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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.

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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.

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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

Paul Christiansen 1 year, 4 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.

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Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 4 months ago

Title change.

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

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Sayers44 1 year, 4 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!

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Janet Scott 1 year, 4 months ago

The Big 12 has two slots open to get back to 12 teams. Any chance the B12 brass in Big D will bring in two convents of 80 year old nuns to make Big 12 team 11 and 12 in football only, so that KU can win at least one game in the B12 in the upcoming years?

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budsitz 1 year, 4 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?

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Dyrk Dugan 1 year, 4 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.

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Travis Clementsmith 1 year, 4 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.

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troutsee 1 year, 4 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!!!

1

Michael Leiker 1 year, 4 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.

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Doug Cramer 1 year, 4 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.

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jawinslow 1 year, 4 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?

3

BrianCh 1 year, 4 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.

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riverdrifter 1 year, 4 months ago

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

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Robert Brock 1 year, 4 months ago

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

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Kevin Randell 1 year, 4 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!

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pepper_bar 1 year, 4 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.

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Marc Frey 1 year, 4 months ago

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

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