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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Keegan

Kansas only half bad

KU undefeated, not invulnerable

Kansas University defenders Drew Dudley (49), Justin Thornton (46), Arist Wright (41) and Jake Laptad (91) converge on Iowa State running back Alexander Robinson. Robinson rushed for a career-best 152 yards, and the Cyclones amassed 512 total yards, but the Jayhawks escaped with a 41-36 victory Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas University defenders Drew Dudley (49), Justin Thornton (46), Arist Wright (41) and Jake Laptad (91) converge on Iowa State running back Alexander Robinson. Robinson rushed for a career-best 152 yards, and the Cyclones amassed 512 total yards, but the Jayhawks escaped with a 41-36 victory Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

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Kansas vs. Iowa State

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Video highlights and a game recap from the October 10, 2009 contest.

Reader poll

Who was KU's MVP against Iowa State?

  • Todd Reesing (37-for-49, 442 yards, five combined TDs) 65% 1299 votes
  • Kerry Meier (16 catches, 142 yards, 2 TDs) 23% 466 votes
  • Dezmon Briscoe (12 catches, 186 yards, 2 TDs) 8% 168 votes
  • Other 2% 41 votes

1974 total votes.

Kansas University is the worst undefeated Football Bowl Subdivision team in the nation. Do you consider that: 1) a compliment, 2) an insult, 3) reality, 4) all of the above, 5) false?

Unless you believe Kansas is better than South Florida and answered 5) — not a ridiculous opinion — then the only honest response must be 4) a compliment, an insult and reality.

It’s a compliment to the KU offense that a team so defensively challenged can remain undefeated. It’s an insult to the KU defense that a team with such a skilled, precise, explosive offense can come so close to losing at home to a team coming off a Farmageddon loss to Kansas State.

Thanks to Todd Reesing dealing and banking on an offensive line and a running back who protected him superbly and a pair of historically great Kansas receivers showing why they’ll be remembered forever, the Jayhawks survived Iowa State, 41-36, and advanced with an unblemished record.

On a cold, gray, windy day, the pregame atmosphere brimmed with a big-time feel. Tailgates buzzed. Yet, the student crowd again showed it’s not there yet. Many left at the half of a game Kansas led, 20-12. That would be 16th-ranked Kansas. Unbelievable.

Nobody could blame the students for wanting only to watch half the game, but there was a way to do so without missing the suspense attached to the outcome. They could have watched when Kansas had the ball and closed their eyes when Iowa State had it. That way, they would have left thinking they had a team capable of contending for a national title and had twice as good a time wherever it was they went after leaving Memorial Stadium.

The offense looked that good. Reesing said it was the best protection he has received at Kansas. Coach Mark Mangino said Reesing was “phenomenal” and added it was “one of the finest jobs of pass protection that I think I’ve ever been associated with in a single game.”

Reesing threaded a beauty to Briscoe for a 23-yard, third-quarter score in the left corner of the end zone, a play made possible when running back Toben Opurum halted a blitzer dead in his tracks. That Reesing-Briscoe connection paled when compared to the bomb Reesing threw into the wind for a 46-yard score on which the ball traveled 53 yards. Briscoe stretched his arms out to catch it on his finger tips.

“I put all I had into it to get it there into the wind, and Dez made an unbelievable catch,” Reesing said.

The degree of difficulty?

“That’s about a 10 out of 10,” he said. “That’s one of the better throws I probably ever made in college because of how long it was and the small margin of error. ... Those are throws you might get one or two out of 10 on.”

It’s troubling to think such a great play was needed to beat Iowa State, but to think that means Kansas will get blown out by the likes of Oklahoma and Nebraska would be a mistake, just as it would foolish to think because Kansas has such a dynamite offense it’s a given the Jayhawks will win Saturday in Boulder. The offense looks good enough to score on anyone, the defense vulnerable enough to get exposed by any Big 12 offense.

Prepare for a season packed with exciting, gut-twisting shootouts.

Comments

lv_jhwk 9 years, 8 months ago

Yeah, I'd like to make an argument...actually, no I don't. These were a lot of the same things I was thinking during the game.

I would like to think that Iowa State appeared to benefit more from having played last week than the 'Hawks did from their extra week. Time will tell just how much that is wishful thinking. (Still shouldn't have mattered against ISU.)

Ted Toulouse 9 years, 8 months ago

You've got to ask the tough question - "Why oh why didn't you go for it on 4th and 2 at the end of the game, giving their offense a chance to win it against our crappy-playing defense?" THAT was almost the worst decision MM has ever made.

lv_jhwk 9 years, 8 months ago

Seriously, ttoulouse, you questioned that decision?? Its rather easy to say that KU would have iced the game with a 4th down conversion, but the chance for the opposite result (and the Cyclones starting a potential game-winning drive inside 'Hawk territory because of it) made it far too risky. Simply put, the extra twenty-six yards in field position gained from the punt meant Iowa State ran their last two plays from our 31yd line rather than from our 5.

I actually had a much, much bigger problem with running the pass play on the previous play...stopped the clock and still had to punt. That was actually a case of choosing the option with highest risk.

rasta_meta 9 years, 8 months ago

I read an article earlier this week that this was the first game this season where Bowen prepared a game plan specifically for the team they were playing. If this isn't a sign that he is a terrible D-Coordinator, I don't want it will take to convince people. I think he is a good coach and recruiter, but he does not have what it takes to coordinate a defense by reading film, game planning, scheming, and calling plays.

Please Mangino, let Miller take over now.

topekahawk 9 years, 8 months ago

Hey, Rasta, you do realize that Miller is the LB coach. right? LB is KU's weakest spot right now.

Matt Hothan 9 years, 8 months ago

Wow, what great student fans we have...The thousands of students who left at half, should be ashamed of themselves. Most likely, they are the same morons who still shout, Home of the Chiefs. For all the great student fans, Thank you,,as for the morons,,stay home and let real fans have those seats....

troutsee 9 years, 8 months ago

Agree Maxhawk. Totally. If you don't have speed, you better be well coached. For two years, our defense has been suspect in spite of "improved recruiting." Therefore, I have got to put this on the coaches, especially MM.

esque 9 years, 8 months ago

Until Mangino and staff begin to land better athletes, the defense will continue to prevent KU from playing in the Big 12 Championship game. There simply isn't enough quality talent on the defensive side of the ball, particularly up front--where all good things start. Continually moving players to other positions, often during the season, because of poor performance is an indictment of the recruiting efforts. They've brought in scores of DB's over the past few classes yet no one can seem to effectively man the corner. Moving a nice offensive weapon in Daymond Patterson over to corner during the season last year in order to salvage the season was, once again quite telling. I'm just saying.....

Rivethead 9 years, 8 months ago

Sorry if I don't jump on the KU offense bandwagon. But the fact is, ISU's defense is horrible. The worst D KU had and will face all season. Outside of Frerer, the ISU NT (who went down early in the game with an injury), ISU has NO defensive lineman worth a sh*t. And yet we have articles proclaiming what a great day the KU OL had.

Personally, I thought the KU offense looked slow and predictable. Seems like we only ran 5-8 different plays. Maybe that was by design.

And somebody please tell Todd to hold onto the ball longer before making the pitch on the option play. He's got to get the D player to commit to either him or our RB before pitching or we're just wasting our time.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 8 months ago

Iowa State's defense is no worse than K-State's

tdub 9 years, 8 months ago

I hear you maxhawk. The players have talent and speed, it's the scheme that's killing them. You can't win in the Big 12 with 2 linebackers on the field. It's an absolute joke.

tdub 9 years, 8 months ago

Just like the notion that 5 DB's will halt the pass... ummm...

David Robinett 9 years, 8 months ago

Did anybody notice Justin Thornton getting burned and missing tackles all day?

Our secondary stinks. Even Stuckey doesn't seem to be making as many plays - is he injured?

Reminds me of the past 15 years of our secondary that was the "toast" of the town. Burned that is.

Rivethead 9 years, 8 months ago

You know we have no DL or LBs when Thornton makes 16 tackles (and I'm thinking he missed at least another 8).

hypersocial 9 years, 8 months ago

You'd think we had lost this game actually...

jhokfan 9 years, 8 months ago

Here's my report card.

Offense - A Defense - D+ Fans - F

Of the roughly 110 D1 programs our fans must be ranked around 99.

90sHawk 9 years, 8 months ago

KU football are very disappointing on gameday. Though it's not the majority, it's a large minority. For crying out loud people, it's BIG 12 conference play now, get excited and root on the team! Quit sitting down in your seats having conversations about your favorite food. The football team is turning around and giving us something to be excited about. We are still fresh of a great Orange Bowl win. It's absolutely pathetic to see fans not into the game, making noise, and cheering loudly. For those students who left at halftime of a tight conference game, your a DISGRACE ! If you can't cheer on the Hawks and wait 2 more hours before you have to go back to drinking at 1:30 in the afternoon, give up your tickets to REAL FANS ! Get it together KU fans, a part of making a great program includes us, the fans.

phi4life940 9 years, 8 months ago

90sHawk..... I totally agree!

Do me a favor Jayhawk fans.... If you are at the game and someone is complaining behind you because you ARE A REAL fan and want to stand... DO NOT SIT DOWN! Turn around and tell them they should be ashamed of themselves. Tell them that in Death Valley, LSU fans stand the whole game and if we want to be a "Hostile environment" we need to stand and make noise! ! !

Yeah.... i guess our Defense does need to step up. But seriously, it's all a game by game basis. We can afford a crappy defensive outing against ISU or CU but we can't against OU or UT. I know our D is going to step up and perform when they have to. Just as they stepped up against Southern Miss.

Our offense is AWESOME! I don't care how bad the opponents defense is... Todd and the boys are going to put up big numbers. I understand constructive criticism BUT COME ON GUYS!!!! I see WAYYYYYYY toooo many posts on here that degrade us. We are JAYHAWK fans and we need to ENCOURAGE our team and our fans! Keep a positive attitude!

Now let's go to the foot of the Flatirons and foucus on going 6-0 ! BEAT CU!

kansas22 9 years, 8 months ago

2 things: 1. KU winning the North looks like a joke right now after watching the worst team in the Big 12 give us everything we could handle. And 2. Our student section is an embarrassment. Step up to the plate students. I hope they didn't show on tv that half of our student section was empty after halftime. And why? We were up by 8 and probably lucky to be up by that. So what it was cold! Isn't that the very definition of a fair-weather fan? Yes, we are the worst undefeated team in the nation. And yes, we have the worst crowd of any top 25 football team in the nation. I think our defense stepping their game up should happen before we worry about the students stepping up their's though.

David Davison 9 years, 8 months ago

The students shouldn't have left, but to just complain about them is really skirting a bigger issue. I was at the Southern Miss game and that little section of students was louder than the entire rest of the stadium.

IBRONNIEB 9 years, 8 months ago

Its amazing to me how our offense so slow and predictable still manages to average 40 pts a game. With 2 of the slowest and most predictable wide outs, who somehow slowly managed to each have over 140 yds receiving and 2 TD's. While only running 5 to 8 different plays.(LOL) God this offense has spoiled people around here. Sure the defense isnt where it needs to be, by a long shot. But I believe its not as bad as it played Sat. Coach will get it straightened out. Yeah we'll probably have some shootouts, yeah they will give up points. But I, for one, will still be right here watching and rooting, for them. The defense is a work in progress. But I still say hang on its gonna be a wild ride, before its all over.

honk_for_hawks 9 years, 8 months ago

i agree. the defense is not nearly as bad as that game showed. part of it was knocking off the rust. a week off is great for helping injuries, but you can't mimic game speed in practice no matter how hard you try. part of it was that arnaud played great. people want to say we sucked and he got lucky or whatever, but the fact is arnaud is good. he isn't as seasoned as some QBs, but he can explode for a great game occasionally. same with robinson. Give them their credit. our defense played like crap. and yes, our 4-2-5 defense was finally exposed, but we will play better against the better teams. they did not come to play. I could tell just by the hits, and the plays they missed, they just weren't all there. They expected a cakewalk and just weren't ready. They will get up for the big games. If mangino doesn't make them, stuckey sure as hell will. I wouldn't want to get hit by him.

brownhawk 9 years, 8 months ago

I think ISU really surprised us with different looks. I don't think our D played horrible, ISU and Arnaud just outperformed them. I do think the 4-2-5 scheme is a bad call and they need to switch back to a 4-3 much like they were when Rivera, Mortensen and Holt were on board. Sure, our linebackers aren't at that level of playing as they were, but the formation just makes so much more sense when you're playing a team that is going to attempt to run the ball because of their inability to get it downfield, such as ISU. I'm sure Mangino is well aware of this and will take the measures he seems fit to prepare the defense for Colorado. I would like to see our secondary step it up too. Stuckey doesn't seem to be 100% this year, or is it just me? As for the student section goes, I've been to every game except this one because I was sick so I watched it from home. But the student section is so much louder than any other part of the stadium that I've watched the game from. Sure, they only bring their game faces during the first half (except against Southern Miss where they actually stayed for the entire game) but I think it would help if the rest of the crowd would get into the game too. I never see anyone standing past the 35-yard line on the east side of the stadium. I never see anyone sitting in the student section unless it's in between quarters or during time outs. phi4life940 said we need to stand and make noise, and that goes for everyone in the stadium...not just the student section.

Anyways, all in all, our D needs to step it up and so do we. Come on everyone! Let's get ready for CU and forget about this horrible performance by the defense.

KUbsee69 9 years, 8 months ago

OMG ... what if KU only wins every game by a TD? What a disaster! How shocking!

In MM we trust.

Philip Bowman 9 years, 8 months ago

Hey, phi4life940. Why do you think the stadium has benches in the stands? It is for sitting. Standing up so people behind you can't see doesn't help the team. Noise is something the team can hear, but "grandstanding" is just that, showing off. If you want to act like that go to KState where the yo-yos stand up on every play. It isn't necessary to do that. If you would simply watch the game instead of trying to act like you are part of it eveyone could see the plays, not just selfish showoffs like you.

David Leathers 9 years, 8 months ago

I went to the Insight Bowl last year when we spanked the heck out of Minnesota in Phoenix and I can remember having the best time of my life because of the fans that showed up! ALL THE WAY FROM KANSAS!! I even ran into like 5 of my friends from High School that I haven't seen in a while.

Now let me get this straight, you a**holes have the opportunity to see the Jayhawks almost week in and week out and root for the team that we all love and I have to sit here and write comments on the board about how disgraceful you all are. I promise I was sitting on my couch cheering louder and surely longer than 75% of the students!

All I gotta say is this is Reesing, Meier, and Sharp's last season, why can't we send them out with a way to remember the fans?!

David Leathers 9 years, 8 months ago

Salthawk54, Shut up already... If you were any type of fan you would understand that the fans who are actually at the game ARE part of the game!!! How stupid do you have to be? Seriously.

Kansas Football will never be a championship contender if all the fans have a mindset like you! Look at all the top football schools and the hardest places to play, Do you see the fans sitting down respectfully for the people behind them? NO! Do you see anyone seated during 3rd or 4th downs? HELL NO! Do you see the defensive players on those teams raising their hands for MORE noise and rowdiness on those critical 3rd and 4th down plays? YES!! THE FANS ARE PART OF THE GAME!!! If you just want to sit down to watch the game in peace next time, stay home!... have your poodle cuddle up next to you! Now that should be comfortable and peaceful enough for you, right?

CrimsonPhoenix 9 years, 8 months ago

To be fair, the student section in Death Valley at LSU was half empty at halftime in their embarrassment against Troy last year. Similar situation, LSU came back to win it, but to say that their fans are 20x better than ours is a joke. The ones that leave typically don't provide that much noise anyway, they're just waiting around until basketball season starts. It's obvious that KU isn't a football school yet, but seriously, students will be students. I'm sick of reading all the comments on here complaining about it. Cry moar

brownhawk 9 years, 8 months ago

CrimsonPhoenix, did you mean that the fans that leave at halftime during KU games are the ones that only waiting for basketball season to come around? If so, then you are absolutely right. ON THE POSITIVE SIDE: I found this video on youtube, courtesy of LJWorld, of coach Mark Mangino being introduced as the new head coach. At the beginning you'll notice the attendance for the final game of the 2001 season against Wyoming before Mangino took over as head coach.

href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=... Jayhawk Flashback: Mark Mangino introduced as new KU football coach by The Lawrence Journal-World

It's depressing...but we've come a long ways. Now let's turn those frowns upside down and focus on our upcoming game against CU!

Jeff Johnson 9 years, 8 months ago

"Iowa State's defense is no worse than K-State's" -hawk7782

Really? Stats through half the season prove otherwise. Total Defense rankings in conference as of Oct. 14:

KSU....5th ISU....DEAD LAST

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