Jayhawks still on high, but Nebraska is coming to town next
Jayhawks still on high, but Nebraska is coming to town next
Date: 10/25/99 22:15
No doubt about it. These last few days have been the sweetest of the season for Kansas. A 21-0 victory over rival Missouri can work wonders around Mount Oread.
"To get a shutout victory at home makes Sunday and Monday a little bit easier," coach Terry Allen said, "until you turn around and realize...the Big Red is coming to town on Saturday night."
An angry Big Red at that. Nebraska, 6-1, saw its quest for a national championship all but evaporate last Saturday in a 24-20 loss at Texas.
No matter. The Jayhawks, though just 3-5, proclaimed themselves ready for anything in the warm afterglow that followed their victory over Missouri.
"They're good," fullback Moran Norris said of the Huskers, "but I know now that we can do it."
Added receiver Michael Chandler: "You know, we're not out of bowl contention yet. Nebraska is a great team. But stranger things have happened."
Not for 30 years. And despite losing to Texas, the Huskers remain a heavy favorite for the 6 p.m. game at Memorial Stadium.
A week ago, Allen shook up his struggling team by departing from his usual even-keel approach. He revved up the Border War rivalry. He took advantage of a reunion honoring former coach Jack Mitchell by having Gale Sayers and John Hadl address the Jayhawks on the importance of beating Missouri.
"Our (recruiting) focal point has been on a lot of out-of-state kids," Allen said. "We have a lot of kids from Texas. We have a quarterback from California. We brought those guys in to reinforce the history of the tradition."
This week, the Jayhawks want to forget history, tradition and just about anything dealing with past performances against Nebraska.
"I think that's probably fair to say," Allen said. "I think the kids understand the task they're facing in Nebraska."
And anyway, Allen said, "We're not going to have Gale Sayers around this week. If we did, we'd probably suit him up."
An injury to junior Dariss Lomax means sophomore Marcus Rogers ought to start this weekend at inside linebacker. Allen rates Lomax as "doubtful" for Saturday's game. Rogers was pushing hard for a starting spot even before Lomax suffered a sprained ligament in his right knee against Missouri. The two had split time in the last few games.
Kansas can scratch one player from its three-man recruiting list now that Jared Reiner, as expected, has announced his intention to sign with Iowa.
The Hawkeyes had been the favorite all along for Reiner, a 6-foot-10 center who placed a high value on the chance for immediate playing time. His planned visit this weekend to Kansas has been canceled.
"I felt (Iowa) was the best place to do it," he told Heartland Hoops, an Internet recruiting service. "I feel I can make an impact right away."
Reiner is generally regarded as a top-30 player and among the nation's top five true centers. He averaged 20 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks last season as a junior at Tripp-Delmont High in Tripp, S.D.
KU's interest in Reiner appeared to fade after the Jayhawks secured an oral commitment last week from 6-5 DeShawn Stevenson of Fresno, Calif. The Jayhawks have three scholarships available, and coach Roy Williams has talked of keeping one open.
Kansas now will concentrate on getting a commitment from 6-8 Travon Bryant of Long Beach, Calif., who told The Star on Monday that his decision could be positively influenced by Stevenson's commitment to KU.
Bryant had previously told All Star Sports, an Internet recruiting service, that KU and California are his favorites after completing a visit last weekend to Cal.
But Bryant also said he could change his mind again after making his remaining visits -- this weekend to Missouri and Nov. 5-7 to Kentucky. He said he also hopes to visit Utah, but the date has not been set.
The early signing period is Nov. 10-17. Players who don't sign then must wait until April 5.
K-STATE: BEASLEY HONORED
Kansas State quarterback Jonathan Beasley, who passed for 311 yards and ran for 68 Saturday in a comeback victory over Oklahoma State, was chosen Big 12 offensive player of the week.
It was the fifth consecutive week that a K-State player has been selected as a player of the week in at least one of the categories. But if it happens a sixth time next week, coach Bill Snyder hopes it's not in another comeback effort.
In each of its road victories -- against Iowa State, Texas and Oklahoma State -- the Wildcats have trailed but then shut down their opponents in the second half.
"I am pleased with our players that they have the fortitude and poise that it takes to come back from a 21-point deficit," he said Monday. "I am not so sure I would like for that to be a habit."
Colorado linebacker Jayshon Sykes was picked as defensive player of the week. He had 11 unassisted tackles and seven assisted tackles against Iowa State.
The special-teams player of the week was Texas Tech safety John Norman, who returned six punts for 103 yards against Baylor.
The Kansas State-Colorado game on Nov. 6 has been changed to an 11:30 a.m. start to accommodate the Big 12 television schedule. It will be K-State's fourth televised game of the Big 12 conference schedule.
MU: CLAY SUSPENDED AGAIN
Missouri linebacker Mike Clay, already out for the season because of a knee injury, has been suspended from the team for a third time. Coach Larry Smith wouldn't say why.
Smith also suspended Devlon Holmes, a freshman wide receiver.
After MU's third consecutive loss, Smith has put limits on his players' availability to the media this week. The Tigers can talk only at today's media luncheon.
VOLLEYBALL: K-State drops three spots
Kansas State's national volleyball ranking took a hit Monday. The Wildcats fell three spots to No. 15 following a loss last week to unranked Baylor. K-State is behind two other Big 12 teams -- Texas climbed one spot to No. 9, while Nebraska remained 13th. Texas A&M is 16th, and Colorado is 20th.
K-State could jump ahead of the Cornhuskers after this week, though. The Wildcats play host to Nebraska on Saturday in a rematch of their Sept. 22 meeting, when the Wildcats scored an upset victory in Lincoln, Neb. Before that, though, K-State faces Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas.
CLUB SOCCER: KANSAS WINS MEN'S EVENT
KU's men's club soccer team repeated as champion of the 10-team Kansas State-Ed Chartrand Memorial Soccer Tournament on Sunday in Manhattan, Kan. Kansas defeated Oklahoma State 4-0 in the final. Eric Glover of Kansas State was chosen winner of the Chartrand scholarship award.
-- Bob Dutton, Kent Pulliam and Mike DeArmond/The Star
All content © 2000 The Kansas City Star