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Kansas soccer — sure, Kansas soccer — is basically, really 3-0

Duke (3-0) will play at Kansas (3-0) in American soccer subsequent Saturday with some concentrate on a coach with a 10-letter surname starting with “Ok” in order that gamers name him “Coach Ok.” You aren’t having a cranial episode that ought to make you surprise should you want extra kale. You aren’t having a REM dream during which all of the incorrect persons are in all of the incorrect locations and the scoreboard malfunctions.

You are following school soccer, which lengthy has reserved the knack for displaying the hallucinogenic, however which has spent this September going particularly, giddily misshapen. You would possibly even reckon the switch portal has made cohesion much less attainable and outcomes extra unpredictable, and never simply in attractive Boone, NC, the place Appalachian State spent Sept. 10 getting a whoa of a win at Texas A&M and Sept. 17 getting a whoa of a win over Troy on a 53-yard Hail Daniel Boone on the final play, a hail even nuttier than most hails.

No, on the prime of the surrealism heap, there is a thrilling Kansas going 3-0 with highway wins at — what? — West Virginia and Houston, with the nation’s ninth-best offense in yards per play (7.55), and a charismatic quarterback with mild in his eyes and 11 receivers in his newest field rating.

Kansas stands 3-0. Yeah, there’s din up in Seattle — thank goodness, for the soccer nation wants din up in Seattle — with switch quarterback Michael Penix Jr. trying like some gobsmacking power in a 39-28 wrecking of No. 11 Michigan State, and with folks barking within the stands, however Kansas stands 3-0 with wins at West Virginia and Houston.

Yeah, Notre Dame confronted 0-3 however then beat California, 24-17, when a bonkers final Cal move caromed off a falling receiver in the long run zone as he tried like an REM dream to know it, however did you discover Kansas stands 3 -0 with wins at West Virginia and Houston?

Yeah, Missouri State went to No. 10 Arkansas, and former Fayetteville resident and scandal-maker Bobby Petrino coaches Missouri State these days, and Missouri State led 17-0 within the second quarter and 27-17 within the fourth, and the treasurable coach Sam Pittman of Arkansas stated, “He had his children better-prepared than I did,” and Arkansas gained, 38-27, partly as a result of Bryce Stephens wreaked a pant of an 82-yard punt return and stated, “It was a blackout second” — however how about that Kansas?

Yeah, Southern California sits 3-0 underneath Lincoln Riley and appears like Southern California must … and Penn State sits 3-0 underneath James Franklin and appears like Penn State must after ransacking Auburn at Auburn … and Southern Illinois misplaced to Incarnate Phrase ( 64-29) and Southeast Missouri State (34-31) however then gained at Northwestern … and Bowling Inexperienced misplaced 59-57 in seven overtimes to Japanese Kentucky however then gained 34-31 in additional time over Marshall which had simply overwhelmed Notre Dame … and Kansas State had it going till 14-point underdog Tulane got here to city (a 17-10 brain-teaser) … and Syracuse and Purdue performed one thing incomprehensible to the human thoughts … and there is simply an excessive amount of of all this … however goodness, Kansas.

Syracuse, Appalachian State get wild wins (school soccer winners and losers)

Since 2010, when Mark Mangino had completed a tenure at lowly Kansas that stretched actuality to boast a 2008 Orange Bowl win that also would possibly get scrubbed from data as obvious farce, Kansas had gone 23-118, 5 losses from being underground by 100. It had not gained greater than thrice in any season. It had labored someplace beneath obscurity by way of 4 extra coaches as much as Les Miles, who left in late winter 2021 amid a scandal, and if you are going to have a scandal, could not you a minimum of have some wins to justify it? In any other case, Kansas had gained observe just for pretty eccentricities like a student crocheting amid vacant stands throughout a recreation. Its six house attendances final season ranged from 23,117 and 30,611 (for Kansas State).

In has come to second-year head coach Lance Leipold, a reputation well-known to individuals who pay an excessive amount of consideration to all this lunacy. From 2007 to 2014 at Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater, Leipold had gone 109-6 with six nationwide titles, so you recognize followers grumbled in regards to the two nontitle years. Leipold then went 37-33 with two bowl wins in six seasons at Buffalo, and now he is doing issues like sitting round postgame in Morgantown and saying, “I believe our depth is beginning to present.”

“Kansas” and “depth” in the identical sentences could make the eyelids wiggle.

He stated in Morgantown, “It is a group that is been mentally bruised so much, they usually’re beginning to acquire some confidence and consider in each other.”

Is there any higher purpose to observe sports activities?

He stated in Houston, “You possibly can see how proud they’re, noticed how comfortable they’re. We’re speaking about having an opportunity going into these video games, like saying, ‘Cease hoping to win and discover a strategy to win.’”

In flip, West Virginia and Houston followers had an opportunity going into these video games, like saying, “However we already had chalked up a win right here earlier than opening kickoff.”

Kansas has this offense, a soccer offense, which Matt Tait of the Lawrence Journal World calls “imaginative, electrical and an entire lot of enjoyable.” It has trailed West Virginia and Houston each 14-0, a intelligent technique to instill complacency. It has as coordinator Andy Kotelnicki, who has joined Leipold in Wisconsin, New York and Kansas by now, and whose surname has 4 syllables to Mike Krzyzewski’s three, all of the extra purpose for the lingual comfort “Coach Ok.”

“’Coach Ok’ places an enormous emphasis on attempting to distort the protection,” quarterback Jalon Daniels stated, “and I really feel like these operating backs that we’ve on the market permit us to have the ability to distort defenses as a result of they do not know who’s going to have the ball on the finish of the play.”

Hailing from the oft-overlooked hamlet of Lawndale, tucked within the Higher Los Angeles sprawl, and quarterbacking the oft-overlooked hamlet of Kansas soccer amid the nationwide school soccer sprawl, Daniels now tells of “the quantity of smiling and pleasure that my teammates have .” He says, “I felt like we did an excellent job of distorting in the present day,” and he meant the Houston protection however may have meant the American soccer brains.

He even stated of 1 play that appeared to reflect one other, “It was technically the identical play, however it wasn’t the identical play,” and people minds added with American soccer may nod in understanding as he laughed at that and stated, “ Like I stated, Coach (Ok) does a number of distortion together with his offense.”

Perhaps that distortion may also help Memorial Stadium strategy its capability of 47,000 come Saturday. Perhaps the followers will really feel prefer it’s a heyday given they’re additionally revealing within the males’s basketball program as reigning nationwide champions. Perhaps they will even reveal in how madcap a sport will be when the ball would not bounce the identical method each time you drop it.

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