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Archive for Saturday, September 1, 2007

KU punter seeks consistency

September 1, 2007

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Determining whether Kansas University punter Kyle Tucker had a good season last year depends on what way you look at it.

Pinning opponents inside the 20-yard line? Yeah, that was good.

His average? By his standards, it stunk.

"Personally, I was a little disappointed," Tucker said. "I don't think it was a bad season. There was just four or five punts that really killed my average."

One year after being a 2005 Ray Guy Award semifinalist, Tucker ended up averaging a career-low 39.2 yards per boot in '06. That spoiled the fact that he placed 23 of his 58 punts inside the 20, including three punts that pinned Texas A&M inside its seven-yard line during a nail-biting game last year.

Of course, Tucker also had a 16-yard shank in that same game. And guess which one he remembers most?

Tucker said he found no mechanical flaw that led to inconsistent results, but he thinks he has it solved through repetition and regained confidence.

"I've been really working on consistency," Tucker said. "That was the problem last year. The whole offseason I was working on consistency.

KU ready for first-ever meeting with CMU

This time tomorrow night, the Kansas football season will be under way. Enlarge video

"I'm hungry this year. I'm ready to go out and prove myself again."

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Mixed results: Todd Reesing will be the ninth different quarterback to make a start for the Jayhawks since 2000, and the debut game hasn't been great for many of them.

KU is 3-5 when breaking in a new QB this decade. Two of the victories were against Division I-AA teams: Zach Dyer against Southwest Missouri State in 2001 and Kerry Meier against Northwestern State last year.

The lone I-A victory? That'd be Brian Luke, who led Kansas to a 31-14 victory over Missouri in the 2004 season finale after a rash of injuries left the Jayhawks with no one else to lead the offense.

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A lot lost: Despite a lot of impact players returning to Central Michigan's football team this year, a lot was lost as well.

Specifically, three Chippewas were selected in the NFL Draft a year ago - offensive tackle Joe Staley (first round, San Francisco), defensive end Dan Bazuin (second round, Chicago) and center Drew Mormino (sixth round, Miami).

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This, that: Kansas has won 10 straight home games against nonconference opponents, dating back to a 28-20 loss to Northwestern in 2003. : Central Michigan is 4-21 in nonconference road games since 1995. : Kansas has allowed just one 100-yard rusher in the past 25 games - Kansas State's Leon Patton, who rushed for 102 yards against the Jayhawks last November. : Memorial Stadium will be home to the Jayhawks for the 87th season this fall. Only six stadiums in college football have been used longer.

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The standard?: Mangino was asked Thursday during his weekly radio show if a 7-5 record was the goal for the upcoming season.

"That's the minimum standard," he replied. "We're shooting for higher goals than that, but we've got to prove it."

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