For the Bearkats, the problems came in the form of a hurricane,
canceling their last game and depriving the town of electricity. The
players were forced to sleep on the floor in the campus fieldhouse
– Kansas Coach Mark Mangino said the first time Bearkat
players slept in beds in the past week came Friday night at the
team’s hotel in Overland Park.
At the same time, the cancelations stopped the Jayhawks from compiling
tape on the Bearkats, whose only game was a 58-14 victory against East
Central Oklahoma that saw many of the first-teamers sitting at halftime.
So it shouldn’t have come as any surprise that both teams
appeared sloppy at times in a 38-14 Kansas victory. Sam Houston State
lost three turnovers and allowed 528 yards of total offense to the
Jayhawks. At the same time, Kansas’s offense bogged down at
times, and the Jayhawks allowed the Bearkats to pass for more than 300
“We had to do a lot of coaching on the fly,”
Mangino said. “…I thought that first of all, Sam
Houston State did a good job of coming here and being prepared. They
played really hard and really well. I thought we played OK. I
don’t think there was anything that was remarkable about our
“I think we got a win, which is the key thing, but we still
have areas that we must improve in before Big 12 Conference
play,” Mangino said.
Angus Quigley came out as the starting running back to applause from
the fans, and the coaching staff wasted no time putting him to work,
giving him eight first quarter carries. Quigley responded by running
for 47 yards in the opening period.
But the Jayhawks didn’t score until the second quarter,
following a Darrell Stuckey interception return to the one-yard line.
One play later, Todd Reesing dove into the end zone on an option play.
The Jayhawks’ second score also came after an interception
– this one courtesy of Isiah Barfield, who hauled in a tipped
pass later in the quarter. On a third-and-12, Reesing found Meier open
deep down the middle, and hooked up with the former quarterback for a
68-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead.
Sam Houston State stopped Kansas on the Jayhawks’ next drive,
holding Reesing short on a fourth-and-one quarterback sneak. Four plays
later, quarterback Rhett Bomar scrambled up the middle from eight yards
But then, Reesing struck again. After a personal foul on Jeremiah Hatch
pushed the Jayhawks into a third-and-25 situation, Reesing had another
“Shades of Doug Flutie” moment, eluding several
pass rushers before flinging the ball 57 yards downfield and hitting
Dezmon Briscoe for the score right before the end of the half.
Briscoe set up the Jayhawks’ next score on a 31-yard catch
and run down to the two yard line. Jocques Crawford took over from
there, bursting in from the two.
The Bearkats pulled back to within 14 on a 47-yard touchdown pass from
Bomar to Justin Wells on their next drive, but they would never get any
closer. Kansas increased its lead with a 24-yard field goal from Jacob Branstetter, followed by a one-yard Angus Quigley touchdown dive.
Reesing had his third consecutive 300-yard passing day, finishing with
356 yards and two touchdowns, plus another score on the ground. Running
backs Crawford and Quigley combined for 104 yards rushing and two
scores. Crawford added a 29-yard catch as well. Meier led Kansas with
eight catches for 136 yards and a touchdown, while Briscoe had five
catches for 124 yards and a touchdown.
The defense struggled through much of the game to keep a handle on
Bomar. The former Oklahoma Sooner passed for 340 yards and a touchdown,
while he ran for another score. But much of his damage was done between
the 20s – Sam Houston State put up just 14 points, while
Bomar threw three interceptions. His leading pass catcher was Justin
Wells, who finished with 111 yards on eight catches, though three other
receivers finished with more than 50 yards. James Aston led the
Bearkats with 33 yards rushing on seven carries.
“I thought the defensive performance overall was average, it
was just average,” Mangino said. “They threw for
too many yards. They converted too many third downs.”
The Jayhawks are off next Saturday. In two weeks, they will travel to
Ames to take on the Iowa State Cyclones.
“I’m not overly concerned or in a panic,
no,” Mangino said. “But there are areas we need to
make an improvement in. We need a good fundamental week.”
Kansas – Todd Reesing 1 run (Jacob Branstetter kick), 10:24 2Q
KU – Kerry Meier 68 pass from Reesing (Branstetter kick),
Sam Houston State – Rhett Bomar 8 run (Taylor Wilkins kick),
KU – Dezmon Briscoe 57 pass from Reesing (Branstetter kick),
KU – Jocques Crawford 2 run (Branstetter kick), 13:46 3Q
SHSU – Justin Wells 46 pass from Bomar (Wilkins kick), 12:58
KU – Branstetter 24 FG, 3:09 3Q
KU – Angus Quigley 1 run (Branstetter kick), 9:24 4Q
“I think we’ve gotta
improve,” Mangino said. “We’ve made some
changes in the lineup, shook some things up here and there, and
we’ll continue to do that until we find the right pieces of
“We made those changes because we’re not getting
the kind of production and consistency that we need to have,”
Mangino said. “At KU, you have to play every play like
it’s your last. When you don’t do that, you
don’t play. It’s a privilege to play here;
it’s not a right.”
Briscoe and Patterson both came in a bit later, though Patterson
didn’t see much offense after he fumbled the ball over to the
Bearkats in the first quarter.
It was a different story with Rivera, who saw his first defensive plays
in the second quarter and played sparingly the rest of the way. He did
see time on the punt unit. He ended the game with zero tackles.
“We’re not having consistency at the WILL
linebacker position, so we made a change,” Mangino said.
“It doesn’t mean we’ve given up on
anybody or anything like that, but you gotta do the job here. It takes
absolutely no talent to give effort; you’ve got to play hard
every play here. We won’t take anything less from any
Youngsters Dakota Lewis, Olaitan Oguntodu and Ryan Murphy all saw time
in the first quarter as well, while Rivera, a normal starter, played
only on the punt unit. Other players to see time included
Corrigan Powell, who played some cornerback, and could be in the mix to
play more if injured starter Kendrick Harper isn’t ready by
the Iowa State game.
- While Todd Reesing’s scramble-and-pass to Dezmon
Briscoe may soon become part of YouTube lore for Jayhawk fans,
it’s not necessarily what Mangino wants out of the 5-foot-11
junior. Mangino said Reesing broke contain too often in
Saturday’s game, including times when he had a pocket set up.
“I just want him to play
quarterback,” Mangino said. “And I don’t
want him to feel like he has to do everything. Obviously he believes
that somewhere, somebody told him that he needs to be the whole show.
- Mangino said he also wanted better production out of the
offensive line, and said that many of the problems didn’t
stem from freshmen tackles Jeremiah Hatch and Jeff Spikes.
“I thought the perimeter was better in the
run game,” Mangino said. “I think the offensive
line still needs work, and we’re not just talking about the
freshman guys here. We’re talking about veteran guys, and I
told some of those guys that they need to get it moving, or
we’re going to have to find some younger kids that will get
in there and create some creases in the run game.”
Mangino said the running game went well at the start of the game before
“The running backs did an adequate job tonight, but in the
offensive line we’ve got to get better at creating some
creases and finishing blocks in the run game,” Mangino said.
“That’s an urgent need for us.”