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Archive for Monday, October 11, 2004

Mangino, KU basking in victory’s glow

October 11, 2004

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Somewhere, Mark Mangino has to have a phone charger.

Kansas University's football coach better hurry up and find it. He's in dire need of one right now, and he's probably missing a lot of calls.

"My cell-phone battery is officially dead," Mangino quipped Sunday, one day after KU toppled in-state rival Kansas State, 31-28.

It's understandable. Big victories like Saturday's -- the first time KU beat K-State since 1992 -- elicit congratulations from boosters, friends, fellow coaches and maybe even random people that just happen to have the right cell-phone number.

Mangino probably doesn't mind. And, as a bonus, his Jayhawks now have a week of rest in extremely high spirits before their next game Oct. 23 at Oklahoma.

"This is a good time for us to get some rest and heal up from some injuries," Mangino said. "It also comes at the mid-point, and we can go back and evaluate some things."

The Jayhawks need the rest. During Saturday's game, three players -- cornerbacks Theo Baines and Charles Gordon and running back Clark Green -- left the game favoring their right legs. Gordon and Green returned, but Baines was out for the night and was seen icing his right knee.

With two weeks off, KU doesn't have to worry about healing quite so quickly. And that might make a big difference.

"We think everybody will be ready for Oklahoma," Mangino said. "It's still day-to-day with a couple of guys, but talking to our medical staff, we think we may be completely healthy for the Oklahoma game."

Who plays where, though, is yet to be decided, and the quarterback situation is the most intriguing. Adam Barmann started Saturday as he had all season, but Mangino went with Jason Swanson in the fourth quarter to try and make something happen.






Swanson certainly did, finding Mark Simmons on a pinpoint 31-yard touchdown pass with 5:28 to play to put KU up for good.

Mangino won't say who's the frontrunner right now, and he certainly doesn't see the situation as a quarterback controversy.

But he is glad he has two weeks to evaluate it.

"I think we're in a good situation at quarterback," Mangino said. "We still have a great deal of faith in Adam Barmann. There's no question about that. But Jason Swanson showed he can do some things and provide a spark."

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No Nwabuisi: Senior fullback Austine Nwabuisi did not play Saturday, but Mangino said he would return for the Oklahoma game. Mangino said Nwabuisi's absence was "a coaching decision."

KU started the game with a two-back set of John Randle and Clark Green. Lawrence High product Brandon McAnderson was the regular fullback, but carried the ball just twice for two yards.

McAnderson did, though, have one of the most crucial blocks on the night, helping Randle get into the secondary en route to a sensational 43-yard touchdown run that put KU up 31-21 with 3:16 left in the game.

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Different routine: The Jayhawks will have a short week of football with no game Saturday. They had the day off Sunday, and they'll review film and have meetings today before practicing Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

After Thursday's workouts, they're free until Sunday night, an added convenience because KU will be on fall break and won't have classes Thursday or Friday.

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