Archive for Friday, November 13, 2009

KU football emotionally tough

Kansas quarterbacks Todd Reesing and Kale Pick watch as the game winds down, finalizing the Jayhawks' loss at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas, on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2009.

Kansas quarterbacks Todd Reesing and Kale Pick watch as the game winds down, finalizing the Jayhawks' loss at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas, on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2009.

November 13, 2009


GameDay Cram Session: Nebraska online editor Jesse Newell and Journal-World sports editor Tom Keegan take a look at what to expect from the Kansas football team's matchup against Nebraska. Enlarge video

Jayhawks wary of Cornhusker running game

After giving up some hefty yardage to Kansas-State's running back, the Jayhawks will try to shut down the fourth best rusher in the conference Saturday. Kansas is also looking to stop its current four-game slide. Enlarge video

It’s easy to look at a college football player and see his physical strengths.

Chiseled arms, strong frames and athletic builds are common for most. But, at Kansas University, the one characteristic of strength that you can’t see just might be the most important. Particularly this season.

“Our players are strong emotionally,” said KU coach Mark Mangino when asked how his team has handled falling from a fast 5-0 start to a 5-4 football team filled with question marks. “The reason they are is because we spend a lot of time in the offseason and training camp building emotional strength. Some coaches try to develop their players just for how to deal with adversity. Some work on how to get mentally ready to play. What we’ve done in the time that we’ve been here is that we work on building emotional strength. That means preparing kids for everything.”

Two guys equipped to talk about mental toughness — junior Chris Harris and sophomore Daymond Patterson — weighed in with their thoughts at a news conference Tuesday.

Harris, a defensive back who exploded onto the scene as a true freshman, suffered a season-long slump in 2008 but has bounced back and often been one of the best defenders on the field for the Jayhawks during 2009. KU’s third-leading tackler said his turnaround came because he never stopped believing in his abilities, even during the darkest days when he was benched.

With his team struggling through a four-game losing streak, Harris has tried his best to push his positivity onto his teammates.

“Sometimes in football you go through slumps,” Harris said. “I went through one myself. But you just have to stay together. I still have faith in this team and we still have faith in each other. Right now we just want to get some wins and finish off strong.”

Patterson, meanwhile, has experienced some of the same types of hardships. After a fast start as a wide receiver, Patterson was shipped over to defense midway through last season. The Jayhawks made that movie largely because they needed help on defense, but the transition took its toll on Patterson. Today, after playing prominent roles at wideout, cornerback and punt returner in a little more than a year and a half in Lawrence, Patterson is dealing with some new adversity, that which comes with not playing a single snap in the Jayhawks’ 17-10 loss to Kansas State last Saturday.

Despite the setback — both personal and team-wide — Patterson said the Jayhawks have gone about their business with confidence as they prepare for Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. kickoff against Nebraska.

“Even though we’re on a four-game losing streak, everybody really has kept their heads up,” Patterson said. “We still have our composure, and we’re still working hard. It’s no different than it was at the beginning of the season when we were undefeated. If anything, the intensity has picked up just because we want to get back on the winning track.”

Added Mangino: “We’re not going to get down from losing games. We’re going to find a way to get better. That’s the way we do it here. We keep looking for solutions. Nobody is feeling bad for themselves, there is nobody pouting.”


rgh 8 years, 7 months ago

I've been Reesing bashing for two + weeks now, but I've got to tell everyone that the best thing we can all do inside Memorial Stadium Saturday is to give him the loudest ovation we possibly can when he's introduced.

We need Todd to produce, and being Senior day in front of family and friends, we all need to give him the thanks he deserves for his last 4 years regardless of the last 4 game's play. Let's help his confidence and not make his family feel horrible. I think it'll be positive anyway, but I for one will be cheering even though I've been totally disappointed the past 4 weeks. Besides that, the team needs a win and the fans need them to win if we want to spend part of a vacation attending another bowl game. They're a blast to attend if you haven't been able to go. Take the time to do so in your life as life is too short.

Also, if you get to be near the east side of the stadium under the bleachers about 1:45 or so, you'll get to hear the Marching Band to a ritual called "Hog Callin' Time In Nebraska." It's a great pump up diddy and not just for the Nebraska game. They do it at every game they attend, home or away. It's very funny and a neat tradition most don't know about.

Go Hawks.

davidsmom 8 years, 7 months ago

Totally agree with rgh...regardless of the last four games, Reesing has been the best thing that's ever happened to Kansas football and the fans should show him the appreciation he deserves on Senior Day.

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