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Texas Tech defeats Kansas, 42-21

  • 2:30 p.m., Oct. 31, 2009
  • Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock, TX

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Reesing benched in Jayhawks’ loss

Kansas quarterbacks Todd Reesing and Kale Pick watch as the game winds down, finalizing the Jayhawks' loss at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas, on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2009.

Kansas quarterbacks Todd Reesing and Kale Pick watch as the game winds down, finalizing the Jayhawks' loss at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas, on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2009.

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2009 KU-Texas Tech football

Reader poll

Did you agree with the benching of Todd Reesing in the fourth quarter against Texas Tech?

  • Yes 60% 1530 votes
  • No 31% 804 votes
  • Undecided 7% 183 votes

2517 total votes.

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Reesing benched in Jayhawks’ loss

KU struggled so much Saturday against Texas Tech that veteran quarterback Todd Reesing was benched in favor of freshman Kale Pick.

— Todd Reesing has discussed a good number of things during postgame news conferences.

In his three years as the Kansas University football team’s starting quarterback, the senior from Austin, Texas, has talked big wins, tough losses and several things in between.

What he never has discussed — what, given his stature as the most accomplished quarterback in school history, he could not have imagined ever discussing — is being benched in a seemingly winnable football game.

Yet, there was Reesing on Saturday night, in a nondescript room in the bowels of Jones AT&T; Stadium, trying to relay his surprise at being pulled midway through the fourth quarter of the Jayhawks’ 42-21 loss to Texas Tech.

“I was (surprised). I’m not going to lie,” he said, and he looked like he meant it. “At that point, we were two possessions down, by no means was the game over.”

But with the team’s offense sputtering, and Reesing unable to get things going for the third straight week, Kansas coach Mark Mangino did the unthinkable: He benched the team’s best player in favor of red-shirt freshman Kale Pick.

“The last series he was in there, (Reesing) short-armed two passes and had a fumble,” Mangino said. “More than anything, I thought maybe Kale would give us a little bit of a jump or something. I just didn’t feel good about the offense as a whole.”

While the coach indicated the benching was strictly performance-related, however, Reesing said following the game that he’d been struggling with a groin injury sustained in the team’s Oct. 17 loss to Colorado.

“I’m not one to make excuses,” Reesing said. “It’s been a hard time practicing during the week because of it. I’ve got to do what I can to get ready and then play through it on Saturday. But I’m not going to say that that has anything to do with the last three weeks, because it hasn’t. It’s just something that you deal with as a part of football.”

The situation was more than a little bizarre.

Four weeks earlier, Mangino had stood behind a podium and argued that Reesing, the player who had been so integral in the team’s recent rise to prominence, deserved to be in the conversation for the Heisman Trophy. And while the idea of hyping his players — even one as distinguished as Reesing — for individual honors seemed a bit out of character for Kansas’ eighth-year coach, his argument was hardly outlandish.

Through five games, Reesing ranked among the nation’s leaders in nearly every significant passing category. He’d marched the Jayhawks through a predictably easy nonconference schedule with little difficulty, then thrown for a career-high 442 yards and four touchdowns in a narrow but momentum-building victory over Iowa State.

There was no reason to figure that things wouldn’t continue in this manner for the foreseeable future.

But then came Colorado and the two first-quarter turnovers — an interception and a fumble — that led to two Buffaloes touchdowns and, eventually, the Jayhawks’ first loss of the year.

Then came the three first-half interceptions against Oklahoma, two of which led to Sooners scores in a Sooners win.

And then came Saturday, a day when nothing seemed to go right. For most of the afternoon, Reesing struggled to get the ball into the hands of his receivers. He looked hesitant to scramble in his usual way and fumbled twice, one of which was returned for a touchdown.

In the first half, he completed nine of 18 passes for 88 yards, was sacked four times and lost 37 yards on the ground, though it still looked like — struggling quarterback and all — Kansas might be able to sneak out of Lubbock with a victory.

The teams entered halftime tied at 14, and when Reesing connected with receiver Dezmon Briscoe for a six-yard touchdown pass at the end the third quarter, it seemed to represent a major shift in momentum.

Following a botched snap that led to a turnover and a Red Raiders touchdown, however, Reesing found himself standing on the sideline, helmet pulled over his head, watching as Pick ran draw play after draw play from the quarterback position and teammates tried to make sense of the benching.

“Obviously, I think it was a big surprise to the whole team that he came out,” said junior receiver Dezmon Briscoe, whose third-quarter touchdown reception from Reesing made the players the nation’s top active scoring duo. “I don’t really know exactly why he came out or what really happened.”

After the game, Mangino gave no assurance that Reesing would be under center when the Jayhawks take on Kansas State next Saturday in what is no less than a must-win, indicating that Reesing, like every other player, is constantly being evaluated.

Reesing, meanwhile, was left to deal with the fact that — for the third straight week — the Jayhawks weren’t able to get the job done.

“We continue to say we’re going to bounce back, and the last two weeks we just haven’t,” Reesing said. “At this point, it’s gut-check time. Either accept it and move forward and play with some heart the next few weeks and get to a great bowl game and see what happens, or you can quit.

“And we’re not guys that are going to quit,” he added. “Not one guy on this team is going to lay down and say it’s over.”

Comments

KGphoto 10 years, 3 months ago

Groin my ass.

Reesing has simply cracked under the pressure of expectations. He's an underdog, and a great one at that. But to think that he could've continued his success after everybody adjusted to the spread and his quarky winning ability is just unrealistic. I hold nothing against Todd. He's still the greatest QB in school history. He still deserves a statue. And he still has a great performance left this year, to nail it down.

Pull it together Todd.

And Pull it together coach. You have great players and nobody is more responsible for the implosion than you.

DSommersby 10 years, 3 months ago

Hang in there Hawks! I feel a bit better reading Todd's quotes. These guys have to choose whether they get back up off the ground or stay down and quit fighting. This is really gut check time. We were in this game most of the day and just failed to finish strong. We are much better than we have been playing. Time to focus on the basics and have everyone pulling in the same direction. Start fresh on Sunday...Learn from the mistakes and work to get better to play better like we know everyone can.

I know they can rally and get themselves back up. One play at a time. Todd has been playing hurt, but he is a gamer and can get himself and this team turned around. Everyone needs to pull together and get this moving forward. I love watching these guys play and battle. I know they have plenty more fight in them. We will see it! I am with you Jayhawks!

KGphoto 10 years, 3 months ago

By the way. New KU uniforms 0. Tech 42.

JayhawkHoosier10 10 years, 3 months ago

agreed on everything KGphoto. excuses are pathetic at this level of sports. Go with the Indianapolis Colts motto "Next man up"

rastameta 10 years, 3 months ago

KGphoto, couldn't have said it better myself. Good post.

Dirk Medema 10 years, 3 months ago

Kale had some of the same problems that Todd had; scrambled for life, receiver drops pass.

If Todd is indeed hurt, he needs to believe the team is more important than individual accomplishments and step aside. We don't need him pulling a Sharp and starting for a couple games with sub-std performance (2 ypc) while returning to health.

Kevin Long 10 years, 3 months ago

They say they don't quit, but I saw them quit in the 4th quarter. At some point Mangino has to mix it up a little more on offense. They have been running the same 4 or 5 plays and are getting very predictable. A little misdirection once in a while would be nice. I can see coaches thinking on bringing in Pick, but if your going to bring him in let him throw a little. He is going to have to take the diapers off and go to work eventually.

FlaHawk 10 years, 3 months ago

Coach Mangino play calling ws very conservative. Edpecially, the final KO where they put it out of stadium rather than a on-side kick or a high floater (you can punt the ball on a kick off! Reesing is hurt and this type of injury would affect his throwing motion (INTs and may explain all the short hops)> It does have anything to do with the fumbles, especially the 4-1 play where Reesing muffed a clean snap. Looked like KUhad 2-4 yeards on the play. This was a real game changer for KU!

Bill Kackley 10 years, 3 months ago

I do agree about the poor coaching job, especially not doing something other than just kicking it out of the end zone and needing a more varied offense but I wonder also why the STARS are not performing. Todd, Jake, Dezmond and Kerry all sucked on Saturday. I was proud of how well the defense played. But overall I don't think this team has played with intensity all year long. Tackling isn't crisp, kickoff returners always go up the middle slowly, we never get down and cream someone on the opponents returns, yes our freshman running back can carry several people for a few yards but we don't have any backs playing that love to hit people it seems. In football you hit people but we are the ones getting hit. I watched K-state and with their obvious overall lack of talent they looked much better than the Hawks. It makes me sad we don't have kids who love to HIT.

Scott Wood 10 years, 3 months ago

The Reesing era should be over, he is a complete joke. Our "best player" as this article states yea right.

jayhawkintexas 10 years, 3 months ago

I agree with the benching of Reesing. Two fumbles, high throws that force receivers to have to jump to catch them, and don't forget about the incomplete pass that slipped out of his hand--it was really close to being a fumble. All this in addition to the interceptions and fumbles he had against OU and CU. The problem is that the players' body language says "I can't wait to get back on the plane and go home" rather than "I can't wait to go out and beat the snot out of the other team." Kackly is right--our guys don't like to hit--in other words, we're soft.

Bill Kackley 10 years, 3 months ago

Again don't blame just Todd. Kerry, Desmond and Jake did not performing well either.

Paul Christiansen 10 years, 3 months ago

Coaching has a lot to do with the play of the Jayhawks. Remember when special teams was just creaming people on the kickoffs!

Thats what creates momentum. Something this team is sorely lacking.

That KU team in 2004 finished 4-7 but I was so proud of them. They played every game at full speed.

Yesterday was depressing but we need better recruits to compete against the Big12 South. How is it that Texas Tech has three Quarterbacks that can start?

areyouserious 10 years, 3 months ago

try staying out of the bar for one full week todd................and get your head in the game.......I agree should have been benched witht he pick six against ou..

FIRE Ed Warriner

James Hubin 10 years, 3 months ago

The blame should be place on the coaching staff for not getting the team fired up to play this year and not making the proper adjustments, poor play calling on both sides of the ball. The defense did play well enough for us to win the game though.

I have come to the realization that Mangino would be a great coach at a school like baylor, he's never going to take KU to the promise land or another BCS game.

T.tech showed us the blueprint for the what we should be running on the offensive side. K-state showed us what a great coach can do when he has no talent.

At least we can refocus on the reason why we are all such huge KU fans, tipoff tuesday against Ft. Hays. Thank God!

troutsee 10 years, 3 months ago

Agree with all the comments, especially Kphoto, Hays, and Njjayhawk. Also, using Meier in front of Pick would be ridiculous. Todd starts against KSU but Pick better be ready. The O-line better be ready and our defense better be ready to stop the run on Saturday or it's going to be a long, long day. Turnovers are killing us. I tend to be the supreme optimist, but the season is slip, slipping away.

tdub 10 years, 3 months ago

saidtoomuch, I hear you. As the song goes: "Never fear, and grab a beer, cause basketball is almost here!".

Jeff Hargate 10 years, 3 months ago

The offense reminds me of what Self says sometimes in disgust in that the team thinks they can just "turn it on" when they need to. Gone is the hunger and want-to. I just don't see it. Maybe Mangino's biggest mistake is trusting his upper-classmen on offense. His job is what ultimately hangs in the balance (not this year) and he better start sawing some wood.

Ashwin Rao 10 years, 3 months ago

We started the season off with a lethal offense and a sub-par defense... Then after the by-week, we tweaked things around and now we have a sub-par offense and a better, but still sub-par, defense... Players need to take some blame for this, but I think some of the blame needs to be associated with the offensive/defensive coaches too... We have simplified our play-book to a point where we are too predictable.. we need to change things around and make it more challenging for opponents to prepare for us...

We are still capable of doing damage in the Big 12 N, but we don't have any runway left.

Otownhawker 10 years, 3 months ago

Hey guys what do you think about this. Bill Self pulls double time and calls the plays not only for the bball team but the football team as well. Everybody and their brother knows that the zone read play NEVER works. But we run it every other play. BTW Maxhawk nice call on the benching of the savior Todd Reesing. I will not back someone who does not put results on the board. I am a fan of Kansas University not of Todd Reesing or any other single player for that matter.

knayte 10 years, 3 months ago

Todd Reesing is probably the main reason we've had any amount of success the last two seasons after years of mediocrity. I'm willing to give him a little more leeway. My money is on his turning things around and getting us wins vs k-state, NU and Mizzou.

booze_buds_03 10 years, 3 months ago

I hate to questions Reesing's dedication but here it goes. This guy only has pride to play for from here on out, with no chance of a pro career.

When he is out deejaying a party on Thursday night from 2-4 AM then something is wrong. I prepare for next season and play Pick

jaydork 10 years, 3 months ago

I agree with the benching. We wouldn't be doing nearly as much complaining about the coaching or other players if Reesing hadn't turned the ball over 6 times in the last 3 games - and when he's not dropping it or throwing it to the other team, he's throwing it into the ground. Yes, our receivers have dropped some catchable passes, but Reesing has thrown a lot more balls into the turf than he's had dropped passes.

I do think he's a great player, and should start the rest of the games this year, but I think Mangino was right to give him a kick in the pants - no one should be immune to benching just because of past performance.

And HawkfromHays, after watching the first half of this season, I really think KU football will be even better next year. I really like what I've seen from Pick, and if you look at the positions with standout seniors, they have underclassman that have proven themselves very capable of starting (Opurum, McDougald, L. Smith, etc)

David Robinett 10 years, 3 months ago

Todd is (was?) great. But for a senior QB to fumble a snap on 4th and one means he is just not paying attention to basics. Briscoe is (was?) also great, but he has dropped two crucial TD passess the last two games. Mangino is (was?) great, but he is not sticking to the principles that made him good - like put the best players on the field (Jake is fast, Jake is tough, but Jake cannot break tackles. Opurum should be the guy at RB. This is what has caused our running game to evaporate.

I agree that Todd has gotten too comfortable. Depending too much on Briscoe and Meyer. He (and Warriner) have got to spread the ball around to Wilson, Biere, and other receivers. Especially without a run game, the opposing D can focus on shutting down Briscoe and Meyer (which Tech obviously did yesterday).

Dillon Davis 10 years, 3 months ago

Maybe this is going to be a big wake up call for him and he will realize that he's not guaranteed a start on this team and he can and will be replaced if he doesn't perform. It's too bad that this has to happen to him this late in the season in his senior year no less, but we have to put players in who are going to give us the best chance to win and Magino sticks by that rule. No one's spot is safe if you don't play well.

WisconsinJayhawk 10 years, 3 months ago

Todd was reading too many of his press clippings, staying out late the night before games, partying, womanizing. He just got too full of himself. He needs to return to earth. While stationed there, he did well. With the cranium in the ozone, not so much. He really has let his teammates down in a bad case of senioritis.

jhokfan 10 years, 3 months ago

HawkfromHays: The problem with your historical perspective is, during Mangino’s tenure we also won a lot of close games. Granted there has been numerous disappointing losses but given that CM inherited a program near the bottom of D1, it is to be expected. What would you rather have, a game in which we are hopelessly overmatched and have no chance of winning or losing a game in which we are good enough to compete with our opponent. As disappointing as yesterdays loss, I would take the latter.

When Mangino took over we were losing games by multiple touchdowns and the game was usually over by halftime. He stopped the most embarrassing losing streak in college by beating Nebraska. Also stopped a double digit losing streak to K-State. He has beaten Missouri 4 out of 7 times, taken us to 4 bowls, and has made KU relevant in college football. I consider that progress. Maybe you should lower your expectations until a higher standard is warranted.

brett conrad 10 years, 3 months ago

This team went from a Heisman Candidate and winning the Big 12 north to hoping they can beat K-State, a team with half the talent but twice the coaching.

rastameta 10 years, 3 months ago

jhokfan, HawkfromHays is right. You have to remember that both K-State and Nebraska were on their downfall when we started to beat them finally. We didn't rise up and beat them at their peak. It was as much a fact that they were going down as we were going up.

But HawkfromHays is right about all of those close games being blown by bad coaching. Go back and watch them. Most of them were a result of Mangino either managing the game poorly, or the players poorly, or the play calling left something to be desired.

The sad thing is that I haven't seen Mangino learn from his own mistakes because he continues to make the same game time coaching mistakes today that cost him games in the past.

I am sick and tired of the "sawing wood" crap. Yes, that is how you get your program out of the dumps, but once you get to this point you need be better than that.

Snyder is proof of what a good coach can do with inferior talent and I promise you that K-State has less talent than us, but they seem to play better each and every week. Synder for coach of the year in the Big 12.

I remember some people posting on here back when Synder came back and saying how stupid K-State was for hiring back that it would continue their downslide. I felt differently, It concerned me because I always felt like Synder is heads and shoulders a better head coach then Mangino and they might just rise above us again.

This game will be very telling about both programs and wether or not Mangino can get it done or not.

treidy 10 years, 3 months ago

Fire Wariner? Bench Reesing? Reesing not our best player? Thank goodness for Bball season? Already complaining about next season? Are you all serious? I knew it wouldn't take long for the bandwagon fans who have been moonlighting as KU fans to go back to just cheering for basketball.

ginger2015 10 years, 3 months ago

I'm with you treidy. Realistically, a win at UT is not going to happen, but wins against KSU, NU and MU are certainly within the realm of possiblity. An 8-4 season is not a stretch at all and I think an 8-4 season is pretty good. Keep the faith.

Derek Conway 10 years, 3 months ago

Thank God basketball games are about to begin. This is a joke.

knayte 10 years, 3 months ago

treidy is right. Way too many bandwagon football fans. This is OUR school and OUR team. Give up on them if you want, but don't call yourself a KU fan.

Dustin Hothan 10 years, 3 months ago

We expect great things from our football team, yet how many comments do we have on our here talking about basketball...probably from the same fans that are gone at halftime. And we expect Mangino to get "top recruits"...please..as a top recruit I wouldn't want to come here after seeing how SOME of our fans are. We're still just a basketball school just hoping for good things to happen with our football team; if not, oh well we have basketball. Give me a break

packywacky88 10 years, 3 months ago

We are soft. It doesn't seem to me that we want to win. Down by two scores, 4th down with a little over 5 min left, and we punt? To me that just says we don't want to fight (or win). Bill Snyder went for it against OK(4 min left), why doesn't Mangino? That is just plain giving up.

jayloco 10 years, 3 months ago

OK, so it would be easy to pile on, but really at this point KU and its fans need to face the facts. The only thing this team can do is play hard and hope they go 8-4 ( I am barring out any miracles and winning in Austin). That would put us 4-4 in the North with wins over NU, MU and KSU. We would have to hope that NU or MU can help us out by winning a game over KSU to push them to 4-4 as well. If this team can somehow find a way to pull it together and do that, then I think the season can be seen as a success. I can't lie, I think optimistic fans thought 9-3 or better was a possibility. We all bought in to the fact that the offense was superhuman and would simply outscore other teams. What a huge disappointment the offense has been this year. Just has never really looked right.

On Todd Reesing, if he is hurt, please coach, put the team ahead of Todd and play Kale. We need to focus on winning, not on preserving the rep of Todd Reesing. I would never call Todd a liar and say his groin is not that bad, but I don't see any grimacing or issues when he is playing. If he's not healthy, get him out of there.

I see a lot of posts about Todd's activity in Lawrence. If this shi$ is true, that is just plain bull on Todd's part. It shows a complete lack of respect to his teammates and would possibly explain why this guy takes 2 quarters to warm up. There will be plenty of time come 2nd semester for Todd to have a case of Senioritis. Please Todd, if this crap is true about your late hours, you owe it to your team, the University and the fans to get your head straight and put it all on the line these last 4 games of the season!

Rivethead 10 years, 3 months ago

Fact: Just a few short years ago we would have loved to be 5-3 a this point in the season. 2007 spoiled a LOT of Jayhawks and set expectations way too high.

Fact: 2007, our best season, was performed under the old facilities. Leaky faucets, drafty weight rooms, rust pipes, etc. Now we have new factilites that are state-of-the-art including Xbox360 in the players locker rooms.......and the team has gotten softer and softer ever since moving in. Coincidence? I'm not so sure it is.

gogoplata 10 years, 3 months ago

I hate KSU but Snyder is a better coach than Mangino at this point. What the hell happened to the toughness we have had under Mangino? Our guys look like wussies compared to the Wildcats. All it would take for us to win this weekend is to get back that edge we used to have. Mangino teams were tough and gritty. Not so far this year. We look like a team that spend too much time reading thier own press. We are soft.

"Hell you ain't been hungry since you won that belt."

Someone with the means please mail a copy of ROCKY 3 to every coach and player.

GridironHawk 10 years, 3 months ago

For all the people posting the negative comments, please go back to your shelters where you hid during the 80's, 90's, and early 00's. You true fair weather fans are showing. I probably cussed more at Todd, Briscoe, Meier, Sharp, and the coaching staff than anyone during the games. However, I can remember sitting through 1-2 win seasons and although I always supported the team I rarely carried if we lost to an OU or TT. The people I cuss at now are the whole reason there is passion in KU football again. I agree something needs to change but bashing them on posts isn't going to get it done.... Thanks for being "true" Jayhawk fans. I think Neb, KSU, or Mizzu could use some bandwagon jumpers so please feel free to wear their colors. You aren't needed here...

gogoplata 10 years, 3 months ago

It's not hating when you are pointing out the facts.

mdfraz 10 years, 3 months ago

HawkfromHays, that was an excellent summary of the heartbreak that goes along with being a KU football fan. 2006 especially was just like a bad movie where you have to set up a team to keep taking shots to the gut. That Toledo game was OVER until the pick 6 Kerry threw, and you are right, if we don't fumble on a simple handoff, we kick a FG and win that game. That's just one of the gut wrenching losses, I can't really even stomach reliving the rest. Ugh.

When did you play? I was a manager from spring '99 to spring '01. And as frustrating as things are now, they are indeed infinitely better than they were with Allen.

KURocksChalk 10 years, 3 months ago

OVEREXPOSURE... What is wrong with Todd Reesing is what is wrong w KU Football right now. The old expression...going to the well too often is what is wrong with this team. Too much on too few. Over three years KU has put too much on Todd Reesing. Opponents can look at film and see virtually any situation that he has been in and how he will handle it. The book is too thick.

Todd Reesing needs to reinvent himself this year. He needs to sit down with Wariner and work that out. More designed runs, more pump fakes, and he needs to throw to a greater variety of receivers, especially running backs.

UNIT COHESION - THE DEFENSE Way too much indecision on who is going to play on the defensive side of the ball. The coaches have been too indecisive here.

SOLVING THE PROBLEM. Coach Mangino needs to get with the AD and talk about the unrealized potential of this year. The AD may have to help solve this problem. It is coaching at some point and something needs to change. Can't blame this on talent level. Not defense alone, offense has not gotten on track except for spurts...special teams are not at all special.

This team is good enough to have been undefeated. Something needs to change. This program is not getting better. I think it has plateaued. If we need new blood I hope that we can give some whopping incentives to asst. coaches. WE NEED COACHES WHO ARE SHARP, INNOVATIVE, RISK-TAKERS WHO LOVE FOOTBALL. If it is just a job, then they need to go. If it is not a passion, they need to go. Just my opinion. I am concerned that we will lose to KSU and Nebraska, and get embarrassed by Texas. I would have never thought this year would end with 6 loses but the year is not over yet and I hope I am proven wrong.

KURocksChalk 10 years, 3 months ago

Rasta, I agree with you. Anyone that thinks that Snyder can't coach is only wishing. KSU special teams have returned at least 4 kickoffs for tds this year. How many for KU? Try ZERO.

Snyder teams are confident, aggressive and competent. They beat teams that they are supposed to beat. This is something that has driven me crazy about KU...we cannot seem to put down the teams we should be cruising by.

And to those of you who want to remind us of Terry Allen, if you want to go back there, sure, be complacent, talk all the love you want to but it will surely lead us there again. These coaches are getting obscene amounts of money compared to what the vast majority of us earn. For that kind of money I am not bashful about demanding excellence! Besides, I am not convinced that all of you that say we should appreciate where we are are KU fans at all. Complacency will lead us to the cellar every time.

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