Originally posted on Fox Sports Kansas City
By ASSOCIATED PRESS  |  Last updated 10/24/13
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) Things hadn't gone right for Jimmay Mundine all game, and he felt responsible. Rice had just defeated Kansas to extend the Jayhawks' road losing streak to 20 games. If Mundine had held onto two crucial passes, including one that appeared to be a certain touchdown in the fourth quarter, the streak might have come to a merciful end. So if anyone had the right to be frustrated with Mundine, it was the man who threw those passes, Kansas quarterback Jake Heaps. Instead, Heaps told his tight end to be ready. "He definitely talked to me and let me know that he's going to come back to me," Mundine recalled. "He still believed that I can make plays and I can help the offense. It showed with him throwing me the ball and giving me the opportunity to make something happen for the team." The following week against Louisiana Tech, Heaps found Mundine for a tying touchdown in the fourth quarter of what turned into a victory for Kansas -- the first of several sparks the tight end has given to the struggling Jayhawks passing game this season. The play wasn't designed specifically for Mundine; he simply happened to be open in the flat. Still, after being demoted to second string earlier that week, Mundine knew the touchdown proved that he could still contribute. "For me it wasn't really just to get back at them, to say, 'Oh, I can show you that I can do this,'" Mundine explained. "They told me to go out there and run this play. I went out there, I did my job and I got the ball and I ran it for the touchdown." It wasn't the last one, either. He caught another touchdown pass the next week against Texas Tech. Then another one against TCU, and another last Saturday against Oklahoma. That's touchdown catches in four straight games heading into Saturday's game against No. 6 Baylor. "Jimmay has been a guy that has been pointed at for a lot of struggles, but Jimmay is also a guy that, he's a vital part of this football team," Heaps said. "He's a guy that everybody looks at and is really a positive influence on this football team." In fact, he's become just about the only reliable guy in the Kansas passing game. Heaps threw for a season-high 279 yards against Louisiana Tech, but that number has dwindled each of the past three games, plummeting to a measly 16 yards in a loss to the Sooners. That's made it difficult for Mundine to produce. While he has four touchdown catches, he also has just 11 receptions -- and that's second to Tony Pierson among all pass-catchers. "After those first couple of games, where he had a little case of the drops, he's put that behind him," Kansas coach Charlie Weis said. "He's gotten better not only in the pass game, but he's gotten better as a blocker here for the last month or so." Not surprisingly, Mundine moved back to the top of the depth chart. But the man who briefly replaced him, Trent Smiley, isn't upset -- turns out the tight ends are best of friends. They've known each other since high school, Mundine said, and he still teases Smiley about badly beating him twice before they joined the Jayhawks. Even though they competed back then, and they're competing for the same position now, they don't view each other as rivals because they aren't the same type of player. Smiley is a better blocker; Mundine is a better receiver. "He's too good of a football player not to be on the field," Smiley said. "It would be incredibly selfish of me to not want him to be on the team."
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
The 22 most iconic college football traditions
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

NFL changes stance, Titans and Browns can participate in ‘My Cause My Cleats’ campaign

Report: MLB smashed old revenue record in 2016

Percy Harvin out for season due to migraines

Ducks goalie had embarrassing reason for not playing in relief

Bruce Arians emphatically shoots down retirement rumor

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Siemian out of walking boot; Broncos hoping he can play

Report: Harper seeking $400 million, likely to leave Nationals

Report: Aldon Smith setting up meeting to seek reinstatement

Rams players vent frustrations as losses pile up

Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott lead Pro Bowl voting

Report: Melancon signs $62 million deal with Giants

The good, bad, and ugly from NFL Week 13

Championship Week as explained by Diana Ross

Cult of Sport: Before there was Ezekiel Elliott, there was Eric Dickerson

MLB Winter Meetings primer: Every team's trade temperature on the hot stove

James Franklin, Penn State come up roses

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL sweaters)

Best of Yardbarker: CFB Championship Week chaos

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

Joakim Noah’s contract is becoming worst deal in NBA

Top 10 takeaways from Sunday’s Week 13 NFL action

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The good, bad, and ugly from NFL Week 13

Championship Week as explained by Diana Ross

Cult of Sport: Before there was Ezekiel Elliott, there was Eric Dickerson

Winter Meetings primer: Every team's trade temperature on the hot stove

James Franklin, Penn State come up roses

Final College Football Playoff rankings: Alabama reigns

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL Christmas sweaters)

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker