Thursday, January 1, 2009

Gophers easy prey for Hawks

Kansas receiver Dezmon Briscoe throws off Minnesota safety Tramaine Brock during the second quarter of the Insight Bowl Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.

Kansas receiver Dezmon Briscoe throws off Minnesota safety Tramaine Brock during the second quarter of the Insight Bowl Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.


Jayhawks throttle Gophers

For the first time in school history, Kansas University wins bowl games in consecutive years.

Historic win shows big steps for KU

It may not have been the Orange Bowl, but KU's Insight Bowl victory was momentous for several reason.

Audio clips

2008 Insight Bowl


2008 Insight Bowl

KU will face the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the 2008 Insight Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.

— It wasn’t the Orange Bowl, but in dominating Minnesota 42-21 Wednesday night in the Insight Bowl played at Sun Devil Stadium, Kansas University’s football team looked worthy of a BCS bowl game.

Scrambling junior quarterback Todd Reesing connected with Dezmon Briscoe for 14 receptions, three touchdowns and 201 yards, the first two figures Insight Bowl records. Junior quarterback-turned-receiver Kerry Meier caught a touchdown pass and threw one and picked up 113 receiving yards. Reesing completed 27 of 35 passes for 313 yards and four touchdowns.

After a shaky start against a Minnesota offense that completely changed its approach from the regular season, the KU defense proved just as effective as the offense in the game played in front of a largely pro-KU crowd that was smaller than the announced attendance of 49,103.

Senior linebackers James Holt, Mike Rivera and Joe Mortensen all went out in style for a defense that came up huge with a third-quarter goal line stand. The Golden Gophers had advanced to the 2-yard line on second down and couldn’t cross the goal line on three running plays.

Rivera (14 tackles) and Mortensen (13) matched career-highs for tackles, and Holt contributed three sacks for 36 yards in losses. The outgoing linebackers improved their bowl record to 3-0.

“Our program is a work in progress, and every day it seems to get better and better,” winning coach Mark Mangino said. “We’re fortunate to have great players, great assistant coaches and most of all great support from these great fans here.”

Kansas, which returns most of its key personnel on offense and with the exception of the linebacker position on defense, finished the season 8-5 and improved its overall record in bowl games to 6-6.


Dirk Medema 11 years ago

BCS sounds like a stretch to me, but we certainly were worthy of a mid-range bowl.Great to see the defense adjust to the new schemes by UM's O. It definitely shows that we need greater depth at DB. Thornton's absence really hurt. Lots of opp's for the new recruits.Great game 'Hawks. Rock Chalk.

Tony Bandle 11 years ago

There is no question that our offense, with virtually everyone returning in 2009, is North Division Championship worthy. The question is our defense and loss of the heart and soul of that defense, the three senior linebackers. I think switching Quigley to LB is a good start and probably enhances his chances at the BIG SHOW.Maybe we can play a 5-1-5 defense...stack the line for the run, flood the zones for the pass and have a roving monster in the middle.In the big picture, it's such a thrill for this 42 year plus Jayhawk to be able to legitimately talk about future KU football success for the third season in a row!!! My only concern is HCMM's health. He looks bigger than ever, a virtual walking, cardiac time bomb!!Does anyone else have this same sense of dread or am I simply exagerating the risks of a 100 lb + overweight, high stressed Division 1 football coach?

Alan Braun 11 years ago

No you're not the only one concerned about HCMM. I'm a physician & see at 1st hand the health issues that arise out of situations like his, and I'd dearly love, for the sake of his own health & welfare, not to mention that of his family and of the football program, to see him take some of the extra pay he's getting since the Orange Bowl and have a gastric bypass done this off-season.That said, he's done a great job and so has the team. Not only did we spank the Gophers good and make the Big 10 look like the miserable selves they always are, but we made Mizzery look pretty lame in the process, since they had to go to OT and count on a bunch of mistakes by a lousy Northwestern team to pull out their win over the Big 10.

railer1122 11 years ago

First of all a 5-1-5 is ridiculous. You have to have at least 3 linebackers because you can not have secondary guys taking hits from a linemen once they get past the d-line and having a running back run full speed at them every time. Second, Mangino does need to cut the weight down. But I've never seen a big man like that wear shirts like that style. Everyone tries to tuck their shirts in, he just lets it hang!! haThird, great game by the D tonight. Their QB is a very good player and their reciever was good as well. I have a feeling we will win the North next year. Bowen will have an extra year with these guys and they will get used to his schemes. Only thing that really concerns me is the middle of the O-line next year. We will have the Wisconsin transfer, Thompson or something, at center, but who will be our guards?? Can't wait for another exciting year of KU football.

Tony Bandle 11 years ago

Railer1122I agree, my 5-1-5 defense was just a silly joke comment. Obviously you need at least 2 LB's at a minimum to do exactly what you explained.As far as the O-line goes, I noticed this year that the G/C/G trio was particularly adept at picking up multiple stunts and various blitz packages [Of course, it doesn't hurt when you have a smart. well-coached QB with fast feet and eyes in the back of his head]. That will be the major challenge for next year's group.The frosh tackles got better as the year went on, so there's hope for a similar result for the middle. In 2009 with Northern Colorado, UTEP, Duke, Southern Mississippi, Iowa State and Colorado being the first six games, the line will have a true chance to gell. KU SHOULD BE 6-0 and already bowl eligible pending any unforeseen circumstances.The rest of the schedule? Let the fun begin:Oklahoma at Lawrence - It depends on how many players they lose, maybe, but now have to pencil in a LTexas Tech there - Crabtree stays, no chance..if not ..maybe; still I will have to put down a LKansas State there - I have to put down a W just because I can't stand the thought of losing to the pussycats!!Nebraska at Lawrence - The Horncuskers are improved...but not enough to win in our house...put down a W.Texas there - When it comes to playing in Austin, add the guys in stripes as part of the Longhorn roster...put down a L.Missouri at KC - They lose a lot...I mean a lot of talent and with Stinkel coaching there's always a chance. Put down a big old W.9-3 regular season, North Division Title, Big 12 Championship Game, a nice bowl with another victory, a Top Ten or Twenty rating...I think will be just about right. { if the Hawks want to go 14-0 and win the National Championship, I could live with that as well]PS Isn't it just amazing just to be talking about KU football in January!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!!!

troutsee 11 years ago

Yes, it is amazing, and is the result of that feeling of optimism toward the KU FB team that MM has brought to the program. Next year should be a good year for us with the biggest question marks being at linebacker and the middle of the offensive line. Here's hoping we hang onto the recruits we have and add a couple more 4-stars.By the way, does anyone know what Thornton did to get suspended?

CasperCorps 11 years ago

Just make it to the big twelve championship game and next year will be a success.. Rockem Hawks!!

jmseibel 11 years ago

Success doesn't come by conceding victories. Nobody on the outside thought the Hawks would be undefeateded (until MU) last year, but Mangino and the team always planned to win it all. We need to get the same attitude behind the football team that the basketball team enjoys.

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