Jayhawks look for vengeance against Bears
LAWRENCE, Kan. -- People do not often approach Baylor as a revenge game. Since the Big 12 was formed in 1996, it's probably never happened.
But Kansas' 35-32 loss to the Bears last year stung, especially considering Baylor's overall Big 12 record of 5-53 and the fact the win snapped the school's 29-game conference losing streak.
Now, with the revitalized Jayhawks (4-2, 1-1 Big 12) riding higher than everyone expected and taking aim at a possible bowl bid in Mark Mangino's second season, why not use last year's loss as motivation?
Because the Jayhawks have last week's loss to be angry about.
At two-time defending Big 12 North champion Colorado, the Jayhawks came within one play of capturing what would have been their most impressive victory in years. Instead, they lost in overtime 50-47.
"I would describe their mood as mad," Mangino said.
He noticed a different intensity as soon as his team went back to work on Monday.
"Traditionally, Monday is a semi-light workout day," he said. "Down at the defensive end of the field it was extremely intense. The scout team offense was really challenging the defense and the defense was challenging them. There were guys flying all over the place and there were kids that were getting in dustups against each other.
"The defense is upset and angry with the way they played and I have to say that I am very pleased they feel that way. It's a good sign. I have never seen intensity like it on a Monday after a game since I have been here. It's new and it's a welcome sight."
While the Jayhawks are angry at themselves for a lost opportunity, the Bears (3-3, 1-1) are smarting with embarrassment. They shocked the Big 12 by scoring 42 points and beating Colorado at home. Then they went to Texas A&M last week and got crushed 73-10.
It's a puzzle to first-year head coach Guy Morriss.
"I've lost a lot of sleep trying to figure out what the problem is," Morriss said.
The Bears are 0-for-30 in Big 12 road games. But of their five Big 12 wins, two came against Kansas. When they snapped their 29-game Big 12 losing streak last year by besting the Jayhawks, it was their first conference victory since they last beat Kansas.
"They play hard," Mangino said. "They are doing the things necessary to build a football program. They have their kids playing hard. They have them believing in their system. When you are trying to build, there are days you just get outmanned."
The Aggies scored all but one of their second-half touchdowns against the Bears on plays of more than 40 yards.
"This is a team that has a very fragile state of mind because of what they've gone through," Morriss said. "Things went bad for us early, and we didn't overcome that adversity."
The Bears are not without weapons. Senior running back Rashad Armstrong rushed for 166 yards on 37 carries against Colorado and kicker Kenny Webb has connected for five field goals and made all 15 of his extra points.
The Jayhawks will be led as always by quarterback Bill Whittemore. He's hit 98 of 157 passes for 1,631 yards and 13 touchdowns. He has the nation's second-best pass efficiency rating of 174.5 -- right behind Jason White of Oklahoma at 180.2.
But Kansas' defense has shown it can be soft.
"After the loss at Colorado, we made a lot of corrections and it really got intense because of the loss," said defensive tackle Cory Kipp. "We did a lot of hitting and intense practicing (Monday), things we normally don't do on Mondays."
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index
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