You see the highlights above and remember that it was a 6-6 squad with some good memories. At times, though, the 2006 season was a pretty severe test for Kansas football fans (@Toledo, @NU, A&M, OSU, @Baylor).
We started over at quarterback after finally getting Jason Swanson up to speed in 2005, and we had to replace Mangino's first set of great linebackers along with ends Charlton Keith and Jermail Ashley. Charles Gordon also left for the NFL.
It was a young squad, and when you set the scene for the late November home matchup with KSU, you have to remember that Ron Prince was bringing a bowl-bound 7-4 Wildcat squad to Lawrence fresh off a home win over No. 4 Texas. It was Captain Ron's first year, and it would be KU's first look at Josh Freeman. KU's record stood at 5-5, so let's just say Wildcat confidence was pretty high.
It didn't go as planned for Josh Freeman though, as he ended up with three fumbles and three interceptions. On the Crimson and Blue side, Jon Cornish rushed for a career-high 201 yards, two TDs, and a ref knockdown as the Jayhawks came away with a 39-20 win.
The Hawks scored 19 points in the fourth quarter with the help of a couple of Freeman turnovers. Anthony Webb intercepted a screen pass and took it 42 yards for a TD. Then Jeff Wheeler got a hold of Freeman, and he coughed up the ball to Wayne Wilder. The big DT carried the ball 34 yards before little Leon Patton somehow willed Wilder out of bounds. No problem—Cornish scored on a 12-yard TD run the very next play.
The Hawks would get smoked by Mizzou 42-17 the following game at Columbia, but the KSU win was a growing up game for the young Jayhawks and a big tone setter for the 2007 season.
PHOTO THAT SAYS IT ALL
6sports summary: http://www2.kusports.com/videos/2006/nov/19/11329/
"I was rooting for them. I wanted them to beat Texas so that would make us look even better—after they beat Texas and come and get served by us."
"I've never liked K-State."
"There was just something about the game plan that (assistant coach) Bill Young and the defensive staff put together. Everything clicked. When you looked at them on tape and you looked at what we were doing, I thought we really had a chance to play well."
"It helps the big picture of our program. That KU is now a team that you've got to reckon with in the North, in the conference, in the state of Kansas. That's the important thing."
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