Archive for Thursday, September 22, 2005

Week off gives Jayhawks chance to get back to fundamentals

September 22, 2005

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With the weather a little hot and sticky for late September, Kansas University's football players might have felt like it was preseason all over again.

But not just because of the heat. Instead of devoting a week to preparation for an opponent like normal in-season weeks, the Jayhawks spent Tuesday and Wednesday working on : the Jayhawks.

No game on Saturday meant no rush to prepare for KU's next opponent, Texas Tech.

"Ever since you come in from two-a-days, you only have a certain amount of time to work on those fundamentals. Then you have to prep for a game," center David Ochoa said Wednesday. "When you get a week off like this, it serves a dual purpose. You get to rest your bodies a little bit, you don't have the pressures of a game on Saturday, and you get to work those fundamentals."

KU spent Tuesday and Wednesday extending fundamental periods significantly and working on group work rather than 11-on-11 drills. The Jayhawks did a few things with Texas Tech in mind Wednesday, but won't really get into preparation until today.

"The timing was good for it because we've got our nonconference schedule completed," KU coach Mark Mangino said. "It was a good time to focus on getting ourselves better."

Today's practice will be the last of the week. Mangino's assistants will hit the recruiting trail Friday and Saturday.

¢ Time off: KU's players will be going their separate ways, as well.

"I actually have a wedding to attend," said Ochoa, who will be traveling to Austin, Texas. "I'm in the wedding, so they scheduled around (football). I have a pretty tight family."

Free safety Rodney Fowler, meanwhile, will be a little more lethargic.

"Relax. Just relax," Fowler said with a grin. "I'll watch football, of course. I always watch that. Just relax, nothing special. Do some homework, watch games, that's about it."

¢ Tech's next: Lots of chatter is being heard around the Big 12 Conference that Texas Tech realistically could score 100 points Saturday.

The Red Raiders will play Indiana State, a Division I-AA team that, like Tech, likes to pass the ball, which will make the clock move slowly.

Difference is, the talent levels: The Red Raiders are an NCAA Div. I-A top 25 team, and Indiana State is 1-2, including a blowout loss to St. Francis (Ind.), an NAIA team.

"If we play well and we capitalize on every drive, I think we could score 100 points," Tech quarterback Cody Hodges told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. "I think if we're going to do it, we need to do it next week (against Indiana State)."

Tech beat I-AA Sam Houston State, 80-21, Saturday.

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