Sunday, September 7, 2008


Keegan: Stuckey simply gets it


Reader poll

Which Jayhawk's performance surprised you the most in Week 2?

  • Dezmon Briscoe (146 yards receiving, TD) 4% 76 votes
  • Daymond Patterson (130 yards receiving, 2 TDs) 27% 430 votes
  • Todd Reesing (32-for-38, 412 yards, 3 TDs) 12% 193 votes
  • Darrell Stuckey (10 tackles, 2 tackles for loss) 20% 317 votes
  • Angus Quigley (15 carries, 84 yards) 26% 413 votes
  • Jacob Branstetter (3 field goals) 8% 139 votes
  • Other 0% 5 votes

1573 total votes.

Audio clips

KU vs. Louisiana Tech

KU rolls over LTU, 29-0

After a slow start, the Kansas Jayhawks moved to a perfect 2-0 by knocking off Louisiana Tech 29-0.

Put a knucklehead in a fishbowl, and he's bound to expose himself sooner or later. Bang, there goes his reputation, up in smoke. He says he didn't do it. Some even believe him. Others never again will trust him. It happens to athletes all the time.

And then there are the other guys, the silent majority, the gentlemen who go through life using the fame their talent brings them to do nice things for people who don't often have nice things done for them.

Darrell Stuckey, 6-foot-1, 205-pound junior safety for the Kansas University football team, is beloved by professors and tutors, coaches and community-relations personnel. He enjoys talking to disadvantaged youth during the summer. He looks forward to Tuesdays, when he partakes in Fellowship of Christian Athletes huddles. He's a shorter, faster Darnell Jackson in shoulder pads and a helmet. He gets it.

Sometimes, when Stuckey talks to youths, he preaches the value of never giving up, even when it looks like all is lost. Just in case anyone thinks he might be all talk, Stuckey need only click the play button on a tape of the defining play of Saturday night's 29-0 victory against Louisiana Tech at Memorial Stadium.

On first-and-10 from the Louisiana Tech 20 with 10:14 left in the third quarter, burner Phillip Livas rushed around a pick and broke free for an apparent touchdown. Stuckey never stopped chasing him, two sprinters going at it with an announced crowd of 48,621 looking on through the drizzle. Stuckey brought him down at the two-yard line. On the next play, Stuckey used adrenaline to throw running back Patrick Johnson for a four-yard loss. After a pair of incomplete passes, Brad Oestriecher missed a 23-yard field goal, and the shutout was preserved.

Stuckey's catch-him-from-behind play was fresh on KU coach Mark Mangino's mind when he addressed his 2-0 team after the game.

"I told the kids in the locker room a minute ago that the gutsiest play in the game of football is when a player is out in the open running for a touchdown and you're the only guy that can make the play, and you may not have the angle you'd like to have, you have everything going against you, but you go down and make a play," Mangino said. "Phillip Livas is a 4.4 sprinter. Stuckey ran him down, and he had an angle, no question, but Livas nine out of 10 times will outrun that angle, and Darrell showed the fortitude that he was going to make that play, made a stop at the one, and comes back and makes a tackle on the next play. They miss a field goal, and the complexion of the game is completely changed because Darrell Stuckey chose to hustle."

And because he's fast. He said he was timed at 4.4 seconds in the 40 over the summer. He's a leader on a defense that two games into the season hasn't allowed a touchdown.

"A year ago, after I broke my ankle, I was running so slow," Stuckey said. "I couldn't extend. I couldn't accelerate as fast as I can now. I thank God I'm 100 percent now. I felt like I was moving pretty fast."

Looked like it, too. Stuckey also had 10 tackles and a hand in the Bulldogs' other near-miss, deflecting a pass in the end zone that teammate Chris Harris caught for an interception. Stuckey tends to make all his days and nights good ones, but this one was special.


Kezam 11 years, 2 months ago

That play embodies the Mangino style of football. Anyone remember when a KU football team would make one mistake-a fumble, interception or blown coverage and the entire game was over from that point on. Mangino's style is never give up, always give everything you have. Stuckey showed us what it's all about. The effort he gave on that play says it all.

joedavis 11 years, 2 months ago

It certainly was an exciting thing to watch.

XEPCT 11 years, 2 months ago

Keegan: do not take a cheap shot at Mario calling him a "knucklehead." A couple women and some ganja is a tame night by the standards we (we as in the average college male) go by today. Mario's problem is that he got caught, and his reputation is by no means "up in smoke," not in our town. You, Keegan, on the otherhand have a reputation as an outsider that is being paid to learn a thing or two about sports in Lawrence, nothing more. One day you'll be gone, to a new job or what have you, and Mario will still be a hero in this town. In 50 years Mario will be a hero here and his reputation will be in no way diminished by smoking marijuana.

railer1122 11 years, 2 months ago

Stuckey is pretty much the heart and soul of the KU defense. He roams the secondary so well and can run too.

KU 11 years, 2 months ago

It was amazing how quickly Stuckey caught that running back. When he was at the KU 35 I said "there goes the shutout." By the time he was at the 15 I thought "it's gonna be close."They should have broken out the video of the Chris Farley scene ("That was AWESOME!") after Stuckey's play like they did for Briscoe's touchdown.

eastcoasthawk 11 years, 2 months ago

Stuckey's hustle was evident throughout the game. A team leading 10 tackles? Wow. What a great game. Looking forward to seeing more players bring it like Darrell.

Sparko 11 years, 2 months ago

This was special. It was one of the best hustle plays I have ever seen. It was magical that he came back on the next play and made the stop, too. He was the star last night.

rolo2383 11 years, 2 months ago

I always thought Stuckey was a very solid player for us. Late in the second half I turned to my friends and mentioned that this might be a breakout game for him. He was very prominent last night. I remember reading a quote by him a couple of years ago, maybe last year, that he wanted his name on the ring of honor. I'm not sure that will ever happen but he sure is the type of guy who is going to try his hardest to accomplish that. Good luck to him. I hope he gets that honor.

walkdog262 11 years, 2 months ago

XEPCT - What column are you reading? You must have super-X-ray vision. Or you're smoking the doob yourself. Besides, how do you know your "special" column isn't referring to Darrell Arthur, not Chalmers?Jeez, enjoy football season and forget about basketball for a while you freaking jerk.

beebe1 11 years, 2 months ago

Yes, Stuckey has to be the playmaker of the day! We had a bunch of playmakers! But Stuckey is important and special. Give him full credit.

Leprechaunking13 11 years, 2 months ago

The beginning of the article is definitely towards Mario and Darell both. Keegan bashed on Mario in many articles while Mario was still here, so its easy to see it pushed more toward him. Keegan will always be an outsider in Lawrence, that will not change. His articles will show that more times than not, whether he is covering a KU game or one of the high schools games(which he is anti-LHS, like most of the urinal world is). However, It was an amazing couple plays by stuckey tho, keep it up guy!

Lance Hobson 11 years, 2 months ago

XEPCT - as much as you'd like to believe that being a pothead does not ruin a reputation, you are quite incorrect. No one wants to higher someone who is high all the time. BTW, the average college student is not a pothead, at least the ones that will be around long enough graduate.

JayhawkPhil 11 years, 2 months ago

It is great to see articles about Darrell Stuckey who was a great student athelete an example at Washington High instead of articles about a guy who was a general pain in the butt to teachers and who has gotten three different girls pregnant by his 20th birthday.

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