Second-year Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis needs your help. No, not to block, run pass patterns or call plays. You’re not eligible to fill those roles, even if you might feel qualified.
Weis needs your help Saturday, moments after the Campanile booms six times, when the KU defense takes the field for the first time to try to slow down Baylor’s breakneck-pace offense.
Weis wants you to keep all of your frustrations toward professors, siblings, boyfriends, girlfriends, parents and football coaches bottled up until you see the offense dressed in green and white take the field. Then he wants you to unleash everything bothering you with as much fury as possible. And repeat the cycle until the game ends.
“They can yell bad things at me, I don’t care,” Weis said. “Just make it very loud the whole time we’re on defense.”
The coach is asking for help because he honestly thinks a crowd that participates, instead of just watching and cheering the good plays, can muddy the waters for the nation’s fastest speed boat.
Baylor (6-0 overall, 3-0 in the Big 12) has scored 69 points or greater five times. The lone exception came in its only road game, Oct. 12 at Kansas State, where the Bears won, 35-25.
Clint Bowen, who coordinates the defense and coaches linebackers, said he doesn’t remember a Big 12 team ever playing with faster tempo than this Baylor squad.
“Last week, you saw (Oklahoma quarterback Blake) Bell just went to the line of scrimmage and went from tackle to tackle, told them what the play was and then backed up,” Weis said. “Signal out to the wide receivers and then run the play.”
Different story with the Bears, who live with all five fast-forward arrows engaged.
“When you run the play as fast as they’re trying to run it, they’re counting on verbal commands for everyone to know what the play is,” Weis said. “How does the line know what the play is? They have to be given some sort of command to know what the play is. So it’s a lot easier when you can yell it to them. When you have to walk up and tell it to them, that can slow down the tempo.”
It’s not as if KU’s offense will turn you too hoarse to help the defense to try to intercept Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty’s commands in hopes that doing so leads to Dexter McDonald, Isaiah Johnson, JaCorey Shepherd, Cassius Sendish or Victor Simmons intercepting a pass.
“I’m hoping for a 6 o’clock, loud, boisterous crowd to not make it so easy on them,” Weis said. “And I think that’s what they got when they were at K-State. It was a loud, boisterous crowd.”
Even with a 24-game Big 12 losing streak, can a KU football crowd pump up the volume the way K-State’s fans did for Bill Snyder? We’ll find out Saturday evening.