Archive for Sunday, November 21, 2004

Green saves day for KU

November 21, 2004


— Kansas University football running back Clark Green had a special request he had to fulfill, while all the reporters were running around and wanting to know his thoughts on KU's 31-14 Border War victory Saturday over Missouri.

Former KU coach Don Fambrough -- the guy who hates Missouri more than anyone possibly could conceive -- asked Green for a minute of his time.

He then hugged Green over and over, thanked him and fought back tears as he tried to come to grips with what Green did to send the Jayhawks back to Lawrence victors in the annual rivalry game.

"He said he was proud of me," Green said. "He's told me for four years to run hard and refuse to go down. That's what I did today."

Green's effort was sorely needed Saturday, with running back John Randle out because of a muscle tear. Green showed the backfield versatility he has proven throughout his career, rushing 32 times for 118 yards and catching four passes for 31 yards.

Green's touchdown in the first quarter summed up his day -- and perhaps symbolized KU's first-half dominance. From 12 yards out, Green found a paper-thin seam, busted through it and found one Tiger between him and the end zone.

There was no juking or jiving needed -- Green just ran him over and dove into the end zone to put KU up 7-0.

"That's my job -- to wear them down," Green said. "That's what I tried to do."

Green's effectiveness opened up the passing game, which quarterback Brian Luke managed well. Luke passed for 239 yards, including eight passes caught by senior Brandon Rideau for 100 yards and a touchdown.

But Green was KU's workhorse Saturday. He said he didn't expect to get 37 touches, but with KU leading in the second half, Green's legs were needed to eat clock.

"Clark Green's not healthy, either," KU coach Mark Mangino said. "He played on sheer toughness today."

Green finished with 322 yards rushing and 138 yards receiving on the season, often playing a backup role to Randle. He saved his best for last, though, and as a result, the Jayhawks head into the offseason glowing a little brighter than they might have before toppling Mizzou.

"What a performance by him today," Mangino said. "Clark is a guy that a lot of people wanted us to overlook. We didn't, and I'm glad we didn't."

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