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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Big, bad Bears offense latest test for Jayhawks

Baylor wide receiver Terrance Williams runs into the end zone for a touchdown against TCU on Oct. 13 in Waco, Texas. Kansas University coach Charlie Weis said limiting Williams will be on the Jayhawks’ minds this weekend as they travel to face the Bears in Waco.

Baylor wide receiver Terrance Williams runs into the end zone for a touchdown against TCU on Oct. 13 in Waco, Texas. Kansas University coach Charlie Weis said limiting Williams will be on the Jayhawks’ minds this weekend as they travel to face the Bears in Waco.

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Getting ready for another record-setting, scoreboard-rocking Big 12 offense has become an every-week sort of thing for the Kansas University football program.

This week, as the Jayhawks (1-7 overall, 0-5 Big 12) prepare for a road contest at Baylor (3-4, 0-4), the song remains the same.

The Bears rank third in the country in total offense (569 yards per game), seventh nationally in scoring offense (44 points per game) and feature a quarterback, Nick Florence, whose 414.14 yards of total offense per outing put him in front of every player in college football.

Although the somewhat-experienced Florence — he started nine games in 2009 and was a backup in 2010 and 2011 — deserves credit for picking up right where former Baylor great Robert Griffin III left off, both KU coach Charlie Weis and Baylor coach Art Briles point to senior wide receiver Terrance Williams as the most dangerous weapon on this Bears’ team.

Williams, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound standout from Dallas, leads the nation with an average of 172 receiving yards per game and has caught 60 passes for 1,203 yards and nine touchdowns.

“He’s been exceptional,” Briles said. “You know, I think he’s proven himself to be one of the best in America, not just by his production on the field but by how he prepares and how he approaches each game and each play.”

In terms of preparing for Williams, Weis said the mere thought of trying to slow him down was a little daunting.

“Not only is he as good as I’ve seen,” Weis began, “but you got a bunch of other guys around him that you can’t just say, ‘Let’s just put two (defenders) on him every play.’ He is a dynamic player. I don’t think anybody has had a good answer of how to take him away because, if you worry about him, you have a whole bunch of other weapons to worry about.”

Throughout his years as a high school coach, then at the college level with Houston and now at Baylor, Briles has been known for developing potent offenses that put pressure on opposing defenses. And while Williams is the latest future first-round draft pick to put up big-time stat totals for Briles, the BU coach made sure to credit past players for showing Williams the way.

“You know, he’s always been good,” Briles said. “When he came in, he was scout-team player of the year, and he got to play with some great football players — Kendall Wright, David Gettis and Josh Gordon; you’re talking about guys that are all playing in the (NFL) right now. So I think being around that high caliber of competition on a daily basis really helped him excel.”

Hurricane hits home

While Weis has spent most the week preparing for Baylor, he also has kept an eye on the developments back home in New Jersey, where friends and family members had been forced to deal with the impact of Hurricane Sandy and its onslaught on the East Coast.

Weis said a tree fell onto — but not into — his mother’s home, and many of his old haunts were impacted by the horrific storm.

“For all people in the Northeast, especially my family and friends, I wish them well,” Weis said. “It looks like it was quite devastating. It’s quite unusual to watch one of the places you grew up going to the amusement park being pretty much wiped out before your eyes. It’s kind of sad to see.”

Patterson expected back

For the first time in three weeks, senior wide receiver Daymond Patterson is expected to be in uniform for the Jayhawks again.

Patterson missed KU’s last two games because of a head injury, but was cleared to return earlier this week. Weis said he would determine how involved Patterson would be in the offense after watching him in practice, but added that there were obvious advantages to having the senior from Mesquite, Texas, back in the lineup.

“He hasn’t played in a few weeks, so we’ll see how rusty he is,” Weis said. “He’s one of the most experienced guys you have, and experienced guys know the little tricks of the trade.”

In other injury news, Weis said defensive end Toben Opurum and linebacker Jake Love were both expected to be available after missing part of the fourth quarter against Texas.

Baylor OL to miss half

Baylor left guard Cyril Richardson, a 6-foot-5, 335-pound junior from Fort Worth, Texas, will miss the first half of this weekend’s game against Kansas to serve a suspension passed down from the Big 12 Conference. Richardson was ejected from last week’s loss to Iowa State after kicking a Cyclones player in the fourth quarter.

“The only bit of good news out of this whole offensive list is that Richardson, who I think is by far their best offensive lineman, has to sit a half,” Weis said Tuesday. “He is one tough, nasty player. So hopefully we’ve done enough damage in the first half so, when he comes back, he can’t be a difference in the game. I wish the suspension was for a game, not half a game, but I’ll take half a game.”

Back to work

Sunday, following KU’s 21-17 loss to Texas, Weis said his players were as disappointed as they had been after any loss this season. But, as had been the case all season, by Sunday night, they were over it.

“It’s all the same,” Weis said. “Every week is Groundhog Day. As disappointed as they are, by the time they leave (Sunday night), it’s pretty much out of their system.”

Weis said he and his coaching staff made it a priority to make sure of that.

“How we handle it is how they handle it,” he said. “If I prolonged it, they would prolong it. They would certainly follow my lead. It’s all about winning. And every week it’s the same thing, it’s just about winning that game. I can’t worry about last week’s game. I can’t worry about next week’s game.”

Comments

okiedave 1 year, 11 months ago

KU is improving each week. KU is going to have its day. We can beat Baylor.

Chris1955 1 year, 11 months ago

I'll be at the Baylor game and hope to see us break our conference game losing streak.

nuleafjhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

Baylor left guard Cyril Richardson, a 6-foot-5, 335-pound junior from Fort Worth, Texas, will miss the first half of this weekend’s game against Kansas to serve a suspension passed down from the Big 12 Conference.

Richardson was ejected from last week’s loss to Iowa State after kicking a Cyclones player in the fourth quarter.

  • I've been kicked in the fourth quarter before - it's not a good feeling.

Jonathan Allison 1 year, 11 months ago

Early in the fourth quarter or the tail end?

Ron Prichard 1 year, 11 months ago

I laughed out loud at that, nuleaf. Absolutely hilarious.

troutsee 1 year, 11 months ago

Our pass defense will be tested. We need to pass on first down a few times. We can win this game. However, this is the type of offense to which we could lose big unless we are able to control the ball like we did against Texas.

Lucas Town 1 year, 11 months ago

I am afraid that the Baylor offense will be explosive against our defense like K-State and Oklahoma was against us. I agree with troutsee that our pass D will be tested, hopefully our line can get a push and we play inspired like we did against Texas. Our offense better come to play as well, we will need some points.

Lucas Town 1 year, 11 months ago

One thing that I found to be very interesting and had me excited was the fact that when we ran the ball against Texas the pile always and I mean always seemed to fall forward. I was so impressed that we weren't getting stonewalled. I think our rushing attack will keep Baylor off the field, we will sustain long scoring drives and find a way to win this one. Our pass D needs to come prepared to play.

KGphoto 1 year, 11 months ago

Exotic blitzes please, Dave. Let's kick this QB right in the fourth quarter!

texashawk10 1 year, 11 months ago

How offenses like Baylor's put up the massive amounts of points that they do? Because the passing game gets into a rhythm and opposing offenses try to pass to keep up with Baylor's offense. If KU gets into a shootout with Baylor, then the final score will look very similar to the KSU and OU scores. So here's what I think is important for KU to do in order to go down to Waco and get the win.

  1. Win the turnover battle, Baylor has turned the ball over 17 times in 7 games, so there are turnovers out there for the KU defense to get. When KU get's those turnovers, they have to convert them into TD's. KU has gained 17 turnovers this season and only scored 27 points (3 TD's and 2 FG's) off of those 17 turnovers. I've said since before the season started that KU has to be +2 in turnovers and +10 in points off turnovers to win games this year and KU has yet to that this year in any game.

  2. Control the clock. Sounds simple and because of the contrasting styles of play, KU is almost guaranteed to win the time of possession battle. Just winning the time of possession battle won't get it done against Baylor's offense. KU needs to dominate the clock with 5+ minute drives. The concept for this is simple, the longer KU has the ball, the fewer possessions Baylor's offense has which means fewer chances for Baylor to score. Also by controlling the clock, it makes it harder for Nick Florence to get into a rhythm with the offense which means Baylor's offense is less productive.

  3. Hold Baylor to FG's instead of TD's when Baylor gets in the redzone. Simple enough concept, by holding Baylor to FG's instead of TD's, Baylor's score is lower which gives KU a better chance to win games. KU's redzone defense is ranked 13th in the nation so they need to keep this up and get some redzone turnovers or force Baylor into FG's which gives KU a better shot at winning.

If KU can do these three things, their chance of knocking off Baylor will be pretty good and if they can't do these things, then we're likely looking at a blowout and can probably assume this team isn't quite as close to being competitive with the rest of the league as we would like them to be.

KGphoto 1 year, 11 months ago

Totally agree with those points, but does anybody really believe we are capable of getting in a shootout with ANYBODY? LMAO!! We can barely complete a pass, let alone get into a shootout. The only thing we'll shoot is our own foot.

Ball control isn't a choice for us, it's our only option offensively.

Jeff Soisson 1 year, 11 months ago

Nice game plan coach! I would add to be within 7 points at the start of the 4th quarter. It gives our guys confidence.

Michael Sillman 1 year, 11 months ago

I hope that Campos stays with the four man rush the whole game. I feel like the three man rush at the end of the Texas game gave McCoy too much time to find open receivers. I hate the prevent defense. That being said our D is much better this year.

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