Advertisement

Archive for Sunday, April 29, 2007

KU offered pleasant surprise during ‘95 football campaign

April 29, 2007

Advertisement

Max Falkenstien, the legendary Kansas University basketball and football announcer, has written a new book, "A Good Place to Stop, 60 Seasons with Max and the Jayhawks." Today the Journal-World is running another excerpt from the book, published by Power House. "A Good Place to Stop" is available today in the Journal-World lobby and on our Web site (www.store.ljworld.com), as well as at Barnes & Noble, Dillons, KU Union Bookstore, Jayhawk Bookstore, Walgreens, The Raven and Kansas Sampler.

From Chapter 12

Glen Mason - Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way

As fall rolled around to start the 1995 football season, I didn't feel much excitement. Like a lot of the fans and media, I was apprehensive about the Jayhawks' talent level. Mark Williams was untested at quarterback, and the Jayhawks would have a completely rebuilt defensive line.

Things got worse before the season even started. Linebacker Ronnie Ward, the team's top defender, reinjured a shoulder playing pickup basketball in the spring and was knocked out for the year. Defensive back Tony Blevins had not fully recovered from a knee injury the previous year and decided to redshirt.

Mason had made wholesale changes on his staff before the season. He fired defensive coordinator Bob Fello, a truly unique coach whom I had learned to appreciate, and secondary coach Mark Dantonio. Mike Hankwitz arrived from Colorado to be the Jayhawks' defensive coordinator, and David Gibbs, also a CU assistant, was hired to coach the KU secondary.

No one gave KU much hope for being anything more than a second-division Big Eight team. The Jayhawks were picked to finish fifth in the preseason writers' poll.

But Mason was quietly building a team.

The first couple of games didn't change anyone's feelings. The young Jayhawks, with 15 new starters in the lineup, were unimpressive in a 23-18 victory over Cincinnati in the season opener. KU moved its record to 2-0 with a 27-10 win over North Texas in Week Two.

People started believing a little the next week when the Jayhawks played inspired from the start in a nationally televised game at Memorial Stadium against TCU. KU raced to a 21-0 lead and held off a late rally for a 38-20 victory.

Comments

jazzttt 6 years, 12 months ago

A little hard learning how to re-navigate around something I'd gotten used to. Living out-of-town, I usually only view local news, weather, sports and obits. I miss the entire menu down the left side, when the site first comes up, I guess I have to learn to click on 'local', otherwise I don't see the obits. option. No problems, I'll learn the new ways in a few days. Enjoy staying in touch with Lawrence where I grew up. Ty Travis, Pine Bluff, Ark.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.