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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Keegan

Keegan: Kansas offense is equalizer

The Kansas football team enters Saturday's contest with Oklahoma as a three touchdown underdog. All time, the Sooners hold a 66-27-6 advantage in the series.

KU football vs. Oklahoma

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Audio clips

2008 Oct. 14 Football Press Conference

Routs happen when one team has no trouble scoring and the other can't find the end zone. In the past, routs generally happened when Kansas University played either Texas or Oklahoma. That was then. This is now: Quarterback Todd Reesing, program changer, is at his best when a play breaks down and when his team trails. Both of those factors figure to happen a lot Saturday in Norman.

Reesing has the sort of physical and mental durability suited for the underdog role. He has shown that repeatedly during his KU career while building a 17-2 record as a starter. Body-slammed to the turf against Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl, Reesing got back on his feet, pulled the hunk of grass out of his helmet and went back to work. Kansas won that game, 24-21, spurred by Aqib Talib's interception return for a touchdown.

That Virginia Tech defense was even better than the Oklahoma defense Kansas faces Saturday in Norman. Kansas had trouble running the ball in the Orange Bowl and didn't shred the Hokies' secondary, either, but the Jayhawks scored enough to win the game.

Reesing and his talented group of receivers should be able to put points on the board against the Sooners, which would put KU halfway to an upset.

"I guess we're already talking upsets now," Reesing said Tuesday, his words the equivalent of rolling eyes. "OK. I'm going to be into the game. I'm high-intensity. I'm emotional on the field. I love playing football. I'm going to be excited Saturday. I'm going to leave it all on the field, so you get what you get."

The oddsmakers have it at Oklahoma by 191â2 points, a figure no doubt based on the Sooners' explosive offense and a KU defense that at times looked speed-challenged against South Florida, a team neither as skilled, strong, nor quite as fast as Oklahoma. It's on the KU offense to be the equalizer. If Kansas can keep on scoring, the Jayhawks can hang in the game. And if they hang in the game and get a break here or there, anything can happen.

"I don't know what we feel like," Reesing said to the underdogs question. "We're just trying to play football. We don't worry about what the papers say, if we're underdogs if we're expected to win, anything like that. Every team we play is going to be good, and we always approach every game that we expect to win, and if you don't have that attitude, then you shouldn't be playing."

Reesing's confidence and consistent ability to live up to high expectations has a way of spreading throughout the team.

"He seems like he comes in clutch whenever we need him," middle linebacker Joe Mortensen said of Reesing. "If we really need to get a first down or if we really need a spark, Todd, he wills us there. I definitely think that's what makes him a great quarterback. I'm not comparing him to Joe Montana or Tom Brady, but they're clutch quarterbacks and that's Todd. He's a great quarterback."

He's a great quarterback who doesn't fumble and doesn't throw many picks. He gives his team a shot, even against the best teams in the nation. There are four teams remaining on the schedule that fit that description, Oklahoma being the first and toughest challenge.

Comments

Michael Leiker 13 years ago

I'd personally love to see a 3 man front in this game w/Mortensen, Holt, Rivera and Wright starting. Play contain football on D. We're not going to get to the QB if we send 6 every time so let's just play keep them in front of us football and make it a short game. Limiting posessions is the key to winning this one. We will not see turnovers in their backfield so let's try to create them in the secondary.I do think KS has a chance in this one though. Mangino will find a way to get them up for this game. People who are saying they've played without emotion seem to forget the S. Florida game. I think the team showed a ton of emotion on both sides of the ball in that one, the d was just simply gassed the 2nd half and had to spend way too much time on the field because it was either 3 and out or a quick TD. Other than that, I can kind of understand why they have played w/o emotion.Expect to see a dink and dunk offensive approach with a few trick plays and wrinkles thrown in. Mangino is going to want to keep the ball out of Bradford's hands.If you don't think they'll be up for this game, you don't know Mark Mangino.

jbsd31 13 years ago

KU needs to steal a couple TD's in this game, like a kickoff or punt return, or a pick 6. Some type of quick turnaround score that doesn't come within the normal offensive flow of the game, something that gets OU back on their heels. That's how upsets happen, you get a couple breaks to go your way, and the favorite starts to get tight and make mistakes. That being said..I still think coming out of Norman with a win is a pretty tall order, especially coming off a loss like they are, but that's why they play the game..right.

Hawkish4bigM 13 years ago

Looking at our schedule at the beginning of the year and thinking ahead it would make sense that we would save a lot of things for running the late-season gauntlet. That's certainly what I'd do. Meanwhile, you have coach talking about execution in a lot of areas which makes opponents think about how bad we are. Then, early in the season you have Coach talking about secrecy and closed practices, people on the hill watching practice, etc. Get my drift? He, he, he. I can't wait.

KUbsee69 13 years ago

"Reesing got back on his feet, pulled the hunk of grass out of his helmet, and went back to work. Kansas won that game ..."Reminds me of a line from The Replacements ... "That's why girls don't play the game".Todd's a difference maker and we need to remember that the bigger they are, the harder they fall.Take it to OU Hawks!

Chad Dexter 13 years ago

Oh, and the comparison to the Orange Bowl is not quite the same thing. That was a neutral field. While I agree that VT's defense last year was better than OU's this year, their offense was nowhere near as good as OU's is this year.

David Wanamaker 13 years ago

This game will be a good barometer for whether our ability to move the ball on the ground was for real or an aberration. I'm betting on the latter.The biggest difference between OU and KU is speed on both sides of the ball. They have it in abundance. Our speed is much more limited.KU will have to play a rock-solid perfect game just to stay competitive. OU can afford to make several mistakes and still win. Should OU play a perfect or near-perfect game, it will be a blowout.

Chad Dexter 13 years ago

I disagree with the notion that Iowa State is terrible. They aren't good on the road, yes. But at home they seem to be a different animal. I believe they only lost to OU last year in Ames 7-17. And as for the statement that KU has not shown any emotional play yet this year. WTH? You must not watch the games. Watch Reesing and his receivers when they make a good play or a bad play. They always show emotion either way.

bmcmich1 13 years ago

dwinop, so you're saying that if both teams play flawless football it'll still be a blowout? I disagree. If both teams bring their 'A' game, I think OU still wins, but it will by no means be a blowout. The one thing I agree with you on is that the 'hawks have to play their best to have any chance on Sat.

Trobs 13 years ago

KU - The problem isn't firing on all cylinders, we've done that. But we have to do it the entire game. Not just half the game.

actorman 13 years ago

"... defense has been the most consistent part of the team, by far."Huh? I was basically in agreement with you, KU, until that line. I think it's just the opposite: the offense has been far more consistent than the defense. The defense has given up way too many big pass plays, and now they're going against one of the best passing teams in the nation. That's what scares me the most -- that and the terrible special teams play.

GridironHawk 13 years ago

I think a lot of people are forgetting the man at the top. Yea KU is an underdog but that's nothing new. Mangino is a genius and will have this team ready to play the spoiler. You will see a completely different game plan and playbook than was shown against ISU or CU. That will be the difference maker.

Hawkish4bigM 13 years ago

I agree with GridironHawk that I think we will see a little bit of a different playbook. I hope so. I will be really disappointed if we do not. The start at ISU and the start for Colorado were not entirely about field position. It was about trying to establish the run as well. I will be mystified if we try to do that against OU. I think we will see a lot of different things on offense, defense and special teams. Hope I am right. I think we have been for the most part playing vanilla football, that Coach has been sand-bagging. We will see.

Michael Leiker 13 years ago

Really if you look at it, OU hasn't had a let down and it still says KU on the side of our helmets...it could set up like a let down game even after the loss to UT in which they played pretty well.

Trobs 13 years ago

I hate the clique, but USC. They played a completely outmatched Oregon State team and lost. I think John Madden once said, "10% of this game is physical, the other half is mental." Point is, we have to want this game. Our boys have a huge chip on their shoulder. Basketball school, huge year last year, no one thinks we can repeat the success, etc. Plenty of reasons why we should lose. If our team wants it bad enough and they go and get it, OU has to watch out.

Dan Harris 13 years ago

I hope I'm wrong but I just don't have a good feeling about this game I see the score being something like OU 45- KU 24. Unfortunately my wife went to OU so I'm afraid I' m in for a long weekend( Patron will help ease my pain)

KU 13 years ago

feedback71.....You're being awfully selective when you trot out the ISU-OU game from last year as evidence that ISU is something other than terrible. They gave up 28 to Kent State at home this year. They are on a 4 game losing streak and just got it handed to them by Baylor.As for playing with emotion, I am talking about the kind of emotion where you play every play like your hair is on fire, not the kind where you are happy after making a good play.

KU 13 years ago

actorman.....I guess we'll just have to disagree about whether the offense or defense has been more consistent. We can agree that the special teams are a HUGE concern. Fortunately, OU's special teams haven't been that stellar either.I was thinking of consistency in terms of scoring. We have only scored 20 points in the first quarter all year. The defense has been covering for the o.

KU 13 years ago

I wouldn't confuse scoring 35 points in a half against a terrible ISU team with firing on all cylinders.This team (offense in particular) sputters for the first several possessions of every game. The special teams come out flat and put us in poor field position. The defense has been the most consistent part of the team, by far.If they get off to a slow start in Norman, it will be an avalanche.

mr_lawrence 13 years ago

KU has nothing to lose. OU, so much. Anything could happen.

KU 13 years ago

Trobs......Oregon State beat USC because they came out so jacked up and they played on that emotional high plain the entire game. They were flying all over the field and making plays they normally wouldn't make.I kept waiting for them to come back down to earth, but the crowd didn't let them.That brings me to my two points:1) Oregon State had USC at home where their crowd could keep them on a high-strung playing level the whole game.2) KU has never shown ANY such emotional play yet this entire season. They have always been even keel to emotionally dead.We need to attack the middle of the field with our medium range passing attack like we did the second half against CU. OU's linebackers are inexperienced.

sevenyearhawk 13 years ago

I'll take Reesing over Bradford everyday of the week ...and TWICE on Sunday!

kansas22 13 years ago

Nobody is giving us a chance. Not even our own fans. Yes, OU is favored, but it's not crazy to think that we can win this game. Bad teams upset good teams all the time. Funny thing is... We're not a bad team! Far from it. This is 2 ranked teams going up against each other Saturday. If Oregon State can beat USC then we can kill Oklahoma. Stop acting like this is an impossible task to beat OU.Rock Chalk

David Wanamaker 13 years ago

If OU doesn't score 50, regardless of how many points we score, that will be something of a victory. OU is miles better than South Florida and SFU torched our defense.If you don't think we're in serious trouble this weekend, then your glasses are awfully crimson-colored.If KU keeps it competitive, I'll be the first one to come back here and give props to those of you who said as much.

KU 13 years ago

I think KU needs to be within 7 after the first quarter. We need to win the turnover game by at least 2. We need to win the special teams battle so we start around the 30-35 yard line on average and make OU drive the long field for scores.Sorry if I don't sound real optimistic. This team just hasn't fired on all cylinders yet this year. Why should we expect them to suddenly put it all together Saturday?

Kevin Long 13 years ago

I think KU will keep it close. I think the days of getting completley killed are over. If it were here I think we would win, but down there I say maybe 37-28. God how great would it be to win though? That would really help our respect nationally.

Hawkish4bigM 13 years ago

Yes, the silence surrounding KU and Reesings effort is deafening. There is a lot of behind the scenes crap with all the money involved so we should expect that. Yet, this plays into our favor I think. Like last year we can sneak up on people not as easily as last year but all the same. Texas and Tech coming into Lawrence are going to be in for the game of their lives regardless of what happens versus OU. If we do beat OU watch Reesing bolt to the top in the Heisman race like he hasn't done anything to this point.

bmcmich1 13 years ago

Agreed, klong -- and unfortunately, I think that's the ONLY way the 'hawks will get national respect. Even if we lose by a point, BSPN and the like will treat it as if we were blown out and write us completely off the map. It's like the national media is p!ssed off that KU is getting better at football, and they won't recognize the program as good unless they perform miracles every year.KU is 5-1 this year, the one loss came on the road on a field goal as time expired, and I haven't really seen/heard a postitive word written/spoken about them outside of Lawrence or KC. Maybe it's just me, but I really don't think this team is getting the respect it deserves nationally this year. HUGE opportunity to change that on Sat.

yovoy 13 years ago

i think the line that has us being 19.5 'dogs is about right: maybe even a bit generous. i know mu beat us last year, and that ou beat them, but i honestly believe we'd've beaten them last year. we had better talent than we do this year, and losing coach young was a big deal as well.

Hawkish4bigM 13 years ago

I hope I am right about coach sand-bagging. I don't mean few trick plays either. I am talking about whole new schemes, platoon systems, a lot of new stuff that makes OU sit back and force them into vanilla defense.Create assignment confusion. Use their speed against them with misdirection plays. Picture Meier under center with Reesing on the strong side looking like a lateral setup. Meier runs a weak-side option. Stuff like that.

Kevin Long 13 years ago

Some really good posts on here today. People with different views and not fighting about it, nice for a change. About all this respect thing, If we would have beaten South Florida the whole country would be back on the bandwagon. They would be talking about how here goes Kansas again.That's just the way it is when it comes to an upcoming program. We can get that all back and then some with a win on Sat.

justanotherfan 13 years ago

bmc,The reason for the lack of buzz is threefold.1) The rest of the Big XII has been on fire this year. With all of the undefeated and highly ranked teams, its hard to get noticed. Even Texas was a bit of an afterthought until last weekend.2) We haven't really played an impressive game yet. We didn't blow the doors off of any of the overmatched teams in non-con, lost our "statement" non-con game and had two fairly boring wins to start conference season. We have yet to look impressive this season. Even last year's team had some impressive showings by this point.3) We haven't beaten anyone. For this, I will probably be labeled as a hater, but its true. We have knocked off Florida International (3-3), La. Tech (2-3), Sam Houston (2-2), Iowa State (2-4) and Colorado (3-3). We've beaten a bunch of average to below average teams, none impressively. What is there to talk about?Unless you are a KU fan, our status nationally is much like Boston College. We have some wins, but none are noteworthy enough to vault us into the conversation for a conference title or national prominence. Saturday gives us a chance to do both.

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