Keys for KU

<b>ORLANDO, FL.</b> - The Jayhawks can put a exclamation point on an impressive season Monday when Kansas and North Carolina State hook up in the Mazda Tangerine Bowl.  A victory against the Wolfpack would be KU's first in the post season since 1995 when the Jayhawks steam rolled UCLA 51-30 in the Aloha Bowl.

It will not be easy for Kansas, NC State took Ohio State to triple overtime on the road before falling 44 to 38 in mid September.  A week later, the Wolfpack downed Big 12 foe Texas Tech 49 to 21 in Raleigh.    Kansas quarterback Bill Whittemore gives his thoughts on NC State.  "They're a great ball club, and they have solid athletes.  They've lost a number of games late in the fourth quarter."  In the second to last game of the season, NC State took Florida State to the limit before falling 50 to 44 in Seminole Country.  Their five losses this season are by an average of just a touchdown per setback.

The Jayhawks are 6 and 2 this year when Whittemore is healthy and able to play all 4 quarters, which is a plus for Monday's affair.  A quality game from him is a must against the Pack.  Head Coach Mark Mangino provides some more keys for upsetting NC State.  "We've got to play smart football, and create turnovers on defense."

According to Mangino, other defensive goals for Kansas include applying constant pressure to Wolfpack senior quarterback Phillp Rivers.  "Also, we've got to be sharpe on special teams, that could be the edge."

The Wolfpack defense has been nothing to write home about in 2003.  NC State has allowed at least 20 points in every game this season.  The head coach of the Wolfpack, Chuck Amato is concerned with keeping tabs on Whittemore.  "KU's quarterback is the key to their offense.  When a quarterback can run the ball well (Whittemore has nine rushing TD's), it means the offense has numerous options.  Kansas will be a true test for our club."

Making their first post season appearance since 1995, it's obvious KU will be up emotionally for this game.  This will be the fourth consecutive bowl trip for the Wolfpack, and Amato's team was gunning to win the ACC before the season began.  That leaves the possibility open that NC State could come out flat.  If Kansas can come out early and build some momentum, things could bode well for the Jayhawks.  Whittemore is confident the Jayhawks will hang around.  "A win is what we're shooting for, but we will have to play our best and be mistake free."  Monday's kickoff between Kansas and NC State is set for 4:30 central time in Orlando. Top Stories