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Oklahoma defeats Kansas, 34-19

  • 2:30 p.m., Oct. 19, 2013
  • Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, KS

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Passing judgment: Weis says KU air attack ‘not acceptable’ following 34-19 loss to Oklahoma

Kansas quarterback Jake Heaps is sacked by Oklahoma defenders Charles Tapper (91) and Geneo Grissom on the Jayhawks' last drive of the game, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas quarterback Jake Heaps is sacked by Oklahoma defenders Charles Tapper (91) and Geneo Grissom on the Jayhawks' last drive of the game, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013 at Memorial Stadium.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Charlie Weis

Kansas coach Charlie Weis talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 34-19 loss to Oklahoma on Oct. 19, 2013.

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Box score

KU-OU

On a day when Kansas University coach Charlie Weis took the first step toward looking to the future at quarterback, the present bit him in the rear as the Jayhawks managed just 16 yards passing in a 34-19 loss to 18th-ranked Oklahoma in front of 41,113 at Memorial Stadium.

Junior starter Jake Heaps handled most of the quarterbacking duties for Kansas, which jumped out to a 13-0 lead but followed it up by surrendering 25 straight points to the Sooners. So it was Heaps who deserved much of the blame for KU's paltry passing numbers — 5-of-13 for 16 yards and three sacks. Of course, as has been the case for five consecutive games, the offensive line's blocking and wide receivers' issues catching the ball also contributed to KU's poor passing.

“I don't care if you're playing the '85 Bears, that's just not acceptable,” Weis said following KU's third consecutive loss and 24th in a row against Big 12 foes. “And it's something we will continue to work on because it's just not good enough right now.”

During the two drives in which Heaps was not in the game, true freshman Montell Cozart took KU's snaps at quarterback. The move to use Cozart was something the Jayhawks game-planned for throughout the week and one that everyone on offense knew was coming. It hardly mattered, though, as Cozart ran three times for 11 yards and did not attempt a pass.

Weis said the idea behind inserting the 6-foot-2, 189-pound Cozart was to use him when the Jayhawks were going against a stiff south wind. As determined by the results of the coin toss, that meant going to him during the second and third quarters. So despite Heaps having the offense moving well and the Jayhawks (2-4 overall, 0-3 Big 12) leading 13-6 early in the second quarter, Weis called Cozart's number and never reaped the benefits many thought he might. Yes, a holding penalty on the freshman's first play from scrimmage was partly responsible for that, but that merely made the situation more precarious and gave the young man less of a chance to succeed.

Eventually, during the third quarter on his second series of plays, Cozart showed some of the mobility and play-making prowess that have people in Lawrence excited about his potential, as he ran for nine yards on first down and brought a little life back to the Kansas huddle. But that was short-lived, and KU's offense never again got going. Regardless of his limited usage Saturday, Weis said putting Cozart out there was a positive step.

“What he did,” Weis said, “was get his feet wet, which is good because, obviously, we're going to need him more as we move forward.”

For the better part of two-and-a-half quarters, this one had the same feel as KU's 54-16 loss to Texas Tech a couple of weeks ago — both the good and the bad. Behind a dominant start in which KU ran for 129 yards and scored twice in the game's first 15:11, Kansas jumped out to a 13-0 lead and had the support of the home crowd, the confidence of its ever-improving defense and the Sooners out of sync. But then the offense hit the dreaded wall, and, before it could regroup, Kansas trailed 25-13 at the 10:47 mark of the third quarter.

“I was concerned (at that point) that the game was heading in that direction,” said Weis of following the same pattern as the blowout loss to Texas Tech. “But it didn't get away.”

It came close. At one point, OU (6-1, 3-1) scored nine points in 18 seconds to turn a 13-6 KU lead into a 15-13 edge for the road team. The first points came via safety following a blocked punt, and the next seven on a 49-yard touchdown pass to Sterling Shepard on a perfect pass from wide receiver Lacoltan Bester, who got the ball on a reverse. Think about that: Oklahoma's third option at wide receiver had three times as many passing yards as KU's entire offense on one play.

What's worse, when the Jayhawks finally did score again — via a six-yard Sims touchdown run at the 10:15 mark of the fourth quarter that followed a Josh Ford blocked punt — the Jayhawks only were able to net four points out of the score because the Sooners blocked the extra-point attempt and returned it for two points of their own.

Even with that, KU still trailed by just eight and was sending its best unit back onto the field. But OU responded with an 11-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that zapped six minutes off the clock and put the game out of reach.

“We definitely slipped up on a couple opportunities when we should've cashed in for three or seven or something (earlier in the game) and we came up with nothing,” said KU tight end Jimmay Mundine, who scored a TD for the fourth straight game in the first quarter. “And that's disappointing.”

Believe it or not, KU's 16 yards passing did not even represent a program worst. Heck, Saturday was not even KU's worst output of the 2000s. That came back in November of 2010, when Quinn Mecham finished 3-of-13 passing for 15 yards in a 20-3 loss at Nebraska. Not that such a statistic made anybody feel better on Saturday.

“We had some plays we left in the passing game because the others weren't working and so couldn't even get to those,” Weis said.

Added Heaps, who said Saturday's effort was the worst he could remember from his entire playing career: “We found a sense of identity (a running game that tallied 185 yards and two touchdowns on 39 attempts) and I think that's a big positive from this game. The thing we have to do now is make sure that we're complementing our running game with our passing game.”

That may be easier said than done and, for the second year in a row, the Jayhawks may be forced to consider drastic measures to stay competitive. The question? Are the Jayhawks actually at the point — again — where they're staring down the barrel of abandoning the passing game altogether and focusing on finding ways to run the ball even though every team they play will know it's coming? Judging by their rushing performance Saturday and Weis' comments afterwards, the answer may very well be yes.

“I can't rule that completely out,” Weis said.

Comments

Brett McCabe 9 months, 1 week ago

The most annoying part of the game? Simple. Our "neighbors" in the stands didn't attend so we got to enjoy the game surrounded by OU fans, and their sisters - who were also their dates to the prom. If you aren't going to attend the game, then give your tickets to the Boys and Girls Club or burn them. We didn't buy season tickets so that we could have Soomer Booners surroung us.

As far as the game on the field, the move to Cozart at a critical time was ridiculous. Unfair to him and unfair to the team. And then, later in the game when a spark was needed, we went with Heaps? Is this really that complicated?

Don't get me wrong, I respect both of these young men and want them both to succeed. But the timing of the decisions was baffling. We pulled Cozart's redshirt in order to run a handful of option plays at an inopportune time when we had bad field position? The fake punt from inside our own 20 is now looking like a logical decision.

Charlie, it's getting harder and harder to back you up.

And.....when did our band decide to become a middle school production? It was literally painful to watch. Are we determined to be mediocre now? Does anyone in that department really even care about excellence?

Congratulations, though, to both the Dance Squad and Cheer Squad. No sarcasm intended. These squads look as if they actually want to be great.

2

Jason Keller 9 months, 1 week ago

Putting Cozart into the game was the dumbest move I have seen from any coach so far this season. My brother, an OU faithful, called me and said he couldn't believe it.

Anyway, that didn't lose us the game. You better believe that we had them today. All of Bell's runs up the middle for big gains, what do you think Ben Heeney would have had to say about that?

We're getting better and the last 3 games of the season are looking very winnable.

0

Joe Ross 9 months, 1 week ago

"...to run a few plays in a game", indeed!

Please speak intelligently as to Weis' plans for using Cozart for the duration of the season.

Ahhh! As I thought. You can't.

(Imagine that!)

0

Chris Bailey 9 months, 1 week ago

I was shocked when Cozart went into the game. That was the single most stupid thing Weis has done all year. What an absolute JOKE! If you're gonna pull the shirt then let him play the rest of the damn game PERIOD! Heaps was terrible all day with that stellar 5 completions for 16 yards. 3 yards a carry?? Are you kidding me???? Pulling a red shirt for 7 or 8 plays. How stupid. Weis is clueless. The Heaps experiment is OVER we now know why he lost the job at BYU and why he came to Kansas. He had no other option. He isn't very good. Another disappointing addition and speaking of disappointing decisions how's Justin McCay doing? Are receivers suck period. My Gawd I could catch passes better than they do. I sure hope Harwell is what we've heard he is. Cozart needs to start going forward. You've pulled the shirt now use him. Otherwise you wasted a year on less than 10 plays. And yes it was very unfair to put him in during a situation like that. Just baffling.

0

Ashwin Rao 9 months, 1 week ago

Given that our QB situation is verging on pathetic...(OK, it is pathetic!), and our special team is showing issues as well... but I was mildly surprised by the fact that we were competitive until the end. Until the "last drive", we were in reach to even out the score, against a ranked team. I do see that as progress.

Now if we can work on the QB situation, or change our strategies to maximize our strength, we can still hope to have 2 more victories this year.

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Bryce Landon 9 months, 1 week ago

Can't blame coaching for this one. Untimely penalties, inept offense in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, and the KU special teams getting outclassed by the OU special teams are the reasons for this one. But it was encouraging to see KU be competitive and even having a 13-0 lead for a little while.

Oh football gods, look upon our misery and please grant us a conference victory this season!

0

Michael Leiker 9 months, 1 week ago

And what part of that is not attributable to coaching? What do people think these guys get paid to do? Blows my mind.

2

Chris Bailey 9 months, 1 week ago

Agreed. Totally poor coaching. Figure out who the hell can block and get open. The QB is terrible. Cozart should start going forward PERIOD!

0

Doug Cramer 9 months, 1 week ago

I about puked today watching Mizzou remain undefeated here in the show me state.

When I watch a team like Mizzou or most teams in the SEC...the biggest difference when comparing them to KU...are the boys up front. They're big...they block and hit hard...and they get after QBs in a 3 and 4 man rush.

On top of that...they style their offenses that suits personnel and talent levels.

My generation...1996-2000...that had to painfully watch Terry Allen recruit D-2 players...wrecking the program after Mason had success...it's just so agonizing thinking about Perkin's agenda that ultimately set this program back "unknown" amount of years.

It was so awesome watching Mangino build the program up...winning an Orange Bowl...and winning Coach of the Year.

The day Perkins announced the Witch Hunt...is the day this program died a sad death.

2

Joe Ross 9 months, 1 week ago

Wouldn't the play action REALLY help this offense? Defenses are already sold on the run. Oh, and one encouraging thing today was that the offensive line did a better job. Crazy how you can't pin the problems in the passing game down to one thing! I figured with better protection the passing game would have improved significantly. Not so. At least on this day.

Also pleased at the turnout for the game. Even though 1/3 of them (or more?) were OU fans.

1

Brett McCabe 9 months, 1 week ago

Joe, we ran play action once that I remember: it was the touchdown pass to Mundine. If you watch the replay, the linebackers bite hard on the fake to the RB (I think it was Sims). As a result, Mundine was wide open.

I agree completely, the way to beat 8 in the box is to run and then run play-action.

0

Ethan Berger 9 months, 1 week ago

I have two words to fix our offensive woes. (Or at least make them less woeful)

  1. Montell
  2. Cozart
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Doug Cramer 9 months, 1 week ago

I don't think so Ethan. Your two words should be:

1 Offensive 2 Line

2

Ethan Berger 9 months, 1 week ago

Well I guess i should have 2 other words 1. Get. 2. Open

0

Jack Jones 9 months, 1 week ago

While I questioned the QB switch ~ and in fact, described it as a "game over" momentum shift ~ I must also say that despite some terrible self-inflicted errors ~ way too many ~ we actually played Oklahoma tougher than I had anticipated ~ and it was a one score game until the very end. On balance, like so many other games, I saw improvement in the overall performance of the offensive line, our defensive line continued their impressive effort and our secondary played well at times, and not so good too often. Strong running game in the 1st quarter ~ and like our kicking game ~ a real mystery after that. Abysmal passing attack, that until it improves to just decent ~ it's going to difficult to win.

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Aaron Paisley 9 months, 1 week ago

The switch to Cozart itself wasn't the momentum killer, it was the holding call on Sterling. The reality is that KU likely wouldn't have called that kind of play with Heaps, but Cozart himself didn't kill the momentum. I'm not defending the switch because if that's how Weis is going to use Cozart this year, I would have just used Cummings and not burned Cozarts redshirt.

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Michael Leiker 9 months, 1 week ago

Did Cozart do anything well in his short appearance? First option he had his mind made up to keep it, second he pitched it before he was even approached remotely by a Sooner and Sims was dead in his tracks. Guy was obviously not prepared for action and Weis couldn't have picked a worse time for a learning opportunity.

1

Aaron Paisley 9 months, 1 week ago

I never said Cozart played great, I just said that he didn't kill KU's momentum and it was Aslam Sterling's holding call on the big run that killed KU's momentum.

0

Ethan Berger 9 months, 1 week ago

Well in Cozarts defense every knew it was a run play when he was in. So much easier for the defense to play him when he is only gonna run it.

0

Todd 9 months, 1 week ago

That shows the depths our program has reached. I followed football even under the Gill regime and when they said Quin Mecham had 15 yards in 2010, I honestly said "who the hell is Quinn Mecham?"

Saying that, I'm by no means giving up. But it's starting to creep into my head that hopefully Weis can keep recruiting well and then maybe in another two years we can just say Bye and thanks for not leaving the cupboard bare like the last two coaches.

1

Aaron Paisley 9 months, 1 week ago

Today's game was a near mirror image of the Texas Tech game. The biggest difference between today and the Texas Tech was was KU didn't turn the ball over like they did against Tech.

0

Jordan Gumm 9 months, 1 week ago

While Weis won't single out Heaps of 5h17, he was spot on in blaming the lack of a passing attack for our overall troubles. The Sooners were able to put 7-8 in the box on every non-passing down from the 2nd quarter on with no consequences. I'm sorry, but if Heaps can't find holes in that defense then he's never going to find holes in any defense. Also, I don't care how good of an o-line you have, you can't run consistently while being boxed in by 7-8 players.

Anyway, since the offense couldn't get going (to the tune of 39 yards on the last 10 drives and 16 yards total passing in the game) the defense was put in a bind and was worn out far too quickly. The craziest statistic that I found was that roughly 40% of KU's total time of possession was racked up in just the first three drives of the game.

1

David A. Smith 9 months, 1 week ago

Montell will start at some point this season- possibly the next game. Best guy plays.

0

Savion Havon 9 months, 1 week ago

David when have you seen the best guy play under HCCW. Cummings numbers against OU were better last year and he basically was handcuffed that game. If we go off performance your true dual threat qb didn't touch the field. We went with a fifty percent passer who rang up a total of 16 yds. The line was decent heaps is thinking too much. They burned Cozarts red shirt due to grumbling he brought nothing dramatically different to the table the burn of this kids RS was Ill thought out

0

David A. Smith 9 months, 1 week ago

I agree that Cummings would have done better, but Ill bet that the coaches believe that Cozarts mobility makes him an even better choice Once the coaches decided that Heaps needed to be replaced they skipped the third best option and got the feet of the heir wet. But, that being said you areright about yesterday- unless Cummings has weaknesses in his game we dont know about.

0

Matthew Krische 9 months, 1 week ago

Defense is better and full of underclassmen. Special teams are better despite the punt block. Offense not. Cozart's redshirt has been pullled. Got 6 games to see what he can do. Play him out. Build from there. Dont pull reesing's, er Cozart's, redshirt and not see what you have for no reason. Nothing to lose.

0

Aaron Paisley 9 months, 1 week ago

Part of the passing game woes are on Charlie himself. KU attempted 16 passes total today (13 official attempts plus the 3 sacks) and I would guess that about half of those attempts were in obvious passing situations such as 3rd and long. The lack of a passing game today falls a lot more on Weis today than Jake Heaps because Weis went ultra conservative with the standard run, run, pass, punt that we're accustomed to seeing over the past few years. If Charlie wants the passing game to have a decent chance at being successful, it would greatly benefit him to not be incredibly predictable with the passing game. The passing game has worked much better this year when Charlie was going based on his script and the passes were coming on different downs and distances than opposed to passing it on long yardage situations.

2

Matt Gauntt 9 months, 1 week ago

Completely agree - couldn't have said it better.

The only thing I'll add is that some of the blame should be with the receivers. Throws right to them and they can't pull it in.

0

Brett McCabe 9 months, 1 week ago

Also true. The trouble with the passing game isn't one single thing. The O-line struggles with protection at times, Jake misses some of the time and the wideouts drop 2 or 3 catchable balls every game. What's that leave you with? An extremely small margin of error and an anemic passing game.

0

Aaron Paisley 9 months, 1 week ago

If you look at when a lot of the sacks the OLine has given up have come, they have on obvious passing situations where the defense has pinned their ears back and have a full on pass rush going. It's very hard even for a good OLine to be successful when you're only passing in obvious passing situations. When KU is mixing in the run on not completely obvious passing situations this year, the pass protection has been adequate. I really do believe the majority of the passing game issues this year fall on Weis and making the passing game incredibly predictable and conservative. When did KU have success passing against Texas Tech? In the first quarter when Weis had the plays scripted so it didn't matter down and distance. When did KU have success passing against TCU? Early on when the plays were scripted. When did KU have success passing against OU? Early on when the plays were scripted.

This is why I was skeptical about the shake up on offense this week. This biggest issue this year has not been the game planning, it has been the ultra conservative play calling that'll keep KU in most games, but it won't give them a real chance to pull an upset. Honestly, I'll be okay with a few more blow out losses if it means KU plays to win instead by taking some chances and potentially having a game snowball on them as opposed to this ultra conservative play calling that Weis has been doing for the past couple of years.

0

Michael Leiker 9 months, 1 week ago

Charlie continues to out think himself. At the point in the 2nd quarter where he put Cozart in Sims had already ran for 90 yards. OU knew every down there was a 75 percent chance they were going to run the ball. The offense was clicking and running massive amounts of time off the clock, shortening the game and keeping the D rested and beating OU to the punch. Just absolutely mind blowing. He had that decision made before the game that on that drive Cozart was going in and was too stubborn to realize he needed to alter that part of his gameplan. Then compounds the problem by first calling his last timeout on 4th down, THEN, sending the offense onto the field to try to draw OU offsides. Chuckles, once you called your last timeout you had already screwed the pooch big fella!! Taking 5 yards there giving them that field position w 2 and change in the 2nd was just an unacceptable tactical error. This is the stuff Weis is supposed to get right!! It's like 50% of his job!

Kids are fighting hard but they are only going to be able to handle so much of their head man just losing his mind in game situations. I just hope he gets it figured out before they turn on him. Too much progress has been made, much of it directly creditable to Weis for it to go south now. Please players stick w it and Charlie stop blowing it before it's too late.

Run the gosh dang ball! It works!

1

Ethan Berger 9 months, 1 week ago

Well it stopped working after half. They made adjustments and we suddenly lost all our offense

0

Bill Kackley 9 months, 1 week ago

Not wrong to burn the red-shirt. It was wrong to burn it and not let Cosart show what he can do. He should have been put in in apposition to use all his tools, passing and running. It is time for Heaps to sit. If we are going to have a chance to win another game this year, it will be with him on the bench.

0

Dan Harris 9 months, 1 week ago

I've had enough! heaps absolutely SUCKS! Throwing behind receivers time after time ,not moving in the pocket, these guys played their butts off and to have a " former " #1 recruit blow it time after time is just sickening ! Start Cozart from now on out Heaps is a loser ! There is a reason he was benched at BYU! Upvote0 Reply ↵Suggest removal

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Randy Bombardier 9 months, 1 week ago

Don't you guys realize that Weis watches your comments and makes adjustment from all the pearls of wisdom on here? So be careful what you recommend. If there is anyone I would like to take to take my advice it would be Zenger. So, here goes. Give him his four or five years but you better start looking and thinking back about the last time and what you did wrong or how you could do it better. But, make no mistake. Weis will not be meet expectations, even modest ones. This is just a well-paying hobby. Fans, its going to be a long five years.

Oh, and do what you can to keep Campo.Defense is definitely improving. If we had an offense we'd be competitive.

0

Ashwin Rao 9 months, 1 week ago

I would love for Campo to be the next HC.

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