Sunday, November 4, 2012

KU wide receivers, quarterbacks equal culprits in passing game struggles

Kansas receiver Daymond Patterson loses hold of a catch before Kansas State defensive back Allen Chapman during the second quarter on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan.

Kansas receiver Daymond Patterson loses hold of a catch before Kansas State defensive back Allen Chapman during the second quarter on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan.


By now, after two quarterbacks and eight losses, it has become obvious that the Kansas University football team is lacking in the quarterback department.

But with the promise and potential of BYU transfer Jake Heaps waiting to rescue the position, it seems fair to say that wide receiver is the position at which KU needs the most help.

Never was that more evident than during Saturday’s 41-14 loss at Baylor, when KU quarterbacks Michael Cummings and Dayne Crist completed just five passes to wide receivers and watched the best throw of the day from either guy bounce off the hands of KU junior Chris Omigie and into the arms of a Baylor defender.

The issue wasn’t so much that Omigie dropped the pass as it was that the fourth-year junior represents the lack of production and development that has plagued KU’s wide receivers in recent seasons.

“Am I surprised we haven’t gotten more production out of this position? Yes, I’m surprised,” KU coach Charlie Weis said Sunday night.

To be fair, KU’s most experienced wideouts — seniors Kale Pick, Daymond Patterson and D.J. Beshears — all have missed games because of injuries this season.

“The biggest negative for them is they all got banged up at different times of the year,” Weis said. “It kind of breaks a little bit of the normal flow.”

Indeed. After combining for 152 yards and 14 grabs in the season opener, that trio has struggled to match that production again, healthy or not. While all three have underachieved — Pick (22 receptions, 341 yards) has been the most reliable and effective of the entire bunch — their graduation after the season will leave a glaring hole.

Remember back in fall camp when Crist said he liked KU’s receivers and thought they were as good as any he played with at Notre Dame? Even if it is the old chicken-or-the-egg scenario, this year’s numbers don’t support that claim. Through nine games, KU’s receivers have totaled 920 yards on 75 receptions. And no touchdowns. What’s more, during most weeks this season, single receivers on other Big 12 teams have matched or outdone the yardage and reception totals put up by KU’s entire receiving corps. Heck, Baylor stud Terrance Williams, who lit up the Jayhawks for 137 yards and a touchdown on 11 receptions over the weekend, has outperformed KU’s receivers by himself, hauling in 987 yards and six touchdowns on 54 catches.

“There’s candidates,” said Weis, when asked if there was hope for the future of the position. “But no one’s kind of risen to the top. No one has really stepped up enough to jump over everyone else, saying ‘Hey, make me the guy.’”

The returning wideouts have potential. Andrew Turzilli is still just a sophomore and, although he has disappeared of late, this season has to be viewed as a step forward for him. Tre’ Parmalee has impressed enough to play as a true freshman. Juco transfer Josh Ford, though quiet all season, made his first start at Baylor. And Justin McCay, the transfer from Oklahoma who, like Heaps, was forced to sit out this season, responded to a bad spring with a better fall.

“It’s nice, (in practice) on Sundays, to see Justin out there because he’s not running show team, he’s running our stuff,” Weis said. “He has a chance of being a one or a two. He’s a guy who’s a legitimate contender as a front-line (receiver).”

Potential is nice. But production is better. And Weis knows, Heaps or no Heaps, this team needs to get better at wide receiver if it hopes to become competitive in the pass-happy Big 12 Conference sooner rather than later.

“In recruiting, I think we’re gonna have to handle it both with junior-college kids and high school kids,” he said. “Because I think that it’s gonna be important to make sure we have some guys that are ready to play right now.”


Boouk 9 years, 2 months ago

What's concerning is we don't have any WR's committed yet. I look for us to add two or more WR's who can play right away next year and Turzilli, Ford, and Parmalee to improve significantly this offseason. McCay should be good, but Tony Pierson can't be our second best receiver next year for us to win a Big 12 game.

Ray Winger 9 years, 2 months ago

I thought that Dayne Crist looked more relaxed and more accurate at the end of the Baylor Game. He threw a beauty to Kale Pick...deep to the left flat....but Kale slowed and turned at about 7 out and couldn't catch up quite to the ball off his fingers. It is coming. We have had some good throwing QB's...Mark Williams, Bill Wittemore, Reesing, etc. I love the line play this year compared to past years. When the qb/receivers mesh.....we should see a jump in productivity.

Mike Hart 9 years, 2 months ago

Keep in mind... we lose 3 senior anchors to that offensive line... and the loss of Tyler H and Zlatnick is going to be tough next year.

Jeremy Hays 9 years, 2 months ago

yes but remember Weis has sprinkled in some guys to sub for Zlatnick and marongelli.. The loss of Hawkinson will be the biggest key. However, when everyone was blasting Crist and saying why aren't we playing Cummings or Baty. I remember saying that this is a two way street. You must be able to get open to get the ball thrown to you. I really feel sorry for Crist as it is tough to know that when you pass you will most of the time have a TINY window in which to throw because your WRs aren't getting open... Now I'm not saying Crist was not to blame but unlike most on here I don't throw all the blame on Crist.

pbouldenv 9 years, 2 months ago

What's the deal with Ricki Herod? I thought he was supposed to be pretty good.

Mark Lindrud 9 years, 2 months ago

I really hope we find some WR's in this class because you can never have enough, especially if we want our passing game to improve dramatically.

Jayhawker111 9 years, 2 months ago

Crist has been a bust and should never see the field again.

Cummings does not have it.

Time to try the walk - on QB -- he can do no worse than what we saw on Saturday.

If KU fans have to watch Cummings or Crist the last three games --I think of torture!

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 2 months ago

I thought Dayne looked good in the 4th quarter. The best I'd seen from him all year. That said, it does us no good to play him with 3 games left and with the receivers that we have out there. We just need to ride it out with Cummings and play junk offenses the rest of the year.

It'd be nice to see Matthews and Pick throwing the ball out of the Jayhawk formation, except that if they're throwing it then who's gonna catch it?

Jayhawker111 9 years, 2 months ago

Crist was 2 for 7 for 15 yards on Saturday.... If this is looking good then I guess the standards have dropped to the bottom of the barrel. This is not acceptable to play winning football.

Kansas Passing this season

M. Cummings 29 of 63 = 46%, 1 TD and 4 interceptions

D. Crist 93 of 191 = 48%, 3 TD and 7 interceptions

Time to give somebody else a chance to show what they bring. These two guys have not performed well enough to keep playing.

WIth Wies high power offense KU is averaging 16.9 points per game while giving up 31.

Savion Havon 9 years, 2 months ago

Dropped passes unfortunately go on qb stats these boys are out there competing. HCCW had floridas offense last year and it was dismal I think he will adjust its a process when was the last time he coached a mobile qb

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 2 months ago

yeah, I agree with you that the stats don't lie and the poor performance is unacceptable. But I was watching Crist very closely in the 4th quarter and he was throwing the ball really well. He was making better decisions than he had all year, and he even had a nice scramble for 8 or 10 yards. It counts as an incompletion if the receiver doesn't catch it, doesn't matter if Crist hit him right in the grill with it.

Savion Havon 9 years, 2 months ago

It's like some of them had to be hand delivered I think that catch kale made for the first down was great

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 2 months ago

Pick had some good grabs for sure. And we expect him to make tough catches because he has been billed as our best and most sure-handed receiver. But we really should expect all of our receivers to make those catches. They shouldn't have to be wide open, in stride, and hit right in the breadbasket to make the catch.

Micky Baker 9 years, 2 months ago

And your answer, "give the walk-on place holder a chance". <<< Really?

Mike Hart 9 years, 2 months ago

Did you not read the article or observe anything in any game you've watched this year? Stop blaming the QB for everything. Our WR play is absolutely brutal. I hear people talking about Turzilli being a track star. He's not that fast. He RARELY breaks free. Omigie is pedestrian. Parmalee is young, but he's small. Kale Pick is our best WR and he's a QB by trade. You can go through every QB on our current roster and you're not going to see significantly better #s this year out of the QB position. I mean if you can't complete a pass when you run the ball 85% of the time... that's sad. I put a good chunk of the lack of execution of the passing game on the lack of speed and talent at WR. At this point, why waste a redshirt by trotting out another QB?

Robert Brock 9 years, 2 months ago

It is incredible that, this late in the season, the KU receivers cannot find a way to get open either in the creases or separation downfield. Opponents are loading the box and we still can't pass!

Savion Havon 9 years, 2 months ago

I was at the game in Waco stayed thru the rain delay going into the half the offense was in a rhythm. I was glad to see HCCW get Cummings on the move. That being said if you have a mobile qb that can throw on the move let him. This is the big 12 d ends can run dts can run. If you call sprint outs corner rolls with wr and he comes back to qb dunk it over his head. If he goes with wr you read and run right behind them. It's called a positive play. Every school we have played with a qb that can move gives them the freedom to do so. I say open it up lets play 11 on 11 and compete.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 2 months ago

I've tried to remain postive throughout this whole thing. I saw a lot be hopeful for. But I'm sorry, my friends. I've got nothing left

I've never been one to stay true to the Mark Mangino idolization argument. What's done is done. But that man was our last shot for years to come to build a respectable program. And our adminstration absolutely obliterated that. Whether it involved personal feelings, or an attempt to divert attention from their own shady operations.

It doesn't matter the reason. And in all fairness, it doesn't matter. Yesterday is the past; tomorrow is the future. And the future looks bleak.

I apologize, fellow Jayhawks, but I'm afraid my optimism has run dry. The only thing I can do now is fulfill my role as the "wait till basketball" fan that many of our enemies have labelled us with. Because, when you look at it objectively, they may be correct.

Football will never come to the University of Kansas.

Mike Hart 9 years, 2 months ago

Alright... thanks for that. We'll see you on the BASKETBALL message boards then. I'm so sick of all the people abandoning ship after Weis has had 10 months on board. "Football will never come to the University of Kansas". You're an idiot.

danmoore 9 years, 2 months ago

I think letting Mangino go was a mistake but I don't share your lack of optimism. We are only 22 points from 5 wins. Can't wait for the start of next season.

741hawk 9 years, 2 months ago

Four more years. It's our best opportunity. Weis and Campo have excellent resumes. I'm sure they have a plan. They have a supportive AD. We need to see if they can recruit.

PS. People always put it on the QB, but watch our receivers. They are seldom able to get open, let alone get separation from their defender.

Mike Hart 9 years, 2 months ago

741hawk... you are right on the money.

Jim Jackson 9 years, 2 months ago

I don't believe the above to be true at all.

Weis has 4 super bowl rings on his hand and Campo has 1. That will speak volumes on the recruiting trail.

Mangino and Snyder in particular, made a living out of recruiting JUCOs and scheduling cup cakes (I'm hoping we sprinkle in a couple of 5 year transfers from top schools like Florida, USC).

It won't be easy, but I expect a much better record next year with Heaps and McCay in there and some solid recruting.

If Snyder can do it in Manhattan, we can do it.

vd 9 years, 2 months ago

Those rings didn't speak volumes on last year's recruiting trail.

Mike Hart 9 years, 2 months ago

Last year's recruiting trail was essentially over when Weis took the job, moron! He was hired in mid-December... after most people had committed / signed.

Bville Hawk 9 years, 2 months ago

vd = KSU troll apparently with some sort of communicable disease.

back2school 9 years, 2 months ago

Not to be difficult, but Campo has 3 SuperBowl rings (Cowboys 92,93 and 95) as well as a NC ring with Miami in 87.

Best hire I have seen KU make in football.

Jim Jackson 9 years, 2 months ago

Tait, you think when Weis mentions McCay as 1 or 2, he is stating is a #1 or #2 receiver on our team?

I sure hope that's not the case. I would expect McCay to be a #1 with the kind talent we have.

Zstegs 9 years, 2 months ago

Just a wild thought. Imagine what this team could do with Reesing Meier and Briscoe. Just those 3 and the rest of this years team. The biggest knock on Reesing's teams were that there was no running game and no defense. This year there is running game and defense, but no passing. I think we could have combined the two we would be looking like national champs.

Mike Hart 9 years, 2 months ago

Totally not the case with your comments on the defense in 2007. Hello? Aqib Talib, Chris Harris, Darrel Stuckey, Mike Rivera, Joe Mortensen.... 4 of those 5 guys still on NFL rosters

jsaz 9 years, 2 months ago

Heaps is not the answer. He was benched for poor performance at BYU and transfered, we are getting another Crist. But until we get some speed on defense we are going nowhere.

Jayhawker111 9 years, 2 months ago


During the 2011 season, Heaps started the first five games of the season for BYU. During those first five games, Heaps threw 3 touchdowns and 5 interceptions and failed to garner a QB rating higher than 116.3 or complete a pass greater than 37 yards.

machinegun 9 years, 2 months ago

Coach Weis and his staff will develop a potent passing attack but accept the fact that our Hawks are in a rebuilding phase. Maybe next year.

johnnyhrdwd 9 years, 2 months ago

We should recruit Billy Cosh from Butler co. at QB, invite his receivers to come with him.

wildjayhawk 9 years, 2 months ago

Mark Mangino didn't do it his first year but, there was a turn around the second, and then it was onward and upward from there. We will see a little better next year and there after.

Bee Bee 9 years, 2 months ago

How can a university the size of KU not have a qb that can complete a forward pass????????? Have open try outs! There is someone on that campus that is BETTER THAN ANY QB on the roster. Ridiculous!

Micky Baker 9 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, I wouldn't bet you're right. What I would bet on, There are a lot of kids on campus that can shotgun a beer better than any of the football players.

Mike Hart 9 years, 2 months ago

Same reason we can't seem to find a WR who can run ... separate... and catch. Same reason we can't seem to find a punter who can punt more than 40 yards consistently... or a kicker who can make a 30+ yard FG.. or kickoff inside the 15 yard line.

VaJay 9 years, 2 months ago

Looking at the replay of the interception off the pass to Omigie, that would've been a really tough catch - he was at full speed, arms extended & just got his fingertips on it. Unfortunately, that took the wind out of our sails & I think the QB stats as a whole suffered after that, because the ball game was soon to be out of reach.

That being said, both the receiver position & QB do need an upgrade, & I would really like to see us experiment the last couple games at both positions. Give Jablonski a shot & put Patterson/Beshears/Turzilli in a spot where they can make a play.

Micky Baker 9 years, 2 months ago

Apparently you haven't watched the past few weeks. Patterson just returned from an injury Saturday, and Beshears is out because of injury. Both had a lot of passes right in their grills that they didn't catch early in the season too, but "blame Crist", right? Go back to the stats, There have been 40 or more passes that our receivers dropped. The receivers for other QBs that make the same throws make the catch. Our wide receivers, aside from Kale Pick, don't. Kale let on that he was angry that the WRs weren't working hard in practice, not playing with intensity. Those 40 dropped passes, if they were caught, 63.3% completion percentage for Crist/Cummings combined. Time to get a reality check. Patterson and Beshears are SMALL. Our QBs would have to be extremely accurate with small targets.

Jayhawker111 9 years, 2 months ago

If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we’d all have a merry Christmas

We have been watching and it has been painful. You want a reality check - how about this:

Crist is ranked 118 out of 120 quarterback rating in the NCAA. The staistics do not lie. Crist has had 7 + games to prove himself... He failed -- good luck and it is time to move on.

Cummings had two games and did not get it done - time to move on.

Who is next to play QB or is Weis going to keep playing guys who have not got it done - play it safe and just keep running the same boring offense?

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Micky Baker 9 years, 2 months ago

If his WRs drop passes like the drop passes when Cummings throws them, it does make the QB look bad doesn't it? Don't misuse statistics. Use your head.

It's been the same for BOTH QBs. REALITY CHECK and CHECK MATE.

Crist is the best of the two options for this year. That's REALISM.

Ray Winger 9 years, 2 months ago

Thank you for standing up against all the emotion!!

Mike Hart 9 years, 2 months ago

More like.. have Patter/Beshears/Turzilli.... get OPEN for once. Why waste another redshirt on a QB?

vd 9 years, 2 months ago

All of last year's dropped passes were blamed on Webb.

troutsee 9 years, 2 months ago

Disppointments abound this year. Yes, this is a new coaching staff that took over a sorry-ass program. However, the Baylor game marked a new low for this year, and just when things seemed to be improving. KU amuni deserve better than what they are getting. It will not be difficult to get quality season tickets next year and Williams Fund donations will dwindle. Such is the frustration of the KU football fan.

bigtex 9 years, 2 months ago

Quarterbacks have struggled all season. It's a bad deal to see players playing with injuries, but that's life in the football world. Usually people don't find out how bad the injuries are until the season is over. That's why programs and coaches like Bill Snyder keep it quit .

jhawk2003 9 years, 2 months ago

The passing game has been a joke. These things take time and a playmaker has to emerge. Remember that Mangino's offenses were a joke (Brian Luke, Jason Swanson, Adam Barman), it wasn't until Whittemore and Reesing combined with Bill Young's defense that things took off. Let's hope that Heaps and McCay prove to be a major upgrade.

Micky Baker 9 years, 2 months ago

There are a lot of other QBs that make the same throws that our QBs make, but to bigger targets. There were several passes that would have been completed to a guy with Briscoe's size but Patterson just missed them off his finger tips. That is no shot at Patterson either, he just isn't big enough. He doesn't have control over it. Mundine missed some passes that were right on the money too. Our running backs have also missed some passes that they should have caught, even if they weren't just exactly perfect. We see the opponents making catches on throws that some here call bad throws by our QBs, and our guys aren't making the same plays.

This group of seniors was served very badly by the hiring of Turner Gill. It wasn't known at the time, but Gill was not ready for this level. This current team has 2 top 35 recruiting classes on it. It's starting to show up on defense, even with the terrible second half against Baylor. They played really well in the first half in Waco. The team has to learn to finish games. They weren't even taught to start them under Gill.

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