Kansas Preview 2006
All those who thought Mark Mangino was going to turn around the Kansas program with defense, not offense, raise your hands.
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Kansas isn't going to get the talents that places like
Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas can get, but it'll get hard-nosed
playmakers to set a foundation and good athletes who can be molded
into great football players.
Mangino and his coaching staff got the veteran, senior-dominated
defense to carry the day last year, but it'll have to be the
offense, specifically the ground game, that shoulders the load early
While Mangino made his national mark as an offensive coordinator at
Oklahoma, his real strength was putting together quality offensive
lines. It took five years, but he has his best line yet with guard
Bob Whitaker and center David Ochoa the types of talents good enough
lead a front five that'll give everyone a time to work as well as be
able to control the tempo. Running back Jon Cornish can be a
workhorse until new quarterback Kerry Meier and the passing game
Head coach: Mark Mangino
5th year: 19-29
Off. 22, Def. 18, ST 2
Lettermen Lost: 22
Best KU Players
C David Ochoa, Sr.
2. CB Aqib Talib, Soph.
3. DT James McClinton, Jr.
P Kyle Tucker, Jr.
Jon Cornish, Sr.
6. SS Jerome Kemp, Sr.
7. WR Marcus Herford, Soph.
8. QB Kerry Meier, RFr.
9. LB Mike Rivera, Soph.
OG Bob Whitaker, Sr.
at Iowa State
2005 Record: 7-5
Preview 2005 predicted wins
at Texas Tech L 30-17
at Kansas State L 12-3
Oklahoma L 19-3
at Colorado L 44-13
Texas L 66-14
W 24-21 OT
Fort Worth Bowl
Houston W 42-13
The defense loses its top three tacklers, linebackers Nick Reid,
Kevin Kane and Banks Floodman, along with all-star end Charlton
Keith and his nine sacks and 23 tackles for loss. Will the D be able
to replace all the playmakers? Not right away, but there are several
athletic young prospects to build around led by sophomore corner
Aqib Talib, and two good veterans in senior tackle Wayne Wilder and
senior safety Jerome Kemp to provide leadership.
But is Kansas on the upswing, or was
last year a case of the program getting all the parts and all the
experience to come together at a time when the Big 12 was at its
weakness? Maybe it's a little bit of both.
There doesn't appear to be any sort of panic on the part
of the coaching staff at all the lost talent, and by all indications,
there's no need to considering this a rebuilding season. However, the
league appears to be better with the North improving from the
disappointment of the last few seasons. On the plus side, Kansas appears
to be part of that upswing, although it doesn't have the upside of
Nebraska or Colorado.
For a program that suffered through nine straight losing seasons and
came within an eyelash against Iowa State of making it ten, getting to a
bowl game and winning 42-13, even if it was over Houston in the Fort
Worth Bowl, was a huge step. While this season might be a step backward
to take two leaps forward for 2007, there's no reason not to shoot for
another bowl game because of ...
can't take anyone lightly, but it shouldn't have a problem opening up
2-0 against Northwestern State and UL Monroe before a nightmare of a
non-conference game at Toledo. Big 12-wise, missing Oklahoma, Texas and
Texas Tech from the South and playing Baylor, Texas A&M and Oklahoma
State is as big a break as it gets. The Kansas State game is at home,
and so is the game against a Colorado team that beat the Jayhawks 44-13
Offensive Player: Senior C David Ochoa. It might not be a major plus
to have your best offensive player at center, but Ochoa, who'll combine
with guard Bob Whitaker and/or Jake Cox and a deep group of options, will pave the way
for the attack. Time is needed at the skill positions before they fully
rock, and this line will provide it.
Defensive Player: Sophomore CB Aqib Talib. The loss of CB Charles
Gordon to an ill-advised early entry to the NFL means Talib is suddenly
the team's best corner. He got more than his share of experience when
Gordon was spending so much time on offense, and now Talib should
to a successful season: Redshirt freshman QB Kerry Meier. True
freshman Todd Reesing will get a little bit of a look for the number one
spot, but the team needs Meier to step in and become the main man right
away. He's going to make more than his share of big mistakes, but he'll
also have enough wow moments to provide hope for the future.
will be a success if ... KU wins seven regular season games and goes back to a bowl
game. KU will come up with at least one win it shouldn't and will lose
at least one game it should win. But if it can take advantage of the
relatively soft schedule and the offense can come together, then it'll
be the first time in the school's history that it goes to back-to-back
September 30 at Nebraska. The 40-15 win over the Huskers last year
was one of the big surprises of the Big 12 season. Nebraska is hoping
for a big year, but if KU can pull off the monster upset in Lincoln, all
expectations for the North race will change. Even a good showing in a
loss would prove that the young team can be close to last year's level.
- Fourth down conversions: Opponents 10 of 14 (71%) - Kansas 4 of 16
- Rushing yards by Texas vs. Kansas: 336 and four touchdowns - Rushing
yards by KU's 11 other opponents: 663 and four touchdowns
- Interception return average: Kansas 16.1 - Opponents 8.2
The Last Time Kansas…
…played in a bowl game…2005
(Fort Worth Bowl vs. Houston)
…missed a bowl game…2004
…pitched a shutout…2000 (Southern Illinois)
…was shutout…2002 (Kansas State)
…scored 50 points…2004 (Toledo)
…won a conference title…1968 (share, Big Eight)
…had a 3,000-yard passer…never
a 1,000-yard rusher…2003 (Clark Green)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…1985 (Richard Estell)
…had a first-round draft choice…1993 (DT Dana Stubblefield)