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Monday, September 21, 2009

Jayhawks slow to start

Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing (5) unloads as offensive lineman Sal Capra fends off Duke defensive end Patrick Egboh. Reesing threw for 338 yards against the Blue Devils and was sacked just once in the Jayhawks’ 44-16 victory on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing (5) unloads as offensive lineman Sal Capra fends off Duke defensive end Patrick Egboh. Reesing threw for 338 yards against the Blue Devils and was sacked just once in the Jayhawks’ 44-16 victory on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

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KU routs Duke, improves national ranking

Looking to move higher in the Top 25 rankings, KU football delivered a sound performance Saturday against Duke.

For those members of the Kansas University football faithful who struggle with the early 11 a.m. kickoffs — and there seem to be plenty who do — the team inadvertently might have provided a slight reprieve: Based on the happenings of the season’s first three games, fans can feel free to sleep through the first 30 minutes without missing too much.

While the Jayhawks have outscored opponents by a lopsided total of 127-26 this season, they hold a much less daunting 17-7 first-quarter advantage, as the team’s offense has typically taken some time to get comfortable.

“There’s just something about coming out and getting going,” KU senior receiver Kerry Meier said following the Jayhawks’ 44-16 victory over Duke on Saturday. “We’ve been sputtering a little bit.”

Against UTEP two weeks ago, for instance, Kansas managed just a field goal in the first quarter of what would turn into a 34-7 rout. And after quarterback Todd Reesing found receiver Dezmon Briscoe for a 14-yard touchdown pass with 7:10 remaining in the first quarter against Duke, the Jayhawks went scoreless on their next four possessions, punting three times and once failing to convert a fourth-down attempt deep inside Duke territory.

On Sunday, Kansas coach Mark Mangino blamed the slow starts on the various maneuverings of opposing defenses, which he says have gone out of their way to try to confuse Kansas’ potent offense.

By way of disguised coverages and the introduction of new defensive elements, he said, the team’s early-season opponents have sought to keep Reesing, who’s averaging 268.7 passing yards per game this year, off balance in any way possible.

“Any time — in any sport — that you show up to play an opponent and they give you some different looks that maybe you hadn’t been able to see in the past, of course you’ve got to take time to get a grasp on what they’re doing,” he said.

At the same time, Mangino insisted he didn’t view the slow starts as a problem, citing a handful of situations in which an untimely penalty or dropped pass has stymied an otherwise successful drive.

And, as he pointed out Saturday, such strategies usually prove to be a temporary solution.

“People respect Todd Reesing,” Mangino said. “Our opponents respect him. They’re doing everything they can to try to distract him, try to give him different looks, try to bait him into disguises and change the coverage up.

“You can fool him for a while,” the coach added, “but you won’t fool him all day.”

The good news for the Jayhawks is that, in each game so far this season, they’ve eventually settled into an offensive rhythm.

Against the Blue Devils, they scored on five of their final six possessions, while following up a seven-point first quarter against lowly Northern Colorado in the season opener with a 21-point outburst over the next 15 minutes.

For now, coaches and players don’t seem to be putting too much weight into the unfavorable trend, though that might change as the level of competition gradually increases over the next few weeks — beginning with Saturday’s 11 a.m. game against visiting Southern Mississippi.

At the very least, Meier allowed, it’s an issue that, if cleared up, can only stand to help a team battling for its first outright Big 12 North championship in school history.

“Once we get that first drive out of the way, we seem all right,” Meier said. “But if we come out and get things going right off the bat, it’s going to make us that much better.”

Comments

jakejayhawk 5 years ago

Unfortunately, the teams we have played to date don't allow us to begin to understand where this team is on either side of the ball. This isn't the fault of the schedulers. We are improving the teams being scheduled compared to the last few years. I still say the trip to El Paso was something many BCS-league teams wouldn't attempt.

This Saturday should provide a real look at our progress. Southern Mississippi looks like a legit opponent. 4-0 will look a lot sweeter than 3-0 due to the level of competition. This is turning out to be a nice "ramping up" of our competition.

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mojayhawk 5 years ago

Some early season inconsistence, but also we're seeing a lot of new players and new looks. Gotta get the boys seasoned up for the season. Next week, look for less mistakes. It is time to get serious.

Hey, does anyone know how to stop those annoying pop ups from coming up every time you access a new story on this website? (from zedo.com)

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Blake Post 5 years ago

When we have 11:00 games, we don't seem to wake up until noon.

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rawkhawk 5 years ago

despite inconsistent plays, the team both offensively and defensively has been pretty consistent. it will be interesting to see how things play out against bigger competition. it was great to hear Self talking up the football program. rock chalk!

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Joe Baker 5 years ago

jakejayhawk (anonymous) says...

This Saturday should provide a real look at our progress. Southern Mississippi looks like a legit opponent. 4-0 will look a lot sweeter than 3-0 due to the level of competition. This is turning out to be a nice "ramping up" of our competition.

I agree. I live and work in the OKC area and the Sooners are playing down all KU wins to inferior opponents. We need a serious win to bolster our win effect! They are playing us down, but they would never admit any fear with our talent and leadership this year. For example, I'll take Reesing's Sr leadership over Bradford's Soph leadership, w/ Heisman status any day!! We have key players in key roles over OU. The only area they have that matches us this year is Demarco Murray and Opurum is equal to Murray's ability. Our receivers definitely have a great advantage. Our ace is Sharp! We'll see...oh I can't wait to see one game at a time.

RCJHKU

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Joe Baker 5 years ago

Correction: Southern Miss not Miss St!!

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Tony Bandle 5 years ago

As realistic as everyone's hope are for the basketball team to achieve national glory, I fear I may be the old Scrooge, take off my Crimson and Blue hued sunglasses and take a hard look at this football team.

There is no doubt in my mind that, with a bowl victory, this will be a 10 win season. However, I am also convinced we will have the honor of being beaten by Texas twice, with or without Bradford, Oklahoma is still a stronger team, and I will believe it when I see it when we win at TTech.

These factors worry me the most: -Lots of new faces means a higher percentage of miscommunication on the field -Sharp's injury; he's a little guy that takes a "big guy" pounding -A very nasty second half schedule with no relief. I sure wish ISU and Colorado were interspersed better. - KU will sneak up on no one. When you're in the Top Twenty, there's a check mark by your name on everyone's schedule...including the "weak sisters".

Please just consider this a precautionary reality check....it could all work out

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Joel Hood 5 years ago

mojayhawk - do you have your pop-up blocker turned on? (yes, I am master of the obvious)

Our D got caught with their pants down in Duke's opening drive. And it took the Offense a while to figure things out with Sharp on the sidelines. Against lesser competion, we are beating them down and then dominating after they get a little tired. I'm not sure how this will work against B12 teams.

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Dirk Medema 5 years ago

mojayhawk asks ... Hey, does anyone know how to stop those annoying pop ups from coming up every time you access a new story on this website? (from zedo.com)

On Internet Explorer, there is a setting in the "Tools" menu. Not sure about software.

truehawk93 says I'll take Reesing's Sr leadership over Bradford's Soph leadership

Isn't Bradford a junior?

As for the smack in OK, consider yourself lucky that OU at least has a little credibility vs. the ignorance of the tiggers in KC. OU at home this year is the one I'm quietly anticipating. We played them close thru 3 quarters at their place last year. I think our OL & DL depth have improved significantly this year, so the end of the game will be that much more competitive. The return of all our skill players, plus the home field advantage could just be enough to push us over the top. Let them talk for a few more weeks. I'd even pull a "Yes Dear".

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chezlog 5 years ago

Oakville - I agree with your concerns. I'm hoping for the best but after watching the UT vs Tech game I know it's not going to be easy. Before the season I was worrying about the game in Boulder. I guess I bought Dan Hawkins' hype. Now I predict that Hawkins will be fired right after we leave town with the win.

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Dirk Medema 5 years ago

OakvilleJHawk says... There is no doubt in my mind that, with a bowl victory, this will be a 10 win season. However, I am also convinced we will have the honor of being beaten by Texas twice, with or without Bradford, Oklahoma is still a stronger team, and I will believe it when I see it when we win at TTech.

10 wins and losing to the Southern trio means we must win all the others. I would consider this a successful year, but certainly am not ready to assume a W or L. Glad they play them on the field. So is Wazzue, BYU, Houston, ...

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Michael Leiker 5 years ago

Sure will be nice to see how UTEP does against UT this weekend. If they can score a little it will make me feel a lot better.

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Joe Baker 5 years ago

dagger108 (anonymous) says... Isn't Bradford a junior?

14 Bradford, Sam 6-4 223 QB JR Oklahoma City, Okla. (Putnam City North HS)

Yep...I type corrected!- Thanks

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Joe Baker 5 years ago

dagger108 (anonymous) says... Let them talk for a few more weeks. I'd even pull a "Yes Dear".

Exactly my approach!

They won't stand it if we spank them on the gridiron and court!!! LOL

I suspect if we win, it will be really quiet.

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Kyle Cornish 5 years ago

I personally would like to see us play defense first when we win the coin toss. It gives us a chance to get going into the game and then the offense can wake up. Then, with our offense rolling, we can start with the ball in the second half. I never have liked us getting the ball first to start the game.

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BCRavenJHawkfan 5 years ago

Games are 4 quarters, not one. It is after all the score at the end of the game that counts.

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JBurtin 5 years ago

In regards to the Zedo popups.

It's a very common adware program that opens you up to popups. They are not actually coming from the KUsports website. Simply going to the web address is enough to trigger the Adware.

I recommend that you download AdAware from Download.com. It's a free adware and spyware removing program and Download.com is your safest bet for making sure you don't accidentally download another virus.

If AdAware doesn't do the job, download SpyBot (also available on Download.com).

I've used both of these for years and they are a great way to get rid of annoying garbage like Zedo.

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phi4life940 5 years ago

You can win by an inch or mile.......but winning is WINNING!

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