Archive for Sunday, October 11, 1998

ANOTHER FOURTH-QUARTER COLLAPSE DROPPED KANSAS TO 0-4 IN BIG 12 CONFERENCE PLAY.

October 11, 1998

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In the movie, Bill Murray couldn't wake up without facing another Groundhog Day.

In football games, Kansas University can't escape from its fourth-quarter nightmares.

"I've seen this game like four times this year," KU defensive back Muhammad Abdul-Rahim said following Saturday night's 31-24 loss to Baylor. "We can't reach down and get a victory. It's very depressing."

Last week the Jayhawks were overhauled by Texas A&M; in the fourth quarter. Earlier it was Oklahoma State. This time it was Baylor dropping a 17-0 whammy on Kansas in the last 15 minutes.

"What can I say?" KU center Chris Enneking said. "It's the second time in a row we can win in the fourth quarter and we don't pull it out."

Perhaps the most astonishing aspect of Saturday night's defeat was the fact Kansas had four interceptions -- one by each starter in the secondary.

"That's just one of those things that's hard to swallow," said strong safety Michael Allen, who had one of the thefts to go along with a game-high 15 tackles. "You just wonder what happened."

Abdul-Rahim, who also had an interception, couldn't believe it, either.

"I guess their big plays outweighed our four interceptions," the junior cornerback said.

No play was any bigger than Darrell Bush's 70-yard run to the Kansas 20 with just under two minutes remaining and the score tied 24-24. Until Bush broke that run, he had gained only 63 yards on 23 carries.

"We had done a really good job with the run all day," Allen said, "but when they needed it, they got it."

Free safety Chad Coellner, who had his first career interception, was on the field when Bush made that stunning dash that essentially ruined the Jayhawks' chances of at least forcing overtime.

"He's just a good back," Coellner said. "He put a move on me, and it was a downhill chase from there. Thankfully, my cornerback saved me."

That would be red-shirt freshman Quincy Roe, who was making his first career start because senior Jamie Harris couldn't go with a hip pointer. Roe had the Jayhawks' first interception of the night, but he also surrendered a pair of 39-yard passes late in the third quarter that led to a Baylor touchdown.

After the second pass, Roe was hooked.

"I've never gotten beat like that ... ever," Roe said. "That really bothered me. I had to have some time to get my head together."

At times, with Roe and Abdul-Rahim out, the Jayhawks' cornerbacks were little-used junior Jahmal Wright and true freshman Andrew Davison. Wright held his own, but Davison was victimized on a 49-yard pass play that prompted the coaches to reinsert Roe immediately.

Coellner admitted it was a "bit unusual" having all those basically young and inexperienced cornerbacks in there, but stressed: "They practice to play, not to sit and watch."

Coellner, like his teammates, had no answer for the Jayhawks' seemingly unending fourth-quarter woes.

"To tell you the truth, I thought we were going to hold them," Coellner said. "But we're missing some ingredient. We've got to do something. I don't know what to say."

-- Chuck Woodling's phone message number is 832-7147. His e-mail address is cwoodling@ljworld.com.

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