More from Phenomenal Smith of Atomic Teeth...
Thanks to ESNP2’s senseless and uninformative pregame show, we learned that Jim Leavitt takes in enough calories a day to make Michael Phelps look like he’s on Jenny Craig. Leavitt consumes sixteen bags of Cheetos, two cases of Pepsi, and forty-four Hershey bars a day and while he looks unhealthy with his pasty gooey complexion, he’s really not overweight. Mangino, on the other hand, had 95% of his stomach removed last spring and he looks like Louie Anderson on a bad day. Life just isn’t fair.
I’m a Tiger fan so I hate the Jayhawks. It’s required. Sure, my parents went to KU and I have more Jayhawk friends than I’d ever admit to having, but they are the one Big 12 team I simply cannot root for. Doesn’t matter if it’s good for the conference or good for the Tigers’ strength of schedule – I just can’t do it. That said, I was confident KU would beat the Bulls. I even picked them in my weekly pick ‘em contest. I could say it’s because USF struggled against a C-USA team last week or that the Big East sucks (it does), but it’s mostly because KU is good. Todd Reesing especially is good.
Anyway, dude, what a cool game. There were really three games: KU won the first game 20-3; USF the second 31-0!; KU the third 14-3. I’m not much on momentum, but you could feel the swings happening. (You’ve got to hand it to the folks in Tampa – I remember last year’s WV game and there’s no question that Raymond James comes alive. Must be the beer.)
What can we take from this game?
1. KU needs a running game. Mangino has no faith in his backs which leads to 18 rushes and 51 passes (Reesing threw the ball 52 times against Florida International!). I don’t believe you have to be balanced to win, but it’s nice to be able to use it as a credible threat. KU got a couple nice runs from Quigley late but nothing else. The Jayhawks miss McAnderson. In contrast, the Bulls seemed to get going when the running game worked.
2. KU’s defense isn’t what it was last year. Sure, they miss Talib, but I can’t help but think Bill Young’s absence is just as important. I like Matt Grothe and all, but USF put together drive after drive in the second half that would not have happened last year. USF’s offense isn’t that good.
3. Reesing is a stud. McDonough and Speilman said a few times that Reesing was Fran Tarkenton, which I found confusing because I don’t see Reesing as the host of That’s Incredible! I see Reesing more as an undersized scrambler with impeccable accuracy on the run and the ability to stay cool under pressure. Still, that pick Reesing threw was all on him. You just don’t see him make mistakes like that – that ball was picked before it left his hand.
A supremely entertaining game that ended up win/win for me. KU loses, which makes my heart and soul sing with joy. And, they lose by 3 but were getting 3.5.
I’d love to hear what others thought. I thought KU would win going away tonight, which shows you what I know.