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Sunday, September 27, 2009

USM’s Davis: Setback ‘kills me’

Kansas running back Toben Opurum (35) clears the way for a touchdown by receiver Dezmon Briscoe during the first quarter, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009 at Kivisto Field.

Kansas running back Toben Opurum (35) clears the way for a touchdown by receiver Dezmon Briscoe during the first quarter, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009 at Kivisto Field.

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Reader poll

Who was KU's MVP against Southern Miss?

  • Todd Reesing (331 yards, 3 TDs) 14% 153 votes
  • Toben Opurum (109 rushing yards, two total TDs) 21% 226 votes
  • Kerry Meier (10 catches, 141 yards, 2 TDs) 42% 437 votes
  • Chris Harris (15 tackles, two tackles-for-loss) 8% 92 votes
  • Jake Laptad (sack at end of game) 5% 62 votes
  • Ryan Murphy (interception) 5% 53 votes
  • Other 1% 13 votes

1036 total votes.

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Kansas 35, Southern Miss 28

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Kansas football used some strong defense late and high-powered offense throughout to top Southern Mississippi and finish its non-conference slate undefeated.

Unheralded Southern Miss. sophomore quarterback Austin Davis matched All-America candidate Todd Reesing yard for yard — and touchdown for touchdown — on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

“Todd Reesing outplayed me because they won the game. That’s the way I look at it,” Davis said after the Golden Eagles’ 35-28 loss to Kansas University.

“Kansas outplayed Southern Miss. At the end of the day, that’s what matters.”

Still, Davis, a 6-foot-2, 208-pounder from Meridian, Miss., gained some admirers Saturday.

He completed 28 of 42 passes for 331 yards, with three touchdowns and one interception and one lost fumble. He also was sacked once while gaining 26 net yards rushing. Reesing hit 30 of 41 passes, also for 331 yards, three TDs and one pick. Reesing, who was sacked five times, had minus-26 net rushing yards.

“I missed a few reads late. It kills me, to be honest with you,” Davis said. “I don’t care who we play. I don’t like to lose.”

The Golden Eagles of Conference USA don’t lose often. They took an eight-game win streak into the game at No. 20-ranked KU.

“We knew it’d be a four-quarter game. We knew there’d be adversity in the game,” Golden Eagles coach Larry Fedora said, referring to injuries to receiver DeAndre Brown and running backs Tory Harrison and Damion Fletcher. “I don’t think our guys ever flinched. They kept playing and playing.

“I thought when the defense got the ball back for us with two minutes left and no timeouts ... I thought we’d march right down the field. I felt confident that way.”

The Eagles fielded a punt and took over at their own 33 with 1:53 left. Davis was sacked once and fired three incompletions as KU took possession and ran out the clock.

Southern Miss. squandered a pair of scoring opportunities late in the first half with the score tied at 14. Davis fumbled it away at the KU 21 with eight minutes left. Davis was stopped for no gain on a fourth-and-one call from the KU 16 with just :14 left. Fedora thought the team had time to score a TD with one timeout left, deciding against the field-goal try.

“It’s disappointing we didn’t convert both times,” Fedora said, noting the biggest key in the game was Southern Miss. not being able to establish a running game (64 yards off 26 carries). “You get in a game like that, you can’t waste those kind of opportunities.”

Bumps, bruises: Brown, who is considered one of the best young receivers in the country, hurt his shoulder on a 49-yard catch with 71⁄2 minutes left in the third quarter. He didn’t play the final two series. ... Harrison suffered his undisclosed injury on the opening kickoff. He carried once for three yards. ... Fletcher (27 yards, 10 carries) did not play the final two series because of his undisclosed injury.

Comments

JayViking 10 years, 6 months ago

Our pass defense looks bad right now, but I was impressed by their QB.

DSommersby 10 years, 6 months ago

KU definitely has some areas to improve and things to tighten up, but Southern Miss was a solid squad. They could knock off a lot of Big 12 teams on the right week.

The Defense stood up in the fourth quarter when the game was on the line and survived some gut checks.

kcoffey11 10 years, 6 months ago

Our secondary wasn't that horrible. Southern Miss ran more rub routes than any team I have ever seen. They did a good job of making our defenders fall behind. And almost half of their yards on passing plays were little screens and dump offs. It wasn't like they went deep all the time and burned every defender.

Southern Miss was a really really good team. They had big WR's, big Oline and were a very disciplined team as far as scheme wise.

David Leathers 10 years, 6 months ago

Yesterday on the live post that KUSports does every week, I saw so many negative comments. I don't know if all of those comments were coming from people who had no football IQ or people who love to bag on their own team. It makes no sense to me. KU was picked to lose this game by a lot of people. Stop complaining, a Win is a Win!

I'm sure HCMM will continue to tune up the offensive and defensive sides of the ball and get them ready for ISU... Great Game Hawks! Go get those Cyclones in two weeks! RCJHGKU

David Leathers 10 years, 6 months ago

Prediction: USM will finish the regular season 10-2..

100 10 years, 6 months ago

kcoffey11,

You're exactly right about the rub routes -- very smart coaching especially since their offensive coach knew our big focus would be shutting down their run attack.

To that end, they knew there would be a lot of one on one routes so why not rub our defensive backs off on another player -- to me it's a brilliant strategy & the multiple rub routes are something Mangino might even put into his playbook and not use them until we play the bigger teams. Often he'll use one -- but three at a time is something new to me & I think it could frustrate somebody like an OU in Lawrence.

As far as I'm concerned, this was a very good humbling for our secondary & best yet, a very coachable, correctable moment for the most important part of the team when we do go against the bigger boys.

For now, let's just get ready for Iowa State.

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