October 9, 2007

Defense seeks to regain its form

True to form, Ian Campbell did review the Kansas game Sunday. He watched the first half of the TV version and shut it off. He already knew what happened in the second half. Missed tackles, missed opportunities and two Kansas scores in the final seven minutes helped to doom the Wildcats. Now a humbled defense can only look ahead to better days. And Saturday against Colorado would be a perfect time to start.

"There were some things I thought we had sewn up but obviously KU exposed some things that we weren't able to do quite as well as we thought we were able to do," said Campbell, who played defensive end throughout and had five tackles, one sack, three tackles for a loss and broke-up a pass. "It's not necessarily back to the drawing board but there are some things we definitely have to go back and work harder on."

One week after Campbell tossed up the Wildcats' traditional sign of defensive dominance on the sideline during the final minutes at then-No. 7 Texas and afterward muttered the "L" word that fans had long yearned to hear, K-State surrendered season highs across the board at home against Kansas. The Jayhawks churned and burned to 30 points and 437 total yards, including 267 through the air and 170 on the ground, and had 24 first downs, also the most allowed by K-State this season.

The bright spot within the unit was in its ability to create turnovers. Free safety Chris Carney picked off quarterback Todd Reesing twice, including on his first pass attempt, and the Wildcats finished with three interceptions. Their seven interceptions in two games are the most by the Wildcats since 1991.

"Obviously, we really emphasize getting the ball back and I was happy with how we were getting the ball back but we weren't as stiff as we needed to be as a defense," Campbell said. "We have that bend-don't-break mentality and we were breaking, not just bending. There were several times we played solid and if we could have gotten them off the field we would have won the game.

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