Mistakes rule at Kansas-Southern Miss game
September, 26, 2009
By Tim Griffin | ESPN.com
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
With all of the offensive success that has taken place in today's Southern Mississippi-Kansas game, it's amazing to me how important mistakes have been in the Jayhawks' 21-14 halftime lead.
I was shocked at Southern Mississippi coach Larry Fedora's call shortly before the half when he passed up a field goal attempt and instead tried a poorly executed quarterback sneak by Austin Davis from the Kansas 16-yard line that failed with 20 seconds left.
It was the Golden Eagles' second critical red zone mistake that cost them points. Davis had another critical fumble deep inside Kansas territory that kept the Jayhawks from scoring earlier in the half.
Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing had a couple of uncharacteristic mistakes as well. He was flagged for an intentional grounding call that took the Jayhawks out of field-goal range and killed a possession. And the fiery Reesing also picked up a taunting penalty later in the half when he got in the face of a USM defender.
The Jayhawks didn't have too many other problems as they rolled up 352 yards in the first half. It's even more amazing considering it's happening without leading rusher Jake Sharp who was a late scratch before the game with a lingering calf injury.
Kansas' offense has been sizzling with 14 plays of at least 10 yards so far -- nine passes and five runs.
As expected, Southern Mississippi has given Kansas everything they wanted. If the Golden Eagles can cut down on the mistakes -- particularly on scoring drives -- they've got a great chance to sneak out of Memorial Stadium with an upset.