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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Jayhawks not taking Cyclones for granted

Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing is dragged down by the Iowa State defense late in the second quarter Saturday, Oct. 4, 2008 at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames.

Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing is dragged down by the Iowa State defense late in the second quarter Saturday, Oct. 4, 2008 at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames.

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Sharp not necessarily good to go against Iowa State

Even after a bye week, KU running back Jake Sharp might not be back for this weekend's game against Iowa State.

In the opinion of coach Mark Mangino, his Kansas University football team in the early stages of last season was akin to a petulant child in need of some good, old-fashioned disciplining.

And in their conference opener against a struggling Iowa State team, during which they trailed 20-0 at halftime before escaping with a narrow 35-33 victory, that’s precisely what the Jayhawks got.

“That group last year — early in the year — took some things for granted because they were listening to all this talk about 2007,” Mangino said Tuesday. “... So what you need is, you need to get spanked a few times. We went to South Florida and got spanked, and we were getting a spanking in Ames, and finally everyone looked around and said, ‘This is 2008; we better get a move on.’”

Eventually they did, finishing the year 8-5 and winning consecutive bowls for the first time in school history. So far this season, meanwhile, the Jayhawks have managed to avoid any early-season corporal punishment, as well, jumping to a 4-0 start and No. 16 national ranking heading into Saturday’s 11:30 a.m. conference opener against visiting Iowa State.

But after last year’s scare against the Cyclones, the players assure they’re not taking anything for granted while preparing for the Big 12 portion of the schedule.

“It’s definitely something you learn from, for sure,” senior defensive back Justin Thornton said of last year’s ISU scare. “We’ll be focused this year, and we’ll be ready to go from the kickoff until the last seconds tick off the clock.”

That wasn’t the case a year ago, when the Jayhawks — fresh off a 12-1 season and Orange Bowl victory — arrived in Ames with an admitted sense of complacency.

And from the start, things didn’t go well. In a scoreless first half, Kansas gained only 66 yards of total offense and stumbled into halftime facing what at the time was its largest deficit of the season.

“They came out like they were USC,” said KU linebacker Justin Springer, in an especially appropriate statement given the Cyclones’ uniforms, which were nearly identical to those worn by the traditionally dominant Trojans. “They were big. They pushed us around. They did everything to us that we couldn’t do to them.”

The silver lining, however, was the way the team battled back, scoring 28 straight points during one second-half stretch to avoid a potentially devastating loss at the hands of an Iowa State team that would go on to finish the season a dismal 2-10 and winless in the Big 12.

Kansas running back Jake Sharp enjoyed a coming-out party of sorts that day, opening the third quarter with a 67-yard touchdown catch and finishing the game with 186 total yards and two scores in his first standout performance of the season.

However, there’s a decent chance last year’s hero will be on the sideline Saturday.

Mangino said this week that he won’t know before Thursday whether Sharp, struggling to recover from an undisclosed injury sustained three weeks ago, will play.

In the meantime, the coach is using last year’s game as a teaching tool. Not so much from a revenge standpoint. Not so much as a motivating factor. Just a simple reality: In the Big 12, no opponent can go overlooked.

“We’ve presented it as, ‘This is what happens when you show up and you’re not ready to play, (when) you’re not mentally sharp,’” Mangino said. “... If you don’t show up ready to play, or you take your opponent for granted, you’re going to get stung.”

In the end, players don’t seem too concerned about the possibility of a relapse.

“I think the players on the team that were here for that game can kind of take that into conference play,” kicker Jacob Branstetter said. “... With the athletes and the skill-position guys we have on offense and defense, we have an opportunity to win the game whether we’re up 20 or down 20. And if we can just keep our composure, our coaches are going to put us in the right positions to win football games.”

Comments

suttonku 5 years, 1 month ago

Im telling you, Sharp has a stress fracture and he needs to sit out until we play OU at least...The only treatment for those things is rest...We should be fine with Opurum in the backfield...Dont want to see much of Rell Lewis though, that guys is too slow to the line and he can't hit holes...I definitely see Kansas winning this game and the game at CU without Sharp but I think we will definitely need Sharp against OU because their defense is very good and we will need his leadership and his quicks...Rest Sharp until we really need him, it's for the best.

gardenjay 5 years, 1 month ago

I never have such inside information, but I just think that Sharp should stay out if it's this close to game time and he's not a given. But all this could be blowing smoke for all we know, after all, we're just fans.

Lance Hobson 5 years, 1 month ago

We should be able to put a hurting on ISU without Sharp, there's no reason to push it.

John Brown 5 years, 1 month ago

Mangino always has a good solid game plan and I believe it when he considers it important for Sharp to be 100%. The other factor is that OU will have less film on Sharp and Oprum will have more experience. A fresh Sharp and more experienced Oprum dual punch will certainly be important against OU and Texas.

Nick Adams 5 years, 1 month ago

Well I can think of one reason to play Sharp, he is a senior and he only gets so many more chances to put that uniform on especially at home. With that being said I think we will need him to win in Boulder regardless of how many wins Colorado has.

number1jayhawker 5 years, 1 month ago

suttonku, do you know which bone it is? The tibula or fibula?

suttonku 5 years, 1 month ago

rkchkjayhk,

While I agree that Sharp doesnt have many more chances, if he breaks his leg and needs surgery we potentially lose him for the season and that is something we cannot afford. We have a back in Opurum that is more than capable of leading us to victory over ISU and CU...We will need Sharp for OU and I think you gotta rest the guy until then.

I am not certain as to what bone he could have a stress fracture in. It is interesting though because if it was just a strained muscle in his calf then he would be back for this game no problem. That's why I am saying it's a stress fracture. Its not his knee it's his leg and I think if he strained his calf he would be back on the field this saturday but since it seems like he wont be, he probably has a stress fracture.

jayhawkintx73 5 years, 1 month ago

If he's out, Mangino might take the redshirt off Deshaun Sands and have some more depth. Of course, if they dress him and he doesn't play he can still be available as a redshirt freshman next year. We have other guys we can line up in the back field like MacDougal, which would benefit us later because it would make teams have to prepare for the kid that might be the best recruit in a few decades for KU. We also have Kale Pick who can be lined up in the back field along side Reesing and that opens up more options while Sharp is out and Pick has already lost REd Shirt status for this year.

rockchalks7 5 years, 1 month ago

Pick redshirted last season... he is a redshirt freshman

KURocksChalk 5 years, 1 month ago

Actually, there are two treatments for stress fracture...one is electrolysis and the other is ...believe it or not, eating honeycomb. Honeycomb makes the bones more forgiving and elastic. Generally, it is acquired in natural honey and is spread on warm toast so as to melt the wax. Otherwise, it is like, yeah, eating wax.

gardenjay 5 years, 1 month ago

...and I thought waxing was a topical treatment, but for removing hair. We really need a posting reference desk. Jaybate?

Rivethead 5 years, 1 month ago

jayhawkintx73........the Juco kid Porter was higher on the depth chart than DeShaun Sands. We'll see Porter before Sands.

rasta_meta 5 years, 1 month ago

My understanding is that he has a bone contusion and they can take a long time to heal and they can continue to hurt enough that you might favor it. I had one on my shin when I played and it didn't really heal until after the season. I still have some calcification on the bone where I had it.

Here is some more info:

Bone contusions go by a number of names including bone bruise, bone edema and bone swelling. A contusion by definition is ‘A bruise; an injury attended with more or less disorganization of the subcutaneous tissue and effusion of blood beneath the skin, but without apparent wound. ‘ Although this is the definition for a skin contusion, the same definition applies to bone. A bone contusion is an injury that involves injury to the surface bone and subsequent damage to the underlying bone sub-structure.

Bone contusions may be viewed as a subtle form of fracture. Sure, there’s no defined break, but the bone is going to manage a bone contusion just as if the bone is fractured.

So how long does a bone contusion take to heal? Might take even longer than a fracture in that the bone is effected by a crush (contusion) injury. So plan on months for complete healing. Granted, the rate of healing will vary by the general health of the patient, the nature of the injury and the location of the injury.

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