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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Kansas football notebook

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Undefeated Jayhawks rank 9th in BCS

Jayhawks fall in at number nine in the Bowl Championship Series standings after winning in Colorado.

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2007 KU-Colorado Football

This week, Kansas University punter Kyle Tucker claimed he had fixed what caused him to struggle in the Jayhawks' first six games. And he proved Saturday it wasn't just hot air.

Averaging just 36 yards a boot heading into Saturday's game, Tucker had five punts against CU for a 43.8-yard average. Furthermore, he showed poise when an unusual circumstance surfaced with less than two minutes to play.

Needing a big boot, Tucker knocked one 46 yards, only to have it called back by a holding penalty. He then booted one just as long on a play that was whistled dead due to an illegal-substitution penalty. The third punt went just as far, a 45-yard punt that gave KU's defense some room to make the last stand to ensure victory.

"It felt good. It really helps my confidence for the rest of the season," Tucker said. "It's always good to re-do one. You get a chance to kick it farther."

¢ With the loss by No. 2 South Florida against Rutgers on Thursday, there are now five undefeated teams left in college football - Kansas, Ohio State, Arizona State, Boston College and Hawaii.

Arizona State, Boston College and Hawaii all had the week off. No. 1 Ohio State beat Michigan State, 24-17, on Saturday.

¢ Kansas was whistled for a crucial defensive delay-of-game penalty in the third quarter which prolonged Colorado's first scoring drive. The official explanation was that a KU defender lined up over the head of the deep snapper, making him unwilling to snap the ball. The Buffs eventually scored to go up 7-3, though the Jayhawks immediately answered to take back the lead for good.

KU coach Mark Mangino declined to comment on the call.

¢ One of the most bizarre plays of the season occurred in the closing minute of the first half. A pass by CU's Cody Hawkins was tipped and then intercepted by KU defensive tackle James McClinton. The 290-pound McClinton then rumbled nine yards back upfield before being spun around and fumbling the ball right back to the Buffaloes. McClinton's play did eat some clock, and Colorado didn't get a score in before the half.

¢ Kansas is 3-0 in Big 12 Conference play, becoming the first Big 12 North team to start 3-0 in league play since 2002, when Nebraska accomplished the feat.

¢ Todd Reesing's 53-yard scramble in the first quarter was the second-longest run of his young career. His longest was a 63-yard scramble, also against Colorado, last season.

¢ The Jayhawks are 7-0 for the first time since 1995 and just the second time since 1968. The last time Kansas started 8-0 was 1909.

¢ Kansas won in Boulder for the first time since 1995. That win, against a top-5 CU team, was in the midst of the Jayhawks' last 7-0 start to open a season.

¢ Justin Thornton had an impressive interception in the third quarter, deflecting a pass and then catching it. It gives him three picks, tying him with Aqib Talib for the team lead.

¢ Temperature was 75 degrees at kickoff under partly cloudy skies. Winds were blowing out of the west at 17 miles per hour.

¢ Estimated attendance was 51,940, with a large chunk of KU fans in the northwest corner of Folsom Field.

Comments

11 years, 1 month ago

Thanks to all of the KU fans who made the trip to Boulder and represented! I look forward to joining some of you in College Station this weekend. The more, the merrier :)

Dirk Medema 11 years, 1 month ago

That was so cool to watch Kyle drill 3 in a row! Keep up the good work. Rock Chalk!

seattlehawk_78 11 years, 1 month ago

Somebody help me here but wasn't the illegal substitution penalty against CU? Seems like they were the team that was rewarded. It should have been KU's option to decline the penalty.

I think McClintons "fumble" was a lateral attempt.

Brett Gaul 11 years, 1 month ago

It was Seattle...he tried to pitch it to Thornton and it hit his legs instead.

Bob Zielinski 11 years, 1 month ago

i didn't catch the number of the player who held on the first tucker punt but he saved the game with the holding. that punt was surely going to be blocked and then KU would have been down 1 or 3 points with only a couple minutes to drive down for a field goal or TD. great play even though it cost us some field position.

seattlehawk_78 11 years, 1 month ago

You're right bob, it was a heads up play. On the replay it looked like someone missed their block because the CU player was going to crush the punter. Have to hand it to Kyle, he drilled all three punts.

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