Tharp Anchors Kansas Defense In 31-17 Loss

Nov. 14, 2009


In front of the 51,525 that gathered for Kansas football’s senior day in Memorial Stadium, it was true freshman linebacker Huldon Tharp who anchored the Jayhawk defense in the 31-17 loss to the Cornhuskers.

“It was definitely tough to see them [the senior class] lose because I wanted to send them out with a win,” said Tharp. “Arist Wright has been like a mentor to me, and also seeing Todd [Reeesing], Kerry [Meier] and [Darrell] Stuckey and all these other seniors who worked so hard; it’s a great class to actually get to play with and model yourselves after.”

In a hard-fought battle in the trenches, Nebraska’s Roy Helu and his 156 yards rushing proved to be too much for the Kansas defense.

Tharp said he believed it was the big runs that ultimately hurt the defense.

“We had to prepare ourselves for that run and overall we did a pretty good job, but we just gave up some big runs there at the end and we came up short,” Tharp said.

The true freshman out of Mulvane, Kan., had a productive day against the Huskers’ offense totaling 13 tackles and a pass breakup late in the fourth quarter on a 2nd and 14. Despite the strong effort in the loss, Tharp remained positive and motivated trudging through Kansas’ current five-game skid.

“Nobody likes to lose and especially on this level,” Tharp said. “It’s tough.”

Tharp’s 13 tackles surpassed his previous career-high of 10 tackles, which he reached in the third game of the season against Duke.

Next week’s game in Austin against the Longhorns gives the Jayhawks’ defense another tough test. Tharp said he hoped that next week the defense could play a complete game and put together four solid quarters of defense against Texas.

“Everybody here is hungry for a win and if anything it [the loss] makes us more hungry,” Tharp said. “The way I look at it is I love a good challenge so I can’t wait to play an offense that is No. 3 in the country.”