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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Loss still haunts Jayhawks

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Jayhawks ready to rumble with the Bears

Saturday morning, the No. 20 Jayhawks will take on the Baylor Bears at Memorial Stadium. KU is looking for revenge as the Bears defeated the 'Hawks last season by a single point.

Darrell Stuckey couldn't believe his eyes.

Here he was, watching Kansas University's football team implode in Waco, Texas, one year ago. Passes being completed everywhere, an 18-point lead evaporating.

Why, the KU safety wondered, couldn't he do anything about it?

"I almost felt like I was watching it in the third person," Stuckey says now, "when I was out on the field."

One of the Jayhawks' most devastating losses ever took place against the Bears in 2006, a 36-35 stomach punch that culminated with three late Baylor touchdowns against an ineffective, worn-out Kansas defense.

More than a few games have gotten away from the Jayhawks in recent years. But none as incredible as that one.

"There was so much tension in the locker room," Stuckey said, "that we made a valid commitment right then to never let that happen again."

So far, it appears the lesson stuck. Kansas is 8-1 since that warm day in Waco, with only a loss to a superior Missouri team staining the run. Kansas and Baylor face off again at 11:30 a.m. today at Memorial Stadium.

Whether it was that vow Stuckey spoke of, better matchups over the last nine games or just better players making better plays, coaches and players alike agree that this isn't anywhere near the same Kansas team that played Baylor last time.

"We watched our game : against Baylor, and when we were done, everybody kind of looked at each other and said, 'Whew. We're a lot better this year,'" KU coach Mark Mangino said. "That's the truth."

¢ TV landmark: Kansas-Baylor is the first Big 12 Conference football game to be televised live on Fox College Sports Central (Sunflower Broadband channel 145).

The network is interested in showing up to six Big 12 games live this year. After the main networks (ABC, ESPN and Fox Sports Midwest) selected games for today, FCSC contacted Kansas and offered to televise today's game provided KU sets the start time at 11:30 a.m.

Kansas, of course, agreed.

¢ New nickname?: Now that the Jayhawks are ranked in the Top 25, they're undoubtedly going to be getting more national media attention. And with that might come the more mainstream use of KU's new nickname: the Fighting Manginos.

The term was coined by ESPN analyst Rece Davis. It has made its way back to the namesake, who chuckles about it.

"I've heard it. I don't have a preference," Mangino said. "I'd rather the focus go on the kids. They're doing all the hard work."

Comments

bmcmich1 14 years, 3 months ago

The Baylor debacle last year seriously made me physically ill. It's great that you 'hawks from Lincoln to St.JO,MO will be able to watch us finally take care of a team we are supposed to take care of. I almost envy you guys watching it in the comfort of your own homes, but I stress almost!

Gonna pack my DryJoys golf rain gear for the game today, it's a wet one in Larry!

Wherever you all may be, I wish you a heartfelt HAPPY GAMEDAY with a little splash of ROCK CHALK!!!

34_5_20_nbaTitle 14 years, 3 months ago

Hey if you live in Lincoln NE and have Time Warner, channel 302 is Fox CSC! Pretty stoaked that i'll get to watch it. Have tickets to the Husker game but would rather sit at home watching the future north champs.

actorman 14 years, 3 months ago

In the S.F. Bay Area it's 414 on Comcast. You can probably order the package at the last minute and it's only $5 a month--well worth it, as it also includes other games, the Mangino show, the NFL Network, the NBA Network, etc.

KUglow 14 years, 3 months ago

If you are in OP, you better be on your way to the game.

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