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Archive for Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dugan Arnett’s KU football notebook

September 10, 2008

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Fields to miss South Florida game

Receiver Dexton Fields, who missed Kansas University's game against Louisiana Tech after an injury in Week 1, won't be available for Friday's 7 p.m. game at South Florida, KU coach Mark Mangino said Tuesday.

"Dexton's not going to play this week," he said. "We've tried, and that's not going to happen. We expect him back pretty soon, though."

Fields, who led the team in receptions a season ago, appeared to hurt his left foot or ankle in the first quarter of Kansas' 40-10 victory over Florida International. He was replaced in the lineup last week by true freshman Daymond Patterson, who caught eight passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns.

Friday night game not ideal for Jayhawks

Truth be told, Mangino wasn't giddy about the prospect of a Friday night game this week, which would leave the Jayhawks with a shortened practice week.

However, the trade-off - a chance to play on national television - made it worth his team's while.

"To tell you the truth, we have to take opportunities as they come," Mangino said Tuesday. "There had been talk about Thursday night, (and) there had been talk about Friday night. There was no talk about the game being televised on Saturday, so our options were Thursday or Friday."

After discussions with both South Florida and ESPN, it was agreed that the game would be held Friday and broadcast on ESPN2.

And despite the crammed preparations, Mangino is well aware of the benefits that come with a national audience.

"It helps in many ways," Mangino said. "It helps recruiting. It helps with people that make decisions about rankings later in the season. So there are a lot of positives with playing a game that will be watched by a national audience."

Harper hospitalization cautionary decision

The hospitalization of Kansas cornerback Kendrick Harper following a head-first collision in Saturday's game against Louisiana Tech was done largely as a precautionary measure, Mangino said Tuesday.

"They don't take any chances," said Mangino. "And I don't want them to. If it was my son, I wouldn't want a medical staff or a coach taking a chance.

"But it worked out pretty good in this case."

Harper, who came off the field on his own power but later began displaying undisclosed "symptoms" that led the KU medical staff to call for an ambulance, was released from the hospital Sunday night and was doing fine, according to the coach.

As of Tuesday, Mangino didn't have a timetable for the player's return, although he said Harper would be back in uniform "not too far down the road."

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