SportingNews.com - College Football - Road wins leave Kansas with less to prove

Road wins leave Kansas with less to prove


Posted: October 21, 2007


STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- A soft nonconference schedule played entirely at home opened Kansas to questions about how good it really was during an undefeated start.
After winning back-to-back road games in the same season for the first time since 1995, the Jayhawks (7-0, 3-0 Big 12) are wondering what they'll have to do next to prove themselves.

"People were saying we weren't going to find a way to win on the road and saying, "Wait until they play on the road, they'll fold,"' said sophomore quarterback Todd Reesing, who set a school record in Saturday's 19-14 win at Colorado by throwing a touchdown pass in his seventh straight game.
"That shows how tough we are on both sides of the ball. This team, presented with any challenge, can rise to it and overcome it. All the talk -- we can't win on the road -- that's got to be over now. We've won on the road twice, in two tough places to play."
The Jayhawks, who won earlier at Kansas State, climbed three spots to No. 12 in The Associated Press Top 25 on Sunday. They've won seven straight to start the season for only the second time since 1968. The team also started 7-0 in 1995.
Kansas leads Missouri (6-1, 2-1) by one game in the North, while each of the division's other four teams fell off the pace with losses. The Jayhawks and Tigers play on Nov. 24 in Kansas City, Mo., in what's shaping up as the North championship game.
"This is a different temperament, the team has a different mentality than it did a year ago," Kansas coach Mark Mangino said. "It's got a tough mental edge to it. We've got some hard-nosed, tough kids. We've got some talented kids, but the heart and soul of this team are the overachiever, hard-nosed kids."
Missouri notched an impressive 41-10 win against then-No. 22 Texas Tech that left Red Raiders coach Mike Leach unsure where the game was played.
"I hope they have a big time year in Springfield," Leach said. "Or Columbia. It's Columbia."
It also knocked his team out of a four-way tie for first place in the South, as Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State all won to move to 3-1 in conference play.
"The unfortunate thing, in my opinion, is we just squandered the chance," Leach said. "It would be one thing to lose a game if we put our best foot forward, but we didn't. Losing you can live with. What's frustrating is not putting your best foot forward and giving yourself the best chance to do it."
Last-place Baylor (3-5, 0-4) and Iowa State (1-7, 0-4) each gave a scare to a contender before fading away late. The Bears were down 17-10 in the fourth quarter before Texas picked off three of first-time starter Michael Machen's passes and converted two of them into scores for a 31-10 victory.
Iowa State held Oklahoma scoreless in the first half, and still had a chance to pull off an upset until D.J. Wolfe intercepted a tipped pass from Cyclones quarterback Bret Meyer in the end zone in the fourth quarter. The Sooners (7-1) survived 17-7.
"I am never surprised. Look at the scores across the country," said Texas coach Mack Brown, whose Longhorns had won the previous nine games in the series by an average of 41 points, with two 62-0 victories. "Anybody who acts surprised anymore is not following other teams. I am just happy to win and happy to be bowl eligible."
Texas A&M (6-2) also moved into that category with a 36-14 win at Nebraska, shoveling more dirt on top of embattled Huskers coach Bill Callahan. Nebraska lost its third home game for the first time since 1968 and gave up Texas A&M's most rushing yards on the road (359) since Big 12 play began in 1996.
At least Tom Osborne, who'll decide on Callahan's future at the school, thought the Huskers' effort was better than in a 45-14 loss to Oklahoma State a week earlie way at all for three weeks now and you can't just quit because it keeps happening. You just have to keep fighting. You just have to keep trying. That's all we're going to do."
The Cowboys (5-3), meanwhile, were back to their shootout ways in a 41-39 victory over Kansas State that was tied once and had five lead changes in the second half. K-State quarterback Josh Freeman threw for a career-high 404 yards against a pass defense that ranks 115th out of 119 Football Bowl Subdivision teams, but Oklahoma State amassed more than 300 yards rushing for the third time this season. "Just because people give it the term "spread,' our intentions are to run the football," Cowboys coach Mike Gundy said. "When you have two backs or three backs like we have, I wouldn't think that we would be very smart if we didn't give those guys the ball."