Since KU has this awesome, national TV distribution deal for athletics, I get to watch today's road game from
my couch Johnny's Tavern, since it is on cable, just on a channel I don't have.
Arrive at Johnny's an hour before gametime. Buddy shows up about 15 mins later. Watch A&M try to come back on 'Bama. They fail. KU game almost ready to start. Time for another beer and some wings. When I'm honest with myself, I plan on the worst.
Pregame. Can barely hear the announcers. Could be a good thing, I guess... never much cared for TV guys. Especially on networks I've never heard of. The crowd does not appear to be intimidating in the least. Maybe they're all tailgating and it will be a late arriving crowd.
Early 1st quarter. Heaps not looking good, but for heaven's sake, catch the ball (looking at you, Jimmay). Then a terrible pass and an easy pick-6. Rice 7, KU 0. Kansas special teams looking good so far, however. First quarter ends with KU down a TD.
Early 2nd quarter. Good Kansas defense so far. Still not impressed by the crowd.... probably no more "late arrivals."
Mid 2nd quarter. Attention Jake Heaps: you are not an option QB. Stop keeping the ball on the zone reads. Then, nice catch and run by Tony Pierson. Damn, he's fast. Tie ballgame.
Hafltime. Kansas is losing 13-7. Defense has not given up a TD yet. They are playing great, minus maybe two or three plays with breakdowns in the secondary leading to Rice field goals. Offense, however, is stagnant.
Mid 3rd quarter. Offense, you GOTTA pick up your defense. They are playing great. Ben Heeney, stud.
Late 3rd quarter. Nice pick and return into the red zone. Offense, what are you doing??? You're going the wrong way!! Parmalee probably wasn't down... Good call on hurrying the next play. Kansas offense struggled to go less than 20 yards, but got in the end zone and took the lead, 14-13.
Mid 4th quarter. Defense still looking good. McDonald is everywhere. Why is McHargue on the bench... did he get pulled, or is he hurt? Again, can't hear the TV guys in the bar. This Rice field goal kicker is... annoying. Rice re-takes the lead, 16-14.
Late 4th quarter. Kansas defense finally gives up a TD. That will probably ice the game for Rice at 23-14. KU fans at Johnny's Tavern are screaming at the TV. A few are yelling at Charlie Weis. Don't think he can hear you, fellas. Dammit, Jimmay... we told you to catch the frickin' ball already. Everyone was yelling at you. Can't you hear them?
Final Score: Kansas 14, Rice 23
Defense played above and beyond tonight, in my opinion.
Offense did not.
I'll just leave it at that.
Special teams... not so special after all. Partially blocked punt, missed field goal...
No more Jimmay Mundine, thanks. Put in someone else please. Anyone.
Heaps.... you gotta get rid of the ball, son. If no one is open... don't stand there. Get rid of it. They will eventually get to you.
I couldn't figure out what was wrong with the offense... we've got decent players... don't we? We've got a good offensive coordinator... don't we? I don't get it.
Bottom line... I'm actually not too upset, since I didn't expect to win this game.
And that pretty much says all anyone needs to know about Kansas football right now.
And lastly, let me be the first to apologize to Mrs. Grad for all the rice she's going to have to make her husband clean up. I assume the pantry got raided and innocent bags of rice and boxes of Rice-a-Roni paid the price for Kansas' inept offense.
Final, Final thought:
Playing a home-and-home with Rice was a bad idea. Which, again, tells you all you need to know about KU football right now.
Stay tuned next week for Game 3 - The view from the north end zone of Memorial Stadium.