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Archive for Sunday, August 31, 2008

KU-FIU football notebook

So far, so good for Todd Reesing and the Kansas football team. The Jayhawks improved to 1-0 in 2008 by knocking off FIU by a final score of 40-10.

August 31, 2008

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Audio Clips
2008 KU-FIU Football Postgame
Spodcasters

Spodcasters Postgame: FIU

The guys (Tom Keegan, Dugan Arnett, Jesse Newell) analyze KU's 40-10 victory over FIU from the press box at Memorial Stadium. The guys talk about Daymond Patterson, Tom's swami skills and whether KU fans should be concerned by the team's struggles in the running game.

Fields leaves in first

Senior receiver Dexton Fields didn't get much of a chance to enjoy his last "first" game Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Fields, who entered Saturday's game having caught at least two passes in 23 of the Jayhawks last 24 games, collided with a defender midway through the first quarter and didn't return for the remainder of the game.

Although the injury didn't seem to hamper the team's passing game greatly Saturday - Kansas still passed for 256 yards and three touchdowns - the loss of Fields for an extended period would no doubt leave a mark on the team's offense.

"I don't think it's going to be anything that's really long-term," KU coach Mark Mangino said. "I hope not. That's just the preliminary evaluation. He just got his foot caught in the turf, but I think he's going to be OK."

The team's leader in receptions a year ago, Fields caught 63 passes for 824 yards and six touchdowns as a sophomore. Entering Saturday's game, he was also coming off a string of three straight 100-yard receiving games, which ties for the school record.

Hatch sits out opener

Jeremiah Hatch, who earlier this month was named the team's starter at the right offensive-tackle position, sat out Saturday's game for unspecified reasons.

Mangino refused to comment on the status of Hatch, a true freshman of whom the coach had spoken highly during summer workouts.

In his place Saturday, senior Matt Darton handled most of the snaps at the position. Hatch was in uniform on the sideline for the game, but never saw action.

Strozier picks off pair

Sophomore Phillip Strozier emerged as a defensive standout for the Jayhawks, finishing with two interceptions, both of which came in the second half.

"The Rockhurst boy came up big," said defensive coordinator Clint Bowen. "I've said that about him. He's one of those kids kind of like Darrell (Stuckey) and (Justin Thornton) that football is natural for him."

So far, so good

Transfer sophomore Alonso Rojas introduced himself to Kansas fans in about the best way possible Saturday: by showing off the leg that made him the nation's top-ranked punter coming out of Miami's Killian High.

In his first field-goal attempt as a member of the Kansas program, Rojas connected on a 47-yarder to give Kansas a 17-0 lead with 9:29 remaining in the second quarter. He followed that with a 37-yarder early in the fourth quarter, finishing 2-for-2 on field-goal attempts.

Perhaps more importantly, he helped squash fears - at least for the moment - that placekicking would be a rough spot for a team that in the past two weeks lost one kicker to transfer and another to eligibility issues.

Despite the early success, however, and the numerous cheers he garnered during his debut, he shot down suggestions that he was one of the team's new fan-favorites.

"No one really idolizes kickers," Rojas said, smiling. "They'll get some cheers left and right. ... But I won't be a Todd Reesing or a Jocques Crawford or a Jake Sharp just yet."

So far, so-so

Grady Fowler, meanwhile, missed an extra-point attempt following a Dezmon Briscoe touchdown reception that would have given the Jayhawks a 31-7 lead late in the first half.

He recovered, however, to make his final attempt, making him 4-for-5 for the day.

Crawford 'dinged up'

Mangino said that running back Jocques Crawford, who rushed for 32 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries, was kept out of the late stages of Saturday's game because he was "dinged up."

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