Watch for the Jayhawks to Bounce Back…Again

October 6, 2010 § Leave a comment

Turner Gill talks with Jordan Webb. Photo courtesy of Nick Krug and KUSports.com

55-7.  KU couldn’t even beat New Mexico State that bad.

After having Baylor remind the Kansas Jayhawk football team that they do in fact play in the Big 12 Conference, a bye week wouldn’t come at a better time.  Not because the men need a rest, but because they need as much time as they can get to prepare for Kansas State next week.

If you didn’t already know, the Kansas vs. K-State football game was switched to a Thursday night earlier this summer and will be nationally televised on FSN.  Was it switched because of the rivalry?  Maybe, but probably because KU realized that fall break is that weekend and most of the students will be partying somewhere else.

Call me biased because I attended the University of Kansas, but I really do think the Hawks have a chance to upset K-State a week from tomorrow.  Look at my Quick Picks from last week, I never had a good feeling about their chances against Baylor and RG3.  Sure enough they were embarrassed to the point that my grandparents and mother, who would rather do anything than watch football, made a comment to me this week about the loss.

I would like to point out a couple of factors that could help the Hawks win the Sunflower Showdown.  Based on the knowledge that history repeats itself, a beaten KU football team comes back with tenacity.

After losing to North Dakota State (the home opener and Gill’s debut), KU beat the then ranked #15 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.  After losing to Southern Miss, KU handily beat New Mexico State.  After getting embarrassed by Baylor, fill in the blank.  While Kansas lacks talent and experience, you have to give them credit for a sense of pride by not hanging their heads and giving up when it seems to be hopeless.

It’s kind of crazy how being embarrassed can light a fire under their butts.  Another motivating factor is that KU gets another chance to prove themselves on national television.  After losing to Southern Miss on ESPN, Gill and Kansas and pave the road to redemption in their their last nationally televised game in a while (currently until the last game of the season vs. Mizzou).

Home.  Despite losing to NDSU in their home opener, Kansas has looked the best at home this season.  On the road, the youngsters are shaky and sloppy.  The last two home games Kansas has been able to execute.  K-State on the other hand has played four straight home games which have all resulted in victories.  The Wildcats almost blew their undefeated season against UCF but squeezed out a narrow 17-13 victory.  The Cats can be tamed.

On Thursday, they will make it five straight home games when Nebraska visits Manhattan making KU their first road test of the 2010 season.  This game may possibly decide the winner of the Big 12 North this season.  We know that Nebraska is the real deal, but we should all hope K-State pulls off an upset.  Why?  Because KU doesn’t need a Wildcat team looking to bounce back.  They need a team to get ahead of themselves and overlook their matchup against the Hawks.  Also, an upset in Lawrence would prove much bigger against the Big 12 North favorite than the same old mediocre K-State we have seen in recent years.

Now let me state the obvious.  KU has to shut down star running back Daniel Thomas.  Seeing as how no one has really been able to do that so far (628 yards and 6 TDS in four games), it will no doubt be a difficult task for the Hawks.  KU was able to shut down Jonathan Nesbitt’s option and ground game and pulled off the upset.  KU wasn’t able to shut down Robert Griffin III and walked away upset.  As Turner Gill says, it’s a matter of execution.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Kansas is a good football team this year.  They are young, inexperienced and lacking talent to keep up with most of their opponents in the Big 12 this season.  But if all factors fall in place, they could be in store for an upset.  And as we all know as Jayhawk football fans, if we DO beat K-State we will more than likely get crushed the next week.  As of now, the roller coaster continues.

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