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Archive for Sunday, October 28, 2007

Jayhawks shut down Aggies, move to 8-0

Kansas receiver Dezmon Briscoe stetches for extra yardage after a reception against Texas A&M during the second half Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007 at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas.

Kansas receiver Dezmon Briscoe stetches for extra yardage after a reception against Texas A&M during the second half Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007 at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas.

October 28, 2007

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Chewing up the turf

Ryan Greene, Ryan Wood and Tom Keegan discuss how KU was able to get the best of Texas A&M the old-fashioned way - both stopping the run and moving the ball on the ground themselves.

— It was a fight to the finish in a stadium that resembles a skyscraper of intimidation. But Kansas University's football team, at long last, was able to kick Texas A&M off the ride.

And what a ride it's becoming.

Kansas knocked out Texas A&M in its own ring, 19-11, on Saturday, hushing a mostly hostile crowd of 85,341 fans at Kyle Field. With the victory, the 12th-ranked Jayhawks improved to 8-0 and continued to excel in waters nobody thought they could even swim in.

"It seems like this is God's team," defensive tackle James McClinton said.

The spiritual McClinton spearheaded a defensive performance that knocked the Aggies into a world of uneasiness. Texas A&M (6-3 overall, 3-2 Big 12 Conference) brought its heralded running attack into Saturday's showdown, but was humbled when it gained only 74 yards on 27 carries.

The bread and butter was toast.

"We knew we had to play the run well, and we did," KU coach Mark Mangino said. "We felt like in order for them to beat us, they had to throw the ball. That's not their comfort zone."

The Aggies did score late points thanks to their passing game. But by that point, Kansas was leading in the fourth quarter and only needed to deny a collapse to stay undefeated.

That's now two road victories in two weeks, with a national-television audience tuning in to both.

"We're just showing that we're hard workers," said linebacker James Holt, who had a team-high 10 tackles. "We're mentally strong, and we're ready to get down and play."

It's the first 8-0 start for KU since 1909, and the unbeaten run has turned questions of KU's legitimacy into questions about whether KU can sneak into the national-championship discussion.

Considering the losses that have plagued college football's top teams this season, the fact the Jayhawks are 8-0 overall, 4-0 in Big 12 Conference play and 3-0 on the road speaks volumes about just how clutch this group is.

Saturday's game was won with another second-half elevation for Kansas, after the game was a scoreless knot after one half.

Though KU missed two field-goal opportunities before halftime, Kansas still seemed sure of its chances as the final 30 minutes of football got going.

"We felt like our offense was moving the ball really well. We needed to just punch it in," KU coach Mark Mangino said. "Our defense was playing extremely well. We felt like it was a matter of time."

Kansas ended up getting two Scott Webb field goals and two rushing touchdowns from Brandon McAnderson, who had a sensational night with 183 yards on 21 carries. McAnderson's second score, with 11:29 left, put the Jayhawks up 19-0.

From there, it got somewhat interesting. Texas A&M booted a field goal with 7:20 to play and scored its lone touchdown with 2:06 left on a nifty catch by Roger Holland. An onside kick was unsuccessful, but Texas A&M got the ball back with 52 seconds left and 80 yards to travel.

The Aggies, down eight, actually had two Hail Mary shots at the end zone in the final 15 seconds. But a pass breakup on the first one and a hurry by Joe Mortensen on the second sealed another Kansas victory.

"We gotta make a couple of more plays at the end," cornerback Aqib Talib said, "so it won't even be that close."

At a road game with an environment as loud as a jet, that's really a case of nitpicking. The fact is, Kansas remains unbeaten as college football powers all around are licking the wounds of defeat on a weekly basis.

The Jayhawks play two of their next three at home, starting Saturday with a showdown against struggling Nebraska.

It seems, perhaps improbably, that the victories are turning businesslike for a program that hasn't started this strong in 98 years.

Kansas jogged of the field Saturday happy, but lacking the overwhelming elation that followed victories at Kansas State and Colorado earlier this month.

Even at 8-0, the Jayhawks are finding themselves even hungrier.

"We're just going to keep on going, keep on fighting every game," quarterback Todd Reesing said, "and hopefully things keep on working out for us."

Go figure

74

Rushing yards by Texas A&M against Kansas

260.1

Rushing yards by A&M coming in (the best average in the Big 12)

8.7

Yards per carry for KU's Brandon McAnderson (for 183 total)

3.4

Yards per carry for massive A&M back Jorvorskie Lane (for 18 total)

1-13

Sacks-yards by Kansas University's defense

4-21

Sacks-yards by Texas A&M's defense

4-7

Red-zone scores-chances for KU

1-2

Red-zone scores-chances for A&M

Comments

Fudgepop 6 years, 5 months ago

Too bad academics don't have much to do with school anymore.

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JobbyJobless 6 years, 5 months ago

Brandon McAnderson is a beast!! When was the last time a Lawrence product had that much of an impact in D1 game of such magnitude?

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BorderRat 6 years, 5 months ago

I was sitting in a sports bar in Denver watching the Hawks on one TV and the Rockies on the other. A least I had one team to cheer for. Way to go Jayhawks, now give Nebraska a dose of it next week.

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nobody1793 6 years, 5 months ago

They need to cut out that "prevent" defense that let the aggies back into the game. Just keep playing the same hard nosed coverage that got you the lead.

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CindiCat 6 years, 5 months ago

Congrats Boys....you make me proud :)

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Midwest013 6 years, 5 months ago

Anybody else wonder why they took out McAnderson when they were in the red zone during the first half?

Nevertheless, the guys played a great game. Our team is for real.

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jfcm77 6 years, 5 months ago

I agree with Marion Librarian... And BTW, Todd Reesing is God's quarterback.

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sfjayhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

Im really struggling to keep my excitement in check - but this team does look for real. We have some tough games ahead - but a very winnable schedule. I cant wait to get a piece of Mizzou at arrowhead!

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cowboy 6 years, 5 months ago

That was a fabulous game , our hawks showed great discipline and played each play to the max , I was impressed. This is a team with skill and the energy to play four quarters. Got to tip a hat to the fat man , he has put together a great team !

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macon47 6 years, 5 months ago

you gotta love the armchair quaterbacks thats why all you have on the radio is sports channels testosterone loaded jocks with an opinion they feel the rest of the world wants to hear. our little fat coach may be here longer than hemingway and perkins if he continues to keep the fat cat alumni happy

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fljayhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

GREAT WIN BUT A LOUSY 4 QUARTER COACHING JOB. 19-0 LEAD AND YOU ARE THROWING THE BALL WITH 5+ MINUTES LEFT IN THE GAME AND THEN GO INTO A PREVENT (SIC) DEFENSE WHEN YOU CONTROLLED THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE THE ENTIRE GAME. WELL AT LEAST THE CHANGES MADE FOR AN EXCITING ENDING.

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