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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Keegan

You did stay until end, right?

The Jayhawks race onto the field following their 52-45 comeback victory over Colorado, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010 at Kivisto Field.

The Jayhawks race onto the field following their 52-45 comeback victory over Colorado, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010 at Kivisto Field.

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KU-CU video clips

Video clips from the Jayhawks' 52-45 win over Colorado.

Purchasers of a ticket to watch Kansas University battle Colorado on a sunny Saturday afternoon for the right to avoid last place in the Big 12 North could be grouped into three categories:

  1. Those who had seen enough of this team and ate their tickets because they couldn’t give them away;
  2. Those who took the trouble to go to the game, but left at halftime;
  3. Those who didn’t quit on their team, stayed until the end and witnessed the biggest comeback in the history of Kansas football.

Members of Groups 1 and 2 will be picking eggshells out of their eyebrows for months. The ones who stayed until the end of KU’s 52-45 victory won’t soon forget watching a tidal wave of emotion sweep the sidelines and spill onto the field during a fourth-quarter comeback that rewrote the record books.

Kansas scored 35 consecutive points in the game’s final 11 minutes and five seconds. That would be the same team that in the 14 quarters (210 minutes) leading up to Saturday’s game — the second half of the Baylor game and complete games against Kansas State, Texas A&M and Iowa State — had totaled 33 points.

Those who stayed put until the end of a game that was not televised gained respect for so many participants in a comeback that was even more improbable than the team’s punter standing up in the locker room and giving an unsolicited pregame pep talk in which he vented his fury against a Colorado team that started Kansas on a seven-game losing streak to end a 2009 season that started with a 5-0 record.

“He kind of surprised me by standing up and addressing the team,” receiver Johnathan Wilson said of Alonso Rojas. “I feel like it gave a spark to the team. It might not have showed in the first half, but it showed in the second half. I was really proud of him for standing up, and he’s not a real vocal guy.”

If it helped, it was a delayed reaction. Colorado’s Rodney Stewart, so short and so quick, continued his domination of KU’s defense with an eight-yard touchdown run that put Colorado up 45-17 with 14:52 left.

As the diehards who stayed until the last second dropped off the clock could tell you, this was when Kansas freshman running back James Sims went to work behind an offensive line that had its best day of the season. Sims’ 13-yard rush for a TD cut the deficit to 21 points with 11:05 left. Sims ran for 75 of his 123 yards and three of his four touchdowns in the final quarter.

First-year KU coach Turner Gill made the call of the season with an onside kick recovered by receiver Bradley McDougald.

“I didn’t know we were doing an onside kick,” Wilson said. “I was on the sideline thinking about the next drive, and people started yelling we had the ball. It was a great spark in the fourth quarter. I thank coach for making that call.”

Down 21 points, defensive end Toben Opurum said he turned to D-tackle Patrick Dorsey on the sideline and said, “You know we’re really not out of this game. You realize that, right?”

Opurum added, “He looked at me and said, ‘Yeah.’ Maybe a couple of guys were like, ‘Man, same thing again this week.’ We came back, big play after big play after big play.”

The next would come from Wilson, who did a nice job of catching a Quinn Mecham pass and relentlessly making his way toward the end zone and diving in.

“Once I scored that touchdown, I felt like the stadium came alive,” Wilson said. “Even though we were down by 14, I knew we were going to win the game. I just knew it. That was crazy. I love the game. That’s what football’s all about, especially college football. We showed a lot of passion and we didn’t give up. We didn’t quit.”

Two plays after Wilson wouldn’t be denied the end zone, red-shirt freshman nickelback Tyler Patmon stepped in front of a short Cody Hawkins pass intended for Luke Walters, got his hands on it and dropped it.

“It hurt my heart,” Patmon said.

It also motivated him toward redemption that came soon.

Three plays later, Colorado tried a receiver reverse. Just as the handoff was being made, Opurum hit receiver Toney Clemons with so much force, so much passion, the ball spit out. Patmon scooped it up and took it to the end zone. The call stood after a review.

“Toben, he’s a freak athlete, man,” Wilson said of last year’s leading rusher who started this season at linebacker. “Running back, linebacker, defensive end, whatever. He’s just a good athlete.”

Opurum sniffed out the play perfectly.

“I saw the tackle go away from me, and I just looked down the line to see if anyone was coming to block me, and I saw the receiver coming around, and I read the reverse, and I knew I could get there real quick, just hit him hard,” Opurum said. “I didn’t even know it was a fumble until I heard the crowd cheering. I looked up, and I saw my roommate running down the field.”

His roommate, Patmon, who had made the game’s first tackle, for a three-yard loss, was just warming up.

Two plays from scrimmage after Patmon’s touchdown, Hawkins dropped back to pass to the sidelines, 15 yards upfield. Patmon intercepted it and stepped out of bounds.

On the next play, the loyal fans still in the stands saw Daymond Patterson pull a pass headed for the sidelines in with one hand, a remarkable catch for a 22-yard gain. Sims covered the final 20 yards on four carries, and with 4:30 left the game was tied.

With 52 seconds left, Sims put KU ahead with a 28-yard run. The Buffaloes almost tied it, but their quest died at the seven-yard line.

But then, you already knew that, didn’t you? You were one of the ones who stayed until the end. At least that’s what you’ll claim for the rest of your life, won’t you?

Comments

kuhawksr1 3 years, 5 months ago

Stayed until the end just like we did during every game of the Terry Allen era. Needless to say, it was about time we saw a comeback like that!

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KSA_21_3503 3 years, 5 months ago

Fans judging fans.

As if this season wasn't pointless enough.

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KSA_21_3503 3 years, 5 months ago

Fans judging fans.

As if this season wasn't pointless enough.

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shelleysue 3 years, 5 months ago

We left early. SO disappointed. This is the first year we have EVER left a game early. It's hard to tough it out with the thought of getting on the road early for the long drive home. However, I will never do that again! Great job guys. Rock Chalk!!

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Meghan Sullivan 3 years, 5 months ago

I can proudly be grouped in the third category! ROCK CHALK!

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Timothy Grillot 3 years, 5 months ago

We have a family rule if you go to a game you stay to the end. I bought tickets for several of my kids and their spouses. Unfortunately, I had to attend a playoff game in Chanute so I had to leave in the 3rd quarter. I excitedly listened to the game on the radio all the way there. When we tied and definitely when we went ahead I almost went into the ditch!

I see some griping in the posts above about the next games? Who cares? Live in the moment. We won with an improbable comeback! Revel in the moment! Yes I want to win but even if we lose out we start 12 freshman out of 22 spots. We got a win that will give momentum going into next year. Sneak one more win and we only lose one game from last year with a much, much younger team. It was very discouraging to quickly go down 35-10. But you have to give the team credit they never gave up when most of us did give up. They competed!

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kesmithstl1 3 years, 5 months ago

I gotta admit, we left with 10 minutes to go. Right after KU's touchdown to cut the lead to 21!!! As we were boarding the shuttle, we heard the bell, and contemplated getting off the bus, but figured if we went back it would jinx the comeback! I'm glad we didn't go back and KU won. I wouldn't have been able to live with myself it we went back in and the comeback was cut short!

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jhawkshocker 3 years, 5 months ago

This was my 1st time at a KU football game. My son and I drove 3 hours to attend. I spent $160 for the 2 tickets which I bought in August. My other son who goes to KU arranged for an awesome free parking spot. At the beginning of the 4th quarter, I told my son I was ready to go home. He said "but dad, you said we would stay the entire game, no matter what...and besides, we gain an hour tonight, so c'mon let's stay" We stayed......I never sat down that last quarter and yelled and cheered so much I don't have a voice today. The win was awesome, but the best part.........watching all those KU players on the sideline, they were so
pumped.

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Andy Tweedy 3 years, 5 months ago

I admitted so much yesterday, but I drive to the games from Omaha, and after three quarters decided I needed to get a head start back home. I think I have left two games early in my 24 years as a KU fan (walked on to the Hill in '86), but I will long remember the mistake I made yesterday. But in fairness, there was so little evidence from quarters one through three to indicate we would even score let alone come back and win. But alas, my most vivd memory of yesterday's game will be the voice of my wife in the passenger seat saying "what? did they just score AGAIN?" AGHHHHHH!!!!

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lfigment99 3 years, 5 months ago

JG for PK

You must have had too much kool-aid or were as blind as a couple of the referree's if you think the student section filled back up. Not even the lowest section filled back up.

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thehavok 3 years, 5 months ago

I stayed!!!!! I always do. I called my dad who was back home listening to it on the radio and shut it off after the 3rd qt. He couldn't believe it, I bet he is glad I called him so he could listen to the end.

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kranny 3 years, 5 months ago

I listened to the first quarter with my family and then went out to do yard work. Checked scores after that. Came back in during the 4th quarter to listen to the CU final drive. After Bob Davis called the CU receiver catch in the end zone(which was dropped) my family told me to go back outside because saying I was a jinx. After hearing the cheering inside after the final dropped pass, my family allowed me back inside. What a win for those kids, the coaches and the fans. I salute the fans that stayed, I can't imagine what it was like to see such a comeback.

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Jayhawk1116 3 years, 5 months ago

I stayed! This makes up for staying the entire K-State game. Karma?

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milehighhawk 3 years, 5 months ago

Somebody's got to YouTube the 4th Quarter....I mean, Channel 6 was there, right? Pretty please??

Listened to the first half on my phone here in Colorado - reception was choppy. Kind of lost hope with that Mecham INT right before half. Checked back in on KUsports.com and it was 38-10 at the end of the third/beginning of the fourth, so I gave up. THEN I get a text from a buddy that we won - literally thought he was joking. Unbelievable.

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troutsee 3 years, 5 months ago

I have been a diehard fan for years. But, I am ashamed to say that by halftime I had had all I could take. After personally viewing all of the shellackings that we have had this year, I just could not bear to witness another one and I left, angrier than hell, vowing that I would not return. Shame on me. Naturally I will break that angry vow.

That being said, our defense still is the weak link of this team. Unless the defense can get some three and outs in our next three games, we will get blown out. Incidently, I have tickets to the NU game on Sat night and I will be there.

Mechum looked comfortable out there. He certainly will start against NU.

But for now Jayhawk footballers, both players and fans, enjoy this magnificent moment and let's give it our all for the remainder of the season.

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hailtoku 3 years, 5 months ago

You know, some colleges do have fans who come to every game and stay for the entire thing.

Why don't our fans treat the football the same as our basketball team.

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Jared Grillot 3 years, 5 months ago

Wow, Leonard. A little bitter? Because I'm pretty sure that "You stayed, right?" was no lecture, but rather a bit of facetious humor to point out that, of course, no one knew that quarter was going to happen, though he is apparently reporting that some of our players still felt they could pull something off, which they did, and if you happened to be there, as indeed I was, you witnessed something spectacular, and if you weren't for whatever reason, you definitely missed out. Keegan says nothing in here about "you should have known better". Anger and namecalling? You posted just to call names? You need to relax and enjoy the win.

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ShockNAwe 3 years, 5 months ago

We saw one family leave right after KU had tied the score at 45!

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Ibajayhawk 3 years, 5 months ago

The players are riding an emotional high, so why don't we help keep them up there. Sims is aggresive and seems to have developed a nose for the end zone. The O line seems to be coming together, probably because the qb is in the pocket where he belongs. I think Mecham's arm is plenty good, he is a touch passer which means the more he works and adjusts to his receivers the better his arm strength will appear. The defense stopped over running plays and started breaking down in front of the ball carrier instead of overshooting them. All in all I saw quite a bit of improvement and have high hopes for these young men. Go Hawks

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jhawk613 3 years, 5 months ago

Here's what I think KU students need to learn.

  1. The Wheel will still be there after the game is over.

  2. The Wheel isn't that awesome and doesn't warrant leaving at halftime to attend.

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HawkTronic 3 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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leonard 3 years, 5 months ago

Here's a sub-category to the 3 brought up by Keegan.

Those that didn't purchase a ticket and covering the game is their job...eliminating the choice of leaving early.

We've all had the experience when calling in to a help desk...for your cable or internet service...and hear the announcement that the call will be recorded for quality assurance purposes.

Well, I'd like to have a recording of the conversations in the press box. I'm sure it would reveal Keegan bemoaning the fact that the fans were ridiculously leaving a game that we still had a chance to win...Keegan claiming this game had a different feel than the previous blowouts...the KU team is poised for a huge comeback...you gotta have faith, this team won't quit...it ain't over till it's over.

I don't need a lecture on famdom from a 3-chinned donut hole that never pays for a ticket. I used to think that the word turdblossom was just a made-up expression. Not anymore, there was a real, live one in full bloom on display in the press box Saturday.

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Andy Hess 3 years, 5 months ago

i was forced to leave. my friends who drove me decided to leave at the half, so i didn't have much choice. great call, guys! gah!

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Ashwin Rao 3 years, 5 months ago

I believe that we have found our QB for this year! Mecham... he is the player that we were looking for! He played well once he found his confidence in Iowa State. He then started off slow and found his confidence in the 4th Qtr of this game. If I were the coach, I won't bring back Webb or Pick any time soon as Mecham is the spark that we were looking for. He may not have the arm strength (esp. against the wind), but he is accurate and he does have good football sense, he also knows how to win.

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JBurtin 3 years, 5 months ago

My hope for this game is that it woke our players up to how hard they need to be playing all the time. Bring that much effort in the first quarter and this game could have been in the bag for us by halftime. The problem is that most of our best players are young and looking up to non-existent senior leadership to show them how to play. I think the young guys finally got tired of losing and figured out that they have to be in charge of their own destiny.

Then again, it might just be the fact that Mecham can actually hit an open receiver. :-)

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truefan 3 years, 5 months ago

"But then, you already knew that, didn’t you? You were one of the ones who stayed until the end. At least that’s what you’ll claim for the rest of your life, won’t you?"

Yes, yes I did already know that. I've never left a game early and I kept that streak alive yesterday. I saw every horrible minute from quarters 1 through 3 and I was rewarded with getting to see every amazing play in quarter 4. I can't even speak now from yelling so hard and it is completely worth it.

I told my brother that we were in the game, but we didn't have any options to score quickly. I was proven wrong immediately as the next play was the touchdown strike to Wilson in which he made a beautiful catch on a ball thrown perfectly to his back shoulder where only he had a chance at it. Having the wind behind us really helped the comeback also. Hankins' passes were hanging up in the wind and that's what gave us the late interception. The win wasn't pretty, but apparently it was meant to be.

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Topcitykid10 3 years, 5 months ago

I must admit I left at 2 qtr but ran back in 4th qtr

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100 3 years, 5 months ago

"Tell the KU fans we're bringing the program back."

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