Of Friend and Foe

<p>The Saturday match up between the Kansas Jayhawks and the No. 2 ranked Oklahoma Sooners will feature two coaches with both a personal and professional relationship.</p>

Mark Mangino and head coach for the Sooners, Bob Stoops have worked together at Kansas State and later won a national championship at Oklahoma.  Mangino spent three years as an assistant head coach and offensive line coach for the Sooners before heading to Kansas.

The signal caller met with the media Tuesday and reminisced about his past experiences in Norman, Oklahoma.

"I think that when I first get there, there will be some mixed emotions, Mangino said. "I really enjoyed my time there and my family did as well. I loved coaching there and being around those players. I have always said that the three years I spent in Norman, were probably the least complicated years of my coaching career. All I had to do was coach the offense and take care of recruiting. I am on the other side of the field now. When I left Oklahoma I experienced something I had never experienced in coaching. When I left the University of Oklahoma, OU fans would write, call or stop me on the street and thank me for my contribution."

Mangino also discussed some of the challenges the Jayhawks face in trying to defeat one of the best teams in the nation on the road.  Mangino explained that the Oklahoma offense presents several weapons including Jason White who won the Heisman Trophy last season.

"On the offensive side of the ball, they have great schemes in the pass game, Mangino said.  "They force you to defend the entire field. They feature a Heisman Trophy winner at quarterback. He comes as advertised. He's a talented young man, a great person, a real story of perseverance. Their offensive line is made up of veterans. They are very good football players. It is a good match up for our defense, which has been playing very well. Our defense is looking forward to the challenge."

The Sooners are averaging 34 points a game and 449 yards of total offense, which has helped them win the first six games of the season.  Another big key for Oklahoma's strong start to the season is stud freshman running back, Adrian Peterson.

"He gets out on the edges so quickly and he accelerates very fast. Once he gets rolling, he is so powerful that you have to wrap him up or you are not going to bring him down. If you try to throw a shoulder at him or dive at his ankles, there is no chance, Mangino said."

Two weeks ago the Jayhawks reversed an 11-year losing streak to the Kansas State Wildcats.  In that game, junior college transfer Jason Swanson replaced Adam Barmann in the fourth quarter to throw a 31-yard touchdown toss to give the Jayhawks the lead late in the game.  With that victory a quarterback controversy was brewing but Mangino commented Tuesday that both quarterbacks could see time against the Sooners.

"I say we will know late in the week. There is a good chance that we will play both of them. They are both practicing very well. I am confident in both kids," Mangino said.

The Jayhawks expect to have cornerback Theo Baines ready for the contest, while running back Clark Green might miss the game due to an undisclosed injury.

The series between Kansas and Oklahoma dates back to the early 1900's and if the Jayhawks are able to upset the Sooners Saturday, it would be certainly a game for the ages.


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