A look at news and notes about Jayhawks and upcoming opponents...
- How costly a setback was the Nebraska loss.
- Big 12 North hopes begin to fade with the loss.
- KC Star Game Report.
- KU Athletics Recap.
- Final Stats and Box Score.
- KU Athletics game notes.
My Thoughts...Normally in a situation like this I would prefer to be a half full type of person but this morning as it all sinks in I would just assume get the negative out there.
Start with the offense. Once again we regressed to our earlier habits offensively and an inability to establish a multi-dimensional offense. The first half saw Todd Reesing as our most effective running option and that leads to injuries. Clearly we weren't able to get a push in the middle as we did last week and that was apparent to nearly everyone watching very early on. The blame lies with the lack of adjustment by the coaching staff to what would become an effective outside running game until the second half. All that said we did get to halftime at 14-14 but with the turnovers we should have had a lead.
Positives on offense continue to be the same story line week after week. Todd Reesing has a ton of heart and now stands alone as the top passer in Kansas history. Jake Sharp quietly had a solid game, I think any struggles he may have seemed to have were more a result of poor playcalling than him. Dezmon Briscoe is establishing himself as the playmaker we need and now sits atop the KU career touchdown reception list with 18 and he's only a sophomore. I pains me to say but I think Kerry Meier is hurt more that we know, he seems a bit hampered out there and not nearly as effective as early in the year.
Defensively we just aren't there yet. Kansas doesn't have the athletes or the players to compete against the pass happy Big 12. The linebackers a group which I have long enjoyed watching were built for a different Big 12 and even more dissapointing yesterday is they didn't seem able to stop the run which has long been their strength. Anytime a quarterback has 7 seconds to throw the football your not going to cover everybody and that's the frustrating reality of Kansas on defense this year. Giving up 500+ yards isn't going to win a lot of games and the final two have some juggernaut offenses lining up.
One Positive is clearly James Holt. A smaller, leaner, quicker linebacker that has shown the ability to rush the passer, play traditional linebacker and cover the pass. This guy might be the mold for what we need to see in the future.
Special teams...well I don't even want to talk about this one.
Overall this game stings a bunch. I've never felt good about this one and always felt it would be a very possible stumbling block but it had become so much more critical for us that I had hoped as well. Kansas will still be bowling this year as the country is short on even mediocre teams. Still this is 4 years in a row without a losing record in Kansas football so if I can just keep it in perspective and avoid the sky high expectations that I think were so tempting after the Orange Bowl there is still a lot to look forward to with Mark Mangino and the Jayhawks in the future. If there is one thing that is clearly different now from in our past it's that this school and the athletic department are committed to making this a viable program and we can all rest a little easy when you think about the fact that we are angry because we didn't beat Nebraska in Lincoln. I say that again, when in my lifetime did I expect to be angry about not beating Nebraska in Lincoln...Never! We have still come a long way from the first 2-10 season under Coach Mangino, but I'm sure he'd be the first to say we have a long way to go.
Rock Chalk Jayhawk
image source: KUSports.com