Sometimes talent screams so loudly it can be heard even above the shrill voices shouting that no conclusions can be reached from a mismatch as grand as the one played Saturday night at Memorial Stadium, where Kansas University buried Southeastern Louisiana, 62-0.
Put 11 tackling dummies on the field and send Marcus Henry and Aqib Talib out for a Todd Reesing pass and even a loaded defense would feel the stress of trying to defend so much talent, such wild speed.
When Talib makes his cameo appearances at wide receiver, that means KU has its two fastest players going deep on the same play. Mix in Dexton Fields and tight end Derek Fine, reliable possession receivers, and it's a lot to ask of a defense, especially considering how well Reesing can avoid a rush and then plant a long pass on the money.
Henry has reached triple digits in each of the first two games, totaling 222 receiving yards, yet the most compelling story developing in the passing game centers on a full-time cornerback.
Remember the 1988 World Series? Kirk Gibson had one at-bat in it. Home run. Aqib Talib was in on offense for one play against Southeastern Louisiana. Home run.
Talib, an All-America candidate at cornerback, has four receptions during his career. He took three of them into the end zone, an unheard-of ratio. He has a TD reception in each of his last three games: Missouri (42 yards), Central Michigan (49 yards) and Southeastern Louisiana (36 yards).
Thus far, Kansas coach Mark Mangino has shown remarkable discipline in not exhausting Talib. As the competition stiffens, the balancing act will get tougher. Talib's big-play ability will be needed more often.
"We've got to be smart," Mangino said. "We've got to pick and choose our battles because he's a key guy on defense. There's no question he can take that part of the field away from you, where he's located. Every once in a while, I get the urge to pull him back up, but then I say you've just got to fight it. There will be days when we're going to need him a few more snaps on offense. No question."
Meanwhile, Mangino doesn't have to limit his use of Henry, a long, tall, fleet target Reesing knows how to use. Henry has a team-best 12 receptions for an average gain of 18.5 yards.
"Our offensive system is different," Henry said of his improvement. "We're just getting the ball out to the receivers more this year. Any receiver on this team can have a 100-yard game, just the way this offense is built."
Before the season, teammates voted him most likely to have a surprise season. Smart pick.
The more playing time Talib gets at receiver, the better for Henry. After all, the defense can't double-team everyone.
"We have more of a threat when he comes out there," Henry said. "Just knowing his speed can contribute to our offense really helps out."
Once, on a badly blown defensive assignment, Henry found himself completely wide open. Reesing didn't see him until late and hurried up a wobbly pass. Henry came forward for it, then turned around for a 66-yard gain.
"He got it there," Henry said. "That's all that matters."
The Reesing-Henry connection will be an interesting one to watch, almost as intriguing as tracking when Mangino sends Talib in for double duty.
63Total offensive plays run by each team
75Total offensive yards by SE Louisiana (1.2 yards per play)
501Total offensive yards by Kansas (8.0 yards per play)
2000Year Kansas last threw a football shutout
221Rushing yards by the Jayhawks
-31Rushing yards by the Lions (yes, that's a minus)
2Punts by the Jayhawks (on their first two possessions)
11Seconds between the Jayhawks' first two scores