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Friday, October 17, 2008

Kansas pass defense improving

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The Kansas University pass defense showed significant improvement in its last three halves of football, starting with the second half of the come-from-behind victory in Ames and continuing throughout the home victory against Colorado.

KU coach Mark Mangino attributed part of the improvement to better unit-to-unit communication within the defense.

Another factor: Neither Iowa State nor Colorado has a very productive passing game.

The two Big 12 North schools have combined for 22 touchdown passes. Oklahoma, KU's foe Saturday in Norman, Okla., has 24 touchdown passes.

The Sooners have four players - Manuel Johnson, Juaquin Iglesias, Jermaine Gresham and Ryan Broyles - who have at least 18 catches and average at least 16.4 yards per catch. Neither of KU's first two Big 12 opponents has a receiver averaging that many yards per catch.

Four Oklahoma receivers have four touchdowns or more. Iowa State has one receiver with that many touchdowns, Colorado none.

"They've got five-star guys on the O-line, receivers and everything, all the way across the board," Kansas middle linebacker Joe Mortensen said. "We're not scared. We're looking forward to playing them. We want to get some three-and-outs, some stops, some turnovers."

Mortensen said the coaches said the Sooners' offensive line outweighs that of the Dallas Cowboys.

How can Kansas overcome a speed and size disadvantage?

"It's the want," Mortensen said. "It's the mental toughness. It's something you don't really look at as an athlete. You can see who runs a 4.4. One thing about this team is, we're mentally tough, and we're not going to quit. We toughed through it last year, and we're toughing through it this year. I definitely think you can't measure that in a team. You can have the best team in the world on one team, but it could be some other team that plays together that's going to win. They're great athletes, but we're looking forward to playing them. I'm not saying they're not mentally tough, too, but it's going to be a good game."

Comments

troutsee 13 years ago

I agree with Mortensen. This game is not going to be the blow out everyone is anticipating. I am going to drive 6 hours to be there.

cffighter86 13 years ago

Agreed trout. I think if we play our "A" game it can be a very competive game. Honestly, I will be happy if we can keep the score within 10-14, we all know what OU has done to us the last 4 games

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