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Sunday, August 31, 2008

KU-FIU football notebook

So far, so good for Todd Reesing and the Kansas football team. The Jayhawks improved to 1-0 in 2008 by knocking off FIU by a final score of 40-10.

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Audio clips

2008 KU-FIU Football Postgame

Podcast episode

Spodcasters

Spodcasters Postgame: FIU

The guys (Tom Keegan, Dugan Arnett, Jesse Newell) analyze KU's 40-10 victory over FIU from the press box at Memorial Stadium. The guys talk about Daymond Patterson, Tom's swami skills and whether KU fans should be concerned by the team's struggles in the running game.

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Fields leaves in first

Senior receiver Dexton Fields didn't get much of a chance to enjoy his last "first" game Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Fields, who entered Saturday's game having caught at least two passes in 23 of the Jayhawks last 24 games, collided with a defender midway through the first quarter and didn't return for the remainder of the game.

Although the injury didn't seem to hamper the team's passing game greatly Saturday - Kansas still passed for 256 yards and three touchdowns - the loss of Fields for an extended period would no doubt leave a mark on the team's offense.

"I don't think it's going to be anything that's really long-term," KU coach Mark Mangino said. "I hope not. That's just the preliminary evaluation. He just got his foot caught in the turf, but I think he's going to be OK."

The team's leader in receptions a year ago, Fields caught 63 passes for 824 yards and six touchdowns as a sophomore. Entering Saturday's game, he was also coming off a string of three straight 100-yard receiving games, which ties for the school record.

Hatch sits out opener

Jeremiah Hatch, who earlier this month was named the team's starter at the right offensive-tackle position, sat out Saturday's game for unspecified reasons.

Mangino refused to comment on the status of Hatch, a true freshman of whom the coach had spoken highly during summer workouts.

In his place Saturday, senior Matt Darton handled most of the snaps at the position. Hatch was in uniform on the sideline for the game, but never saw action.

Strozier picks off pair

Sophomore Phillip Strozier emerged as a defensive standout for the Jayhawks, finishing with two interceptions, both of which came in the second half.

"The Rockhurst boy came up big," said defensive coordinator Clint Bowen. "I've said that about him. He's one of those kids kind of like Darrell (Stuckey) and (Justin Thornton) that football is natural for him."

So far, so good

Transfer sophomore Alonso Rojas introduced himself to Kansas fans in about the best way possible Saturday: by showing off the leg that made him the nation's top-ranked punter coming out of Miami's Killian High.

In his first field-goal attempt as a member of the Kansas program, Rojas connected on a 47-yarder to give Kansas a 17-0 lead with 9:29 remaining in the second quarter. He followed that with a 37-yarder early in the fourth quarter, finishing 2-for-2 on field-goal attempts.

Perhaps more importantly, he helped squash fears - at least for the moment - that placekicking would be a rough spot for a team that in the past two weeks lost one kicker to transfer and another to eligibility issues.

Despite the early success, however, and the numerous cheers he garnered during his debut, he shot down suggestions that he was one of the team's new fan-favorites.

"No one really idolizes kickers," Rojas said, smiling. "They'll get some cheers left and right. ... But I won't be a Todd Reesing or a Jocques Crawford or a Jake Sharp just yet."

So far, so-so

Grady Fowler, meanwhile, missed an extra-point attempt following a Dezmon Briscoe touchdown reception that would have given the Jayhawks a 31-7 lead late in the first half.

He recovered, however, to make his final attempt, making him 4-for-5 for the day.

Crawford 'dinged up'

Mangino said that running back Jocques Crawford, who rushed for 32 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries, was kept out of the late stages of Saturday's game because he was "dinged up."

Comments

troutsee 11 years ago

Boys here are my observations:I hope FIU is much better that last year or my predictions for the year were a little overly optimistic.Our kick coverage was POOR in all phases.Our offensive line needs a lot of work. Let me say that again. Our offensive line needs a lot of work. This was probably the most disturbing concern of all.The most determined back on the field and the best back on the field was Angus Quigley. I've been saying all year to not forget about Angus. He can block too.Our defense and kicking games looked solid.Reesing did not look comfortable and threw a lot of high balls. If he keeps doing that, he's going to get all of our receivers killed.The fan turn out was great but the enthusiasm of the crowd was poor. Most of them must have been from Johnson county, where yelling at football games is seen as beneath oneself.

John Brown 11 years ago

I hope that Crawford is tough, this is just the first game.

railer1122 11 years ago

The atmosphere was BORING!! Our team is top 15 in the country! Every elite program has great enthusiasm ALL GAME!!! Not for just the 1st half. I know it's FIU and not K-State or Texas but still, make Memorial a tough, tough place to play.O-Line needs work, doesn't matter if they blizted, every single team will blitz, so they need to figure it out. I love Quigley, but when he goes in it's against the 2nd string guys. He has yet to prove himself against 1st team guys. Crawford played pretty well, only struggled when O-Line struggled. KU will step it up against a L-Tech team that beat a Miss. St team that went 8-5 and plays in the SEC. So watch out for the Bulldogs.

David Robinett 11 years ago

yep, "wine & cheese" crowd as Roy once said.

troutsee 11 years ago

Agree. Everyone should wear blue...not white, not orange, not green, etc.Agree, with the playbook. Hopefully that was the reason our offense was lackluster, although FIU had a pretty darn good defensive scheme. They might give Iowa some trouble next week.

Sparko 11 years ago

Railer: Crawford was dinged by two key penalties too. Frankly, Quigley should be first team. He is the same size as McAnderson last year; runs like him too.

KU 11 years ago

To be fair, FIU was blitzing a lot. If you have 5 and 6 guys rushing the passer most of the night, you're going to get pressure. If KU had wanted to show their hand, they probably have a lot of pass plays that could exploit the constant pressure. My guess is they wanted to play it close to the vest with basic plays and protections because they knew they could beat FIU with one hand tied behind their proverbial back.Don't compare this to last year's FIU score. That was our 4th game of the season and we had worked out a lot of kinks. FIU has athletes and good size.

rolo2383 11 years ago

Troustee, those were my exact thoughts. I would love to see everyone wear blue. The stadium is getting close to being solid blue but not quite there yet. As I write this I'm watching the Louisville/Kentucky game and the stadium is solid red except where the Kentucky fans are sittings. That section is solid blue. I see too many pink and green shirts in our stadium.It was nice to see a college sized band for once. I still can't hear them from where I was sitting over by the students but at least they covered the field. I think we will be just fine. We definitely left the play book closed for the game. They will probably open it up a little more next Saturday and then open it all the way up for South Florida.

Dyrk Dugan 11 years ago

quote from above:"Most of them must have been from Johnson county, where yelling at football games is seen as beneath oneself."that is idiotic.

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