Raising Kane

In a game that demonstrated Kansas' improved defensive speed, perhaps the greatest performance came from one of its slowest players.

Weeding his way into an already sturdy group of linebackers, Kevin Kane showed why he was listed with the starters during Kansas’ 21-3 victory over Tulsa.

All it took was one series with 11:06 left in the fourth quarter with Kansas leading 14-3. On first down, Kane burst through the line and sacked Tulsa quarterback James Kilian for an 11-yard loss. On second down, he teamed with Nick Reid to stop Garret Mills for a two-yard gain. On third down, Kane picked off a Kilian pass and returned it 18 yards to the two yard line, where he was tackled from behind.

“His 5.5 second 40 couldn’t quite get him in,” Mangino said. “He had larceny on his mind but lead in his shoes.

That lead didn’t stop Kane from grabbing five tackles including two for loss, a sack and an interception. But Kane’s efforts weren’t the only ones to slow Tulsa down.

There was Theo Baines, intercepting a James Kilian pass and batting down several others.

The defensive line consistently hassled and harassed Kilian and never allowed him to set his feet. The linebackers flew to the football, gang-tackling everything in sight. On special teams, Brandon Rideau blocked two punts and Chris Tyrell consistently pinned the Tulsa offense deep with his booming punts.

It all added up to trouble for a Tulsa offense that was outmatched, outclassed and outran throughout. Kansas allowed just 141 total yards for the Golden Hurricane, including a paltry 17 yards in the second half.

Kilian threw for just 91 yards in the game, and rushed for negative three yards on 16 carries. This from a quarterback who was the team’s leading returning rusher. Kilian was difficult to bring down, but when he would break a tackle, there were always more Jayhawks waiting for the kill.

Baines said he thought the unit played well.

“How can you not be happy with a performance like that,” Baines said. “But we made some mistakes and we’ll try to fix those this next week.

While the defense thrived in Saturday’s game, the offense struggled with growing pains, putting up just .

Adam Barmann, in his first start as “the man” threw for just 99 yards a touchdown and an interception. Perhaps the pressure of being the number one quarterback caused him to force things a bit.  At times, he appeared to try too hard.He finished the first half hitting on just seven of 19 passes. But Barmann did pick it up in the third quarter, showing greater confidence and leadership, whileconnecting on 6-7 passes and a touchdown.

In Barmann’s defense, his receivers often dropped catchable passes. Rideau dropped a couple, including a deep ball that might have been a big play. Derek Fine also let a few slip through his fingers in tight coverage. The running game also suffered, from a lack of holes and a lack of burst from Clark Green who was a bit sluggish. John Randle provided a spark coming off the bench, rushing for 45 yards in the third quarter.

Tulsa started out the game’s scoring on a field goal early in the second quarter. Kansas tied the score at the half on a Johnny Beck 51 yarder. Beck kicked another in the third quarter following a 55 yard kickoff return by Heaggans. On the next defensive series,Kansas forced a "three-and- out". The KU sustained the momentum by putting togethera 10-play, 80-yard drive capped off by a seven yard strike from Barmann to Charles Gordon. Beck missed the extra point, giving KU a 12-3 lead. KU's next scoring opportunity came on the heels the KU offense turning it over on downs at the Tulsa 2-yard line. On the ensuing play,Kansas defensive tackle Tim Allen sacked Tulsa's Kilian in the end zone for a 2-pointsafety. Kansas added another score on a Barmann option keeper, and the Jayhawks held on for a 21-3 victory.

Game Notes:

  • Kansas played a funky set on third and long situations. It played three down linemen, David McMillan and Greg Tyree at the defensive ends and Jermail Ashley at defensive tackle. The 6-5 250 pound Ashley was too quick for the interior linemen, and they were able to apply consistent pressure on Kilian with aid from blitzes.
  • Kansas freshmen Gary Green II and Dexton Fields did not appear to be suited up on the sidelines. Marcus Herford, Kyle Tucker and Mike Rivera were suited up, and James McClinton and Todd Haselhorst both saw playing time at defensive tackle. Marcus Henry subbed in for Rideau after a dropped pass and finished out the first half.
  • All four linebackers saw extensive playing time. Kane had a strong performance, while Reid had eight tackles. Floodman and Toomey also made a few nice plays as Toomey had seven tackles and Floodman added four tackles and a tackle for loss. As a team, Kansas had 15 tackles for loss.

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