Advertisement

Advertisement

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Keegan

Opinion: KU can’t compete with a pass D like this

West Virginia receiver Tavon Austin (1) grabs a deep pass in front of KU defender Greg Brown and Tyler Patmon (33) in KU's 59-10 loss Saturday against West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.Va.

West Virginia receiver Tavon Austin (1) grabs a deep pass in front of KU defender Greg Brown and Tyler Patmon (33) in KU's 59-10 loss Saturday against West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.Va.

Advertisement

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Charlie Weis talks following loss to WVU

Kansas coach Charlie Weis talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 59-10 loss to West Virginia on Dec. 1, 2012.

Download podcast

Box score

KU-WVU

— The Kansas University football team traveled 900 miles to play a game and the secondary didn’t even get to do what it does best against West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, which of course is celebrate an incomplete pass.

Smith, who led the Heisman Trophy race a few weeks into the season, reminded everybody why Saturday at Milan Puskar Stadium in a mismatch that featured plow horses futilely chasing thoroughbreds.

The plow horses lost, 59-10, and will continue to lose against all Big 12 opponents unless Kansas figures out a way to cobble together a credible pass defense. That means defensive tackles who push the pocket, ends who fly off the edges and defensive backs who can stay close enough that they can take a look at the football before it settles gently into the hands of the receiver.

Smith’s only non-completion was intercepted by junior cornerback Tyler Patmon, the lone returning starter in a secondary that loses safeties Bradley McDougald and Lubbock Smith and cornerback Greg Brown.

Smith completed 23 of 24 passes for 407 yards and three touchdowns. He relied heavily on three receivers: fast J.D. Woods (four catches, 83 yards), faster Stedman Bailey (11 receptions, 159 yards) and fastest Tavon Austin (four catches, 110 yards, 12 rushes, 77 yards) to shred the Kansas defense at will.

Nothing drives home the point of how much work needs to be done to make Kansas a competitive Big 12-caliber football team better than remembering that West Virginia (7-5, 4-5) lost five consecutive conference games.

Not long after Kansas coach Charlie Weis finished talking about his team’s latest bloodbath, he held a clandestine meeting behind a curtain with West Virginia’s quarterback, dispensing advice he couldn’t get from his head coach, Dana Holgorsen, who has spent his entire career in the college ranks. Efforts to eavesdrop on the conversation were stunted by security goons, but the word here and there that could be made out made it seem as if Weis was letting him know how to maximize his appeal to NFL teams between now and April 25, the first day of the NFL draft.

A candidate to be chosen first in the draft, Smith won’t face any defenses that looked like the one he abused with precision accuracy and impressive arm strength Saturday.

“He completed every pass today,” Weis said. “One to us and 23 to them.”

Smith completed the last 21 passes he threw Saturday.

“Very similar to every other Big 12 offense there is,” McDougald said. “No different from Baylor, Kansas State. That’s the Big 12: high-powered offenses, and defensive coordinators coming together trying to figure out how to stop them.”

Kansas was able to slow Big 12 offenses on an every-other-week basis until getting buried in the final two games of a 1-11 season. Iowa State slammed Kansas, 51-23, in Lawrence.

What happened to the defense in the final two games?

“It was definitely big plays,” Weis said.

Part of the big-play outbreak doesn’t need much analysis. Kansas doesn’t make quarterbacks uncomfortable and doesn’t cover receivers well. Strength and speed are lacking up front, and not enough speed and — what else, confidence maybe? — roams the secondary.

“I’m fully aware of our deficiencies,” Weis said. “I’m fully aware of what they are. In about five seconds, I’m going to be out recruiting to try to plug some of these holes and not have as many deficiencies."

Weis is as excited about Jake Heaps taking over at quarterback as he was for several months at the prospect of Dayne Crist handling the job. The law of averages says Heaps will do just fine. But what about the offensive line, which loses three multi-year starters? And what about the wide receivers, who as a unit did not catch a single touchdown pass all season?

The inability to complete passes and defend them undermined the competitiveness of a squad that became the first in school history to lose 11 games. Weis intends to shore up both areas immediately by using instant playing opportunities to entice players from junior colleges.

Upon taking the job, Weis said he was curious to find out why Kansas State went 10-2 last season and Kansas 2-10. K-State headed into Saturday night’s game against Texas needing a victory to go 11-1, again the inverse of KU’s record.

After one season on the job, what has Weis learned about why that is?

“It has a lot to do with recruiting,” he said. “That’s what we’re going to go try to fix. I don’t want to get into particulars, but if you look at the makeup of the rosters, you’ll see there’s one glaring statistic that comes out with where everyone came from. Without having to spell it out, it’s one of the areas where you can fill a void quickly with players who can play now. We all watched the game. Obviously, we need to fill these voids with players who can play now.”

Faster players wanted by other Big 12 teams, not everybody else’s leftovers.

Comments

Marc Frey 1 year, 10 months ago

We made the ISU third string player look like a pro-prospect. That alone should tell us how bad the D was,

Dirk Medema 1 year, 10 months ago

He may have been 3rd string, but that is more a reflection on their coach, because he was/is their best QB. The other QB played at thebeginning and end of the ISU game, and were shut down.

pepper_bar 1 year, 10 months ago

Gotta wonder what Weis was doing coaching the opposing QB after the game.

It's harmless as a practical matter, I suppose, but something about it just doesn't seem right. KU's athletes should be enjoying a competitive advantage from having former pro coaches on its staff to advise them about how to beat other kids to make the pros; presumably that experience is part of why Weis is being paid so lavishly.

pepper_bar 1 year, 10 months ago

First paragraph: That's exactly what Keegan's article said, so I'm not going to give you much credit for your analysis there.

And you completely miss my point. If WVU wants to spend the money to provide its team a coach who'll provide pro advice to its players, it should pay for such a coach. KU shouldn't be giving those services to WVU free of charge.

mojayhawk 1 year, 10 months ago

The season's over. The kid is going to the draft. No harm there.

pepper_bar 1 year, 10 months ago

Sure there is. That's advice KU paid for. It should be going to KU players.

jc1306 1 year, 10 months ago

Which KU player is going to the NFL???

Travis Clementsmith 1 year, 10 months ago

This is a ridiculous and proves you know absolutely nothing about recruiting. You don't get to be good by being a dick to every opposing player you meet. You never know where an advantage might turn up. Let me give you a hypothetical. Geno goes on to be the first QB drafted at a place that really needs a QB... like KC. Now Smith is in our backyard, and if he plays well, is an influence on all KC area recruits. We're not going to compete head to head with WVU on every recruit and maybe Geno talks to a kid that's strongly considering us, do you think he might have some good things to say about Coach Weis? Its not like Geno is going to hurt us anymore on the playing field.

pepper_bar 1 year, 10 months ago

The fact you have to come up with such a complicated scenario to support your point proves its weakness.

You don't understand the issue, but nobody ever accused KU fans of knowing what it takes to build a winning football program.

Kevin Randell 1 year, 10 months ago

I have played the DB position and have coached the position. I have just shook my head to many times wondering why do our DB's shield the receiver and NEVER look back at the ball? This starts at the coaching level. Secondly, it's hard to have a Pass Defense when you give the offense a 10+ yard cushion? As you can see, most of our opponents are treating us like a 7 on 7 game. I mean right now I am watching our in state rivals make open field form tackels and just line up and making plays. We are just to soft at the DB and Safety position. Yes....I have heard so many times we just don't have the athletes. Well, coaches, there is no excuse now. It's the off season. While EVERY team in our conference, except us is preparing for a bowl game we need to hit the Juco's, and hit every High School in the nation and find the athletes. Oh.....and some Wide Receivers who can get open and catch the ball! Unlike some who post on here, I am excited about next year. BUT we have a lot of work ahead. You can guarantee I will be one of the first to renew my season tickets for next year.....will you? Rock Chalk!

Mark Lindrud 1 year, 10 months ago

I do believe we have a good, not great defensive line, but Weis has been addressing it. Our linebackers are getting better, but felt all season our secondary was our biggest weakness. I'm hoping we get at least two more db's and hope they have speed. We need another starting wr and hope either Baty or Heaps is the answer at qb. We didn't close out close games, but this team will be mor experienced next year and am hopeful next year we can be a 4-5 win team. I do believe getting more juco players will be necessary in addition to instilling youth.

kranny 1 year, 10 months ago

Didn't look like shielding, it looked more like the DBs trying to catch up. Too slow, not big, not strong, not a good combination.

Robert Brock 1 year, 10 months ago

Campo did all he could. Our defensive squad is without talent. ANY talent. Not sure when that will change.

Dillon Davis 1 year, 10 months ago

False, we had a senior laden backfield with a pretty damn good player in McDougald. There was some talent there so to say there was none is a bit of an overstatement. Maybe they didn't have enough speed to cover some of the receivers in the conference but Campo didn't even give them a chance!! They play 10 yards off of them every down! No jamming at the line to try and get them off their routes so they have all the room in the world to run their routes, catch open balls in space over the middle, and basically just tear us up. We got KILLED on slants and quick outs because the corners were playing so far off. I think overall the defense improved and I'll give Campo a break since it's his first year and Weis doesn't have "his" players in here yet, but I'm concerned with how he handled the secondary (which is area of expertise). I like the LB corps and I think Ben Heeney is going to be an absolute stud!! Hopefully Schyler Miles sees the field a lot more next season. I was hoping he would be good. Jake Love is good and so is Tunde Bakare.The D- Line is non existent and we have absolutely no pass rush at all to speak of. That should be the area of focus because that opens up the rest of the defense to make plays.

ShockHawk10 1 year, 10 months ago

You cannot blame Campo (a proven defensive coach at the NFL level) for the poor play of the secondary. The reason we played 10 yards off of the ball at the corners is due to personnel issues. We do not have the speed at the corners to run with Big XII receivers, nor do we have the speed at the safety position to help over the top. In a bump-and-run scheme, a corner would have to jam a receiver and turn and run with said receiver. Without matching speed, our corners would get burned every snap. Playing 10 yards off of the ball keeps the receivers in front of the DB, and in theory, allows them to break on the ball and make a play. Again, a lack of talent didn't allow this to happen consistently. Campo did what he could with what he had. The Big XII games in which we didn't get blown out is a testament to our defensive coaches making the most out of a truly bad situation. With better personnel, I believe we will see the impact that having a coach of the caliber of Campo can have on a defense.

Robert Brock 1 year, 10 months ago

You are right. We can't play up on receivers because we are slow. Real slow.

Boouk 1 year, 10 months ago

JUCO DE Andrew Bolton chose KU over offers from LSU (yes, LSU, check jayhawkslant.com if you think I'm kidding), Iowa, and Mississippi State, and received interest from Alabama, Ohio State, and OU. We have some other good JUCO's committed on defense as well.

ShockHawk10 1 year, 10 months ago

I'm excited for a few of the big name JUCO recruits that Weis has received commitments from at this point. However, a few are still going on visits to other colleges. The ultimate goal now is to keep these studs.

riverdrifter 1 year, 10 months ago

This team is the product of 4 straight years of failed recruiting. The first two by Mangino, the last two by Gill.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 10 months ago

It's a bit harsh to say they failed outright, because there were some nicely regarded classes in the groups you mentioned. Unfortunately, we lost a 2 half classes in those coaching changes. It takes some time to catch-up from those losses.

BrianCh 1 year, 10 months ago

If Charlie thinks the main reason K-State is doing better "has a lot to do with recruiting", then maybe he should explain why their recruiting classes are hardly ever ranked in the top 50 nationally. He's right, the current talent levels aren't enough, but I think K-State benefits more from having a strong organization and developing players properly, and Weis will have to show he can do that here if he's going to do well.

I honestly believe Weis has a higher upside over the course of several years than Turner Gill, but I find myself wondering if it would be that much higher.

Boouk 1 year, 10 months ago

KSU's recruiting classes always have a lot of JUCO's, which is why they're always ranked so low. Half of our commits are JUCO's, so Weis seems to be following the same idea. By the way, our recruiting class is way better than KSU's right now.

BrianCh 1 year, 10 months ago

I don't know exactly how they affect recruiting rankings, but remember that juco's aren't necessarily a panacea. Many coaches don't like to recruit large numbers of them because it's difficult to maintain chemistry and continuity when you have that much roster turnover.

It can work, but with juco's, the whole often isn't as much as the sum of the parts.

91hawk 1 year, 10 months ago

My take as to why K-State does so well and we don't with our classes being "ranked" better than theirs is that recruiting rankings are 100% bullplop.

All of them.

Anybody who worries about how many stars so-and-so has and how this class is ranked is engaged in a worthless exercise.

The people "ranking" these classes have no idea--zero--what they're talking about. It's all guesswork. All of it. Don't spend any time or energy worrying about how many stars and rankings. Just sit and watch the games on Saturday. If you do that, you can see that everybody else on our schedule had infinitely more talent than we did.

We barely had more talent than South Dakota State. Just by a nose.

I'm hoping that the coaches can find some guys that can help improve this team, but I wouldn't spend more than 2 nanoseconds worrying about the number of stars or how they're "ranked".

It's idiotic.

BrianCh 1 year, 10 months ago

Beautifully said. Regarding the so-called recruiting "gurus", have any of them coached even one day of college football in their lives?

jawinslow 1 year, 10 months ago

None of our current problems can be traced to or blamed on C.W. This problem was started long ago when Mangino was let go and the previous coach (what was his name?) was hired.......Building a winning program takes time and patience and I believe we have the ingredients, do we have the patience?

Doug Cramer 1 year, 10 months ago

To Matt Tait and a bunch of other posters:

Hope ya'll realize how deficient our D-line is now that we just finished the worst season in school records. No pressure at all last night. Been talking about this since day one...and was criticized for being negative nancy.

We are so talent deficient that its gonna take years upon years for this program to get to where we were when Mangino was coach. It starts with the D-Line...and unfortunately it's not looking like we have any young talent to bring up for the future.

Look - I like Weis and Campo...but I have serious concerns about their ability to recruit. This program is in big trouble if they don't pull some magic the final stretch of recruiting these next few days.

Michael Leiker 1 year, 10 months ago

Absolutlely unreal that Crist started yesterday. Charlie says it was because they were going to load the box to stop the run because they thought we would run early and often...maybe they knew better what we should do than we did. Never gave the kids a chance to compete. Out coached before the bus pulled into town.

troutsee 1 year, 10 months ago

Thud!!

Splat!!

So ends another in a long run of embarrassing and inglorious losses for KU football. And, really, an end to another all-too-familiar embarrassing season for one of the most hapless programs in college football.

And, if I hear another person say, "Oh well, we are a basketball school," I will scream!!!

Travis Clementsmith 1 year, 10 months ago

To be fair, WVU's problem during its losing streak wasn't as much about their offense as it was their defense. WVU can score points with the best of them. That's not to say our pass defense (and offense) don't need serious upgrades, but let's not pretend WVU was struggling to throw the ball and all of a sudden Kansas shows up. ISU... well that's a different story.

Dyrk Dugan 1 year, 10 months ago

Recruiting is the big issue...this football program has been devoid of good, solid, hard hitting fast football players for a long time.

as i've posted before on here, when Turner Gill took over, he only had one LB playing...that was actually recruited to play LB. One.

this goes way beyond how far we drop off the ball, or if we cover tight or whatever. We've been recruiting football players that have no business playing major college football, and then actually demanding that they make plays vs. high caliber athletes. it's not fair to them. it's on our past coaches.

that being said, HCCW went 1-11...and after we lost to Rice, i pretty much figured that's where we'd end up. we went this year as far as Crist took us...and he didn't even get us out of the driveway. Weis should have been able to make a difference just himself for a couple of wins...but he couldn't do it. His decision to bring in all of these 5th year transfer guys didn't work out at all.

the good news is, we don't have to worry about another football coach....Charlie Weis is it. we have to stick with him...and now with Dave Doeren off to NC State, the coach designate thing with him is out the window....KU will have to get it done with the man with four Super Bowl rings. It is about the recruiting....we need to hit it and hit it hard. and Jake Heaps better be the man. otherwise, we will break the all time Big 12 losing streak next year. and that indeed will be as low as we can go.

Bradley Sitz 1 year, 10 months ago

Charlie Weis is an NFL Offensive Coordinator. He is not College Head Coach material. He seemed able to recruit offensive players at ND. But, he did not develop them. And his ND defenses were horrible. He never had a winning season. There were obvious reasons why ND fired him with $ millions left on a multi-year contract. They needed a college head coach that could evaluate defensive players, special teams, etc. And, a coach that could put together an effective coach staff. Weis will never win at the college level. Simple questions. Did KU improve in any area this season? Why do we expect better results than were achieved at a program like ND that can get interest from 4-5 star high school prospects?

gorilla10 1 year, 10 months ago

Not head coach material? Get a clue....he lost many, many close games at Dame. They look at wins and losses there not improving the program. Weis is a smart guy and can figure it out. Give him time

BringBackMark 1 year, 10 months ago

He couldn't figure out how to win even 2 or 3 of the games we were in this year. He couldn't figure out that Crist was a bust. I agree with budsitz he is not a college head coach.

gorilla10 1 year, 10 months ago

He IS KU's head coach! Guess he's head coach material.......Give him time. I'm tired of people jumping ships after one year especially given what he walked into.....

Sayers44 1 year, 10 months ago

Wies cannot judge talent....

He never learned all year that Crist could not play...... Starting Crist on Saturday shows that Wies is not very bright.

Wies said Cummings has a cannon for an arm ---- HMMM Wrong again....

Now Wies is touting Heaps as hif next savior.....

During the 2011 season at BYU, Heaps started the first five games of the season. During those first five games, Heaps threw 3 touchdowns and 5 interceptions and failed to garner a QB rating higher than 116.3.

KU is doomed!

Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 10 months ago

Unfortunately...I agree.

You're right until proven incorrect. Heaps has to prove himself before I believe any of this crap.

And I'm not sure what the rest of you saw this year; but I saw a team that won even less than they did last year, and still got blown out in games they shouldn't have.

Pathetic display, and this staff should be embarrassed to even speak to the fans.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 10 months ago

Title change.

"Opinion: KU can't compete with...well...anyone"

Paul Christiansen 1 year, 10 months ago

How many games have we played in this year where we have scored less than 20 points?

Why should the defense have to take all the blame! Clearly we need receivers who Can catch the ball. You are not going to be able to compete unless you can throw the Ball downfield and score points.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.