Archive for Monday, December 1, 2008

Against MU, KU pass defense dandy

KU beat Mizzou on a wet day at Arrowhead Stadium.

December 1, 2008

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It took a game or 10, but during Kansas University’s thrilling 40-37 football victory over rival Missouri in Kansas City, Mo., on Saturday, the Jayhawks’ pass defense finally found a way to stop — or greatly disrupt, anyway — an elite spread offense.

In significantly limiting the effectiveness of Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel, who entered the game ranked in the top five nationally in various offensive categories, Kansas turned in arguably its best effort of the year and helped the Jayhawks (7-5 overall, 4-4 in the Big 12) close their regular season in striking fashion.

“We were playing this game as if it was our bowl-maker,” junior cornerback Justin Thornton said. “ ... And just the fact that it was Missouri, guys really bought into it and played with the intensity that we’ve been missing all year.”

In a far cry from his performance against the Jayhawks in 2007, during which he completed 40 of 49 passes for 361 yards and three touchdowns, Daniel appeared off-kilter much of Saturday afternoon, turning the ball over twice in the first half and another early in the fourth quarter. He was sacked twice, including once in the end zone for a safety, and although he managed 103 yards on the ground, he wasn’t able to overcome a horrid start.

It is a nod to the talent in the Big 12 that a game in which an opposing quarterback throws for 288 yards and four touchdowns is viewed as a strong defensive showing. But the intensity with which the Jayhawks approached Saturday’s game defensively, especially during a first half in which Daniel completed just six of 15 passes for 62 yards, was hard to ignore.

“(It) means a lot to get a quarterback as great as Chase out of rhythm or get him kind of shaken up or hesitant when he throws the ball,” said KU junior safety Darrell Stuckey, who finished with two interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. “That was amazing to put that much pressure on him.”

Kansas likely headed to Insight: Kansans in search of an excuse to leave the doldrums of a Midwest December might be happy to learn that the Kansas football team appears headed to the desert come bowl time.

Officials from both Kansas University and the Insight Bowl said Saturday that they expect the Jayhawks to be spending their New Year’s Eve in Tempe, Ariz., where the Insight Bowl kicks off at 5 p.m. CST at Sun Devil Stadium.

The Insight Bowl, which has the sixth pick in both the Big 12 and Big 10 conferences, has attended five Kansas games this season, and bowl representative Dave Tilson said earlier this month that representatives have been targeting the Jayhawks throughout much of the second half of the season. The official bowl selection show takes place Sunday.

KU is one of seven teams in the Big 12 to earn bowl-eligibility this season and the No. 7 team in the conference according to record. Multiple bowl predictions, meanwhile, have Minnesota (7-5 overall, 3-5 in the Big 10) as the Jayhawks’ opponent.

DE Young de-commits: Olathe North standout defensive end Kevin Young, a three-star prospect rated as the No. 5 player in the state of Kansas, has de-committed from the Jayhawks in favor of Nebraska, according to the recruiting site Rivals.com.

Following a weekend trip to Lincoln, Neb., during which he met with Huskers coach Bo Pelini and position coach John Papuchis, Young decided Nebraska was where he wanted to be.

“It was just kind of an all-of-a-sudden deal,” Young told the Web site. “I had no intention to go up there and (commit). I went up there, and I was like ‘Man,’ it blew me away. This is where I wanted to be, so I committed there.”

Young represents the third known recruit in the past month to de-commit from Kansas. Texas prep recruits Earnest Norman, a linebacker out of Euless Trinity High, and offensive lineman Ty Cloud of Flower Mound Marcus High both backed out of their commitments earlier this month.

In addition, highly touted receiving prospect Neal Barlow, a 6-foot-7 receiver from Pulaski (Ark.) Academy, switched his college choice from Kansas to Arkansas in September.

Comments

brett conrad 6 years, 4 months ago

If that pass defense was dandy, I would hate to see bad pass defense. soft and slow

MUKUOUFan 6 years, 4 months ago

KU definitely played with a lot of heart and "grit", and put a great finish to a mediocre 7-5 season. Too bad they didn't play like this the whole season, otherwise they'd be playing for the Big 12 Championship instead of MU. Kudos to KU and Mangino. MU has lost 3 games this season, all to very respectable teams; Texas, Oklahoma State and KU. With a 9-3 record, a very satisfying season by all counts, they'll need to beat OU to get that BCS game. I pick OU by 21 points (they are simply THE team in the Big 12).But with 7 of 12 teams eligible for bowls, and 3 in the AP Top 5....no one can deny the strength of the Big 12!

MUKUOUFan 6 years, 4 months ago

Original Bob....if it gives you a sense of satisfaction to believe that, then so be it. Win or Lose, OU (#4) and MU (#19) will be playing in the Big 12 Championship this weekend...and their fans are happy with that. One could make a big deal that KU went from 13-1, and ranked in the top 10, to being 7-5, and not ranked...but why? KU did a GREAT job this past weekend, and will hopefull kick butt in the Insight Bowl.

jonas_opines 6 years, 4 months ago

mu ku ou fan? In Mandarin, that can literally translate as "crying eyes and vomiting food."Neat!

MUKUOUFan 6 years, 4 months ago

logicsound04...which is harder...going from the BCS "Orange Bowl" to the "Insight Bowl"...or from the non-BCS "Cotton Bowl" to the "Holiday Bowl" (projections from http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/bowlprojection?season=2008&week=14) ?? It really does appear that KU made the greatest fall. And you make some good points, and I do know MU and KU fans who are very unhappy about this year's season....I just hope they remember what happened to Nebraska after they fired a great coach for only going 9-3.... Mangino and Pinkel have done a great job for their schools. And I must say, I wish KU fans would stop making jokes about Mangino's size....it has nothing to do with his accomplishments. And Stoops, what can you say? OU fought back!

BigAl 6 years, 4 months ago

I think the biggest fall is still to come. After this year, MU will lose the bulk of their key skill positions to graduation and Maclin will probably go pro. MU has already lost their offensive coordinator. It's early but I think MU will struggle to finish 3rd in the north next year. This year, MU hasn't beaten a team currently ranked and now they have lost to their biggest rival. MU benefited from a weak schedule like Kansas did last year. But, Kansas made the Orange Bowl with their weak schedule. Let's see if MU makes a BCS bowl.

MUKUOUFan 6 years, 4 months ago

Autie...that's a heck-of-a good suggestion on deciding a tie with the "graduation rate"...at least if everyone is serious about academics. Big Al...right on target I think with MU and next year, I'm sure Pinkel is glad he got that contract renewal signed last week!

MUKUOUFan 6 years, 4 months ago

LogicSound04...One is called playing to expectations.The other is called choking.======================Good points, can't really argue there, as they did choke against KU. Their other two losses (Texas and Ok. State) however were to Top 10 teams...nothing wrong with that.

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