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Archive for Sunday, November 29, 2009

Miserable ending

Reesing, Jayhawks go down slinging

A field goal by Missouri kicker Grant Ressel clears the Jayhawks' defense to win the game for the Tigers, 41-39, as time expires, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009 at Arrowhead Stadium.

A field goal by Missouri kicker Grant Ressel clears the Jayhawks' defense to win the game for the Tigers, 41-39, as time expires, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009 at Arrowhead Stadium.

November 29, 2009, 12:00 a.m. Updated November 29, 2009, 9:51 a.m.

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KU vs. Missouri

Highlights from the Saturday contest between Kansas and Missouri.

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— Todd Reesing went out firing Saturday, which shouldn’t have come as too big a surprise to anyone who heard his midgame exchange with Kansas University football coach Mark Mangino on the sidelines.

“Let’s go, Shooter,” Mangino had implored his senior quarterback. “Shoot all the bullets today.”

“All I got left,” the quarterback vowed.

And then he went out and made good on his promise. It just didn’t quite work out the way he’d planned.

The Jayhawks lost for the seventh straight time Saturday, falling, 41-39, to rival Missouri to conclude a season that had begun with hopes of a Big 12 North title and signal the end of what might be considered one of the most memorable careers in Kansas history.

For the past three years, Reesing has been the face of the program’s rise to respectability — a cocky, hyper Texan with a penchant for pulling rabbits out of his hat and giving KU fans reason to turn their attention from the university’s vaunted men’s basketball program and take notice of what was happening on fall afternoons at Memorial Stadium.

In a sense, Reesing’s final collegiate game was an embodiment of his entire career: an all-out, foot-on-the-gas extravaganza.

He did a little bit of everything Saturday — threw for a school-record 498 yards and four touchdowns, added another score on the ground, threw his pint-sized body around with reckless abandon.

It just didn’t quite have the ending he was looking for.

“Looking back, I have no regrets on anything,” he said. “I played as hard as I could every time I was out on the field. I gave it my all in football, I gave it close to my all in school, and I've built a lot of great friendships.”

If nothing else, however, he and the rest of the team’s seniors gave fans something to remember them by.

Despite the tumultuous nature of the past month and a half — a stretch that had included six straight losses, an inexplicable slump by Reesing and an investigation into coach Mark Mangino’s treatment of players — the Jayhawks played like they had back in the first month of the season, when the team jumped to a 5-0 start and anything, including a Big 12 North title, seemed possible.

Reesing’s 506 total yards Saturday were the second most in school history.

Junior receiver Dezmon Briscoe made the most of what could be his final game as a Jayhawk, too, grabbing 14 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns.

Safety Darrell Stuckey finished with 15 tackles.

Receiver Kerry Meier caught 10 passes, two of which were touchdowns.

The list goes on.

And although the defense turned in a less-than-stellar performance, giving up 553 yards of total offense to Missouri, Kansas found itself with a three-point lead — and the ball — with less than three minutes remaining.

Two straight passing plays went for naught, however, and on a third-and-10 attempt from the Kansas three-yard line, Reesing was wrapped up in the end zone for a safety, pulling Missouri within a point, 39-38, with 2:45 to go.

Missouri quickly marched down the field, highlighted by a 27-yard run by running back Derrick Washington on third-and-two that moved the Tigers to the KU five-yard line, and unlike last season, when KU defensive back Phillip Strozier got a hand on a potential game-tying, 54-yard kick to secure a Kansas victory, Missouri’s Grant Ressel had no problem connecting on a 27-yard field-goal attempt as the clock expired.

Most likely, fans of the program will spend the next few days trying to figure out what to make of this senior class. On the one hand, the group won an Orange Bowl and an Insight Bowl, won 20 games in two seasons and earned a share of a Big 12 North title.

On the other, it couldn’t put the pieces together at the end, failing to qualify for a bowl game during a season in which expectations were at an all-time high.

Still, Mangino hopes the group is considered for its body of work, not just the outcome of a single season.

“I told our seniors that they’ve already left a legacy here with some of the things they’ve done,” Mangino said. “More people will remember all of the good things they’ve done than the negatives, especially our fan base. They should be proud that they fought and gave their very best. You can’t ask for anything from a player but their best effort, and they gave their best effort every single week.”

Comments

Lee Eldridge 5 years ago

Love our group of seniors, especially Reesing, Meier and Sharp. They have made us proud to be KU football fans again.

http://www.leeeldridge.com/ku-football-thank-you-seniors-2009/

wolfy 5 years ago

Why not just line up and run the ball hard three times on the last possession? At best, we make a first down and we win. At worst, we run the clock down below 2:00, force MU to burn their time outs, and punt the ball. MU would have gotten the ball back down by three (not one), with no time outs and much less clock to work with. What we ended up doing instead -- pass, pass, quarterback draw from shotgun (safety) -- could not have been scripted any better...for the MU defense, that is.

rgh 5 years ago

Despite underachieving big time this season, the senior class of 2010 will always have a fond spot in most fan's hearts.

The person not mentioned here I truly feel badly for is Angus Quigley. He could have been our next power back but gave that up to help the defense and saw very little time at linebacker. I can't help but believe Lew had a little something to do with the last two games ending the way they did also in the timing and publicity of this little "investigation" he started. Thanks for nothing Lew just because you are trying to get that fancy new suite built. They say timing is everything and your timing stinks.

Let's hope we get the ship righted and do it next year! We'll never forget the Orange Bowl, but I'm also afraid this season will not soon be forgotten for the lack of a bowl birth with a talented group. With that being said, thanks for the good memories guys and the two consecutive fun Christmas trips to Miami and Tempe.

StirrrThePot 5 years ago

Thank you, Jayhawks, and thank you Coach Mangino. I will always wonder what happened this season, but it does not make me any less proud of your team and all you have accomplished. These last 3-4 years have been exciting and riveting and as a lifelong Jayhawk there's few things more I can ask for.

ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK!!!

Mary Darst 5 years ago

I agree.... There are no grounds to fire Mangino!!!!

Rickyonealku 5 years ago

To this Senior Football Class, I love my t-shirts and sweat shirts with orange bowl and insight bowl plus proudly sport all the time. Those are my fond keepsakes from your very hard working Senior Class, Thank you plus BTW those KU football inmprovements will help for years to come.

Again Thanks to THE 2010 KU Football Seniors.

Richard Heckler 5 years ago

Fans at the Free State were certainly standing behind the Jayhawks.

Kaplow 5 years ago

I gotta agree with Wolfy on the play calling on that last possession. It just didn't make any sense. We didn't use any clock and then they knew we had to pass on third down. That turned into a safety, followed by a strange short kickoff and us using our second time out for no reason so we had zero chance of getting the ball back with a stop. I'm let down because could/should've won the game but that has nothing to do in my mind with ditching Mangino. If we get rid of him because of how intense and in your face he is with the players or because he hurt some feelings then we have zero chance at continuing to build the football program. All of those KU haters will be right when they say KU is ONLY a Basketball school. No decent career-minded coach will come in here to continue to build the program and do a good job if they think they have to watch out for what the players mommy and daddies think of how they are talking to JR. Oh we'll land someone because we have the money and are building a profile but whoever it is will spend all of their time managing relationships and massaging balls so they can keep their job without ruffling feathers. KEEP MANGINO!!! He built it, let him take it to the next level. We will all be better off for it.

ilovetocook 5 years ago

On 11/25/09 gregsharp (Anonymous) says…

Its amazing that people can talk about this crap and talk about this crap when your fellow citizens are being killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and have no jobs. This is so unimportant. Get a life.

Greg, a lot has changed in four days, right? Stop the name-calling exhibited in your post today toward anyway who doesn't agee with you. Get a life!

Deb Stavin 5 years ago

ilovetocook: Sports fans do have a life. It just happens to include football as well as concern for our troops and our unemployed.

Deb Stavin 5 years ago

Sorry ilovetocook...I meant that comment as a reply to Greg Sharp's post. But you knew that!

Mary Darst 5 years ago

I was at the game. really enjoyed the experience. Only problem was 3 fellows in front of us. KU fans. Embarrassing!!!! Started crap with a MU fan a few rows in front of us... I understand strong competition and rivalary, But jumping on the guy and rolling into the next 3 rows down is crazy. I'm thinking that Sarurday was Budweiser's Black Friday.

ilovetocook 5 years ago

dstavin,

Thank you for clarifying that. :~) My point to greg sharp is 4 days ago he said people shouldn't get so wrapped up in this drama when there are troops dying overseas which is actually a good perspective. But, four days later, he is getting so worked up that he is calling people names if they happen to diagree with him about Mangino.

tigerforlife 5 years ago

Mr. Reesing may I suggest a career in turf management since two of your career's three biggest plays ended with your face buried in the sod of one of Arrowhead's end zones...

2009 KU football: History awaits...still laughing about that one. Guess that "bowl streak" ends at two...

Good luck to Coach Mangino...I hope he gets an offensive coordinator job at Duke or UNC and begins to re-build his coaching career...but most importantly he gets in Duke's noted weight management program and saves his life...

op43 5 years ago

If this was Mangino's last game at KU, he may consider his next coaching head job (if he gets one) on some mistakes he made this year.

First, why Clint Bowen is still the defensive coordinator is still a mystery to me. I’ve heard Mangino didn’t want him last year but Perkins intervened. KU's defense has been horrible, particularly the pass defense since Bowen took over.

Second, propping up Ressing prior to the Colorado game about the Heisman put Ressing in a funk the rest of the year. He actually played better as a sophomore than I think he did this year.

Play calling, as always been a mystery with Mangino teams but the last possession yesterday took the cake. Running the spread creates excitement, but there are times in a game where you go under center and run the damm ball.

Of all the negative vibes about Mangino the last several weeks, I will remember Mangino beat Nebraska twice, broke the streak against K-State, held his own against Missouri, took them to a BCS bowl and had consecutive bowl seasons. A major accomplishment for a coach who took over a terrible program thanks to Terry Allen. He also recruited some great kids, none better however than Kerry Meier. Meier had the opportunity to transfer, whine and complain about not being the starting quarterback, but he didn’t. If the roles were reversed between Ressing and Meier I would bet Ressing would have been the whiner. You got a sense of that this year when he was benched on occasion. Every team needs a Kerry Meier and KU will miss him more than any other senior next year.

Personally, I hope Mangino gets to stay because I don’t think we’ll find anyone better. I think Perkins has made him damaged goods with recruits and he'll probably be gone. If that is the case, then I hope the new Chancellor will cut her teeth and make sure we also get a new AD.

Shardwurm 5 years ago

Well, back to zero...that is to say KU starts again next year to try go to a bowl game for 11 consecutive years in order to tie KSU. Oh well. It's basketball season right? LOL!

xdisciple 5 years ago

You all can blame Mangino and the players for the decline and fall of KU's short-lived football "greatness" all you want, but the fact is that 9,000 fans walked out at half-time on a 4-0 team in a close home game with Iowa State this season when the Hawks were ranked 17 and Reesing was being talked about for Heisman. Why? Because it was 40 degrees and sprinkling. This tendency of Jayhawk fans to walk out on their team is now referred to derisively across the Big XII as "The Jayhawk Walk". Of course, after winning that game they went 0-7. Coincidence? I think not.

Players notice things like that too. USA Today quoted Reesing at the time as incredulously saying "That's football weather!" Other players commented as well. Pros at least play for money. Student athletes play for their school. You don't show up and support them, they can't say "At least I'm getting paid".

With as much money as KU has thrown at improvements, and despite the "great" season two years ago against a weak schedule, and all the talk this year about actually winning some kind of Big XII banner to hang someplace, KU still has nothing to show for a football program. No big time coach is going to come to a program with such crappy fans. No big time players are going to come to a school where 20% of the student section walks out at half-time and doesn't come back. Apparently only perfection is acceptable to the KU fan base, and KU doesn't even get perfection in basketball.

Sorry true and loyal KU fans, but because so many of your fellow "fans" are so spoiled, KU greatness in football will never be more than a carrot on a stick.

Gregory Newman 5 years ago

I know nothing about the rumor mill but I quit coaching team sports because of messy parents. I don't believe Mangino should be fired provided that he delivered constructive criticism. That's sport but now I am an African-American and if criticism is the norm then it should be toward the strength and conditioning coaches or the recruiting coordinator because the Hawks have the slowest black kids that I have ever seen assembled on a college team. Brisco is the only exception. They need team SPEED. Yea get mad I said it but I'll take a chance to get banned to see the program come up. Someone needs to see if the athletes came in fast and got slower or that was the best they could recruit. Plus Mangino lost good staff folks after the Orange Bowl. How about that Lew Perkins.

drillsgt 5 years ago

todd reesing can close the hawk all he wants too now...

weeslicket 5 years ago

i did not read the article, and only scanned the comments.

i was out of state during the game, and only saw the last terrible moments of this game. still, some things seem self-evident.

  1. when ku held mu at the end of the game, the staff was correct to call a "safe". 1a. mu squib punted, and the ball took an easily catchable bounce, and so the punt returner could have caught it and fallen to the ground at around the 20. instead of letting the ball bounce to within 2 yards of the goal line. 1b. no doubt the returner would have gotten cussed out. but that's still ok.

  2. really terrible play calling at the end. 2a. wonder if some smash-mouth linemen would have gotten some distance between their goal line and our victory. 2c. wonder if some west coast style dump-off passes would have gotten some distance between their goal line and our victory.

heybluekc 5 years ago

23-41 in big 12 play and only one win of those 23 came against a big 12 opponent with a winning record at seasons end. Poke all the players you want to the record speaks for itself. We can do better than this.

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