Ryan Greene, Ryan Wood and Tom Keegan discuss how KU was able to get the best of Texas A&M the old-fashioned way - both stopping the run and moving the ball on the ground themselves.
Final, KU wins 19-11
After a 15-yard Stephen McGee run, the drive fell apart for Texas A&M, unable to get down for the winning score. A couple of McGee incompletions, mixed with a false start call at their own 35, hampered the Aggies. After a pass to midfield to Martellus Bennett, a couple of flings to the end zone were unsuccessful.
Tonight's win gave KU its first 8-0 start since 1909, its first win ever at Kyle Field and, most importantly, the only undefeated record in the Big 12 conference through nine weeks.
The Jayhawks' offensive catalyst all night was Brandon McAnderson, who finished the night with 21 carries for 183 yards and his eighth and ninth rushing touchdowns of the season. Jake Sharp chipped in 66 yards on 14 carries for KU.
The running game kept Todd Reesing from needing to be spectacular, but KU's sophomore QB was efficient, going 21-of-33 for 180 yards and no turnovers of any kind.
Texas A&M's three-headed backfield monster of Stephen McGee, Jorvorskie Lane and Mike Goodson was held relatively in check. The trio combined for 74 yards, but could never get in a good rhythm on offense, especially with its option plays that have been so effective for most of the season.
McGee completed 24 of his 45 pass attempts for 241 yards and a late touchdown.
KU will play its second-to-last home contest of the 2007 season next Saturday against Nebraska, who is struggling during a 4-5 campaign. The Huskers lost 28-25 on Saturday at Texas. Kickoff will be at 11:30 a.m. at Memorial Stadium, with the game being televised by Fox Sports Net (Sunflower Broadband channel 36).
2:01, fourth quarter, KU leads 19-11
Raimond Pendleton took the onside kick on a low skip, securing the ball at the A&M 40.
2:06, fourth quarter, KU leads 19-11
Stephen McGee threw a 12-yard pass over the middle to Martellus Bennett on third-and-15, and then he lofted one long for Bennett on fourth-and-three which picked up a big 35-yard chunk to the KU 39.
McGee continued to rifle the ball, hitting Bennett for the third straight play, this time for a gain of seven.
From the 32, McGee fired a pass for Roger Holland, who caught the ball in the back of the end zone despite getting drilled by a pair of Jayhawks immediately upon the ball's arrival. On the two-point conversion attempt, McGee ran a quarterback draw out of the shotgun to make it an eight-point game.
3:57, fourth quarter, KU leads 19-3
KU gave Texas A&M more of the ground attack, which it hadn't proven yet to be able to stop. The Jayhawks picked up a first down on three gives to Jake Sharp, forcing A&M to call a timeout with 5:37 left and the ball at the Aggies' 30-yard line.
After an incompletion on first down, McAnderson picked up 17 yards to push his total to 172 on the night and keep both the sticks and clock moving.
KU tried to go to the air, but a pair of incomplete passes led to a fourth-and-13 from the 16. Scott Webb came in for the 33-yard attempt, but it sailed wide to the right, keeping A&M down by a pair of scores.
7:20, fourth quarter, KU leads 19-3
Texas A&M's offense finally showed some life following KU's second touchdown of the game, as McGee competed a couple of mid-range passes, with the last one coming to Keondra Smith in a short spurt to put the Aggies at the KU 44-yard line with their second first down of the drive.
On third-and-long a couple of plays later, McGee hit Earvin Taylor for 13 yards down to the KU 31 for another first down.
McGee then struck Roger Holland over the middle to put the ball in the red zone at the Kansas 17. Martellus Bennett's second grab of the drive set the Aggies up with a third-and-two at the 10. McGee then hit the big tight end again to give A&M first-and-goal at the KU five.
The Jayhawks locked down inside the five, though, forcing a couple of McGee incompletions in the back of the end zone and a Mike Goodson no-gainer along the outside. Matt Szymanski punched in a 21-yard field goal for A&M's first points of the game.
11:29, fourth quarter, KU leads 19-0
KU's fortunes continued to add up, this time thanks to a fumbled exchange between Stephen McGee and Mike Goodson. John Larson pounced on it and set KU up at the Aggies' 43.
Brandon McAnderson immediately ripped off a 40-yard run down the left sideline, setting KU up to go up by three touchdowns. After a couple of stuffed runs in the red zone, McAnderson has 14 carries for 149 yards to this point.
He went over the 150-yard mark with a three-yard run that netted him his second touchdown of the game. KU went for two, but an option pitch to Kerry Meier did no good, but KU was still up 19-0 after the score.
:08, third quarter, KU leads 13-0
Playing with a two-score lead for the first time tonight, KU's defense was as good as ever, giving the Aggies another frustrating possession to mull over on the sideline. Aided by a five-yard penalty for a false start, Stephen McGee again could not move his offense.
The drive was ended when Aqib Talib laid another big hit on the sideline following a short completion.
Anthony Webb again failed to fair catch a punt in traffic, but KU again got great field position at its own 41.
KU went right to work through the air, trying to step on A&M's throught immediately. Reesing hit Dezmon Briscoe for a 19-yard gain over the middle, giving the true freshman wideout six catches for 49 yards in his first game back in his home state.
KU picked up another pair of first downs, first on the combination of a run by Sharp and a pass to Henry, then with a completion to Derek Fine, who wrestled the ball down to the Texas A&M eight-yard line.
KU caught a break on second down, as a backwards pass by Todd Reesing was ruled incomplete when the players on the field thought it was a fumble. Alton Dixon tried to run it back for a score for Texas A&M but the play was blown dead during his run, and it gave KU third-and-goal at the eight.
On third-and-goal, Reesing was sacked by Cyril Obiozor. Scott Webb drilled a 32-yard field goal to cap the drive for KU with just eight ticks left on the third quarter clock.
5:04, third quarter, KU leads 10-0
On second down, with favorable field position, Todd Reesing completed a lofted pass for Dexton Fields over the middle which was nearly picked by an approaching A&M safety. But the completion, followed by a seven-yard run by Jake Sharp gave KU the ball at the Aggies' 26. The Jayhawks kept it up, then, with the short swing passes, as a dump to Dezmon Briscoe turned into a 14-yard gain to the Texas A&M 12.
Brandon McAnderson came in to spell Jake Sharp after the sophomore punched the ball to the six. The Lawrence High product sliced up the middle for the last six yards of the drive and the game's first touchdown. Scott Webb's extra point gave KU the game's first breathing room on the scoreboard with a 10-0 lead.
7:41, third quarter, KU leads 3-0
Kerry Franks took the ensuing kickoff back to the A&M 44, giving the Aggies their best starting field position yet.
A broken pass play on first down saw Stephen McGee throw it away, and on a broken option a snap later, Aqib Talib brought him doown for a loss of two yards.
A&M was aided by an offsides call before the third down snap, but an intentional grounding call on the third down play made it a moot point. It only got worse for A&M, as a punt shanked off of Justin Brantly's foot and set KU up at its own 46.
9:16, third quarter, KU leads 3-0
Jorvorskie Lane picked up one yard on the first play of the second half, and Russell Brorsen followed it by slapping away a Stephen McGee pass before it got past the line of scrimmage. He was incomplete again on third down, giving KU a huge three-and-out stand to start the second half.
Anthony Webb made a risky catch on the punt rather than calling for a fair catch.
On first down, a pass to Dexton Fields got KU a first down to the Jayhawks' 48-yard line. Reesing scrambled for no gain on first down, and then he found Derek Fine for six yards a play later. On third-and-four, Reesing slung a short pass to Brandon McAnderson, who refused to go down, picking up first down yardage to the Texas A&M 41.
Brandon McAnderson picked up three more yards on first down, and it was paired with a second down pass to Dezmon Briscoe, setting up third-and-two. KU again got sufficient yardage with a 14-yard strike down the middle from Reesing to Marcus Henry.
KU lost five yards on a second down swing pass to Kerry Meier, which saw the backup QB get dumped immediately after securing the ball. Reesing went to Fields again on third down, and the junior picked up 10 yards.
Scott Webb came in on fourth-and-five and drilled a 31-yard field goal for the game's first points.
Halftime, game tied 0-0
KU stuffed the Aggies on three straight plays, but instead of calling a timeout to give themselves as much time as possible with the ball, the Jayhawks let the Aggies milk the clock down to right around one minute before punting.
The punt was downed at the KU 18, where KU ran a couple of handoffs to get to the halftime locker room.
In a scoreless first half, Brandon McAnderson was KU's brightest star, with nine carries for 100 yards. Todd Reesing completed nine of his 15 pass attempts for a modest 60 yards.
A&M's rushing attack of Mike Goodson, Jorvorskie Lane and Stephen McGee combined for just 62 yards rushing.
Each team had one red zone trip which came up empty, and A&M will receive the ball off the kick to start the second half.
2:29, second quarter, game tied 0-0
KU went three-and-out, thanks to two short-gain run plays and a failed cross route to Dezmon Briscoe, which hung in the air for a scary second for the KU sideline after being deflected.
The punt was fielded by Roger Holland, who was blown up by Micah Brown just after receiving it at his own 36 with 2:29 to go.
3:23, second quarter, game tied 0-0
A&M took its biggest risk yet of the night, with Stephen McGee going long for Kerry Franks down the seam, as the receiver had a step on Kendrick Harper. The ball was just out of his diving reach, though. A swing pass to Mike Goodson on second down set up third-and-four, as Goodson slid by a couple of KU defenders on a nifty cutback.
McGee bought some time in the pocket on third down and hit Michael Corey for a 16-yard gain up near midfield.
Jorvorskie Lane gave A&M reason to decline an offsides call against James McClinton on the next snap, as he shot up the middle and rolled for 18 yards and a second straight Aggie first down.
A&M kept ripping off large pieces of real estate, with the next one coming on a 23-yard gainer from McGee to Chris Alexander over the middle, putting the Aggies in the red zone for the first time at the KU 18.
KU got a huge defensive play by Kendrick Harper, who drilled Mike Goodson for a four-yard loss on an option play which the Jayhawks read perfectly.
McGee slung a third-down pass for Earvin Taylor, leaving A&M with a fourth-and-one at the KU nine-yard line. The crowd erupted when the Aggies decided to go for it. With Jorvorskie lane going up the middle, James Holt got the initial hit as KU stuffed A&M's bowling ball back.
8:08, second quarter, game tied 0-0
KU started the next drive on the ground with Jake Sharp taking the ball twice for 11 yards, giving the Jayhawks a first down near midfield.
Johnathan Wilson took a Todd Reesing pass for another fresh set of downs on the next play, and Reesing followed it with a five-yard sprint up the middle. An incomplete pass to the sticks on second down put KU in another third down situation. Reesing appeared dead in the water while running for the sidelines on third down, but the Jayhawks were again bailed out by a 15-yard facemask penalty against Von Miller in front of the A&M sideline. KU got a fresh set of downs at the A&M 26.
After Jake Sharp was knocked back for a loss of half of a yard, Reesing threw a swing pass to Kerry Meier, who behind a block from Dexton Fields got a nine-yard gain. KU picked up another first down on a pass to Marcus Henry down to the Texas A&M 10.
Sharp took his second straight loss on the next play, getting knocked back to the 13, and it was followed on second down by a six-yard pass to Dezmon Briscoe on the sideline.
On third-and-goal from the seven, Reesing tripped in the pocket and fell at the 14, setting up Scott Webb's second field goal attempt of the year.
Webb couldn't get it through again, though, as he drilled the left upright near the flag on top.
12:23, second quarter, game tied 0-0
Mike Goodson shifted around Darrell Stuckey oon a pitch left on first down for a three-yard gain. On second down, the Aggies went the traditional route with Lane up the middle for a five-yard pickup, setting up third-and-short.
After losing Cody Wallace, the Big 12 preseason all-conference center, to injury, Stephen McGee was pushed straight back on third down, forcing A&M to punt for the third time today. KU's Anthony Webb fielded the ball and was downed at his own 32.
13:57, second quarter, game tied 0-0
Aqib Talib caught his first pass of the game to start the second quarter, picking up another first down. But KU failed to advance the ball on the next three plays, with the final snap being an incomplete pass to Derek Fine on a Reesing scramble to the left. The ball went over Fine's shoulder on what looked like a catchable throw between two defenders.
Scott Webb came in for a pooch punt which just slipped over the goal line, setting A&M up at its own 20.
End of the first quarter, game tied 0-0
Brandon McAnderson had his second 20-yard run of the game on the Jayhawks' first snap of the drive, giving him 61 yards on six carries so far.
He one-upped himself on the next play with a 33-yard bounceout to the left sideline, putting him near the 100-yard mark before the end of one quarter. A two-yard Jake Sharp run brought the first quarter to an end.
1:12, first quarter, game tied 0-0
Texas A&M went right back to the ground, as Mike Goodson flashed his speed through the line with a 15-yard gain on first down, giving the Aggies their first offensive breathing room of the day.
Stephen McGee then went to the air, firing a bullet for Earvin Taylor over the middle, gaining nine more yards.
The next two snaps didn't net much, as Goodson and Lane each took it once to gain a total of three yards for A&M, setting up second-and-seven.
McGee hit Kerry Franks on a dart just past the first down sticks, but Aqib Talib stuck him hard in the back to jar the ball loose. On third-and-seven, Stephen McGee rolled out and sprinted for the first down marker, forcing a measurement after he was pressured out of bounds by Joe Mortensen.
The measurement was just short, but A&M decided to go for it with about five inches to go for a fresh set of downs.
McGee was forced forward by rolling off the line, giving A&M a first down at the KU 43.
After a no-gain on a first down throw to Joey Thomas, who was hit immediately by Darrell Stuckey, Roger Holland took a reverse play for a first down, but a holding call against Yemi Babalola pushed the ball back 10 yards and set up second-and-14.
McGee kept the ball himself on second down and picked up six before a sandwich tackle by Mike Rivera and Joe Mortensen. The third down play brought a great blitz by Rivera, forcing McGee out of the pocket. His pass for Martellus Bennett was deflected away, ending a decent drive for the Aggies with nothing to show for it except a punt which was downed at the KU five-yard line.
5:43, first quarter, game tied 0-0
Brandon McAnderson took an inside give on first down and fell forward at the end for a six-yard gain to start off KU's second drive. Reesing then went play-action and struck Derek Fine for 12 yards, putting the ball in A&M territory.
Reesing took a keeper to the right and plunged ahead just next to the line for a three-yard pickup. McAnderson took off a big chunk of yardage on the next play, with a 20-yard gain, putting KU on the boundary of the A&M red zone. McAnderson took the ball again on the next snap down to the 15.
KU stuck with what worked on the ground, as two more McAnderson totes put the ball at the A&M seven-yard line for yet another first down.
Todd Reesing tried to run it himself on first down, but was dumped for a three-yard loss. With the ball at the 10, he threw a dart to Fine at the goal line which was nearly picked off by a pair of Aggies, setting up a tough third-and-goal.
Reesing bought himself tons of time in the pocket, but overshot Fine in the back of the end zone. On the next snap, Scott Webb's 27-yard field goal attempt was low, and subsequently blocked by Chris Harrington coming straight up the middle, keeping the game knotted at zero.
9:47, first quarter, game tied 0-0
Stephen McGee ran left on first down, but was tripped up by Kendrick Harper for no gain, as Ku's run defense looked to be ready to move laterally at will.
McGee hit Earvin Taylor on a quick out on second down, picking up three yards before being taken down immediately by Aqib Talib. On third down, McGee was incomplete looking for tight end Joey Thomas, giving the ball right back to KU after three snaps.
The punt was fielded by Anthony Webb in KU territory, and he was taken down right away at his own 37.
11:30, first quarter, game tied 0-0
KU won the game's opening kick and chose to receive. The boot to Marcus Herford was taken deep in the end zone and downed for a touchback.
On first down, KU opened with an empty backfield and a five-receiver set. Todd Reesing was chased and sacked by Misi Tupe for a six-yard loss. On second down, with a diamond formation to the right, the same result came, with Henry Smith doing the honors this time, setting KU up with a third-and-21 from its own nine-yard line.
On third down, Todd Reesing threw a short dump for Jake Sharp which gained just a yard, but KU was given an automatic first down thanks to a roughing the passer call on Henry Smith, giving the Jayhawks a fresh set of downs at the 25. KU took advantage right away with Sharp picking up 14 yards on the next snap. KU stuck with the run, as Sharp picked up two more yards.
On second-and-eight, Reesing hit freshman Dezmon Briscoe on a sideline route for five yards, setting up third-and-three. Reesing fumbled on third down under pressure, but pounced on it to avoid a turnover and set up a fourth-down punt for Kyle Tucker. The boot was fair-caught at the Texas A&M 13.
College Station, Texas - Kansas has the swagger and the undefeated record, but in its corner today, Texas A&M has one of the conference's most daunting homefield advantages. The Aggies hope some aid from the 82,600-seat beast named Kyle Field as they try to improve to 7-2 on the season and knock the No. 12 Jayhawks from the ranks of the unbeaten this evening in a 6:00 p.m. kickoff.
In a somewhat young history, the Aggies hold a 7-1 lifetime record against the Jayhawks, and a 4-0 mark in contests played in College Station.
KU certainly comes in as the hotter of the two teams. The Jayhawks are searching for their first 8-0 start since 1909, when the Chicago Cubs were last defending World Series champions.
Entering the game with a potential chip on his shoulder is sophomore quarterback Todd Reesing, an Austin, Texas, native who was considered a 'B-list' recruit by Texas A&M coming out of high school. Reesing has certainly laughed the loudest this season, having completed 129-of-220 passes for 1,805 yards, 17 touchdowns and just four interceptions. Two more touchdown passes from Reesing would give him the KU single season record.
On paper, the matchup is a good fit for Reesing, as A&M's pass defense ranks 10th in the conference, allowing 265.6 yards per game. The Aggies have surrendered 12 TD passes this season - the league's second-highest total.
Offensively, A&M's go-to strategy this season has been the run. While the Aggies' defense has been suspect, they lead the Big 12 in rushing offense, averaging 260.1 yards per game the old-fashioned way. The attack is powered by junior Jorvorskie Lane, who's 260-plus-pound frame has made him indispensable in the red zone, scoring 15 touchdowns already this season. Junior quarterback Stephen McGee and sophomore tailback Mike Goodson round out a three-headed attack which operates largely out of the option.
It's a sunny, cloud-less day in College Station, with temperatures perfect in the mid-70s.