THE WINNING TRADITION BEGINS
You can't say that it was the greatest game from a competitive standpoint, or that it had near the prestige of the contests we've battled in over the past couple of years. Still, at the time, the 42-13 Fort Worth Bowl win over Houston to cap off the careers of a lot of Mangino's first era players felt pretty good and has the following distinctions:
- Mark Mangino's first bowl win at KU
- KU's first bowl win since 1995
- Clinched Mangino's first winning season at KU
- Saw a really large contingent of Jayhawk fans make the trip to Fort Worth (not the most prestigious bowl out there). Fifteen to 20k sounds about right, to me and it set a nice precedent that KU fans have exceeded in the last two bowl games.
KU quarterback Jason Swanson was the game MVP, hitting on 19-of-29 passes for 307 yards and four TDs, but it was a team effort overall. Brian Murph took a punt return to the house. Jon Cornish had a big game (101 yards), and of course, the KU defense suffocated the Houston attack.
The play that stood out for me, though, was the Charlton Keith snag of Kevin Kolb's sideline pass and the resulting dive into the end zone. That all happened right in front of me and the KU fan section, so we had an up-close view of that action. The video doesn't do it justice.
PHOTO THAT SAYS IT ALL
6sports summary: http://www2.kusports.com/videos/2005/dec/23/7766/
Fan pep rally footage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBRuM1LHfD0
"That was a huge win for us. We practiced for three weeks and have been going at it since last November, so it was sweet to have something at the end of the tunnel for us."
"Our defense shut the run down. They did a nice job of dinking and dunking for a little while. But our guys wore them down up front."
"We've come a long way. It's pretty neat to be a part of the foundation."
"I don't think the score is indicative of tonight's game. We had some bad things happen. We didn't coach or play very well, so that's why things turned out the way it did."
—Art Briles (Houston coach at the time)
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