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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mangino shifts attention to offense

Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing pitches the football to Jake Sharp against Texas Tech at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2009.

Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing pitches the football to Jake Sharp against Texas Tech at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2009.

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Jayhawks primed for showdown at K-State

KU football is hoping to extend its three-game winning streak against Kansas State.

Back in April, Kansas University football coach Mark Mangino looked at his defensive unit and saw a disaster-in-waiting.

With a number of relatively inexperienced players in prominent positions — as well as a lack of overall maturity — the coach figured that drastic times called for drastic measures. And so, breaking from his normal routine, in which he gave equal attention to both the offensive and defensive units, Mangino began devoting 95 percent of his time to the defense, working with defensive coordinator Clint Bowen to get the unit up to snuff.

“(I’d) go down for five minutes just so the kids know I’m alive on offense, and then I trot back down to the defensive side of the field,” Mangino said. “I’d spend the majority of my time watching defensive tape because I felt it was necessary to get the defense up and running.”

Thanks to a recent stretch in which the defense has played with a consistent level of success — in the past three games, the Jayhawks have recorded eight takeaways and held high-powered Oklahoma and Texas Tech to a respectable 505 combined passing yards — the coach is comfortable enough now to shift his focus away from the defense, content in the knowledge that it’s able to perform competitively on a weekly basis.

“I think the biggest thing is some of the young guys that hadn’t gotten a lot of reps, their awareness is a lot different now,” defensive coordinator Clint Bowen said. “It’s not just, ‘Oh my, what do I gotta do right now?’ as opposed to ‘OK, this is what’s going on right now’ and reacting to situations better.”

So with Mangino content — if not ecstatic — with his defensive unit, the coach now shifts his focus to getting the offense back on track.

In the past three games, all Kansas losses, the offensive unit has undergone its worst string of play in recent memory, a stretch that has included a regression in offensive line play, a nearly non-existent run game and the benching of starting quarterback Todd Reesing.

“It’s not because I have any magic wand or am a great coach or anything,” Mangino said. “But sometimes I wonder if the kids are like your own children — if you spend too much time with one, then the other doesn’t think that you think it’s important.”

As of Wednesday, Mangino seemed pleased with the new arrangement, calling the team’s practice that day “exceptional” and speaking jovially about his reunion with the offense.

“They’re overcoming my coaching, there’s no question about that,” Mangino joked of his work with the offense. “I’ve thrown my two cents in, I’ve kind of enjoyed it. I’ve hung out with the linemen a little bit, which is fun for me. It’s kind of a throw back to the old days, I kind of remember me teaching techniques and fundamentals that I taught 10 years ago that still apply.”

At the same time, Mangino insists he won’t be the reason for the offense’s improvement. The improvement, he said, will come from the players’ ability to develop and pick up on things as the season progresses.

Assuming they can do that, and assuming the defense can maintain its recent level of play, the hope is that, for the first time in a long time, the team can finally enjoy a complete performance.

“That’s the greatest hope that we have right now,” senior safety Darrell Stuckey said. “Knowing that if (the offense and defense) can show up on the same day, we’ll be one of those teams that’s almost able to win it all.”

Stuckey a Thorpe Award semifinalist

Stuckey this week was named one of 12 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to the nation’s top defensive back.

Stuckey, from Kansas City, Kan., is currently second on the team with 56 tackles and has been the anchor of the team’s defense this season.

He is also on the watch lists for the Nagurski, Bednarik and Lott awards, as well as the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.

McAnderson to speak at KU Quarterback Club meeting

The KU Quarterback Club will hold its weekly meeting today at 5 p.m. at Buffalo Wild Wings, 1012 Massachusetts St.

Former Kansas running back Brandon McAnderson will be the guest speaker. He’ll be followed by “Hawk Talk with Mark Mangino,” the coach’s live radio show, at 6 p.m.

Comments

Kevin Long 12 years, 11 months ago

I hope they have it right this week. I am surrounded by KSUck fans who act like this is the national championship or something around here. Bill Synder is a great coach, but so is ours.

Ted Toulouse 12 years, 11 months ago

Well Klong, we better start acting like every game matters too. It still feels like there are a bunch of bandwagon fans that will only stay interested if the team is doing well. We need the rabid tenacity of loyal fans whenever and where ever the team leads us.

Am glad to see HCMM start to give equal time to each unit. Obviously the D needed but by now, the machine needs to be well oiled and balanced going into these last 4 win-able games (yes, even Texas).

Kevin Long 12 years, 11 months ago

Believe me ttoulouse, I have been saying the same thing for years. Be loud and stay the whole game. Just beat K-State!

Carter Patterson 12 years, 11 months ago

Why would the LJW put that picture of Todd Reesing on the cover where he appears not to have thrown a perfect spiral?. Seriously, we know he's not having his best season, but this is the type of photo that you would expect to see on a KSUcks site, not a KU site.

Rivethead 12 years, 11 months ago

Uh, carterpatterson.....read the caption. Todd is PITCHING the ball to Sharp. It's not a throw. No spiral involved.

John Boyle 12 years, 11 months ago

Sorry ttoulouse,

the Texas game is only winnable if Texas plays extremely bad (as in overlooking KU). They have by far more talent in just about every position. Don't get me wrong, I hope we beat them but it will take a miracle for that to happen. Our offensive line and our overall defense are just not very good.

But we do need to make sure we beat KSU, NU and Misery.

stuckinchanute 12 years, 11 months ago

Don't know if any of you saw what Mr. Chase Daniel "tweeted" about KU on Saturday.

Watching KU absolutely self-destruct and loving it!!! 3:05 PM Oct 31st from Twitterrific

http://twitter.com/ChaseDaniel

Found all this here... http://www.mizzourahblog.com/

Just FYI

gogoplata 12 years, 11 months ago

Yes he needs to handle the Xs and Os. But more importantly Mangino should shift to instilling some hard nosed gritty toughness to this team on both sides of the ball. Maybe he is to close to see that this team is not "hard" like his teams have been in the past. His teams in the past have been more like pit bulls, this year they look more like a toy poodle.

John Myers 12 years, 11 months ago

Regarding Chase and his tweeting..

Um, doesn't Mizzou have the same record as us?

Um, isn't he sitting on the New Orleans bench, doing nothing?

patrick_raftery 12 years, 11 months ago

“(I’d) go down for five minutes just so the kids know I’m alive on offense, and then I trot back down to the defensive side of the field,” Mangino said.

"Trot" ... now THAT is some funny stuff from the HC!

focojayhawk 12 years, 11 months ago

Nice Chasen McDanielson!! I didn't know he was still out there! Good to see you are doing well, haha. He's the real deal when it comes to class. The face of Mizzou. Oh do i miss him!

MNHawk23 12 years, 11 months ago

remember last year when we played well but lost at oklahoma and then came back for a home game against a more talented team in texas tech but most of us thought we could win... and it didnt turn out so well..... well im looking for K-state to suffer the same fate as us last year! they are coming off a 'moral victory' loss at OU... now lets put up 63 on those hicks!

Joe Baker 12 years, 11 months ago

Guys please beat ksu!! You are the better team, hawk bias aside.

Play loose and have fun. Don't overplay, just play and win!

RCJHKU

100 12 years, 11 months ago

Spread them out Coach!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Respect, Attack, have a blast, and attack some more....

Just beat KSU.

KUbsee69 12 years, 11 months ago

Just heard an over-the-wall conversation between a couple of KSU grads. One has a daughter that graduated KU but now attends grad school at KSU (Traiter!!!). Anyway, apparently the daughter indicates that the mildcat students are planning on rushing the field if they win.

Don't let them do that. BEAT KSU!!!!!

12 years, 11 months ago

I have it on good authority that Chase may be the only known person to ever successfully combine auto-erotic asphyxiation with rhinotillexomania :^)

Kevin Long 12 years, 11 months ago

What else is new? Those idiots would rush the field if they beat KU when we were 2-10.

Sean Rodger 12 years, 11 months ago

I agree with Klong - this is "The Game" for ksu. Idiots is a well put term for Lame State Fans. Wish they would go back to the gutters they came from...

Bee Bee 12 years, 11 months ago

Todd, the guys on your team will be wearing the WHITE shirts on Sat. Just trying to help. Beat KSU

KURiggins 12 years, 11 months ago

KU will be fine. Sooner or later we will break lose again. I think its going to be this game. Also, Chase Daniel...needs to be with Detroit. He likes being on the worst team. Maybe we should not be so hard on him. Isn't he marrying his sister on Saturday? Oh well, take care Chase and remind me, how did your last game against KU go?? Rock Chalk FOREVER!! Go Todd! Go Kerry! Go Briscoe! Lock your doors K-State..were are COMING!

kuhawk4life 12 years, 11 months ago

Does anyone know where I will be able to watch the game on Saturday. I have Directv and, as everyone one knows, they don't carry Versus anymore. Does anyone have a good place?

OhioHawkfan 12 years, 11 months ago

I am flying in from OH for this game, so it would be FANTASTIC if the offense breaks loose this week and torches the wildkittens! Just like last year boys! 31-0 at the half sounds good! See y'all there!! ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK!!!!!

Blake Post 12 years, 11 months ago

man do i hate media and other people who for some reason have to make season and future predictions. inevitably there is over or underestimating involved. Few are smart enough to actually get it right. Keeps Vegas going, eh?

A lot of mouth goes on here. The Orange Bowl success filled the glass full. The coaches can worry about what they do. I will just enjoy watching.

However, since I am the King... off with their heads (KSUcks, that is)

If we play at 75% efficiency, we can still do the north because CU and ISU actually stink and will lose often, KSU will too. NU has shown to be no offense, turnover prone corndog bugeaters. MU seems to have improved since its meltdown against NU.

KU has been operating at between 35-50% overall efficiency. If we play like we have seen before on offense, we will win. The defense has become better. How flukey. I mean, how often is Kerry going to drop or fumble? If Briscoe catches all of his catchable balls, we win one or two more games. I love his ability and hope we are fortunate enough to benefit from all of what he can do.

Offensive line, I heard ksu said something about your mama.

12 years, 11 months ago

kuhawk4life ~

Where are you located? The best bet is to find a place like Chili's or Applebee's that has cable and not DirecTV. There are a lot of bars that have cable instead as well. Another option is to check out www.channelsurfing.net online tomorrow morning and see if they are showing it.

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