Sunday, November 9, 2008

Slipping away :

Jayhawks suffer costly setback

With a sea of red-clad Nebraska fans as backdrop, Kansas University quarterback Todd Reesing leaves the field after throwing a fourth-quarter interception. Though Reesing threw for 304 yards, the Jayhawks suffered a 45-35 loss to the Huskers on Saturday in Lincoln, Neb.

With a sea of red-clad Nebraska fans as backdrop, Kansas University quarterback Todd Reesing leaves the field after throwing a fourth-quarter interception. Though Reesing threw for 304 yards, the Jayhawks suffered a 45-35 loss to the Huskers on Saturday in Lincoln, Neb.


Jayhawks suffer costly setback to NU

The last time the Kansas football team was victorious in Nebraska was 1968. The stakes were high for the Jayhawks on Saturday and conditions were on the chilly side in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Audio clips

2008 KU-Nebraska football

Podcast episode


Spodcasters Postgame: Nebraska

The guys (Tom Keegan, Jesse Newell) tie up loose ends following the Jayhawks' 45-35 loss to Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb. The two discuss KU's disappointing play Saturday on the offensive and defensive lines and also wonder what changes are next with the Jayhawks' secondary. The two also discuss whether fans ...

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Podcast episode

Going Deep

Eyes of Texas on KU

In this week's edition of Going Deep, Matt Tait and Eric Sorrentino speak with Daily Texan beat writer David Henry. Does the infamous "dollar signs" game from 2004 still mean something to fans in Austin? Plus, Henry breaks down UT's recent rushing attack struggles and gives a prediction on one ...

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Reader poll

Who do you miss most from last year's Kansas football team?

  • Brandon McAnderson 8% 181 votes
  • Derek Fine 2% 49 votes
  • Aqib Talib 40% 896 votes
  • Bill Young 19% 422 votes
  • Marcus Henry 1% 24 votes
  • Anthony Collins 9% 215 votes
  • James McClinton 17% 384 votes
  • Cesar Rodriguez 1% 26 votes
  • Other 0% 17 votes

2214 total votes.

Go figure

2 Sacks recorded by Kansas (for a loss of 23 yards)

5 Sacks recorded by Nebraska (for minus-42 yards)

3.0 Kansas' average yards per rush (on 39 carries for 118 yards)

4.8 Nebraska's average yards per run (on 35 carries for 167 yards)

2 Punts by the Huskers, all in the first half

+2 KU's turnover advantage

3 of 12 KU's success on third-down conversions

6 of 14 NU's success on third-down conversions

8 of 8 Success by both teams combined on red-zone scoring chances

1968Last time KU won in Lincoln, Neb.

— Entering Saturday's game against Nebraska, Kansas University's football team understood that a victory was a necessity in order for the Jayhawks to keep pace in the race for the Big 12 North title.

And following Saturday's 45-35 loss to the Huskers, during a blustery day at Nebraska's Memorial Stadium, the Jayhawks understood the consequences of their defeat.

"Coaches told us this is a game (where) we're playing for championships," said KU sophomore receiver Dezmon Briscoe, who caught six passes for 176 yards and a touchdown in a losing effort. "And we fell short of it."

Just a year after scoring more points than any team ever had against the Huskers in a 76-39 victory in Lawrence, Kansas couldn't piece together a similar effort this season, falling to Nebraska for the 20th straight time in Lincoln that acted as a significant blow to the team's goal of a North title.

Of the three areas in which Kansas coach Mark Mangino hoped his team would excel heading into the game - limiting Nebraska's run game, establishing the Jayhawks' own ground game and tackling well - none came to fruition.

The Huskers rushed for 167 yards despite playing much of the game without their top running back, preseason All-Big 12 selection Marlon Lucky. Jayhawks running back Jake Sharp, meanwhile, failed to reach 100 yards for the first time in three games, and Kansas' defense played as if the Huskers' jerseys were coated in vaseline.

The result? The Jayhawks' first loss to an unranked team in 17 tries.

"I knew this was going to be a battle," said Mangino, whose team fell to 6-4 (3-3 in the Big 12) this season. "And we could not afford to make any mistakes. They made a couple and still overcame it, so credit to them."

Despite winning the turnover battle four to one and managing to enter halftime tied with the Huskers at 14, Kansas couldn't stop an opposing offense that proved to be significantly more potent than Kansas State's a week ago. Nebraska scored on five of its six second-half possessions, turning a 14-14 tie into a 45-28 lead midway through the fourth quarter, and seemed to have its way with the Jayhawks' struggling defense.

Quarterback Joe Ganz led the way for the Huskers, completing 28 of 37 passes for 324 yards and three touchdowns, and running back Roy Helu Jr., finished with 115 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, including a 52-yard burst at the start of the fourth quarter that gave the Huskers their biggest lead - 31-21 - to that point.

Even defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who finished with a team-high 12 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 4 tackles for loss, got in on the offensive blitzkrieg, catching a two-yard touchdown pass from Ganz with 5:58 remaining in to give the Huskers a 38-28 lead.

And any questions whether the Huskers were still smarting from last year's 37-point walloping at the hands of the Jayhawks were quickly answered Saturday.

Said Ganz, "It just feels so good to come back and redeem ourselves from what happened last year."

Adding injury to insult, meanwhile, Kansas also might be forced to deal with a setback to its top offensive player.

Quarterback Todd Reesing, who set 21 school records and earned All-Big 12 second-team honors as a sophomore last season, limped through the final stages of Saturday's game and was being evaluated by the team's medical staff following the game, according to coach Mark Mangino.

"He's getting some treatment," said Mangino, who doesn't disclose the specifics of player injuries. "Hopefully it's nothing real serious. I don't think it is, but the trainers are looking at him now. I think he'll be OK."

Reesing appeared to be shaken up midway through the second half, although he remained in the game until its conclusion and managed to scramble for a 15-yard touchdown run with just over two minutes left in the fourth quarter.

On the Jayhawks' final drive of the game a minute later, however, he was tackled following a three-yard run and remained on the ground for a while before leaving the field under his own power.

Kansas now will look to regroup for a final regular-season push, although - based on Saturday's events - the team's immediate future isn't exactly brimming with light.

The Jayhawks started the weekend on the brink of the Top 25 and in position to battle for their first outright Big 12 North title in school history.

They return to Lawrence with a bruised psyche, a hobbled quarterback and a remaining schedule that features two top-15 opponents in their final two regular-season games - the first of which comes Saturday in Lawrence against No. 5 Texas.

"That's why this one hurts the most," cornerback Justin Thornton said. "It wasn't because Nebraska beat us. It's the fact that we can't reach that Big 12 North (title) now. In a way, it can still happen still. But we're not in control of our own destiny at this point.

"So it hurts."


meatsauce 13 years, 9 months ago

The natural order of the universe has been restored. You may now resume normal programming.

Omari Miller 13 years, 9 months ago

I'd be the first one to say that we have some real problems to work out, but all of these so-called fans in here talking about how they won't support the team because of it, frankly, are pathetic.When Nebraska has bad years and gets trounced by epic numbers, their fans gripe, but sell-out their stadium. We go to a BCS bowl for the first time in school history, win it and go 12-1 with all of the backers screaming: "Don't call us just a basketball school!" Then we follow up with a disappointing season only to have the suprisingly high number of fair-weathers talk about how we'll always be a basketball school, etc.We've backed a team that's trying to grow a football program in the best conference in the nation (some of us, anyway). A third of the conference has a legitimate shot to play for the national championship this year and nearly half of the conference's programs have won national championships before. Building any program into a powerhouse is likely going to come with setbacks, but doing so in the Big 12 will for certain.Yes, Bowen's schemes and preparation are confounding... to KU fans, not the opposition. That's extremely aggrevating. We lost games we should have won. But you know? If that's all it takes to have some of you show your true colors and proclaim you won't support the team, can't wear your Jayhawk t-shirts anymore, etc., then so be it and good riddance. Our field, for the time being, still has a track around it and our football facility, while stellar, was just completed at the start of this season. Coach Mangino's staff last year gave us a champagne perfomance on a Kool-Aid budget.The overwhelming number of our best players were two-star recruits looked over by the teams we play... and our star quaterback is 5'10" with tiny hands. But you know what? They tend to play with huge hearts and above levels most others would have expected. When our two-star players defied the odds and the critics to win the Orange Bowl for old KU, that was not only great for our fans, but exeplified the best of college football.Have they and the coaches shot themselves in the foot in games this year? H#LL, yes. But a true fan would say say something like: "Get the coaches in place that will make the most of our players, prepare them properly, and put them in the best place to perform to their best abilities on gameday." Not, "I can't support KU football anymore... it's just not worth my time."For my fellow, TRUE Jayhawks that have suffered through seasons full of trouncings from great teams and butt kickings from mediocre teams in a Memorial Stadium that was either less-than-half-full or filled by the other teams' fans... for those of use who have broken out crimson and blue on football game days where we beat bullies on the block or got beaten up by the class simp, work out your frustrations, address that angst, but continue to be fans. To the others, find another bandwagon to jump on.

Fred Davis 13 years, 9 months ago

I've said this before, and I'll echo what esque said - the holes are in the recruiting... Mangino and company have done this team a disservice recruiting the defensive side of the ball... I know we've done a great job scouring Texas for offensive talent, well, now it's time to grab some of those hosses for the defensive side of the ball... Until we get better athletes on defense, we're going to see more of the same...For all the haters out there dogging the football team saying this can't be a football school, this team can get back on track, but Mangino and Co. need more playmakers, and I can't stress that enough - more playmakers... We're probably on pace for a 6-6 record, but this football team is a good football team - we just happen to have a very bad defense, and it's shown this season...Play the next two games close and we'll go to some bowl in Texas - which isn't necessarily a bad thing - they've got some ballers down there that would look real good in crimson and blue - we re-tool this defensive unit much in the way we re-tooled the offense two years ago when Quartarro was canned, and you see what happened...Mangino is a smart guy, and he's well aware that in today's college football, all the good that going to the Orange Bowl did can evaporate quickly with two consecutive 6-6 seasons... I expect Bowen to get the boot with two more pathetic showings - and that's fine, because when you wanna be a major football player, you make major moves, and that means firing an ineffective coordinator after one season... KU can right this thing, but Mangino's gotta re-coordinate this offseason...

livedeadhead 13 years, 9 months ago

Ya, we just aren't very good at football, we need to stick with basketball cause KU just isn't a football school and no matter how much everybody may want it to be so ONE GOOD YEAR out of a 100 does not make us good at football, Nebraska just has so much more tradition and so many more good players than we do we are lucky it was as close as it was.

wavemaker306 13 years, 9 months ago

we teach our children that if you give your best and don't quit that you can hold your head up. Your kids didn't quit and your head coach is a gracious gentleman. Kansas may have had 9 returning D starters in september but not yesterday remember, and they were faced with junior and senior receivers and a QB with 5 years in the system. win or loose that was a fun game to watch, Be Proud. They will beat themselves up for this, just pat them on the back like you would your own kid.

1977kufan 13 years, 9 months ago

Well, this will be a half dozen year - six wins, six loses and I hope and pray that Todd is fine. Much better than 2 and 9 or 3 and 8, but certainly not an "Orange Bowl" performance. The D is certainly an enigma. They certainly fooled me. I thought 9 returning starters met that we had a definitive strength. Was I ever wrong in that assumption!!! This glaring deficiency (yes, as in D and we really don't have any) will be even more obvious in the next two games, but yet, my blood will always be Crimson and Blue. GO JAYHAWKS!!!

Kent Kossoy 13 years, 9 months ago

Pay out a lot of money and we are back to the same ole mediocrity that is KU football. Just really frustrating.

Hawkish4bigM 13 years, 9 months ago

JBurtin, you can disagree but you don't have to start name-calling. It reflects on your IQ.

esque 13 years, 9 months ago

Mangino and staff are simply not getting it done out on the recruiting trail. Coaches and schemes don't matter much when the team is facing better athletes week in and week out, especially along the defensive front. Until they pursue and land better players, we will continue to have our hopes dashed come conference play.

Eurekahwk 13 years, 9 months ago

This isn't going to be a great sports year for KU, so get used to it. We were living on cloud 9 last year, but our teams have lost key playmakers. I was hoping football would have a chance to do some good things, but they've been unable to make up for substantial losses. For those basketball school only idiots, I said before the season that football would be better than basketball, and I still mean that.

actorman 13 years, 9 months ago

You made a decent point, Eureka, until you made the nonsensical comment that basketball will be worse than football. Are you saying we'll be a .500 team in basketball or that we'll make the NIT (or no postseason at all) instead of the NCAA? Yes, KU lost a lot of great players after the championship, but we also had Self's usual stellar recruiting class, and we still have some talent left from last year. Yes it will be a work in progress, but to suggest that the football team will end up with a better season is nothing short of ridiculous.That being said, I of course still support the football team and hope they can pull a miracle against UT. I expected this would be a fairly rough year (although I didn't think the defense would be THIS bad), and I know it's all part of the process of building a program.Finally, as for Hawksboy88's comments ("wow all of you are idiots. apparently you have forgotten....THAT WE ARE BOWL ELIGIBLE!! E-L-I-G-I-B-L-E! for the first time in Kansas Football history we are going to a bowl for the second straight season!"), I'd be careful who you're calling an idiot, Hawksboy. Since your memory obviously only goes back to last year, apparently YOU have forgotten that two years ago KU was 6-6 and DIDN'T make a bowl game. Yes, circumstances are different this year so KU likely will make a bowl game even if it finishes 6-6, but it's idiotic to say it like it's a guarantee. Since you're obviously too stupid to realize it, bowl ELIGIBLE is not the same thing as going to a bowl game.

rockchalkin54 13 years, 9 months ago

If a recruit decides to commit with Nebraska after they won then he obviously wasn't right for KU anyway.Is it the end of the world if KU finishes 6-6? NO! I hope that Mangino would use it for the 'Hawks benefit for next year.It's so much more fun to look at things positively, isn't it?

kranny 13 years, 9 months ago

I disagree. Nebraska's Linemen are simply faster and stronger than our lines. Our Defensive players are sort of okay. Our d-line is not very fast and that is something you simply can't coach. Our Offensive line plays two freshmen tackles. KU fans will need to be patient. Last year was great but we benefited from a weak schedule and all the pieces came together. For the next two years we'll be putting pieces back together and hopefully with talent against a tough schedule. We are still a few years away from consistently getting big time talent to compete with the OU, Tex, Tex Tech schedule. It would be nice to have one of those teams scheduled during the Baylor schedule years.

oregonjhawk 13 years, 9 months ago

Solomon - I agree completely. I was listening to the game on the radio and when I heard the incomplete call and then the penalty after the Neb fans booed, I about lost my mind. Since when can the refs decide to call a penalty almost a full minute after the play is done??? One of the most blatantly fan-influenced calls in recent memory and a huge mometum swing for the suhckers.

Hawkish4bigM 13 years, 9 months ago

I might add that it is never a good idea to promote someone from within unless they have been groomed for the job for years (ala Roy Williams at the side of Dean SMith) Bowen was not in that position. We need to remedy that and soon. The D Coach needs to be on the recruiting trail ASAP. So, don't waste any more time defending the status quo. Get a defensive guru!!!!

flouis 13 years, 9 months ago

I love KU, but they frustrate the H3ll out of me. They were the better team but I feel the game plan and preparation was not adequate. It also cost us a recruit. A Earnest Norman a linebacker from TX just de-committed and signed with Nebraska. We needed that win to help solidify ourselves in the north and we let it slip away.I'm still going to wear my #5 jersey this Saturday, but I don't see a way we will finish better than 6-6 without some better schemes and prep.

kranny 13 years, 9 months ago

Good Lord. We are bowl eligible and we will go to a bowl for the fourth time in 5 years. And some of you guys are ready to throw Mangino and company under the bus. Get a freakin' clue. Bill Young was gettin' the same love 2 and 3 years ago when we lost to Baylor. Building a consistent winning football team takes time. Mangino is getting the facilities and every year his recruiting star level creeps up higher and higher and he's doing it with mainly high school kids with character. Be patient and celebrate what we've got. I hope we're not throwing Bill Self under the bus too soon either because we're going to lose some Bball games also.

MountainHawk 13 years, 9 months ago

Im not a big fan of bowen right now, Something gotta change with the D, but our offence has been sloppy too, just not as bad. But hey, with some help we can still win the north, When was the last time we could say that in November for consecutive years. This year and last year are shapping up to be the best recruiting classes Mangino's had so the team should be getting better. But we lost some bigtime playmakers to the pros last year and diddnt have the depth to replace them this year, Untill we can develope these younger guys its gonna be rough. Hey we can still go Bowling(i think we need to win at least one more) and with some help win the Big XII. True fans support their teams regardless of preformance. Be loud stay for the whole game, never say never!Rock Chalk

rockchalks7 13 years, 9 months ago

just lost top linebacker recruit earnest norman to nebraska today.. wouldn't be surprised to see more of that coming

Larry Smith 13 years, 9 months ago

Freddyd and esque, I agree whole heartedly about the talent. I will repeat this a coach of mine once said..."It don't matter about the x's and o's if you don't have the Jim's and the Joe's."Translation: The best coaches in the world will struggle to win without talented athletes. We need more talent.Random thoughts.....I love KU football. I have followed it for 20 something years, thru the good and the bad, the happy and the sad. Last year was great and I relished every minute of it. This year has still been fun. I had High hopes along with the rest of the KU fan base. Reality quickly set in during the South Florida game. I will still root for the Crimson and Blue. I will still support the kids and the staff. I will not suddenly throw a coordinator under the bus because of circumstance. I think the offense as well as the defense has been poor in most of the losses. It is still a team game. Maybe last years defense did benefit from the weakest schedule in D1, despite what I wanted to believe. I may be wrong, but I think Young only had 1 win his entire tenure against OU, OKST,TTECH and TEXAS. I think Bowen needs more time. I think we need better athletes. I think last years offense masked a lot of the problems on D. I think this years offense is not as productive so the D is on the field way to often. We make a lot more mistakes than we did last year..does that have to do with leadership on the field?Hell, I could go on all day with these random thoughts..I still bleed crimson and blue and am a jayhawk thru and thru. I will be there in the rain or the shine, in the wind and the snow, stadium packed to the rafters or half empty. This is my team and I love them.RCJH

Dan Harris 13 years, 9 months ago

In case any of the players read these posts,don't listen to any of the fairweather fans that post on here, they are definitely in the minority. I live in Texas and would love to see a monumental upset next week so I won't have to listen to all my neighbors gloat. Good luck next week and Rockhalk Jayhawk!

rasta_meta 13 years, 9 months ago

At the very least bring in a co-defensive coordinator like Oklahoma and Texas have done a couple of times. Good programs don't hesitate to bring in good coaches. However, Mangino seems to be a little stubborn in this area. I was really hoping that he would have hired Phil Bennett last year, instead he went to Pitt. There were a few good coordinators available last year and instead he went with Bowen and the program is suffering because of it. Mangino stuck with Nick Quartaro for several years and he was a terrible offensive coordinator and it set the program back, I hope he doesn't do the same with Bowen.Having bad coaches or coordinators not only costs wins in one season, it damages recruiting and affects future seasons. If he really wants to play for championships at KU he needs to do something about now or we always be a 6 - 6 type of team. However, I don't think Perkins will tolerate that for long and will either ask Mangino to make changes or Mangino will be gone.

Code_2008 13 years, 9 months ago

For the record, even if Mizzou loses again... we have to have BOTH Mizzou AND Nebraska lose now for KU to have any chance at the North Title Game.Face it, we're gonna go 6-6 if defense doesn't fix things this week.Bowl-eligible? Unless we win another game, our chances of getting into post-season are not good. (You think the Bowl Committee would want to pick a team that is on a 3 game losing streak?)Also... the officiating sucked in Lincoln... (for both teams)Basically, KU has nothing left to lose... good time for a stunner... is Texas ready?

beebe1 13 years, 9 months ago

Our players are OK. The Defensive scheme is inadequate! Two years ago Ohio State played Purdue in Purdue. Their defense was spectacular. The Purdue guy would cross the line, turn for a quick pass. He never got turned around; he was dropped in his tracks for a couple of yards.The offense has 5 eligible receivers; we've got 7 guys in our defensive secondary. Who is accounting for those eligible receivers? It sure as h--- isn't the Defensive Coordinator! And I doubt the players are, on their own, accounting for them either!Our coach for linebackers played LB at Ohio State; he was an All-Pro LB as well. He probably knows something about Defense. Bowen was taught Defense by an incompetent Coordinator when he played. He hasn't learned anything since! Bowen is a likeable guy -- but surely he doesn't get paid for being likeable.Our guys have been taught to back off, let them catch the pass (after they made the 10 yards), and then try to tackle them. Won't work; never has;never will. Mangino is defending Bowen -- because he's likeable? We've got a guy who knows something about Defense, but Bowen overrules him. There is no hope for this season! I predicted a 6-6 year way back when. Here it comes. And I doubt anyone would want a Bowl team that couldn't win half their XII games. Let's switch to BB!

KU 13 years, 9 months ago

Earnest Norman is a 3 start recruit, if I recall correctly. He's 5'10 according to the recruiting services, so he's probably 5'9 in real life. They say he runs a 4.6, so he's probably 4.7 or 4.8, which would put him in the Mike Rivera category speed-wise, in other words, incapable of keeping up with speedy receivers. Might be a good athlete, but hardly the prototypical LB you want covering tight ends or big receivers across the middle in the Big 12.

Robert Brock 13 years, 9 months ago

Where is the pass rush? KU puts absolutely no pressure on the passer so is it any wonder that a mediocre quarterback can sit back and find easy targets? The Hawks look slow even on a blitz!

eastcoasthawk 13 years, 9 months ago

Wasn't able to catch the game yesterday. Can anyone let me know if the defense was as predictable as they had been for most of the season? Or was Bowen mixing it up? Definitely was thinking we had a shot to pull off a win in Lincoln.

MountainHawk 13 years, 9 months ago

Hawksboy88, we are bowl eligible, but that dosent mean were going bowling, and we can go to the Big XII championship if we win out and Mizzou looses next week as well, Unlikeley(the horns are in town next week)possible but unlikely. With the number of quality teams in the Big XII we wont make a bowl at 6-6, we have to win one more game to get a bowl bid.

Jeff Hargate 13 years, 9 months ago

Forget about the defense...what genious called the Meier reverse on 2nd and 2? The defense is what it is and we have known this for weeks, but our offense can't dominate a subpar Nebraska defense? We punted 7 times!! Big problems...everywhere.

Max Ledom 13 years, 9 months ago

wow all of you are idiots. apparently you have forgotten....THAT WE ARE BOWL ELIGIBLE!! E-L-I-G-I-B-L-E! for the first time in Kansas Football history we are going to a bowl for the second straight season! that is awesome no matter what are record is! your already giving up on our two more games? we will be playing inspired now to get to mizzou and have a chance at going to the title! Im dissapointed in all of you do you want that shirt Mizzou fans were wearing last year to be true? "Kansas Football: Tradition since september" dont ever come to a game again this is really sad on the jayhawk nations part. wow...

rkstoops 13 years, 9 months ago

I appreciate you guys that have a level head after a loss. Of course we're all disappointed because last year spoiled us, but I'm so sick of hearing that we should just forget football and wait for basketball. Yes, we should be better, and we should have won that game, but if you're giving up on our football program because we're 6-4, you can go root for MU. We don't want you. From what I've seen last year and this year, we just don't have the athletes that the big time programs have in many positions. The reason KU had such a great year last year was coaching. We have some amazing skill players - like Reesing - but our lines just aren't big or fast enough to stick with Texas, OU, USC, etc. Even watching the Orange Bowl, you could tell that we were outplaying VTech, but not the biggest or baddest athletes. So let's support our coaches that have gotten us this far and root for our boys against Texas and MU. It can happen. I live in Iowa and no one thought the Hawkeyes could beat Penn St.

Lance Hobson 13 years, 9 months ago

We should be going bowling. TU and Mizzou will be tough losses that any bowl will understand.We do need to fix the D, though. Why no talk about Reesing becoming the leading KU passer?

jayhawkintexas 13 years, 9 months ago

Since Mangino got abig raise after last year's great season does he have to give it back for having a mediocre season? Nah, probably not..but he should.

JBurtin 13 years, 9 months ago

"I might add that it is never a good idea to promote someone from within unless they have been groomed for the job for years (ala Roy Williams at the side of Dean SMith) Bowen was not in that position."I guess being groomed for the position for six years under Bill Young doesn't qualify?

FlaHawk 13 years, 9 months ago

KU is a horrible zone defensive team. No pass rush and the LBs are slow, which is the reason for the zone. Unfortunately, in the Big XII the field is really stretched and zone only works with superior tackling and speed. The KU LBs are dinosaurs and corners and safeties are not even average tacklers (except for Stuckey) and do not have exceptional speed.KU defense is caught in a catch-22. Wait for next year as they need to heavily recuit to address this exceptional liability.Talib and McClinton made more difference than anyone could believe. Coach Young knew what he was doing when he left. H eunderstood the difference between the 2006 and 2007 defensive units.

speedy 13 years, 9 months ago

if a zone pass defense does not work then try a man for man. if that does not work either thenrush all 11. do something besides having a great view as they run by. i cannot wear my jayhawk cap anymore. mizzou by 40! tex by 70! at the half.

JBurtin 13 years, 9 months ago

Finally a decent crowd of fans make their way to the boards. People who aren't ready to jump off the bandwagon for the soul purpose of throwing somebody else under it.Eight bowl games.Four teams will be bowl eligable from the South. A&M and Baylor have virtually no chance.Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska are eligable in the North, while Iowa State is eliminated from contention. That only leaves K-State and Colorado as possibilities for getting Bowl eligable. Even if they both somehow got there, KU has a tie-breaking win over both of them.Even if we don't win another game this year, one of those two teams would be in the same position that we were in in 2006. Bowl eligable, but the odd man out.We've had some struggles this year for sure, but when a bad year still nets us a bowl game I'm not going to get terribly disappointed.We have freshmen playing on the line on both sides of the ball trying to replace Seniors and All-Americans. If you don't win the battle in the trenches you're not going to win the game.Add to that the fact that we're playing freshmen in the defensive backfield, and the story gets worse.Add to that the fact that two of our Senior linebackers have been limping around campus all year long, and the story gets worse than that.Then to top it off, our biggest losses were actually on the offensive side of the ball. Nobody got us to go 3 and out last year. Our offense always won the time of possession, or scored so much that it didn't matter. We've replaced and NFL caliber tight end with a true freshman, and have to waste his considerable talents as nothing more than a blocker to help out our inexperienced offensive line, and we can't even free him up by bringing in a big runningback because both of our big runningbacks have been ineffective.Between key losses from last year's team and some bad luck with injuries to the guys we were depending on to be stallwarts our coaches have still coached this team to bowl eligabilty. When we can pull a bowl game in a down year, I'm definitely a happy Jayhawk.

jhawks4life 13 years, 9 months ago

Well said hawksboy. I think most of you are forgetting what we are talking about. Its KU Football!!! two straight years of bowl eligibilty is fantastic and the fact is we don't have the talent we had last year. And thats gonna happen sometimes you just have to live with it. And news flash the last time we won in lincoln was 1968! I mean come on thats a tough statistic to overlook. We still have an outside chance at the title game so lets be supportive of our hawks and lets see if we can get a couple of wins. MUCK FIZZOU! Rock Chalk!

justanotherfan 13 years, 9 months ago

Folks, what this comes down to is talent. The top tier of talent in the Big XII (Texas, Oklahoma, maybe Tech and Missouri) is ahead of us. We are probably in about the same position as Oklahoma State, Nebraska and Colorado. Thankfully, that puts A&M, Baylor, K-State and Iowa State behind us, but that doesn't say much.Look at our losses. We have lost on the road in competitive games to teams that were pretty close to us talentwise (USF, NU). There was really no way we were beating OU if you are really being honest with yourself. They scored whenever they wanted against us. The next week, Briscoe didn't go crazy again against Texas Tech, and we got trounced. The problem lies with our talent. We have long recruited two and three star guys and groomed them into starting level players. That's great, but when we lose several players at once (from the O-line) or lose big time playmakers early (Aqib) we don't have a ready made solution. Add in that if we can't turn those two and three stars into studs (i.e. instead of becoming James McClinton or Brandon McAnderson they remain a two or three star quality player) we have an undertalented football team.

justanotherfan 13 years, 9 months ago

The truth of recruiting is this. A five star should be a star at the collegiate level, but only very rarely will a five star player turn out to not be a contributor. Probably less than 10% of the time.A four star should at least be a starter, but sometimes they don't develop, and end up being only a spot starter or a serviceable backup. But most times, four stars at least gets you a two year starter by the time its all said and done.A three star should be a contributor, either as a spot starter or a solid backup, but if they don't develop, they are a low level backup, or just a scholarship holder. There's more risk here, because this is the guy that was just a little too small, or a little too slow, or not quite strong enough. If that guy doesn't find some way to overcome that, he's stuck on the end of the bench for four years.A two star has all sorts of risk. They may be a low level backup. If you get lucky, they can develop as a late bloomer, but you're as likely to land a late blooming two star that becomes an All-American as you are to land a two star that never gets fast enough or strong enough to contribute at the D-I level. Last year we hit homeruns with a number of the two and three stars (Aqib, B-Mac, McClinton, etc.). This year, the only players that would start on even half of the other teams in the Big XII are Briscoe (he'd start everywhere except maybe OU because of their depth at WR), Sharp (everywhere but OU and NU), and Stuckey (everywhere but OU and Maybe MU). Reesing is borderline, because he wouldn't start at no less than five schools in the conference. The point is, most of our guys are mid level talents in this conference, some not even quite mid level. Look at the end of the year All Conference teams. Who would make it from this team as a first or second teamer? Briscoe? Maybe Sharp? Remote chance for Stuckey?Who's honorable mention? Maybe Rivera? Possibly Reesing? Who would play on Sunday's off this squad? Probably just Briscoe. Stuckey or Rivera would get invited to camp, but would be fringe guys. These guys are all likeable, but I think we have reached the peak of what we can do recruiting this level of player.

beebe1 13 years, 9 months ago

For anyone's info, rasta-meta played football with Bowen. He knew that the then coordinator was incompetent. Out of that class, rasta-meta is the only defensive guy in the bunch that has succeeded!And for bragging about 20 years as a fan, want to go for 60? I did.

Kent Kossoy 13 years, 9 months ago

Had they won the two games that KU should have, we would not be having this discussion. That being said, if Mangino is going to be paid $3mil a year, then perhaps we should expect at least an 8-4 season????? Maybe the bonus should have win the ones you should?? He could always get a job with Lehman or AIG!

actorman 13 years, 9 months ago

"Good Lord. We are bowl eligible and we will go to a bowl for the fourth time in 5 years."Sheesh! How many times do people have to be told that bowl E-L-I-G-I-B-L-E is not the same as being I-N a bowl?!?!?! We were bowl E-L-I-G-I-B-L-E two years ago and DIDN'T make a bowl. Another minor detail is that it would be the fourth bowl game in SIX years, not five. So your statement is idiotic on two levels. Now if you had said, "We are bowl eligible and there's a good chance we'll go to a bowl for the fourth time in 6 years," that would have made sense. But there are no guarantees that 6 wins are enough to make a bowl game. Can we please stop with all the comments that it's a foregone conclusion that we'll go bowling?Excellent analysis, justanother, with one possible exception: I would think that Holt would at least make honorable mention. He's probably been the best defensive player on the team the last few games (not that that's saying much these days ...).Although it's not guaranteed, I think KU will probably still make a bowl game at 6-6, and it doesn't have anything to with the Bowl Committee picking "a team that is on a 3 game losing streak." As far as I understand, the Big XII is guaranteed to have 8 teams in bowl games, and I think there will likely be 4 teams who are not eligible. If that's the case, then KU will slide into a bowl game. So it may very well come to pass that KU makes its fourth bowl game in six years -- but it would seem like a fairly hollow victory if KU gets in there with a 6-6 record.But there's still something to be said for making two consecutive bowl games for the first time in history. It's all about progress -- sometimes small progress, but progress nevertheless.

Kman_blue 13 years, 9 months ago

Also, lots of good points being made about recruiting and talent levels. But I do think we have some young guys playing out there right now and struggling who are going to be studs by the time they are juniors and seniors and look to be "diamonds in the rough" so to speak. It's just that they are young and inexperienced and just importantly they're young. I think some of you seem to be forgetting that these are still young guys who are still physically growing! I know I was noticeably bigger, stronger, and faster by the time I finished at KU. It's the rare athlete that comes in as a freshman or even a red shirt freshman who is physically prepared to compete at the D1 level. As far as future recruiting, I think we still have a lot of work to continue to do. The upgrades to the facilities will help, but success on the field will help even more. We've got to keep playing well on the field and getting better. Something which we haven't done this year. This team has gotten worse on defense during the year and hasn't really improved much on the offensive side this year. Like others have mentioned, we lost a recruit to nebraska on Saturday as well as the game. Let's just hope he doesn't influence his fellow highschool teammate and currently KU's top recruit, Prinz Kande, to go with him! Until Earnest Norman left, we were 5-2 head to head against nebraska on the recruiting trail. So, we're still 4-3 against them so far. That means we're beating nebraska on the recruiting trail right now. As recently as 2 years ago the only teams in the Big 12 we were regularly out recruiting were Iowa State and Baylor. Now, we're out recruiting 1/2 the Big 12 and winning head to head battles for guys against teams like nebraska and beating out KSU for the top in state talent. I think those are big steps in the right direction, but we need to do that and better for another few years in a row if we want to continue building this program and continue success on the field. The last thing we probably need to do to continue to improve recruiting, is to increase the capacity of our stadium or at least improve it on a significant level and continue to sell it out. When these recruits make visits and see a nice new looking, good sized stadium sold out and a good performance on the field, they're much more impressed and it's the difference maker for some of them.On another note, we're still on the short list for a few big time DE and DT recruits out there. Let's hope we get them and making it to a bowl game and pulling out a W in one of our last 2 games will surely help out!ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK!sorry for my run on rant, but I had to get it out! :D

Hawkish4bigM 13 years, 9 months ago

We have to be concerned about the direction the program is going. I don't agree with the talent issue. How many Heisman winners go on to be duds in the NFL? Therefore, how many super high school players have the same trouble? Sometimes its about the players around you making you look good. Sometimes its luck and sometimes its preparation. The one thing that we can MOST control is preparation. Are we prepping our team to the utmost? when you have 9 returning starters on defense and perform the way we have I don't think so. Either they are not conditioned well enough, are not getting what they are being taught, or they are not being taught correctly. I do NOT think that it is about sheer athleticism. Boise State did not beat OU with better athletes.

beebe1 13 years, 9 months ago

Hey, you have to upgrade, at this level, a little at a time. And yes we had pretty good talent last year and much of it is guys returning.The team has not been properly coached!

justanotherfan 13 years, 9 months ago

Let's look at how Boise St. beat OU. Did they dominate OU? No, they used a great gameplan and flawless execution of 2 (TWO!) trick plays to catch lightning in a bottle and upset OU. On the hook and lateral notice that the OU safety, who took two steps in the wrong direction, still nearly caught the Boise player before he scored. If he doesn't get fooled that badly, Boise doesn't score there. They benefit from not having to play teams like OU every year. They can trick their way to success in one isolated game. WE DO NOT HAVE THAT LUXURY.Even if we hook and lateral our way to a win one week, we still have a Texas, or a Texas Tech, or an OU, or a Missouri on our schedule. We can't trick and out-manuever and fool every team on our schedule. We can prepare, but all the preparation in the world won't save you when a guy like Quan Cosby makes a move in the open field, or Michael Crabtree goes up for a catch. You can't just scheme to block Alex English. All the conditioning in the world doesn't run down Joseph Maclin. Those aren't X's and O's on a piece of paper. Those are legit athletes, and if you don't have athletes to match, you can't control what those guys do, period. If we are to continue advancing as a program, a talent upgrade is a MUST. Either we stay at this level talentwise and hope that every few years we catch a great schedule combined with a few big time playmakers and win 11 or 12 games, or we go out and recruit the kinds of guys that are more likely to BE playmakers when they arrive.Notice how I broke down the recruits. A five star may not turn into a superstud, but he probably becomes serviceable. With a two star, though, if he doesn't develop, that's just a miss, plain and simple. Right now, Mangino and staff have to be 100% on OVERdeveloping recruits. They can't have a single miss. Not one. There is no margin. They can't just have a guy come in and reach his potential. Recruiting a two star that comes in and plays like a two star gets us beat in the Big XII. Even recruiting a three star that comes in and plays like a three star keeps us in the middle of the pack in our conference. They have to have guys come in and overachieve. And not just one or two. We're talking six or seven guys that significantly overachieve. I realize that a lot of fans really like a lot of these guys, because these guys raised the program out of utter mediocrity. That's great. But now, if we are to turn the next corner, we need these guys to be replaced by better guys.

Hawkish4bigM 13 years, 9 months ago

We almost lost to Iowa State, did not play that well in a couple of our wins and finish 6-6. We got embarrased on national tv and will bet embassased at least one more time, most likely. Isn't any alarms going off anywhere? We will most likely end up 3-5 in the conference with not a single win agains a South division team, making all the comments about last year's schedule seem legit. Isn't anybody out there getting concerned?????????? The long problem at KU is that they would not put up with this in bball, but they accept it as fait accomplai in footbal. Drives me nuts.

Kman_blue 13 years, 9 months ago

"And news flash the last time we won in lincoln was 1968!" Yes, we haven't won in lincoln since 1968, but news flash I don't think we've gone into lincoln with the better team more than 2 or 3 times in the past 40 years, and this year was one of them. Also, until 3 years ago, we hadn't beaten nu since that 1968 road win against them, but we've won 2 in a row at home against them now. So, those long standing records aren't some law of physics which can't or shouldn't be broken. This year should of been our time to break that record, but obviously it didn't go that way."when a bad year still nets us a bowl game I'm not going to get terribly disappointed." Very true, but the real disappointment is why in the h*ll has this been a bad year with all of the talent we do have?!?! I think it's the defensive coordinator's fault. I think we need to go out and recruit a proven DC to either replace Bowen or become co-DC after this season. To those saying we're a BB school and NOTHING ELSE, YOU NEED TO CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDES or get lost and just come out of the woodwork on the BB boards! You know, we had a good FB program in the first 40 or 50 years of this school, not great but good and we regularly beat nebraska and oklahoma back then. What changed is that those schools actively began building their FB programs and we didn't. Now our school is making the effort to build the program, and our fans need to join in! There's way more than enough room for a top 5 BB program AND a top 5(10, 20, 25 whichever you see as a great program) FB program. Even with the reputation our school had for FB before last year, our program is still an historically winning program! Those 2-10, 3-8, etc seasons were aberrations, not the norm! That also makes a 6-6 season HISTORICALLY BELOW AVERAGE FOR OUR SCHOOL! Let's keep our expectations high and our program going up!

Hawkish4bigM 13 years, 9 months ago

Good golly. Lots of rants. Can we keep our comments to 100 words or less? JUSTANOTHERFAN, preparation (conditioning) creates leaping ability and speed. Maybe we don't have enough conditioning. I really don't know. I understand that the "slower" a recruit is the harder the work. I understand all that. And I agree that better players should make teams better. Are we maximizing existing talent? I don't think so. Now, about recruiting, I'd like to hear some ideas. Anyone?

rasta_meta 13 years, 9 months ago

I think it is fair to say that the talent level is not as good as some other teams. Also, I think it should have been expected that the defense would have more problems against the better teams this year. However, that does not explain the defensive problems against the other teams or how we can't even stop the run this year. Not only did 9 starters return, but we also returned 19 or 20 off the two deep from last year. That means we returned all of the backups as well. That is a lot of experience returning, yet they can't stop anyone. During the season, they started playing more of the younger guys and started using that as an excuse for the problems. The coaches have to take the responsibility for this one, both with their schemes and the players they put on the field.

beebe1 13 years, 9 months ago

Tell the top guy, "You're the only one between us and complete success. Come and help!"Maybe a bit to bald -- that is partly facetious.

justanotherfan 13 years, 9 months ago

Recruiting ideas...Three states where we must get players1) Texas2) Florida3) KansasMetropolitan areas we need to succeed in:1) KC Metro (both sides of the state line)2) Wichita3) Dallas4) HoustonWe must get the top 3 players from the state of Kansas EVERY YEAR. There can be no Arthur Brown to Miami, or Bryce Brown to follow him there. No losing a top LB prospect to Oklahoma (That's in our own conference!). Kansas doesn't produce two or three dozen prospects like some bigger states do, but it produces some, and we have to get them ALL. Draw a line that encompasses Kansas and recruit to make sure no legitimate D-I talent leaves these borders.We have to get top level talent from the KCMO side as well. Rockhurst and Blue Springs put guys at the D-I level every year. We should be getting some of those kids. We should OWN the KC recruiting scene. We are closer to Kansas City than any other D-I program. Back when Nebraska was a dominant program, they dominated the KC recruiting scene, leaving us with the leftovers. Unacceptable. We lose too many kids from the Wichita area right now. I realize that Norman isn't very far from there, but we cannot lose those battles. We will never catch OU if they come in and poach our best instate talent.Dallas and Houston are obvious. There are so many strong programs in those two cities, dozens of D-I caliber players.

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