"Hawks Hope to Win, Sooner Rather Than Later

Kansas is looking to get back to its winning ways after losing its first game of the season last Saturday against Colorado.

The No. 24 Jayhawks (5-1) didn't take much time to get over their 34-30 loss to the Buffaloes with the No. 25 Oklahoma Sooners (3-3) coming to Lawrence this Saturday for a 2:30 p.m. (CT) showdown on ABC.

"I got over that disappointment at about 2 p.m. on Sunday because I watched the tape, graded it and then started look at Oklahoma," KU head coach Mark Mangino said Tuesday.

"Obviously, it was disappointing to lose, but that is long gone out of our system. It is behind us. We can't change it, we can't do anything about it, but we can do something about the games we are about to play and our next game is against Oklahoma."

The Sooners, too, are coming off a hard fought loss to Texas, 16-13. While OU has lost three games this season, those losses were by a combined five points, including one-point losses to then No. 17 Miami (Fl.) and then No. 20 BYU. Also, last year's Heisman Trophy quarterback Sam Bradford either didn't play or played in just part of all three defeats.

Bradford reinjured his right shoulder against Texas and will not play Saturday. But he has a quality replacement in Landry Jones, who has passed for 11 touchdowns this year and completed 59.1 percent of his passes.

"Landry Jones is a pretty talented kid," Mangino said. "He understands their offense really well, so that tells me he is paying attention to what they are doing. He has the ability to throw the ball very well and with accuracy. He has enough escape ability from the pocket to give you trouble. He looks poised to me and looks like a very intelligent player."

OU has plenty of other offensive and defensive weapons, including running backs DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown, receivers Ryan Broyles and Brandon Caleb, linebackers Keenan Clayton, Ryan Reynolds and Travis Lewis, cornerbacks Dominique Franks and Brian Jackson, and defensive linemen Jeremy Beal, Adrian Taylor, Gerald McCoy and Auston English.

The Sooners also feature the only player in the country to start at three different position this year (not including special teams) in Brody Eldridge. He's started at center, tight end, and left guard.

Kansas, indeed, will be facing a tough challenge against the best 3-3 team in the country. Oklahoma ranks No. 20 nationally in total offense at 432.67 yards per game, while the defense has been overwhelming foes, ranking No. 1 in the nation in red zone defense (62 percent), No. 3 in scoring defense (9.7), No. 4 in tackles for loss (8.8), No. 4 in sacks (3.8), No. 5 in rushing defense (68.3) and No. 8 in total defense (258.2).

"Their defense is playing about as well as anyone else in the country,"  KU senior quarterback Todd Reesing said.

Kansas knows it will be difficult to beat Oklahoma if the Jayhawks give up a big early lead, as they did against Colorado. KU was down 24-3 late in the second quarter before rallying to take a 30-27 lead before CU scored the winning touchdown with over eight minutes left in the fourth quarter.

The Jayhawks, one of four teams in the Big 12 North with one loss, are looking for a quick start against the Sooners.

"As soon as we get the ball, we're going to have to put points on the board," senior receiver Kerry Meier said.

OU has won the last five meetings since KU won three straight from 1995-97. Twelve years since the Jayhawks' last win over Oklahoma in Lawrence, Kansas is looking to start another winning streak over the Sooners.

A KU victory on Saturday would give the ‘Hawks great momentum and confidence the rest of the Big 12 race.

"They're recognized nationally as a team that puts out a great team every year," Reesing said. "To get a win over a team like that, no matter what year it is, is big. We've got a great opportunity ahead of us."

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