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Monday, October 19, 2009

Keegan

Kansas will beat Sooners

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Members of the local Pessimist Breakfast Club — they know who they are — between complaints about the texture of the eggs and the weakness of the coffee undoubtedly are grousing about how, if the Kansas University football team can’t defeat reeling Colorado, then it’s curtains for KU on Saturday against Oklahoma.

Here’s what the eternal pessimists are missing: This Kansas offense more closely resembles a typical Sooners offense than this year’s injury-torn Oklahoma unit does.

The Sooners don’t have their usual platoon of healthy, long, fast wideouts burning down the field. Kansas has the NCAA leader in receiving yards (Dezmon Briscoe, 134.2 per game) and the nation’s No. 2 receiver in terms of catches per game (Kerry Meier, nine).

Kansas doesn’t have the huge, dominant offensive line to match that of Oklahoma’s from a year ago, but again, the Sooners don’t have that sort of O-Line either.

Two of the past six Heisman Trophy winners — Sam Bradford (2008) and Jason White (2003) — played quarterback for OU, but if a 2009 Heisman Trophy candidate plays Saturday in Memorial Stadium his name will be Todd Reesing.

Again, if Briscoe had come down with what would have been a spectacular catch on the final play of the game in Boulder, then Reesing has his Heisman moment, which would have been the capper on a 59-second, 75-yard drive, and he vaults to the front of the Heisman pack. Instead Briscoe couldn’t hang onto it and Reesing fades to long-shot status. Fair or not, one play can make that much difference.

Reesing, who tore off his redshirt at halftime of the Colorado game as a freshman, finished his career 3-1 against the Buffaloes. This night belonged to Tyler Hansen, who fired up the Folsom Field crowd with relentless energy KU’s fans need to bring Saturday.

“The quarterback for Colorado was the difference-maker today,” KU coach Mark Mangino said after the game. “It’s unfortunate they picked this week to take his redshirt off, but I think they found their quarterback, that’s for sure.”

Consider it payback for Mangino taking Reesing’s redshirt off against CU. Why, when Hansen clearly is a superior quarterback to Cody Hawkins, did Colorado coach Dan Hawkins not have Hansen, a sophomore, as his starter the moment he stepped on campus? Simple answer: Hansen’s not related to the coach.

Oklahoma’s quarterback change hasn’t been as fruitful. After Bradford re-injured his shoulder, red-shirt freshman Landry Jones struggled to get anything going against the Texas defense Saturday. Barring a shocking recovery by Bradford in time to play Saturday, Kansas will face Jones. The difference between Bradford and Jones is as substantial as the gap between Hawkins and Hansen.

OU certainly has some advantageous matchups — its running backs are far quicker than KU’s linebackers, its defensive linemen much quicker than the Kansas blockers — but the hunch here is the team with the better quarterback wills its way to a victory Saturday. Kansas 28, Oklahoma 24.

Comments

whitechocolate 10 years, 3 months ago

Shhh....Tom, you're not being subtle.

I have as much hope for our team as ever, even after watching the egg we laid at Folsom in the first half.

But let's not jump the gun here. Brokelahoma is not exactly a terrible team and KU is inconsistent at best. It really hurts when your top player is almost solely responsible for a road loss against a 1-4 team.

Let's keep the weekend picks modest for the time being and not put them in entire columns. We play better as an underdog, especially considering we have not beat our upcoming opponent in twelve years.

Firebirdguy31 10 years, 3 months ago

No kidding, I mean, we only lost to the best defense in the Big XII. With our high octane Offense that can slice through anybody, except for the Colorado defense, which is the best in the Big XII. There is no way that an Oklahoma defense could possibly be half as good as Colorado... and with Oklahoma losing their cross-eyed quarterback, we'll win for sure!

Robert Brock 10 years, 3 months ago

One element that OU has that KU lacks is plain old TEAM SPEED. Unless the Hawks have a great game plan on D this could look ugly for KU.

FlaHawk 10 years, 3 months ago

The OU game will dictate where KU goes the rest of the year. KU need a total team improvement for the whole game to beat OU. W/o Bradford they are a toothless on offense, but they still a much better defense that KU (any day or any year).. Let's hope that KU plays their best game of the year on both sides of the ball. Then we can tout Reesing for Big XII play ero the year. FOrget the Heisman as KU has no chance of ever earning this without an undefeated weason! KU is small peanuts in the PR department in FB!

dirtybirdman 10 years, 3 months ago

I agree with FlaHawk. Lets forget the Heisman talk and worry about the season. Reesing was a long shot to win even if they had won. Having just started the meat of our schedule, the numbers were a bit inflated and until we played some Top 25 teams, a Long Shot is about as close as Reesing would of got to the Heisman talk except around Lawrence and Kansas City. Lets worry about just winning games.

rockchalk_dpu 10 years, 3 months ago

Maxhawk, I don't know if you were watching the same game as I was last year in Norman, but our 'Hawks went down there with an inexperienced O-line in a game no one gave them credit for even being in and managed to keep it close for most of the game before losing 31-45. While I realize a 14 point loss on the road isn't much to brag about, I remember watching the game and thinking that the only reason we couldn't manage to keep pace was that Oklahoma ran a million plays on offense (obvious exaggeration) and our D just got tired at the end of the game. Oh and it didn't hurt their cause to have a solid O-line, the eventual Heisman winner, and Gresham to compliment a solid receiving corps. Just my thoughts on the game last year in an attempt to prove that this game is more winnable than people think, though I'm not marching around Lawrence screaming it quite yet.

RCJ

Topcitykid10 10 years, 3 months ago

Maxhawk KU gave OU their best game at home last year, watch the tape again.

KANSTUCKY 10 years, 3 months ago

I think our kicker is our best tackler. Nice shot Jake.

Phoggin_Loud 10 years, 3 months ago

Tell the students to bring their jackets.. And bring the noise!!!

Nick Cole 10 years, 3 months ago

Scenario: A top 25 team who is 5-1 playing at home against an unranked opponent with a record of 3-3 and said top 25 team is the underdog.

If this were to ever happen, it will happen this weekend. It is sorta funny when you look at it. Oh well, KU deserves to be the underdog until it probes itself (which it has yet to do). No better time than the present.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk, Beat OU!

Nick Cole 10 years, 3 months ago

P.S. Maybe if we bring the Warhawk back to KU our players will be meaner and more angry on the field. Crack some skulls!!!

Otownhawker 10 years, 3 months ago

I hope we beat OU. But it's not going to happen.

Jonathan Allison 10 years, 3 months ago

Bleed,

I don't want to know about the KU players probing themselves.

FriscoKU 10 years, 3 months ago

The offense has been great this year, but KU has not faced a tough defense. OU could easily be 6-0. They have lost very close games to great teams. My prediction is that Landry Jones will throw for 300 yards, and Reesing will be sacked at least five times. The KU rushing attack will be a non factor again this weekend, and the KU offensive line will be exposed. Prediction: OU 31 KU 17

justanotherfan 10 years, 3 months ago

I think KU may be in some trouble on Saturday. At one point during the CU game, our offensive game plan basically devolved into Reesing throwing jump balls for Briscoe and Meier. That's not really that good of an idea since OU can match the athletes we have on offense. And the fact that CU's ground game shredded us isn't a good omen for us against OU's rushing attack.

I hate to say it, but unless you have really been sipping the koolaid, it doesn't look good here.

eastcoasthawk 10 years, 3 months ago

Much like CU had us marked on their calendar, I am sure we have OU on ours. I have witnessed a KU team at home against a ranked OU squad win the game. A couple of turnovers can make all the difference and we were reminded of that this past weekend. I hope our guys see targets on the OU jerseys this Saturday.

Phoggin_Loud 10 years, 3 months ago

justanotherfan, Unfortunately, I agree. The schedule gets extremely difficult from here on out. This loss really hurt. The lone "gimme" win just got more difficult when KSU broke 60 on A&M. That game is in Manhattan and this team still struggles on the road. Realistically, I can see a 3-5 Big XII record which would make KU 7-5 again this year...OUCH! Unless these guys can steal some wins, so long, Big XII North title.

troutsee 10 years, 3 months ago

Maxhawk, what in the heck are you talking about. I was at the OU game last year. We went up and down the field against them. I agree with Keegan. We will win this game. We must win and we will.

Kyle Crenshaw 10 years, 3 months ago

we really need the students to stay for the entire game and not wuss out because of the cold and leave at halftime

KU 10 years, 3 months ago

If Reesing had completed the pass to Briscoe, it would have only been a wash with the two turnovers he had in the first half--not a Heisman performance. Even CU can score touchdowns when you give them the ball inside the 5 yard line.

If Reesing holds onto the ball as long as he typically does, he will get sacked about 8 times against OU and may not survive the game physically. At least 2 or 3 of the sacks against CU were the result of him holding the ball instead of trying to get rid of it.

On another subject: that offensive pass interference call that negated a TD should have been a no-call.

And finally: the clock operator really hosed us at the end of the game. We could have gotten off another play or 2 if he hadn't started the clock so quickly after we converted first downs.

Gordy Hoffman 10 years, 3 months ago

Losing to CU gives us our best chance to beat OU. The offense and Todd needed to taste a little humble pie, and having witnessed both games from incredible vantage points (was sitting on the rail in the end zone in Boulder) I can tell you we have a different Defense that is going to improve all year. Both CU and ISU are going to beat people. Nebraska better look out this weekend.

KUFan90 10 years, 3 months ago

If Mangino again refuses to attempt to establish a running game by ignoring Opurum, it could get ugly quick.

Eliott Reeder 10 years, 3 months ago

Keegan picking KU does not make us any less the underdog to Oklahoma. Do you think ANYBODY other than diehard Kansas fans read Keegan? Not likely.

Phoggin_Loud 10 years, 3 months ago

More North dilemma's:

NU is considering a QB change, which is never good.

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=4575530

MU plays Texas this week to drop to 0-3 in Big XII play.

KU still gets to face each of them head-to-head. The crazy thing is that Colorado is in the driver's seat with NU and MU at home. Their 2 lone South games remaining are A&M and at Ok. State...and they now hold the tie-breaker with KU.

OkieWXman 10 years, 3 months ago

Ummm, right...

Well, all I know is defense wins championships. Look what OU's D was able to do against the #1 scoring offense in the country.

Oh, and who has KU played this year?

Also, comparing Landry Jones to Cody Hawkins? Do you even DO any research before writing your articles? Obviously not.

100 10 years, 3 months ago

Tom,

Are we really trying to give OU billboard material?

Take a look at your title.

Thanks, The Jayhawk Nation

Michael Leiker 10 years, 3 months ago

100 - Exactly...what the hell is this? A more subtle title would be appreciated.

kc_wildfire 10 years, 3 months ago

If you guys think OU needs a local beat reporter to get them hyped for a game you are sadly mistaken. Now if there had actually been a quote from a KU player or coach in the article that would be different.

patrick_raftery 10 years, 3 months ago

KU can beat OU – especially now that Bradford is out (hopefully – no disrespect). The past 6, 8, 10, 12, 100 years do not matter – just ask any Cub Fan. This year’s team is NOT last year’s team … this year’s team lost to CU because of foul play in the first half and 14 points off turnovers - period. If not for that, it would have been KU by 14. If they do that against OU, yes, expect a monumental blowout. If they keep it together and play good solid football – KU wins.

HCMM needs to run the big fella up the gut about 50 times. Jake Sharp (gotta love him) but he is now a “change of pace” back who should be run on the outside only. KU v OU requires Opurum as the featured back - plain and simple.

Oh ... and OU does NOT read "KUSports.com" looking for bulletin board material. Sorry, but that is just foolishness to think they do (can they even spell “kusports.com” in Norman?)

And lastly, to the dude cryin' about the scoreboard clock - come on! The official time is kept on the field - by the OFFICIALS - NOT by the Scoreboard Operator. The Scoreboard Operator starts the clock when the Official "Winds the Clock" (hence the big swinging arm motion along with the whistle). Stop belly-achin about nonsense like that - you make us all look like morons. Play the game right and nothing else matters (Mandatory Metallica quote)

NebraskaJayhawk 10 years, 3 months ago

A lot of good stuff Keegs, but I tend to agree with the comments about team speed...Of which we do not have on defense. OU will run the ball on us, and run it a lot. I really hope we move an extra guy up (Stuckey), and just let them try to make big plays on us.

I like your comments about our run game, patrick_raftery. Though I would like to see us in a two back set like we were in 2007 often. Part of the reason we don't have a rushing attack is because both of our backs are pretty much one dimensional. But that's not a bad thing either. Put them in the backfield together and keep the defense guessing.

tdub 10 years, 3 months ago

maxhawk, I'm going to join in on the ribbing. Last year KU dropped 17 in the first half and 31 overall. Once again, it was the D that couldn't hold for us. I remember thinking at halftime, when it was 24-17, that we actually looked like we belonged on the field with these guys. Our defense might still be down, but their offense is certainly less potent. With the hoopla about Bradford, what is overlooked is the loss of Gresham. That guy was a freak. Advantage Hawks!

Bob Zielinski 10 years, 3 months ago

KU has a great chance to beat OU this Saturday. Can KU win a shoot out? Yes. Does OU have the QB and receivers to score a ton of points? Not really. OU will have to get their run game going and hope their receivers perform better than they have all season against real opponents. There is too much gloom and doom on this page today. KU has a great shot at winning with the offense we bring and if Opurum and Sharp can get into a nice flow we can put up 31 points.

OU's offense is much weaker this year and our defense is weak but improving. Our offense will be much more potent than their offense although we will be going against the best defense we will have seen up to this point in the season. There is no reason KU can't be close enough in the end to pull out a win or hang onto a 3 or 7 point lead and win it.

We have the offensive players and the coaches to scheme our way to 31 points. No coaching staff is better at making adjustments either. I would like to see us sprinkle in more plays as Colorado seemed to be very aware of the plays we ran out of various formations during the first half and at points during the second half.

KU 31 OU 30

Rick Arnoldy 10 years, 3 months ago

I was at that game, Maxhawk. While our defense couldn't stop OU, our offense was pretty darn effective. The outcome could have been different if we hadn't abandoned the running game after two very good drives to start the second half.

Joe Baker 10 years, 3 months ago

We played ou well last year in norman! in norman! in norman!

I think we have a great advantage with homfield and one of the best QBs in the nation.

We have some cleaning up to do this weekend. We are just as edgy as ou. We lost a game we should've won!! I think the guys know this and will be much more motivated after that horrible CU loss.

I think ou is struggling too much and will have a hard time adjusting to the ut loss. This is not their year. KU needs to rush Landry each chance they get and the secondary needs to study his pass patterns and receiver choices. We can win this game!! The better QB does tend to win.

dirtybirdman 10 years, 3 months ago

Ok...We can analyze last years game to death, but the fact remains it's different personnel for each team. yes, some of the same players, but lots of different ones, and there's 22 men on the field for each snap.

Also, until KU student's decide to stay for a whole game and not wuss out at halftime b/c of the cold, or tight game, home field doesn't matter in Lawerence against an opponent like OU! Yes, I'm throughing down the gauntlet, b/c we have all seen the halftime exodus of so called KU fans. Stay the GAME!

As far as the game, it's going to be a matter of game plans and executions. With a turnover advantage, and a offensive game plan similar to the CU second half, KU can compete to win. However, if the offense struggles in the first half like the last couple of games and turns the ball over twice, the game is over. Sooners roll.

OU's losses have been closed and they have been playing with several key starters gone. Landy Jones is going to have another whole week practicing with the 1st team and Bobby Stoops is a great coach that will have a managable playbook for him. Lets hope the KU staff is just as prepared.

Oh, and the gentleman posting as KU, get over the Game Clock Operator and Officials already. It happens in every game, every Saturday across the country. Someone doesn't like the way the game was managed. Grow up and move on. We should never of been in a situation like that to have to worry about those things!

justanotherfan 10 years, 3 months ago

dirtybirdman,

Our second half gameplan offensively was a bunch of jumpballs for Briscoe and Meier. To their credit, Briscoe and Meier came down with more than their share of those balls, owing to their future NFL careers. But that is NOT how we will beat OU because expecting Briscoe and Meier to get the lion's share of jumpballs against OU is foolish.

Our gameplan had better include protecting Reesing (and have him getting rid of the ball quickly) and establishing a power running game (Opurum, Sharp, I don't care, just somebody that can get us 4 yards a carry).

And defensively, we had better stop the run and make Landry Jones beat us.

Phoggin_Loud 10 years, 3 months ago

Get a lead and run the ball. The reason KU didn't run against Colorado is because they were behind all game. They had to throw, which leads to sacks and INT's.

Steve Brown 10 years, 3 months ago

Two back set.. the old single T formation...put best players on the field and mix it up with unexpected plays..once in while..

with crucial 3-4 yards on 3rd down: Load Briscoe and Meier on far right... put Sharpe as right half and Opurum as left halfback to block .. pitch to sharpe to follow Opurum over left end....if they stack the left side then FAKE to the halfbacks & launch a quick flat pass to SM or DBriscoe streaking down the field.. for TD.. take what the defense gives us...

with 2-3 yards on 3rd down: line up same way...pitch to Opurum on halfback criss cross X pattern with Todd doing a 360 turn around in place faking to Sharpe and sticking in gut of Opurum...this play worked 50 yrs. ago and with our backs will work again..someone get Coach Fam on play calling....

Bee Bee 10 years, 3 months ago

We need 60 points to win Sat. Ugh....

troutsee 10 years, 3 months ago

just another--I did not see us throwing jump balls until the last drive. When you are down by 4 and have 75 yards to traverse and no time outs, you throw jump balls. When you are 17 points down midway through the 3rd quarter and your running game has been horrible to that point, you start throwing and throwing a lot, especially with guys like Reesing, Meier, Briscoe, and Wilson. Our D is coming. I think we'll beat OU unlesssssssss.....we turn the ball over.

DoubleDD 10 years, 3 months ago

Sorry I'm not buying it. KU loses this game as they always do. OU always wins this game and KU hasn't shown me anything that things will be different this time around. For crying out loud we lost to CU. No there is no North title in the future for this team. I know I'm sounding like a KU hater, but I love KU. I'm just not going to get my hopes for something that has no concrete evidence. KU has shown nothing this year that demands respect as a top tier team. We got lucky vs Iowa St. If that ball is thrown just a bit shorter KU is O and 2 in the Big 12. Yea we have an offense that can put some points on the board, but our high octane offense cost us the game in CU if you ask me. Don't get me wrong I'll be cheering, hoping, and praying for them for the rest of season, its just that at some point you have to realize that your team isn't that good.

Annette Lee 10 years, 3 months ago

I watched the red river game and thought KU can play with these guys, then Reesing was off in the first half and I wished HCMM had not talked about the Heisman. Now I,m remembering the Orange bowl and how VT had 10 players drafted into the NFL but that team just found a way on defense. and special teams... This team does have to play its A game and they did in the second half, well the offense anyway and get a couple of pi...calls...

NebraskaJayhawk 10 years, 3 months ago

Wow, DoubleDD...The north is totally wide open and we are right in the mix of things. Yes, we have a very tough schedule remaining, but I don't think you realize how fierce of a competitor we have at almost all of our offensive skill positions, especially the guy behind center. We do, in fact, have a shot at taking the north despite a hurtful loss to CU. OU is beatable and most people were writing this game off as a loss at the beginning of the season. I do think we need this win against OU, and I also believe if our defense doesn't pick it up that you will probably be right in your prediction. Our entire defense looks like they're in slow-mo.

Phoggin, good gameplan, but we didn't run the ball because we couldn't. Plain and simple. HCMM loves to run the ball. But we aren't physical up front when it comes to run blocking, and that is why we need Opurum up the gut and Sharp taking it outside. I hate to keep hounding it, but Wariner really needs to look at some 2007 game film with BMAC & Sharp in the backfield together. And by the way, Sharp didn't have a bad game, our offensive line did. You can't expect an undersized back to run it through the middle with zero openings even with a heart as big as Sharp's.

Lighthawk, good post. Kind of mirrors what I posted earlier today.

rastameta 10 years, 3 months ago

Our defense has a way of making average QB's and RB's look like All-Americans. I would not count out OU's offense against us. I wouldn't be surprised if Landry Jones ends up with a career game against our predictable defense.

beebe1b 10 years, 3 months ago

rastameta glad you're here.

We have the same old problem:wrong scheme, out of position; not covering receivers. And the special teams aren't much to brag about either -- when the kicker makes 2 saving tackles, you are in deep trouble! Wrong scheme; out of position; not covering the guy who received.

TexasJayhawk78 10 years, 3 months ago

Wait a minute... Didn't Keegan vote OU 21 in the top 25 and drop KU out of the rankings? Which side of his face are we suppose to listen?

OUfaninKUterritory 10 years, 3 months ago

Tom, I think you make some great points about the QB situation on both teams. Reesing has definitely been Heisman material this year and Briscoe, Meier and Sharp have been on target as well. But I wouldn't count OU out just because of Bradford's injury. Jones has proven himself to be a great asset to OU this year and none of the three losses this season were by more than 3 points (just 1 point in 2 of the 3 losses).

I think that this game will turn into a battle of the D rather than the quarterbacks. KU has shown this year that their defense is not what it should be if they want to contend with the big guns like Texas. What should have been "easy wins" with big spreads didn't turn out that way because the defense couldn't hold the other team (I'm thinking Duke and Iowa State, specifically). OU, on the other hand, was lacking Bradford and still held McCoy and the Longhorns to a three point spread in what I thought was an unusually low scoring game. OU showed that even though their offense may not be what it was last year or the year before, the defense is certainly high caliber and can hold some of the best offensive lines in the NCAA.

This will be one of the best games in the Big XII in 2009, but I think that D will be the deciding factor and that being the case, OU will win, but it will be a close one.

JBurtin 10 years, 3 months ago

KU got exactly what they needed to play the rest of the season at the level that we were expecting before the seaon.

A wake up call.

We simply have not yet seen what KU is capable of this year and if we had won a close battle against Colorado, then we would have come out as flat as ever against OU.

With the embarrassing loss, our guys are finally going to be hungry.

OU is still a good team, but I think KU has finally come to life. I predict that OU will be playing from behind against an incredibly motivated KU team next weekend.

BigD 10 years, 3 months ago

Who says OU won't be motivated? The pride in their program is well beyond ours historically and this is there chance to mow over a slightly higher ranked opponent. Losing to us would cause earthquakes in OK among the alumni and they still have to face some south teams. They still have more horses than we do. KU would have to play better than they've played all season to win or OU doesn't show up. Somehow I don't see the latter option happening.

gardenjay 10 years, 3 months ago

It's nice to see a lot of interest in the football team. Hope it translates into student fans this Saturday. I think a good turnout will be rewarded by our stout KU players, who in my humble opinion can take on OU.

Benjamin Piehler 10 years, 3 months ago

i dont think so unfortunately... ON TO BBALL!

hdhntr 10 years, 3 months ago

since the students leave at halftime really little homefield advantage and it actually affects the home team negatively. as for the comment about CU's D? Huh? Col Stat and toledo sure didnt' have any trouble shredding CU and as for not being able to contain the almost nonexistant CU O? And people think they won't be run over by the OU backs? OK, good luck with that.

No, KU had to have it's last easy win against a bad CU team. Reesing will be lucky to survive an outstanding OU D who beat up a better Tx O and Mccoy and shut down an outstanding Shipley. It will be the first of several beatdowns by south teams and nu coming to town with it's very good dline? Best bet is the over/under on when reesing will be knocked out of a game. He is terrific and to be admired but his pourous oline is going to cost him sooner or later.

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