Dugan Arnett’s KU football notebook

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

KU coach Mangino puts CU loss behind

It took Kansas University football coach Mark Mangino all of about 15 hours to get over his team’s upset loss at the hands of Colorado.

Despite the disappointment of falling to an unranked and seemingly spiraling team — Colorado entered the game with a 1-4 record and was playing with a quarterback making his first start of the season — the coach on Tuesday insisted that any frustrations he might have felt following the game had been flushed by Sunday afternoon.

“You can’t change what’s done,” Mangino said. “You lose, you lose. The sun’s going to come up the next day. There’s no sense in crying or pouting about it.”

Still, it’s hard not to consider Saturday’s game a missed opportunity. Instead of sitting alone atop the Big 12 North standings, which a victory over the Buffaloes would have ensured, the Jayhawks are currently locked in a three-way tie for second place — along with Nebraska and Colorado — with their toughest games ahead of them.

In Kansas’ next six games, the team will take on three teams currently ranked — No. 25 Oklahoma, No. 21 Texas Tech and No. 3 Texas — and two others that have been ranked at some point this season.

But facing what likely will be their toughest challenge of the season Saturday, when the Sooners arrive in Lawrence for a 2:30 p.m. matchup, players weren’t dwelling on their recent disappointment.

“Every goal that we set for ourselves in the offseason is still right there, and that’s the good part,” said senior receiver Kerry Meier. “There were a couple of other teams in the Big 12 North that didn’t quite take care of business like we did, which is good for us. That leaves our goal right (there).”

OU’s Jones a capable backup to Bradford

Monday’s announcement that Oklahoma starting quarterback and former Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford would miss Saturday’s game against Kansas due to injury might have come as encouraging news to the Jayhawks fan base, but it has done little to put Kansas’ coaches and players at ease.

“Obviously, I understand (that if) you lose a player the caliber of Sam Bradford, certainly there’s going to be a little bit of a drop down to some degree,” Mangino said. “But it’s not a horrific drop. They’re not falling off a cliff after Sam Bradford.”

Backup Landry Jones, who has appeared in all six of the Sooners’ games this season, is 2-1 as the team’s starter, throwing for 1,111 yards and 11 touchdowns for an Oklahoma team that has lost three games by a combined five points.

“Any quarterback is a threat,” said Kansas safety Lubbock Smith, who finished with eight tackles in his first career start against Colorado. “I don’t (overlook) anyone ... especially from OU.”

Tickets still available for KU-Oklahoma

Due to returns from the visiting team’s allotment of tickets, a limited number of tickets remains available for Saturday’s game against Oklahoma.

To purchase tickets, visit kuathletics.com or call 1-800-34-HAWKS.