Hard as it is to believe, the much-awaited Insight Bowl is but four days away. Between a few important happenings with Bill’s boys and the holiday season, I feel as if we’ve largely ignored the last football game of 2008. But no more. And today I want to give you five reasons our Jayhawks could win this thing, making it three straight bowl wins over a four year span.
However, being largely unfamiliar with the Gophers other than what I've either read or researched, I feel like most of my analysis simply revolves around my presumption that Kansas is no worse than a top 30 team while Minnesota is no better than about top 50. Quite simply, neither defense is exceptional but one team has a very good offense while the other's is relatively average. So in lieu of five stat-filled reasons why Kansas will win, I'll just be providing YouTube links that are not only enjoyable, but also serve as plenty useful analysis as to why the Jayhawks have the tools to win the Insight Bowl.
1. Dezmon Briscoe. For the year, Dezmon has 78 catches for 1206 yards and 12 touchdowns. And if the Missouri game was any indication, he also has plenty of ability to add another dimension to the kickoff return game.
Will it help us? Tim Brewster will likely be game-planning to stop Dezmon, but he'll be having an affect one way or another. This video (Louisiana Tech) provides a little insight as to what he can do after the catch. And as Texas can attest, he's just as dangerous when the ball is in the air.
2. Darrell Stuckey. Possibly the biggest surprise on the first team Big XII defense, Stuckey has proven to be an elite safety when he's healthy. For the year, he led the team with 5 interceptions and finished second with 94 tackles.
Will it help us? Despite leading the team with five oskies, his true strength lies in run support. He's been the heart and soul of this defense and nothing shows that more than these two videos. The first of which came against Louisiana Tech in which he ran down Patrick Livas. And secondly, you may remember his performance against Missouri - we have for you today the best tomahawk chop seen at Arrowhead this year and possibly ever.
3. Kerry Meier. Despite battling health issues from the Colorado game on, our former starting QB has a team leading 87 catches for 932 yards and 7 touchdowns. And while we've only seen him throw 2 passes on the year (both completed for 42 yards), I think it's highly likely we could see one Wednesday.
Will it help us? While Brewster will be keying Dezmon the whole game, you can bet they'll find Kerry every time we face a third down. So obviously the attention he garners will help in some capacity, but even more than that, I expect Kerry to have a ton of success against the largely unathletic back seven of Minnesota. As we saw in Norman, if Todd can get it close, Kerry will haul it in for the completion.
4. James Holt. He may have been the least heralded of our three senior LBs, but he took center stage this season. In leading the team with 97 tackles, 7 sacks and 6 forced fumbles Holt was our do-everything constant on that side of the ball.
Will it help us? His sure tackling is obviously valued, but he truly changed our defense over the second half of the year as he turned to a pass rusher off the edge. Witness: Sacking Josh Freeman. And sacking Chase Daniel. Let's hope we can add Adam Weber to this list.
5. Todd Reesing. From recruiting, to facilities, to on field performance we have every indication to believe Kansas football is heading in the right direction. But given his production over the past two seasons, it's still a fair question to ask where this program will be without its gunslinger. In this, his junior season, he's completed 66% of his passes for 3575 yards, 28 TDs and 12 INTs.
Will it helps us? As good as the numbers above are, they don't even begin to tell the story. Witness:
A) The bomb (Sam Houston), which still might be the single best play I saw all season.
B) The bounce-off (@ Nebraska), which is the perfect depiction of everything Todd is as both a quarterback and a competitor.
C) The Pass (Missouri), which you can never see enough.
Since we're having fun with great 2008 YouTube moments, you might also check out Mario's Shot filmed at Allen Fieldhouse. And I. Jizz. In. My. Pants.