University of Kansas

Kansas still has faith Reesing can deliver

LAWRENCE — Todd Reesing hasn't spent the days since his three-interception performance against Oklahoma doing any major soul searching. He is comfortable with who he is and the methods he has used over time to make himself into the most successful quarterback in Kansas history.

"I'm not going to go out and play tentative from now on," Reesing said. "I don't want to change the way I play, what I've been able to accomplish playing the style I have. It's just something we have to be cognizant of. We have to avoid those kinds of turnovers because it's setting us back a little bit."

Reesing's turnovers in back-to-back losses to Colorado and Oklahoma, on the surface, have been the main factor in derailing a promising season for the Jayhawks. In both games, KU fell behind by multiple scores in the first half with 14 of the opponents' points coming off turnovers. Trailing early, the Jayhawks had to abandon the running game and put even more pressure on Reesing's right arm.

KU coach Mark Mangino has been asked each of the last two weeks about the Jayhawks' slow starts offensively. But it is not as if KU hasn't moved the ball. The Jayhawks ventured deep into Oklahoma territory last Saturday twice before the drives ended with Reesing interceptions.

"We are doing everything we can to prevent it," Mangino said. "We have studied this thing inside and out. We just have to make plays early in the game. There is no reason for making as many mistakes as we have early in the last couple of games. One of the guys who has made some mistakes is one of the most reliable guys on our team, so it is hard to figure out. I have faith in him."

Nobody has more faith in Reesing than KU offensive coordinator Ed Warinner, who said that several of the interceptions were because of bad play calls. He wouldn't specify which ones he was taking credit for.

"They're all bad calls when they're interceptions," Warinner said. "But at the end of the day, they all go on his stats. He takes the bullet for it. I would not characterize him as a careless guy."

Reesing has only appeared careless against Big 12 South opponents the past two seasons. In four losses to the league's elite, he has completed just 55 percent of his passes for an average of 245 yards per game and has thrown eight interceptions compared to five touchdowns. Of course, last year's Texas defense and this year's Oklahoma defense are among the top units in the country.

"A lot of the guys on both of those defensive teams are NFL-caliber players," Warinner said. "You gotta play and execute flawlessly on every play to move the ball consistently."

Reesing and the Jayhawks will get a chance Saturday to recover against a Texas Tech defense that gave up 52 points last week to Texas A&M.

"You can't let one game affect your mindset," Reesing said. "We're still a talented football team on offense. We still have a lot of guys who are great playmakers. All the guys have all the confidence in the world. We're not going to change that or lose that swagger."