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View Full Version : Caywood: KU shows promise all over


Lzen
09-10-2007, 08:54 AM
Yeah, this is probably a little homerism. Personally, I'm just glad to see KU rout the teams they are expected to rout. Although it should be pointed out that some people expected Central Michigan to give KU some trouble or perhaps even beat KU. So far, they look like a team on a mission.

Author
Kurt Caywood
LAWRENCE A wise man once said that the key to a good football team is consistency and big plays.

OK, well, it was Glen Mason. So sue me.
The point is, I used to think Mase was right, but as time has gone by, I've changed my mind.

Either one, in enough measure, can send a team bowling. Consistency got KU to the 1981 Hall of Fame and '92 Aloha. Big plays took them to the Tangerine in 2003.

The teams that combine the two are better than good. They're special.

Which brings us to Kansas, where Mason had one of those in '95 and, more than a decade later, Mark Mangino might have another.

Here is your obligatory it's-too-early-to-tell caveat, because, truly, it is. Central Michigan, KU's first victim, wasn't exactly Texas A&M, and Southeastern Louisiana, the recipient of a 62-0 beating Saturday night at Memorial Stadium, wasn't even Prairie View A&M.

But even against air, these Jayhawks have a certain aura, a feel that they could be simultaneously steady and star-studded.

It's noteworthy enough that, in the season opener, Brandon McAnderson and Jake Sharp became just the second pair of running backs to each amass 100 yards rushing since September 1995. It's eye-opening that they did it and KU still passed for a third more yards than it ran.

Historically, the run and the pass have been mutually exclusive.

Times and schemes have changed, and in 2007, KU's offense features more shotgun draws than dives, but that doesn't set this team apart. Mangino is in his sixth season, and his system has changed little since he arrived.

"We have schemes that allow it," he said, "but we've had schemes in the past that allowed us to do it."

Now, the Jayhawks have players that allow them to do it well.

Don't read this as mistaking Todd Reesing and Jake Sharp for Bobby Douglass and John Riggins. But after pitching a shutout for the first time in seven years and scoring at least 50 in consecutive games for the first time ever, there's a chance these Jayhawks have as much talent across the board as any since those Jayhawks played in the 1969 Orange Bowl.

Some teams never establish an identity. Some years, there appears to be no face on the program. This season, there are so many faces, even early, that it's hard to keep track.

Reesing has a presence that grows by the game, and Kerry Meier gives them depth at quarterback few can match.

McAnderson and Sharp are a contrast in styles with complementary skills.

Marcus Herford and Raimond Pendleton each have touchdowns on crackling kick- and punt-return units.

Dexton Fields returns as last year's leading receiver; Marcus Henry has emerged as this year's leading receiver; and a fleet of young guys is close behind with the speed to gain ground on both the field and the depth chart.

Aqib Talib already was a star and a preseason All-America pick on defense. Now, in guest appearances on offense, he has four career receptions, three of them for touchdowns.

At linebacker, KU fans once wondered whether there'd ever be another trio like Reid, Kane and Floodman. The answer already is Rivera, Holt and Mortensen.

And kicker Scott Webb on Saturday became the fifth player in school history to score at least 200 points.

"In every position," Herford said, "it seems like we've got somebody who can do something when he's got the ball in his hands or even without the ball in his hands."

There may be holes. There always are holes somewhere. But at the same time, those skill spots are for real, and there are indications that they'll line up behind solid fronts on both sides.

If all that goes together, and if it stays together once the opponents start putting up more opposition, Kansas will have good year.

And special is still on the table.

Kurt Caywood can be reached at (785) 295-1288 and at kurt.caywood@cjonline.com.

http://blogs.cjonline.com/index.php?entry=4660

Skip Towne
09-10-2007, 09:03 AM
Who is this Caywood guy?

Lzen
09-10-2007, 09:03 AM
He is a columnist for the Topeka Capital Journal.

Skip Towne
09-10-2007, 09:15 AM
He is a columnist for the Topeka Capital Journal.
Good. Saul will see it and get skeered.

Saulbadguy
09-10-2007, 09:29 AM
Yeah, they look pretty good. I'd say they have a chance of beating KSU in Manhattan, but they really haven't played a team with a pulse yet, and won't until then. SE Louisiana started football in 2003, and was picked to finish last in their FCS conference.

If they played App State again (they played them in 05) , they would be the toughest team on their schedule.

Skip Towne
09-10-2007, 09:36 AM
Yeah, they look pretty good. I'd say they have a chance of beating KSU in Manhattan, but they really haven't played a team with a pulse yet, and won't until then. SE Louisiana started football in 2003, and was picked to finish last in their FCS conference.

If they played App State again (they played them in 05) , they would be the toughest team on their schedule.
Central Michigan must have a faint pulse. They beat Toledo 52-31 after KU beat them 52-7.

Saulbadguy
09-10-2007, 09:40 AM
Central Michigan must have a faint pulse. They beat Toledo 52-31 after KU beat them 52-7.
Central Michigan hasn't beaten, or even really given a BCS team a good game, since 1991. Hell, they start a 185lb linebacker. The MAC in its current state is pretty awful - and what's funny is you guys play Toledo next.

Skip Towne
09-10-2007, 09:42 AM
KU must have Bill Snyder doing their scheduling.

Saulbadguy
09-10-2007, 09:43 AM
KU must have Bill Snyder doing their scheduling.
Reeks of desperation, no? :)

Lzen
09-10-2007, 10:14 AM
Reeks of desperation, no? :)

Well, Mangino is from the Bill Snyder coaching tree. ;) KSU seemed to have success with it. Maybe it will work for KU, as well.

Saulbadguy
09-10-2007, 10:17 AM
Well, Mangino is from the Bill Snyder coaching tree. ;) KSU seemed to have success with it. Maybe it will work for KU, as well.
Well, this is the year to do it, then.

If they can win 9 or 10 games, i'd be very impressed.

Cochise
09-10-2007, 10:49 AM
Quite a murderer's row of opponents they have assembled for non-conference.

Skip Towne
09-10-2007, 10:52 AM
Quite a murderer's row of opponents they have assembled for non-conference.
(insert MU insult here)

ROYC75
09-10-2007, 11:00 AM
KU must have Bill Snyder doing their scheduling.


Leave Saul alone, he is still try'n to get moved, cut him some slack man.........

Lzen
09-10-2007, 11:37 AM
Quite a murderer's row of opponents they have assembled for non-conference.

Yep, there are slightly worse than Illinois or Miss. :p

Lzen
09-10-2007, 11:39 AM
Well, this is the year to do it, then.

If they can win 9 or 10 games, i'd be very impressed.

I agree. I have said all along that if they don't win 8 games at the very least, it will be a disappointment. No more excuses. It's time to take this team up to the next level. If MM can't do it, find someone who can.

Cochise
09-10-2007, 12:14 PM
Yep, there are slightly worse than Illinois or Miss. :p

At least ours are from BCS conferences. You guys should have scheduled a few more games, there are a bunch more Southland Conference or Sun Belt teams out there. You could have won 15 games.

Saulbadguy
09-10-2007, 12:16 PM
At least ours are from BCS conferences. You guys should have scheduled a few more games, there are a bunch more Southland Conference or Sun Belt teams out there. You could have won 15 games.
KU did schedule Duke for the future. They are a "BCS" team.

Cochise
09-10-2007, 12:17 PM
KU did schedule Duke for the future. They are a "BCS" team.

And a powerhouse one at that.

Saulbadguy
09-10-2007, 12:18 PM
And a powerhouse one at that.
Actually, I see that KU plays @South Florida next year.

Good luck with that one.

Lzen
09-10-2007, 12:31 PM
That will be a tough game. They almost beat us last year at the end of the game. Of course, I think the defense is improved and that should make a difference.