Sunday, September 2, 2007
Call him a worry wart, but Kansas University football coach Mark Mangino was a bit stressed about game-planning for Central Michigan's offense.
"I was really concerned earlier in the week that we were asking our defense to do too much," Mangino said.
Don't sweat it, coach.
KU's defense did its job on Saturday, allowing the offense simply to pile it on in a 52-7 beatdown of Central Michigan at Memorial Stadium.
Kansas was facing a team with a revamped coaching staff, and Mangino wanted to make sure all bases were covered, since anything and everything could be expected out of the Chippewas' high-powered offense.
Consider it done.
KU allowed only a fourth-quarter touchdown pass Saturday and often stopped drives before CMU even got into field-goal range.
And that pass defense? No problem.
Last year KU allowed 350-plus yards passing to five different teams.
Saturday, the pass-happy Chippewas managed just 180 yards through the air. The Jayhawks had no interceptions and just three pass breakups, but pressure on CMU quarterback Dan LeFevour took him out of his element. He completed just 19 of 37 passes.
"We shrunk his passing lanes," safety Darrell Stuckey said, "and made it very complicated for him."
In addition, KU showed a disciplined aggressiveness in putting licks on CMU players. One flag for unnecessary roughness was thrown, but major hits by Stuckey and Mike Rivera helped keep the defense's swagger at a high.
In the end, it was all a big relief to Mangino. Just a few days earlier, he was a little paranoid about what CMU might do.
"There was just so much going on," Mangino said. "Credit our defensive coaches. On Tuesday, they sorted it out, decided what we were going to go with and how we were going to do it, and the kids were well prepared."