See, she's Norwegian. Norway is an amazing country: great beer,
gorgeous women, beautiful cities, amazing countryside. But there's one
thing I hate about Norway: all the food is beige and pretty bland.
Which brings me to the first half of KU's 29-0 win over La Tech.
Despite outgaining the Bulldogs, 262-138, in the first two quarters, KU
was, well, beige and bland. They led, 13-0, at the intermission but
settled for two field goals. Kansas was three of seven on third down
conversions. They averaged just three yards per carry on 15 tries. On
one possession, KU drove to the La Tech 13 and found
themselves with third down and two yards to go. RB Jocques Crawford was
asked to get KU a first down and gained a yard off-tackle. Crawford's
number got called again on fourth and one. He ran off-tackle for no
gain. That's just how the first quarter seemed to go.
“We've got to work on redzone offense. We need to get more touchdowns than field goals in the redzone,” Jayhawk head coach Mark Mangino said. “The first half of the game, we didn't run the ball well. I thought a little bit of that was the offensive line. The backs didn't hit the lane as fast as we want them to.”
On the other side of the ball, Tech had managed nine first downs. They
converted on seven of 10 third down conversions, and they'd ventured
once into the Jayhawks redzone with seemingly little effort only for QB
Taylor Bennett to get picked in the KU endzone by CB Chris Harris with
a tip-drill assist from S Darrell Stuckey.
KU seemed to need a second-half wake-up call, and they got it, thanks
to two plays and two terrific individual efforts by WR Dezmon Briscoe
and S Darrell Stuckey that are sure to be on the season highlight video.
Kansas had the ball at the Tech 48 yard line after a Bulldog punt and a
catch interference penalty with 10:32 left in the third quarter. On
first down, QB Todd Reesing connected with Briscoe on a simple
five-yard slant pattern. Briscoe broke five tackles after the catch
before being brought down 49 yards later, one yard deep in the end
zone, by a sixth. His 48-yard touchdown catch was one of eight
receptions on the night for 130 yards. KU led, 20-0.
Reesing said, “They were bringing the house; they were
rushing like seven guys. I knew Dezmon had the one-on-one matchup. When
you have someone of Dezmon's ability, that's what I look for. I was
able to get the ball off before I took a shot, and I was down on the
ground, I kinda look up and I see he's still running and I watched the
rest of the play develop from the ground. It was an amazing run.
LB Joe Mortensen said Briscoe's run was a huge lift for the team.
“It was an amazing run, he broke like five or six tackles.
Dez is definitely a great talent. We love to watch him play, for
Following the touchdown, KU's K Jacob Branstetter put the ensuing
kickoff through the endzone and the Bulldogs took possession at the 20.
Bennett handed the ball to RB Phillip Livas who took it 78 yards to the
Kansas two yard line but only after being chased down from behind
– waaaay behind – by S Darrell Stuckey.
That never-say-die effort was the difference, Mangino said.
“I told the kids in the locker room that the gutsiest play a
guy in the game of football is when a player is out in the open,
running for a touchdown, and you;'re the only guy that can make the
play, and you may not have as steep an angle as you'd like to have ,
you have everything going against you, but you make the
play,” Mangino gushed. “Darrell showed the
fortitude that he was going to make that play.”
From the two, RB Phillip Jackson lost four yards on first down thanks
to a great tackle by – you guessed it – Darrell
Stuckey. Two Bennett incompletions later, K Brad Oestriecher doinked a
23-yard field goal attempt off the right upright. To quote Bill Paxton
in Aliens, “Game over, man. Game over.” The shutout
Mangino said, “They miss a field goal and the complexion of
the game is completely changed because Darrell Stuckey chose to
It's a testament to the talent and character of the players on the
Kansas roster that I can sit here and whine about a 29-0 Kansas win. If
you'd have told me five years ago I'd be doing it, I'd have called you
It's also a testament to the job Mangino, defensive coordinator Clint
Bowen and offensive coordinator Ed Warriner are doing, as well as to
the talent they're bringing to Lawrence.
Saturday night, two plays by two playmakers made a huge impact on the
game. It wasn't all that long ago that all those players played for
other teams, not KU.
Here's hoping there are plenty more opportunities to whine about
29-point wins this season.