The aftermath of the Bison’s stunning upset over Kansas, 6-3 last Saturday in Lawrence, temporarily stopped the heartbeat of the Jayhawks.
As well it should have.
Heading into this afternoon’s game against ACC power No. 17 Georgia Tech and their always lethal quarterback Joshua Nesbitt, most tuning in to watch the game were all but primed to trace back over the Kansas Jayhawks certificate of death for the 2010 season.
In his first collegiate start as a Jayhawk, redshirt freshman quarterback Jordan Webb paced Kansas following a first-possession blunder on a Bradley McDougald drop that had trouble spelled out for the Yellow Jackets...had the pass been completed.
Joshua Nesbitt wasted no time jogging untouched into the end zone, giving Georgia Tech the early 7-0 lead.
Staring directly at the monstrous offensive line of Georgia Tech, Kansas faced the daunting task of suppressing a rushing game trashing defenses by prepping up 4,136 yards.
Nesbitt finished second on the team behind Jonathan Dwyer with 1,037 yards on the ground in 2009.
Averaging 295 yards per game rushing the ball, Kansas sealed every gap minimizing Paul Johnson’s Ramblin’ Wreck ground attack.
However, following a Jordan Webb touchdown pass to tight end Tim Biere putting the Jayhawks up 14-7, Nesbitt and company literally hit the turf running.
Georgia Tech went on to own the rest of the second quarter taking a 17-14 lead into the locker room at the half. They also finished the with 291 rushing yards after a slow start.
Kansas freshman running back James Sims displayed the reason Turner Gill is enormously high on him as he finished the game with 17 carries for a 101 yards against a stout Yellow Jacket defense.
Of course on one particular carry, Sims hurdled one defender while two others completely whiffed him as he turned a minor gain into an electrifying pick up sparking Kansas to another score.
The Yellow Jackets pulled to within 28-25 and ground back to the Kansas 40, but multiple penalties sunk Georgia Tech backing them up and aiding a failed fourth-down conversion with 1:01 remaining allowing for the Jayhawks to hang on for the win.
Die hard Jayhawk fans wanted new head coach Turner Gill’s job after Week 1's embarrassing loss to North Dakota State, but remember, Gill can’t be the type of savior to suit up and run onto the field to bail out players who aren’t getting the job done.
Three turnovers including two lost fumbles, one interception, and two missed field goals can’t be shoved down a head coach’s throat.
Today the 48,417 jammed into Kansas Memorial Stadium witnessed a redshirt freshman quarterback grow up before their very eyes, not to mention those watching the game across the country on TV.
Webb closed the afternoon 18/29 for 179 yards, three touchdowns and just a lone interception. Kale Pick entered the game giving the Hawks a different look from time to time showing a wildcat style offense.
Turner Gill didn’t even hesitate by declaring the Union, Mo., native his starter for some time to come. After a performance like that, Kansas fans wouldn’t have it any other way.
In the receiving department, the wealth was spread around with sophomore Daymond Patterson putting the corps on his back, catching the ball 7 times for 85 yards and one touchdown. Bradley McDougald had 5 receptions mounting 44 yards and one touchdown.
Although the North Dakota State shocker is not a distant memory (and probably never will be), upending the No. 17 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets certainly helps in stitching the wound slashed by the Bison.
Was it the Sept. 11 tribute clothing adding helping hand?
If so, then the stars and stripes must be implemented into mandatory game day gear from here on out.
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