No matter what history will try and tell you, we are one of the Top 10 teams in the country this season. And our defense is Top 5 nationally. Bob Davie, amidst dumb comment after dumb comment, did say one intelligent thing. He said something to the following effect:
"What I like about Kansas is balance. They can run the ball, they can pass the ball. They are good on offense, they are good on defense."
You know what I like about this Jayhawk team? Besides balance, that is. It is our general lack of respect for history. Just think of the following historical nuggets of information that were broken just tonight:
--> We had never beaten the Aggies in College Station, had lost 7 in a row and are only 1-7 all-time against the Ags.
--> We had never beaten a Big 12 South team not named Baylor.
--> We were 0-7 against Big 12 South teams including Baylor.
--> The last time we were 8-0? 1909.
All broken this week. History means absolutely nothing to this team, and if "experts" like Lee Corso want to continue bringing up out-of-date stats in order to back a pick against us, be my guest. I like to think that the lack of national attention (and local, to a certain extent) has created a chip on this team's shoulder, a chip that will continue to motivate this team even more.
Here are my general thoughts on tonight's glorious, glorious victory in College Station:
1) Kendrick Harper has officially re-taken the starting CB spot opposite Aqib Talib. He made 3 or 4 tremendous tackles on the option and was one of the biggest reasons for Texas A&M's general failure running the option. He could still use some work in the coverage aspect, and is already a junior, but Mangino sure picked up a mighty fine commit in Harper. Chris Harris didn't play all that much today, but he is still a quality player. And even though we are losing Talib, the heart, soul and attitude of this defense, we have two really good corners to replace him.
2) Brandon McAnderson. Do I have to say anything else? Career game for BMac, 21 carries for 183 yards, and it was clear that few on the Aggies defense could actually bring him down. I have advocated more carries for Jake Sharp in the past here at RCT, but it was clear tonight who the better RB is. BMac is the obvious player of the game, he was the biggest reason our offense could move the ball.
3) Todd Reesing struggled, again, on the road. I know he is a true sophomore, but he is still playing awfully jittery on the road, specifically in the first half. Just like in Manhattan and Boulder, he calmed down quite a bit in the second half, but still struggled some. But despite all of these faults, I will take him over any other QB in the history of Kansas. With most Kansas QBs of the past, I am ecstatic with the way Reese played tonight, but with how well he has shown he can be, I still want more. I have a feeling he will give us more too, maybe even as soon as next week's game against the Cornhuskers.
4) I am not worried about Scott Webb. He is an awesome kicker, and despite his hiccup tonight will be there when we need him. He was a big reason why this wasn't a blowout win for the Jayhawks, but he is far from the biggest reason.
5) The biggest reason was the coaching staff. Don't get me wrong, the staff as a whole and namely Mangino have been awesome all year long, but they struggled big-time tonight after we jumped out to the 19-0 lead. First off, we should have taken the easy point and made it a 20-0 game. We went for two, didn't get it, and they almost tied it up at the end with a Hail Mary pass barely missing A&M hands. But it only got worse from there. We passed 3 or 4 times with less than 5 minutes to play, a big no-no and something we should not have done. Period. I don't care if it was 2nd and 3rd and 13, you don't stop the clock with an incompletion (both were) as opposed to just running the ball up the middle with BMac and taking what we can get. And finally, our defense went into prevent quite a bit too early. Our defense pre-prevent was the best performance I have seen all season long by any team, but it just became "good" after we switched to prevent. I understand the positive things that come out of the prevent, and I don't mind it late in the game, but with 9+ minutes left is premature to put that defense out on the field.
Really, though, I am just nitpicking. We are 8-0 and looked incredible tonight, and I am flying sky high. Much, much, much more on the game tomorrow, the biggest game in Kansas football since 1995.