months ago

ESPN has two projections - one has us playing Clemson in the Gator Bowl, the other has us playing Penn St in the Insight. A little premature to speculate, though - handle our business on the field and the game will take care of itself. I just hope we can qualify and get an invite to a game that isn't within a day or two of Christmas!

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6 years, 11 months ago

sevenyear, the Copper Bowl was played in Tucson.

Mitchum, check with the OSU ticket office and ask for availability in the visitors section. Here's a link:

http://www.okstate.com/ViewArticle.dbml?&DB_OEM_ID=200&ATCLID=153809

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Mike Crosbie 6 years, 11 months ago

Glad to see Mangino brought the KSU formula for success. 1-play cupcakes build a good record. 2- good records get bowl games. 3 Bowl Games get national exposure. 4- National exposure gets great players every year. 5- Great players build dynasties. The Hawks are on their way baby !!!!!

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KUAlum2000 6 years, 11 months ago

The Copper Bowl was later sponsored by Insight and moved to Phoenix when the Diamondbacks ballpark was built. It has since moved to ASU stadium since the Fiesta Bowl moved out and into the new Cardinals stadium. Long story short Copper Bowl = Insight Bowl.

And I think we should hold off on buying bowl tix until we get bowl eligible (and even that wasn't enough last year).

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6 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for the info, KUAlum!

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