Nevertheless, the slower, weaker, dumber Jayhawks pulled out a 30-24 win over interstate rival and #24-ranked Kansas State Saturday at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. It was KU’s first win in Manhattan since 1989.
“We did not play flawless football, by any stretch, but we played well enough to beat a Big XII team on the road,” KU head coach Mark Mangino said. “This was a team effort, it really was. (The KU team) hung together on the sideline. They stayed calm and they stuck to the game plan.”
Kansas simply had too many offensive answers to Kansas State defensive challenges, despite getting off to a rough start. On the first play from scrimmage, Kansas QB Todd Reesing threw a pass that was intercepted by the Wildcats’ Chris Carney. Reesing would continue to struggle through the first quarter, finishing just 3-of-9 passing for 13 yards.
“I wasn’t shaky; I just don’t think we got things clicking,” Reesing said. “From the second quarter on, we moved the football. The only time we couldn’t do anything is when we stopped ourselves.”
“He was trying to decipher what they were doing the first couple of series,” Mangino said. “He was trying to get a read on it. But I thought by the time we got to the second quarter, he had that look in his eye like he knew what he was doing. He really had a bead on it.”
Reesing completed 19-of-26 passes from the start of the second quarter on, finishing with 267 throwing yards.
Meanwhile, on the ground, KU’s bigger, more physical offensive line had its way with Kansas State much of the day, and KU RBs rushed for 170 yards. RB Brandon McAnderson ran for 81 yards on 12 carries. RB Jake Sharp rushed 17 times for 77 yards. Reesing added 16 yards of his own.
“(Kansas State) wanted to shut our running game down, so we wanted to run and do that early on to open up the passing game,” Sharp said.
“Our offensive line and runningbacks really controlled the tempo of the game today,” Mangino said.
On the receiving end of the ball, eight KU players caught passes. WR Dexton Fields led KU receivers with eight catches and 78 yards, including a 30-yard TD pass that put KU ahead for good with 6:27 left in the game. WR Dezmon Briscoe caught four (for 67 yards and a TD) as did TE Derek Fine (38 yards).
Aqib Talib made another TD catch again this week, this one in the second quarter with just 11 seconds left that sent the two teams into the lockerroom with the score tied at 14.
Even Kerry Meier got into the act with his first reception of the season, a 16-yard catch in the 4th quarter.
Although no one would admit it, this KU team – 5-0 overall, 1-0 in the Big XII – played like it had put an extra big chip on their shoulders Saturday after an influx of bulletin board material out of Manhattan this week. While the Kansas head coach said that didn’t make a bit of difference this week, he got in a shot, intentional or not.
“All I tell our kids is, you can’t win this game in the media. You win it on the field. When you talk a lot, then you gotta back it up. I tell our guys, you’re better off keeping it quiet and just go to work. Do your talking on the field; that’s where it really counts.”
Kansas will look to extend their record to 6-0 overall and 2-0 in the conference with an 11:30 a.m. game next Saturday against the Baylor Bears in the friendly confines of Marvin Grove and Memorial Stadium. The game will be televised on Fox College Sports Central.
- 1st qtr: KSU Jordy Nelson 68-yd pass from Josh Freeman (PAT good). 1 play/68 yards/:09.
- 2nd qtr: KU Jake Sharp 20-yd run (PAT good). 10/68/4:30.
- 2nd qtr: KSU Leon Patton 7-yd run (PAT good). 11/80/5:19.
- 2nd qtr: KU Aqib Talib 5-yd pass from Todd Reesing (PAT good). 6/44/1:16.
- 3rd qtr: KU Dezmon Briscoe 28-yd pass from Todd Reesing (PAT good). 8/80/3:35.
- 3rd qtr: KSU Brooks Rossman 32-yd field goal. 13/61/6:08.
- 4th qtr: KSU Deon Murphy 5-yd pass from Leon Patton (PAT good). 4/16/1:20.
- 4th qtr: KU Dexton Fields 30-yd pass from Todd Reesing. 5/62/1:05.
- 4th qtr: KU Scott Webb 24-yd field goal. 6/19/2:42.