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Saturday, September 25, 2004

Tech defense making more noise

Kansas QB vows he isn't interested in individual accolades

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It's no secret Texas Tech has the best passing offense in the country.

Overlooked is the fact that the Red Raiders' defense has made big strides since 2003, when Tech allowed averages of 34 points and 453.4 yards per game.

"Texas Tech's defense is no slouch either," Kansas University quarterback Adam Barmann said. "Nobody talks about them, but they're a good unit."

Barmann and the Jayhawks will face a Tech defense allowing 317.7 yards and 25 points a game.

Texas Tech limited TCU to 44 yards rushing on 23 attempts through three quarters last Saturday. The Horned Frogs finished with 151 after scoring a couple of cosmetic scores in a 70-35 loss to the Red Raiders.

"They're a much improved on defense from a year ago," KU coach Mark Mangino said. "They're much better."

Junior safety Vincent Meeks leads Texas Tech with 25 tackles.

Like Tech's defense, Barmann might be a bit overlooked himself.

Tech quarterback Sonny Cumbie will no doubt get his share of the attention in today's Fox Sports Midwest broadcast because the senior leads the nation in passing.

Barmann ranks third in the Big 12 Conference in passing behind Cumbie and Oklahoma's Jason White with an average of 234.3 passing yards per game.

He's tied for second with Nebraska's Joe Dailey with seven touchdown passes.

Playing in just his second televised game, Barmann will have a chance to show a larger audience what he can do.

Not that he cares about that.

"I don't get to worked up over TV games or non-TV games," he said. "They're all the same to me.

"I'm really not too worried about making a statement or making a name for myself. As long as our team keeps winning and we execute offensively -- and I just play within the system -- I could care less if I'm ever nominated for the Heisman or ever make all-conference. That's the only reason I came to Kansas, to win games. I didn't come for All-American or all-conference or anything like that."

The Jayhawks didn't win last week when the offense struggled in a 20-17 loss at Northwestern.

"I don't think it's hurt us all," Barmann said. "We really came back focused this week."

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Barmann's brother: Missouri freshman tight end Brian Barmann is taking a red-shirt season.

The younger Barmann owns the Missouri state high school records for career receptions (226) and receiving yardage (3,754).

The brothers' parents, Mike and Angela, are trying to follow both teams, though Brian won't play for the Tigers this season.

"They kind of split it up," Adam Barmann said. "They've been to most of mine so far, but they're going to go to a few of his."

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Beck's role: Johnny Beck lost his job as Kansas University's place-kicker after missing two field goals last week against Northwestern, but the senior will continue to play an important role on special teams.

Beck is averaging 63.9 yards per kickoff, and 11 of his 19 attempts have been touchbacks.

"He's one of the reasons why our defense is getting good field position," Mangino said.

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Record-book revision: Texas Tech rallied from a 21-point deficit last week in its 70-35 win over TCU. The Red Raiders broke several school records in the process, including Alex Trlica's 10 extra points, largest comeback and most second-half points (49).

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Former Sooners: Mangino and Texas Tech coach Mike Leach were assistants to Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops in 1999. Leach was the offensive coordinator, while Mangino was assistant head coach and run-game coordinator. KU graduate assistant Seth Littrell was a running back on that OU squad.

"Mike's a funny guy," Mangino said. "He likes to tell jokes and always has something funny to say. He's a fun guy to be around."

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Little-known fact: Leach and Mangino are two of five Division I head coaches who did not play college football. The others are Texas A&M;'s Dennis Franchione, Navy's Paul Johnson and Mississippi's David Cutliffe.

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Streaks, stats, facts: KU running back Clark Green has caught at least one pass in 27 consecutive games. ... KU defensive end David McMillan has started 28 straight games. ... Tech's Trlica ranks last in the Big 12 in field goals. He's 1 of 3. He's made all 16 of his extra-point attempts. ... KU safety Tony Stubbs lost his spot atop the Big 12 Conference tackling leaders to teammate Nick Reid, who has 29. Stubbs is second with 28. ... Reid is tied for the lead in tackles for loss with six. ... Tech will play four of its first five games on the road.

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Moving up: KU senior Brandon Rideau and junior Mark Simmons are tied for sixth all-time on KU's career touchdown receptions list with 10 each. Former Jayhawks Termaine Fulton and David Verser are next on the list with 11. Willie Vaughn and Bruce Adams own the record at 17.

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