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Monday Rewind: Colorado
There are plenty of conclusions — both good and bad — to draw from the outcome of last week’s incredible comeback victory over Colorado.
But forget ’em all.
Forget that the defense was terrible in the first half and only slightly better in the second half in giving up 464 yards of offense to Cody Hawkins (322 passing yards) and Colorado and digging a 45-17 hole.
Forget that the offense clicked like it had yet to click this season and scored a school-record 35 points in a single quarter. If that hadn’t happened yet in 100-plus years of KU football history, it’s not likely to happen again any time soon.
Forget the fortunate bounces, the big-time hits, the wild wave of momentum that saturated the west side of Memorial Stadium and the fact that this KU team showed some life, passion and heart and then showed how powerful that stuff can be.
Forget all of that, for now, because there’s more football to be played in 2010. But remember it when the season ends. Remember it when you’re wondering if this team has any talent. Remember it when you question if KU coach Turner Gill and his coaching staff are worth a darn. Remember it when you wonder if there’s any hope for the future of Kansas football.
Beating a bad Colorado team by way of a record-breaking comeback is not necessarily something that provides a definitive yes answer to any of those questions. But it does show — even if you still don’t believe it actually happened — that, when everything clicks, when the coaches push the right buttons and the players use passion as their vehicle, Kansas football can look and play the way people around here want it to.
Take away all of the unbelievable plays that helped make the incredible comeback a reality, and you’ll realize that Saturday’s result was about two things: A coach who believes in his players and his system and a group of players who were willing to fight for that coach and themselves.
“I’m just very, very proud to be associated with these young men,” Gill said Sunday night. “I just kept telling my wife (Saturday night) I feel so proud of our staff and our players. Guys gotta make plays and play relentless and this is a great example of what relentless, the word, meant.”
Things get considerably more difficult from this point on, with KU scheduled to face three ranked opponents — Nebraska, Oklahoma State and Missouri — to close out the season. The Jayhawks will be expected to lose each of those games, however, regardless of the outcome of those contests, last Saturday’s victory against Colorado ensured two things.
Turner Gill will be the KU football coach next season and beyond.
Now that the Jayhawks have seen what a little passion and fire can do, it’s highly likely that they’re going to bring it to each of those three remaining games.
And, hey, who knows what can happen then?