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Monday, August 29, 2011

Keegan

Kansas football foes loaded with stars

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Several Kansas University football players will fare better this season because they either have improved their conditioning or have sharpened their minds with an extra year of experience. The problem, of course, is that the players from opposing teams have grown, too. A quick look at the foes on the schedule reveals why the most popular predictions for a KU victory total seem to range from one to three:

McNeese State, Saturday, 6 p.m.: Quarterback Riley Dodge twice was named 5A offensive player of the year in Texas and led Southlake Carroll High to three consecutive state titles playing for his father, Todd Dodge. Again playing for his father at North Texas, things didn’t go as well. Multiple injuries forced a temporary switch to receiver, but injuries to two quarterbacks forced a switch back to QB. After his father was fired, the younger Dodge transferred and won the starting quarterback job. Even though the game was played four years before Riley was born, he’ll be looking to avenge his father’s 55-17 loss to KU offensive coordinator Chuck Long in the 1984 Freedom Bowl. In the third quarter alone, Iowa’s Long passed for 241 yards and four touchdowns en route to 461 yards and six TD passes. For the game, Todd Dodge passed for 180 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions for Texas.

Northern Illinois, Sept. 10: Dual-threat Quarterback Chandler Harnish threw 21 touchdown passes and just five interceptions on his way to first-team All-Mid-American Conference honors.

At Georgia Tech, Sept. 17: The Yellow Jackets are mad at the world. They’re mad the NCAA stripped them of their 2009 ACC title for improper benefits and obstruction of an NCAA investigation. They’re mad they went 6-7, and most of all, they’re mad they lost to a Kansas team that finished 3-9.

Texas Tech, Oct. 1: The Red Raiders finished 114th in the nation defensively and have a thin senior class. No reason this can’t be an upset, especially if a rowdy crowd shows up.

At Oklahoma State, Oct. 8: Quarterback Brandon Weeden and receiver Justin Blackmon lead nine starters back from an offense that ranked among the best in the nation.

Oklahoma, Oct. 15: Everybody’s pick to win the national title, the Sooners have had a habit of late of stealing the best high school players in Kansas, not that they don’t have enough athletes from Oklahoma and Texas to turn this into a rout before halftime.

Kansas State, Oct. 22: Running back transfer Bryce Brown didn’t take advantage of summer conditioning, but should be in decent shape by the time the Wildcats visit Memorial Stadium. Quarterback Collin Klein presents another running threat. K-State’s weakness, stopping the run, matches up with KU’s strength, but will that be enough to reverse a 59-7 loss?

At Texas, Oct. 29: By the time this game is played, it’s anybody’s guess what quarterback the Longhorns will have under center. My guess: true freshman David Ash. Handing the ball to true freshman running back Malcolm Brown will be the QB’s most important duty.

At Iowa State, Nov. 5: This game should be circled on every KU player’s schedule because it represents the best shot at a conference victory. The Cyclones will have trouble scoring on anybody.

Baylor, Nov. 12: The Bears don’t get much love from preseason prognosticators, but the memory of a 55-7 bludgeoning in Waco is too fresh to think Baylor will be beaten in Lawrence. Robert Griffin III led an offense that produced 678 yards. The underrated superstar is back for the Bears.

At Texas A&M, Nov. 19: The Aggies have the ultra-organized Kyle Field passion going for them as well as a huge advantage in speed, size, strength, agility, football skill, experience and depth. Other than that, it’s a coin toss.

Missouri in Arrowhead Stadium, Nov. 26: The white-uniform gimmick fell flatter than a Tim Pawlenty speech. When it’s Billy “White Shoes” Johnson, the all-white look can make a player look faster, sleeker. When slow players go with the Man From Glad look, it makes them look softer. The Jayhawks have more speed than a year ago, but it’s probably a good idea to keep the white helmets packed away anyway. With Kansas seemingly ready to mount a sound running game and doubts circling around Mizzou’s ability to stop the run, this should be more of a contest than last season’s 35-7 yawner. If not, the Arrowhead game will have lost its luster and crowds could shrink.

Comments

Joseph Kuebel 2 years, 7 months ago

Im sure the McNeese qb is out for blood cuz Longs team beat his dads team 4 yrs before he was conceived. Really, keegs hell be looking to avenge his dads loss?... It's fine to mention this, but to incorporate that fact in the context displayed is a major stretch.

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hailtoku 2 years, 7 months ago

We will start the year 3-0.

You heard it here.

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jhwkfan162515 2 years, 7 months ago

1-11. The only victory is the McNeese State game.

Fire Turner Gill! >:(

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Randy Bombardier 2 years, 7 months ago

As if we needed further motivation, ESPN's the Bottom 10 has us on the wait list. I think we should make em eat crow.

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Todd Simpson 2 years, 7 months ago

I'll be coming in from Texas to watch this game!!! can't wait

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actorman 2 years, 7 months ago

I will be in the area this weekend but my flight doesn't get in until nearly game time on Saturday. I'm hoping to make the second half. Wish I could be there for the rest of the games. Although I think Topcity is nuts for predicting seven wins, I'm still excited for the season and look forward to the team being much more competitive than last year.

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Topcitykid10 2 years, 7 months ago

@ Arch I'm not on drugs or havnt smoked weed in 3 years. I just believe from treading the articles, watching the gridiron seeing scrimage highlights. A LOT of people aren't giving KU a chance this year bases on a first head coach from last year, give Turner a chance he's brought itn talent and young talent is hungry to play anyone and can beat any team on a Saturday. Sorry that I have faith in the program but once again IMO 7 wins.

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Kevin Randell 2 years, 7 months ago

You know...there's an old saying in coaching. "Even the sun shines on a dog's @$$ some days". Look, take "spirituality" out of the Believe slogan this year. As a coach myself who have been apart of a major upset. If your guys know their assignments and "Believe" in their team and abilities...the sky's the limit! I say the nay-sayers have had their time to gripe and moan. Football season is here....and if you are a TRUE BLUE KU fan, then let's support our team, and if we are successful in wins...then lets party and have fun! You know this KU Alum is happy and excited to make the 3.5 hour drive to EVERY game! Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!!

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Andy Tweedy 2 years, 7 months ago

I'm going with 4 wins. We beat McNeese, ISU and win one or two that maybe wouldn't make sense as of now. I think our defense will be hard pressed to slow most Big XII teams down, but my hope is the running game will keep that defense off the field. More importantly, I think we'll represent much better than last year. Hopefully, I feel at least this good about the season come next Monday!!! I love me some 'Hawk football!!!

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jhox 2 years, 7 months ago

If a loss to Missery is enough to cause the game at Arrowhead to lose its luster, then if we do have to get beat, I hope it isn't close. I want those games back on the campuses where they should be. At least we'd have a home field advantage once every two years. We've yet to have even a 50-50 crowd at Arrowhead. The first year was probably 60-40% MU, and subsequent years have been even more in their favor.

Why our AD would want to keep going there is beyond me. Money is not a bad thing, but it is a bad thing when the pursuit of it costs you potential wins against your arch rival.

They argue that it makes for a closer drive for KC fans, but I live in the O.P. / Prairie Village area, and I can get to Lawrence as fast as I can get to Arrowhead.

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edjayhawk 2 years, 7 months ago

If you have nothing good to say about the football team and won't support it, then please don't show up for the games. We don't need you!

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Ben Kliewer 2 years, 7 months ago

Dude...it starts Saturday already. Regardless of how bad we're going to suck, I'm still excited! Rock Chalk!

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Randy Bombardier 2 years, 7 months ago

Upset of the season. OU. Not that we will beat a lot of teams or have a winning record, but I think we will relish being the spoiler and will to the amazement of many will do so. This is just a gut feeling.

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Benjamin Piehler 2 years, 7 months ago

Nothing new in this article...I can't wait for the season to start and I don't have to read what we already know... we have to play some good teams with respectable players.

Not so sure OU is "everybody's pick for a national title" though.

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jmsuther 2 years, 7 months ago

Looks to be like best case senerio is 5 wins. If Ku has another dream season 6. Can't wait to see what the coaches have done with the team. Hope they didn't f it up like last season

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Varlo52 2 years, 7 months ago

A totally uninformed guess: We win all the games we "should" ... and two we "shouldn't."

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actorman 2 years, 7 months ago

(referring to Topcity's comment, not the article, in case anyone was wondering)

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texashawk10 2 years, 7 months ago

Riley Dodge isn't likely to be the starting QB for McNeese next Saturday, sophomore Cody Stroud will be the likely starter. The best player for McNeese on offense is their starting RB Andre Anderson who is a Michigan St. transfer.

http://www.southland.org/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=205241742&DB_OEM_ID=18400

This preview of McNeese was published two weeks ago so I doubt Dodge has taken the starting job unless there's been an injury to Stroud.

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actorman 2 years, 7 months ago

See this is why we need to institute national drug testing ...

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