Archive for Sunday, September 26, 2004

Jayhawks’ Gordon makes presence, absence felt

September 26, 2004


Whenever Kansas University football cornerback/receiver Charles Gordon plays offense for the Jayhawks, something good seems to happen.

But when he can't turn around and play defense on the next drive, something bad can happen to the Jayhawks quickly.

Texas Tech proved that in a 31-30, come-from-behind victory over Kansas on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Gordon entered the game on offense late in the first quarter with KU leading 17-5 and having the ball near midfield. Three plays later, with the Jayhawks facing a first-and-10 from Texas Tech's 26-yard line, Adam Barmann tossed the ball to Gordon on what appeared to be an end-around.

Instead, Gordon stopped behind the line of scrimmage and passed to a wide-open Brandon Rideau in the left corner of the end zone for a 24-5 Kansas lead. The throw was Gordon's third career pass and first career completion.

"It was nice. Not too many receivers get to throw the ball for a touchdown," Gordon said. "We kind of put it in this week, and it worked. The corner bit kind of hard, and it was just playing catch."

Gordon scored in a more conventional manner on KU's next possession. Four plays after Tony Stubbs intercepted Sonny Cumbie, Gordon caught a 20-yard touchdown pass over the middle from Barmann, giving KU a 25-point lead with less than a minute remaining in the first half.

Unfortunately for the Jayhawks, Gordon can't play every down. After playing receiver, he usually sits out the next defensive series, such as Texas Tech's final possession of the first half.

With Gordon on the sideline getting some rest, Red Raider quarterback Sonny Cumbie picked on KU cornerback Ronnie Amadi, burning Gordon's replacement for a 42-yard pass to Nehemiah Glover and then a 32-yard scoring pass to Trey Haverty.

Gordon didn't say he would have stopped Texas Tech from scoring if he had been on the field, but he certainly was far from happy with the touchdown.

"Letting them score -- that's disappointing," he said. "I need a breather sometime. I can't be on the field all the time. Just the fact that they scored, that's disappointing."

Haverty's catch was Texas Tech's first touchdown and began a stretch of 26 unanswered points that gave the Red Raiders the victory.

KU coach Mark Mangino said he didn't think Haverty's touchdown changed the tide of the game, but Red Raiders coach Mike Leach felt differently.

"I think it really helped our momentum in the second half," Leach said. "We felt like we should have played better in the first half, and we are really happy with the way we played in the second half. We really turned our mentality around in the second half."

Gordon rejoined KU's defense after halftime, playing just one offensive series in the second half.

"We had a few reps for him, but he had a lot of reps (on defense)," Mangino said. "As I've said before, we're not going to put him in harm's way. The defense played well -- he's part of that reason why the defense played well, so we needed him most of the time out on the defensive end of the field."

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