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Back From the Dead: Kansas 35 Iowa State 33

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First off, before I delve into my sure-to-be-shoddy analysis, I want to provide an excuse for it not being my best. Blame my DVR. For some reason, it decided it didn't want me to actually see the game. Through some awfully nifty pausing, I was able to see everything following Todd Reesing's fateful inside-the-10 fumble, which did, of course, include a bevy of action. And we'll get to all of that a little later.

But, just so we're clear, all of the following opinions and analysis and commentary and stuff is based off of the last 10-or-so minutes of the 4th quarter I was actually able to see, the limited highlights shown by College Football Live, accounts of the game via other people and the box score. Not the greatest of sources, but it'll have to do. Hopefully the DVR works next week for the KU vs. CU game.

But anyway, here are some of my thoughts on the game.

  • It would appear the Daymond Patterson Showcase has taken a steep, steep downturn. Not quite as violent as the stock market, but dramatic nonetheless. With Dexton Fields back, it is obvious that he has been completely relegated to #5 in the WR Depth Chart, and with his freshmanity poppig out all over the place, he seems to be entrenched there. He didn't catch a pass all game. His last chance to make a particularly impactful imprint on this season is through the punt return game; so, he promptly muffed a punt on Saturday, and returning the 2 punts he was able to corrall for a combined 9 yards. That's it. It was fun while it lasted, and I still think he has a bright future in front of him, but it would appear that Daylight won't be a key player the rest of the way.
  • Speaking of Back From the Dead, what about Jake Sharp's Kansas career. Just two weeks ago against Sam Houston State, it seemed that Sharp's days were done as a contributor to the running game, as he did not appear until garbage time. Besides a couple of special teams tackles, it was like he wasn't even there. But, after another awful first half running the football, involving mostly the two-headed "monster" of Angus Quigley and Jocques Crawford, Sharp was inserted in a desperate attempt to comeback. And, led by the momentum-changer that Sharp's wide open catch-and-run provided, we were able to come back. Whether he deserves it or not, basing it off of all five games' worth of evidence, it would apper that Jake Sharp will be our starting RB for the near future.
  • Going back to the passing game, though. Damn, is Kerry Meier good. A legitimate NFL prospect in the slot, if you ask me. Maybe a Brandon Stokely type. But right now, he is the primary playmaker on this offense, and easily the second best (and most important) player on this offense after Todd Reesing. Of the limited action I saw, it was obvious that whenever Todd Reesing had a place he needed to go with the football, he looked Kerry Meier's way first. If he was covered then, and only then, would he set his sights somewhere else. With how deep our WR core still is, it could be a dangerous strategy, but don't be surprised to see defenses start keying in on him. And I don't care what you say; who would have thought that his transition from QB-since-pee-wee to WR would have been this successful?
  • Moving on to the defense, I have to say that I was impressed (again, in limited action) with what I saw from the two pass-rush specialists; Maxwell Onyegbule and Jake Laptad. Obviously, Onyegbule had the huge play that put us up 8, but he looked impressive even moving beyond that. Both he and Laptad, particularly Jake, got to the QB with some semblance of consistency, which makes them look like Dwight Freeney compared to the usual suspects. I know that Mangino tends to favor the run-stuffing DEs, but hopefully he has realized that this defense is a lot more successful when getting pressure on the QB, as all defenses are, and is willing to sacrifice the run defense a little for a huge upgrade in the pass defense. I think Laptad should start this week and, unless he proves he can't handle it, the rest of the year, with Onyegbule seeing more snaps than he did in the non-conference.
  • It was nice to have Kendrick Harper back, sure, but he certainly didn't appear to be 100% from what I saw. I wouldn't be all that surprised to hear that we hurriedly allowed him to play, considering how shoddily the trio of freshman (redshirts Ryan Murphy and Isiah Barfield and true Corrigan Powell) played in his absence. He was burnt a couple of times, including on the 4th down desperation heave with a minute-or-so left to go in the game, but still managed to look like an improvement over the bevy of inexperienced options. We could probably get by without an 100% Harper at home against the Buffaloes, but if we are to have a prayer at beating any of the Big 12's Big 4, he will have to be 100% and rearing to go. Oh, and we'll need at least one of the trio of freshman to miraculously become better. They have about 12 days for such a miracle, so get a move on.
  • And finally, that onsides kick was a thing of beauty. Not really too much we could have gone there. With how high the ball was, there was no possibility of going out and grabbing the ball, and the ISU player jumped up and snatched it before Kerry Meier or Raimond Pendleton even had a chance to make a play. Plus, they had blockers sprinting towards them at full speed, making a jump into the air, well, not the smartest thing in the world. We should probably study that tape, so we can perform such a beautiful thing when we are coming from behind in the waning moments in Norman.

More thoughts on the the upcoming slate of Big 12 games in our future tomorrow. Plus, other analysis regarding positions battles (parituclarly DE) and some preliminary discussion on the Buffaloes.