Friday, January 4, 2008

B-C-Yes indeed

Talib sets tone as KU gets signature win

Kansas safety Justin Thornton, center, celebrates with Mike Rivera, left, and Maxwell Onyegbule following his interception during the second half. The pick helped the Jayhawks beat Virginia Tech, 24-21, in the Orange Bowl on Thursday in Miami.

Kansas safety Justin Thornton, center, celebrates with Mike Rivera, left, and Maxwell Onyegbule following his interception during the second half. The pick helped the Jayhawks beat Virginia Tech, 24-21, in the Orange Bowl on Thursday in Miami.



2008 Orange Bowl

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Video stories on KU's trip to the Orange Bowl.


2008 Orange Bowl

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Miami, here we come

Journal-World KU reporter Jonathan Kealing is covering the fans in and on their way to Miami for the Jayhawks' first ever BCS bowl game. Check out some pitstops and potholes on the way to Miami and keep up with Journal-World Orange Bowl coverage from Miami on our interactive road trip map.

— It was an early warning - albeit an illegal one - that Kansas University was here to win a football game and do so with a little spunk.

Aqib Talib, after jumping in front of a Virginia Tech pass, high-stepped his way into the end zone in the first quarter of KU's 24-21 Orange Bowl victory on Thursday.

It was the end of a 60-yard interception return, and the Deion Sanders-like dance ended up drawing a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Forgive him. After all, that shimmy electrified the KU sideline and showed that the Jayhawks came to Dolphin Stadium with a cocky confidence that no one dared think they should have.

It fueled them. KU, still regarded as a hollow story by some, beat one of the top teams in college football to win the Orange Bowl and finish a remarkable 12-1.

The fairy tale season officially has its storybook ending and its signature victory. Talib christened it by bellowing into the national-television cameras, "I guess they got to say we played somebody now!"

The giddy KU fans, sticking around in the stands, roared with approval.

"It's the greatest day of my life, man," linebacker Joe Mortensen said. "We really worked hard to be here, and we know we deserve to be here, and we showed it today."

Kansas, perhaps out of nowhere, beat Virginia Tech (11-3) at its own defensive game.

Talib's pick put KU up 7-0 and set the tone for a first half dominated by the Jayhawks. Kansas led 17-7 while ZZ Top was performing on the field at halftime.

But it wasn't just Talib. Freshman cornerback Chris Harris picked off a pass that set up a field goal, and Justin Thornton's nifty fourth-quarter pick was returned to the two-yard line and set up KU's final, back-breaking score.

After struggling against Missouri in its lone loss on Nov. 24, KU's defense was itching to show the nation a different look.

"We wanted to redeem ourselves for the show we showed against Missouri," Harris said. "We were so hungry after that game. That was the main thing."

Along the way, key plays surfaced Thursday - some wacky - that showed off the Jayhawks' creativity and just-win-baby attitude in the season's final game.

¢ A fake punt in the third quarter shocked Virginia Tech, as Brandon McAnderson took the snap and hurled a pass to gunner Micah Brown on the left side for 22 yards.

"We watched on tape for about a month of them leaving the gunners exposed," Mangino said. "We said that we're not going to let them do that."

¢ Down 17-14, Virginia Tech had a chance to tie the game in the third quarter. But Joe Mortensen slipped through the line and blocked the 25-yard field-goal attempt cleanly to keep Kansas ahead.

¢ Talib, the Orange Bowl MVP, actually returned a missed field goal 39 yards in the first quarter, giving Kansas a little better field position.

¢ McAnderson bullied his way within one yard of the end zone to get the final first down of the game with less than a minute to go. On the final play, KU quarterback Todd Reesing kneeled down, stood up and flung the football 30 feet in the air in celebration.

Soon after, Kansas players were dancing on a makeshift stage near the corner where KU fans were going nuts. The Rock Chalk Chant was as loud as ever.

Of course, this wasn't a game-long celebration. Virginia Tech (11-3) scraped its way back into the contest, getting within three when a reverse punt return was taken 84 yards to the house by Justin Harper just after halftime.

Kansas lost the momentum for a good quarter before Thornton's pick took it back. The Jayhawks went up 10 on a Reesing touchdown run with 10:57 left.

Virginia Tech added a score with 3:00 to go, but Raimond Pendleton recovered the onside kick, and Virginia Tech never regained possession.

So the party began. Players launched oranges into the KU student section, and hats and shirts were passed out to all the Jayhawks. The locker room was just as chaotic.

But it was Talib symbolically smacking the critics on national television that seemed to speak for the entire team.

"All season long, they've been saying, 'Who have they played? Who have they beat?'" defensive end Russell Brorsen said. "Tonight, we beat someone."

Go figure


Interceptions by the Jayhawks


Points scored by KU off those interceptions


Interceptions by the Hokies


Points scored by the Hokies off that interception


Sacks-yards by the Jayhawks


Sacks-yards by the Hokies


Average for five punts by the Jayhawks


Average for five punts by the Hokies

Game balls and gassers

Candidates for Game balls

¢ Aqib Talib not only returned an interception for a touchdown, he gained more yards (17) on his first punt return of the game than Anthony Webb gained in 19 punt returns.

¢ Justin Thornton intercepted a pass and returned it to the Virginia Tech three-yard line, setting up a Todd Reesing touchdown that put Kansas up, 24-14, in the fourth quarter.

¢ Joe Mortensen blocked a field goal that would have tied the score, 17-17, and sacked Tyrod Taylor on a first-quarter play on the play after Russell Brorsen had a sack. The back-to-back sacks set up a third-and-29 for the Hokies.

Candidate for Gassers

¢ Ryan Cantrell was flagged for a 15-yard personal foul when Kansas had the ball at the 1, damaging a series that ended in an interception.


Mangino_Maniac 14 years, 9 months ago

So freakin' awesome!!!!!!!! KANSAS JAYHAWKS ARE ORANGE BOWL CHAMPIONS!!!!!

jayhawkr34 14 years, 9 months ago

i know its hard to find anything to complain about the game, but i wish coach wouldve let B-Mac punch it in there at the end...yes i know sportsmanship, but would the chokies shown the same respect?

mojayhawk 14 years, 9 months ago

Remember that awful poster the mizzou people made with the turf stuck in Todd's helmet? Caption said "Failure".

We need a new one! Use the picture of Todd when he again had turf in his face mask last night and caption it "BCS Success! How do you like that Mizzou?"

jayhawkinATL 14 years, 9 months ago

Hokie fans are pricks!!!!


Rick Arnoldy 14 years, 9 months ago

How about an "orange out" at the Misery basketball game. Print up orange t-shirts that say "Got Orange?"

mojayhawk 14 years, 9 months ago

Actually, just say "BCS SUCCESS! Enough said."

jayhawkinATL 14 years, 9 months ago

Mark May (of ESPN) can eat she-ought!!!!

Much love, Lou Holtz.

fundamental 14 years, 9 months ago

I thought that was the right play by B-Mac diving down just in front of the end zone. It reminded me of Brian Westbrook in the Eagles' victory over the Cowboys in week 16. It's all about winning, baby.

kupopp 14 years, 9 months ago

$275 for two tickets. $500 for gas and hotels. A Jayhawk victory- outstanding! No mizzou in a BCS bowl- priceless!!!

Congratulations to Coach Mangino and the team. After enduring years of mediocrity and worse, it is great to see their success. And the fans were outstanding. Daisy Dukes and the Alumni tailgate were packed. The stands were rocking. You shoulda been here!

eastTXjayhawk 14 years, 9 months ago

Congrats boyz....I'm euphoric...feel the need to scribble "Champions" on the Orange Bowl shirt I'm sporting at work today....

Displayhawk 14 years, 9 months ago

I just wish there was more support for the basketball team at a "Football School" like Kansas! LOL Great season, Guys! I have been saying for years that Coach M was the main reason for the turn-arounds at K-State and Oklahoma, ....and now he has done it at KU! Best of luck next season!

nocaljayhawk 14 years, 9 months ago

last night's game: what DVR/TIVO was invented for!

Today, I'll go through and commit the game, sans commercials and other nonsense, to video tape for perpituity.

If it weren't for those pesky 40 mph winds buffeting Sacramento right now, I'd be flying our KU flag....Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

KUAlum2000 14 years, 9 months ago

Watched the game last night at the Upper Deck bar in Scottsdale, AZ which is KU Alumni bar, but also a VTech alumni bar. We outnumbered them 10-1 there, at least. It was a great game to watch, and classy on the knee down at the end!!

I second the "Got Orange?" shirts for the MU b-ball game.

bmbarnes34 14 years, 9 months ago

does anyone know when the team will arrive at forbes in topeka?

Larry Smith 14 years, 9 months ago

what a great game. I got so excited I jumped down on the field by the fox set after the game and promptly got escorted out. But not before I could get the crowd going. Oh Well. I had a a hell of a time tho.

Kent Kossoy 14 years, 9 months ago

Where are those Hokie commercials now?? Harddrive crash?? While I agree that shoving that last play down the Hokie throats would have been nice, it would have shown our classless-ness, especially after the "unsportsmanlike conduct of Talib." What a crap call. I was begining to think that the refs had gone to VT by the third quarter. This team has alot of class and to me the MVP belonged to the TEAM.

Drew Alan 14 years, 9 months ago

I love the national reactions of "oh wow, they DO have a defense" but we had two defensive all americans... and we are in the top 6 in both total and scoring defense... I just don't get why people thought we would do so badly against this team? That two quarterback system worked great for VT... If Branden Ore had been suspended for more than the one quarter we would have run away with this one... That interception turned reception play by Thornton and Talib reminded me of KU basketball fighting for rebounds... I feel like two of our guys fight over boards so much then they both drop it out of bounds... we overcame mistakes and balls that bounced their way and beat a bonafied top 10 team.

I never thought I would see KU be this good at football, but hopefully we can keep this going for a long long time.

I wonder if attendance at basketball games will pick up now?

Displayhawk 14 years, 9 months ago

Gotta think that Coach M and the team will be introduced at the Loyola B-ball game! Bet they get a standing O! BTW, Gotta give some credit to Kyle Tucker! This was easily his best game punting for the Hawks! Let's not forget about him stepping up big time!

Studogg 14 years, 9 months ago

How about this for a T-shirt:

You can't compare apples to oranges. Or ORANGES to COTTON for that matter!

jhawks 14 years, 9 months ago

Did anyone feel like we got to see way too much of each school's band?

It's happened in every BCS game so far on FOX. We're watching a play... and then camera one (KU band)... and then camera two (VT band)... then replay... then back to the game. AND REPEAT!!!!! Game, camera one, camera two, replay, game, camera one, camera two, replay, game.

How much do those people make at FOX? I'm in the wrong business....

KUFan90 14 years, 9 months ago

jhawks - good post about the "band in the stands" shots...those still camera shots of the bands in the stands were PAINFUL!! My god...give us random crowd shots! If I had to stare at that woman KU band leader up on her step ladder or that VT woman drummer that had no neck one more time I would have torn my eyes from my sockets.

Michael Leiker 14 years, 9 months ago

Orange Cotton Beefy T's, hilarious.

I've been on the road this morning listening to Colin Cowherd (sp?), and he was really pushing for the AP to go with KS if LSU wins on Monday. I do think there's an actual chance that happens. Thoughts?

scramjay 14 years, 9 months ago

No. Those kids work very hard to provide support to their team. They deserve all the tv time they can get. I remember the days when the whole halftime/pregame band programs were televised. But alas, no more. It has been good that Fox has brought back showing at least a couple minutes apiece of their shows. In past years the bands got no respect at all.

jhawks 14 years, 9 months ago

The VT drummer was weird. Her head was just bobbling back and forth. I could have done without that. A group of my friends and I watched the game and one of us mentioned he had noticed the excessive band camera time in the other FOX BCS games. We were going to use it as a drinking game (every time the band is shown... drink). We would have died.

We sent an email to to address it and ask for an explination.

Here is an excerpt:

We have a couple theories on why the bands were shown so often and I would like to run them past you: 1. The producer (or a bigwig in Fox) was a former band nerd/geek and finally is getting revenge on everyone who ever called him/her a band nerd/geek by showing the new generation band nerd/geek over and over again rather than concentrating on the football jocks picked on them and ruined, what their parents told them would be, the best years of their life.
2. The producer's son/daughter was in the band of one of the two teams.
3. The old bald guy was Fox's CEO's father, hence the TV coverage and great seats.
4. Trained monkeys were pushing buttons for different cameras and were captivated by the shiny colors of the band uniforms and ol' baldy's shiny head. 5. You only had 5 cameras to cover the whole game:.two sideline cameras, the overhead DLP camera, and two cameras stuck on the bands.
6. Fox was actually promoting a new show all about Band members and it was a subliminal message to get us to watch it in the Spring. (possible titles: "Making the Band Geek", "Band Wars", "The Band of Geeks") Feel free to use these.

Carter Patterson 14 years, 9 months ago

leikness...GREAT POINT!

If we could get Kirk Herbstreit to campaign for KU like he did for LSU, we should have a shot at AP#1. Albeit, a long shot.

Brian Skelly 14 years, 9 months ago

I attended KU in the early 90s. My freshman year of 91 we went to the Final Four, and again in 93. Obviously with "Roy's Boys" cranking we all "assumed" we'd win the National Championship at some point. Continued strength under Self's watch makes you think we'd be close again.

 Between that time and say sometime in October you could have said to myself, or any Jayhawk fan,  "You'll win the Orange Bowl before you win a National Championship in  Basketball" and we'd think (rightfully) that you need your head examined.

 Unreal.   You could have bet the house against this happening and people wouldnt have found that odd at all.

 Other than this as a snapshot in time being a defining moment in the programs history,  its clear Mangino is going to get good players and keep us Bowling for years to come.   That in itself is worth all of this.   I just think its awesome that KU fans might actually have "expectations" now.   That alone cant be dismissed.

 Kudos to the coaches, players, and all those involved with the program for making all us Alums and Fans not a once say "Oh well, its basketball season".

 Rock Chalk Folks,  Rock Chalk.

jhawks 14 years, 9 months ago

Great idea Ohioburg!!!! Everyone... I mean everyone needs to wear orange at the home basketball game against Mizzou!!!!

Pass the word and get it done. You can do it!!!

TtownHawk 14 years, 9 months ago

I'll be there wearing Orange!

Congrats on a great season and a great win to close it out guys!

Kit Duncan 14 years, 9 months ago

Regarding the band TV time! I submit that each school's band spends a huge amount of time preparing for the season/post season just like the football team. The band and cheerleaders often are the ones who get the crowd going during periods of letdown, sometimes the only ones still cheering at the end. They can and do make a difference in the outcome of games.

Yes, I was in the band! I applaud Fox for showing the band, when ABC, NBC, CBS often show little or nothing of the band, especially pregame/halftime performances. Band members deserve their moment in the spotlight, just like the players. Band members are student-athletes in a sense, and TV time can help recruit new members.

When I was in the band we had 250-300 marching. Last night they had 150, which is too small for a school the caliber of KU. The lack of interest in band membership can be attributed to the lack of performance by the team in previous years. Hopefully, this year's success will carry over and we will see a larger turnout for next year's band. Even with their smaller size, they were awesome!

Great game/year 'Hawks! Great job KU Band! Great job KU Fans! Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!!

seattlehawk_78 14 years, 9 months ago

This just in, Francis the Cat has tied mizwho grad Pat Forde in bowl predictions. How humiliating can that be?

jhawks 14 years, 9 months ago

NavyHawk, Sure... show the band every once in awhile. I realize the half time shows at bowl games are big for each school's band, BUT camera time after every play is ridiculous.

There were evidently 20,000 KU fans that traveled on there own and paid to get in the game. I think it's more exciting to see the fans cheer than watch the band suck their instruments.

...nailed it!!!

jayhawk02 14 years, 9 months ago

I wasn't in the band at KU, but a football manager. There were often times I saw the band out in the hot sun just as long as the players, working hard for their next performance. Also, if you watched the Sugar Bowl, Hawaii's band members cheered til the bitter end, even when noone else did. Bands should get their recognition and rightfully so. HOWEVER, there is a thing called overkill and FOX perfected it this week.

lance1jhawk 14 years, 9 months ago

i just love how much class we showed in that game; i'm so proud to be a jayhawk!

lance1jhawk 14 years, 9 months ago

and, as a former band geek myself, i can say two things: glad the bands both got good coverage (jayhawk02, you're exactly right on all the practice!), but there was a little too much focus on them; i wanted to see our fans, too!

seattlehawk_78 14 years, 9 months ago

"Mark Mangino just pulled off one of the all time greatest coaching jobs I have ever witnessed."

Skip Bayless

Just when I think I can't stand this guy any more he says something like this.

100 14 years, 9 months ago

EVERYONE: We, at KU, are good sports and respect a great Missouri football team this year. Many of us actually rooted for them to beat Arkansas. It was hard, but I know I rooted for the Tigers. While we won't sink as low as they did and print shirts that celebrate their past love for slavery of African Americans in America and the subsequent burning and killing innocent women and children in Lawrence (see: SCOREBOARD SHIRTS), I do think we, as KU fans, need to show some true KU class at the home basketball game against MU: WEAR ORANGE SHIRTS. Nothing on them. JUST ORANGE. Let the critics speak for themselves. And if I'm a parent of a great African American football player who is graduating high school, in Dallas (where the Cotton bowl was played), or any other city in this fine nation, I would never let my child attend Missouri after seeing those shirts with the Mizzou logo attached. Never. Any respectful parent would not send their child to an institution that puts their logo on a shirt like that. Missouri has shown their true colors this year, beginning with the SCOREBOARD shirts, and ending with the continued battering of Kansas football on national message boards, even after we knocked off VT, ending our season with the best record in the nation at 12-1. On a bigger note -- Congratulations Jayhawks!

Kit Duncan 14 years, 9 months ago

My apologies to those who think I was defending Fox for their excessive coverage of the bands, but I would rather the network showed too much than too little as is often the case. The band members dedicate a lot of time, effort and yes, money to be in the band with much too little recognition.

I am proud to have been a Marching Jayhawk and think those kids that played in the band during the Terry Allen years and the early Mangino campaigns were savoring the TV time their compatriots got last night. Fans from both schools have every reason to be proud of their bands and cheerleading squads for the hard work they put in to get to the Orange Bowl. They were a class act!

KUAlum2000 14 years, 9 months ago

If anybody TiVo'd the game would you mind posting the pregame to YouTube or somewhere like that? I didn't get to truly enjoy it and made the mistake of not TiVo'ing the game myself (because I'm superstitious after recording the MU game). Just want to see the Don Johnson and Bod Dole thing and listen to Riggins spin his yarns again.

DalTXJayhawk 14 years, 9 months ago

I was impressed in the maturity and sportsmanship shown by our Jayhawks. Too many games and plays are dominated by a 'one man dance' for everything that happens. I am tired of seeing dancing and celebrating for every play. I liked how the Jayhawks congratulated their teammates, then went back to business. Too many take that as a stage for them to beat their chest, flex their muscles, or dance. I think we have the best team approach in the country and it is reflected by them not taking a one person stage after each

Toto_the_great 14 years, 9 months ago

It's been a while since I have stepped foot on campus. Where are KU's football banners? Have you seen Va Techs? I am not sure where their banners are (stadium or other buildling) but I think they look pretty impressive hanging how they do. Too bad they can't hang a 2008 Orange Bowl one.

Way to go 'Hawks. That game was freakin' awesome. My in-laws (K-Stater's) were even similing. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!! Under eight months until the next KU football game!

thiknthinhawk 14 years, 9 months ago

"Moantler! Moantler!" Hey, has anyone seen Moantler? Theres a game he seemed interested in discussing. I just wanted to discuss it with him. Something about "Tweety birds exposed." "Hey Moantler!" (silence)

seattlehawk_78 14 years, 9 months ago

What about Willie. We haven't heard from him in ages.

scootja32 14 years, 9 months ago

two more years with Reesing? Hell YA!!!!!

MoAntler 14 years, 9 months ago

Okay, Okay, Okay, already. I was wrong, okay. It has been a rough 24 hours, okay. I have to admit that the tweetybirds have made the Big XII proud. Probably be checkin' in right after Arrowhead next Fall.

seattlehawk_78 14 years, 9 months ago

We'll have an extra big plate of crow waiting for you.

landon_2003 14 years, 9 months ago

i've got one thing that i didn't like though...why didn't the coaches let mangino get the gatorade bath? i was looking forward to's what you do when you pull off a big win.

thiknthinhawk 14 years, 9 months ago

Moantler- Classy response. Congrats on the Cotton Bowl blowout- very impressive. Great seasons for both schools.

seattlehawk_78 14 years, 9 months ago

I think I read on another post that some of the assistant coaches stopped it because I saw two players carrying the gatorade just before the clock wound down.

jhawks 14 years, 9 months ago

You're right seattlehawk... The cooler was full and ready to dump on Coach M, but assistants stopped the players that were sneaking up on him.

FOX had the camera shot ready. It didn't happen so FOX cut right to the bands for the 1000th time. It was a broadcasting record...

gayhawks 13 years, 10 months ago

Time to get hammered by Mizzou again. Let's go Gayhawks!

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