Kansas wins Orange Bowl, finishes 12-1

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MIAMI (AP) -- A little white lie and a little white mouse left Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing red-faced this week.

The story goes like this: Schools often have players fill out questionnaires before the season, looking for nuggets of information for the annual media guide. Father's name, mother's name, siblings, high school coach, that sort of thing.

Reesing spiced his up a bit, listing "snake wrangling" -- chasing snakes in the wild -- as a hobby.

Truth be told, he might not be much of an outdoorsman.

"I actually just put that down as a joke before the season started," Reesing said. "Most of the guys kind of joke around on a lot on them and they usually don't print the stuff. I've wanted to go ahead and say it's true, but I don't know anything about it."

He didn't list "mouse wrangling" on his bio, and roommate Derek Fine knows why.

Fine and Reesing were at home one day when a mouse ran into the room. Reesing was startled and jumped onto the futon.

"This is a mouse," Fine, the Jayhawks' tight end, said this week, loudly enough for his roommate to hear the story and blush a bit. "I'm pretty sure he's not a snake wrangler."


Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer felt Joe Mortensen's block of what would have been a game-tying 25-yard field goal in the third quarter was the key, and said he came real close to going for a first down on fourth-and-2 from the 8.

"We had them on the run. I wanted to go for that first down," he said. "It was just when they measured it, it was a long one. And, you know, my thoughts at that point (were) let's make sure we get it tied up."

Instead, Mortensen came bursting through the line for the block.


Virginia Tech made a bowl game for the 15th straight year, the fourth-longest current run in the nation behind Michigan, Florida State and Florida.

Kansas, meanwhile, has only been in a total of 10 other bowl games, and that dates to 1948.

"We've had this run going on for a while, we're proud of it and it just shows the hard work and dedication the players put into this whole program," Hokies linebacker Xavier Adibi said.

Michigan made a bowl for the 33rd straight season. Florida State's run is now at 25 years, and Florida's bowl-appearance streak is now 17.

There are a number of players from Virginia Tech and Kansas who are thinking about entering the NFL draft early, including the Jayhawks' two All-Americans, cornerback Aqib Talib and left tackle Anthony Collins.

"Me and Aqib will let you know in a news conference Monday or Tuesday. But don't you think this is a great way for us to go out?" Collins said following the game.

Talib has submitted paperwork to the NFL draft advisory committee, but hasn't heard anything back yet -- and doesn't necessarily mind that, either.

"I've kind of focused on this game," Talib said beforehand. "Once you start letting your mind wander off on other stuff, I think you kind of lose focus on the game."

Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster will have some talks soon with a few of the Hokies' top players about the decision to stay or go. Among those he'll chat with -- Brandon Flowers, who revealed that he received word from the NFL that he's slotted to be a second-round selection.

Contrary to what some may think, coaches don't automatically tell everyone to stay for their senior years.

"If you go to that next level, this is a business," Foster said. "And the average life expectancy in the NFL is about a three-year job tenure. I'm not going to do it from a selfish standpoint. I love having those guys around. I'm going to look at what is best for them and what is best for their future."


For most players, a trip to the sun and sand of South Florida for the Orange Bowl represented a nice little working vacation and brief respite from winter -- even though temperatures were about 20 degrees below normal Thursday.

To Virginia Tech cornerback Brandon Flowers, it was a homecoming.

The Hokies' standout grew up in Delray Beach, about 40 minutes or so north of Dolphin Stadium, and he clearly relished the chance to perform before familiar faces.

"A lot of people can come see me play," Flowers said. "I'm visiting a lot of friends I haven't seen in a long time. Being down here, period, just feels really good."


Virginia Tech was one of only two teams in the AP preseason Top 25 that did not lose to an unranked team during the season. Hawaii was the other. ... Kansas' trip to Miami allowed its 2008 season-opening opponent to do a little extra advance scouting. Florida International visits the Jayhawks Aug. 30. ... Virginia Tech and Kansas had never played each other before Thursday night. ... This was Kansas' first trip to the Orange Bowl since 1969, but Jayhawks' coach Mark Mangino is familiar with the game. He was Oklahoma's offensive coordinator when the Sooners beat Florida State 13-2 for the 2000 season's national championship. ... Virginia Tech athletic director Jim Weaver was a coach under Joe Paterno when Penn State beat Kansas in the '69 Orange Bowl.