Saturday, August 22, 2015


Column: KU’s plans may mean risk now, rewards in future

KU football coach David Beaty instructs his players during spring football practice on Thursday, March 26, 2015.

KU football coach David Beaty instructs his players during spring football practice on Thursday, March 26, 2015.


The more possessions a game has the more it favors the team with more talent, the favorite. That’s pretty much true in every sport.

The Kansas University football team is shy on talent, depth and experience compared to almost every opponent on its schedule.

The Air Raid offense that new head coach David Beaty and his offensive staff will employ is all about cramming as many snaps into a game as possible.

Square peg, meet round hole.

So what’s a coach to do?

“We won’t shorten the game,” Beaty said. “That’s not how we play the game. We’re going to continue to stay who we are because that’s how we practice every day. It’s who we say we are and we’re going to continue to do that.”


If Beaty has the discipline to practice what he preaches, it will greatly increase the risk of historic margins of defeat this season, but also improve the chance of KU football, years down the road, becoming a product that can draw talented recruits and big crowds, provided the victories eventually come.

If monster margins of defeat make Beaty gunshy, KU will remain a hamster on its wheel to nowhere. The long-range plan has to stay in the forefront to stay on the road to real change. Still, for myriad reasons, it won’t be easy to keep pushing the pace.

Some scores will grow ugly, forcing fans to the parking lot.

Buttressing the morale of a defense that lacks experience and especially depth will require great skill. Worse, the most obvious depth problems are at defensive tackle — a position that requires regularly rotating players because the bigger the player the quicker he tires — and cornerback, where breathers are needed in a pass-happy Big 12 loaded with talented receivers.

It all adds up to an exhausted defense made all the more so because of the preferred fast pace of KU’s offense.

Statistically, the Jayhawks’ defense could be on the wrong side of school records, even if it’s far from the worst defense in school history.

“If we’re fortunate enough to get a lead we’re going to continue to do what we do,” Beaty said. “... We are basically a no-huddle offense. It’s a two-minute-type mentality from the very get go. So when we talk to our guys we talk to them about you’re never out of the game. You’re just never out of it. You can be back in the game in a heartbeat.”

Regardless of whether the offense succeeds or fails on any given possession, the defense will be back on the field quickly, winded or not, short-term pain necessary for long-term program gain.


Michael Sillman 4 years, 10 months ago

In football I really don't think the number of possessions makes that much difference. It is what you do with them.

If you only have three possessions and out, it does not matter whether you ran those plays quickly or slowly. The result will be a worn out defense and a lopsided score.

If Beaty's hurry-up, no-huddle offense moves the ball up the field, then the defense can rest on the sideline. That would help us avoid those 56-0 blowouts that have been all too common in KU football history.

I know that the experts seem to feel that KU has a historically bad Big 12 team but it certainly appears that the coaching staff has cobbled together a two deep that may confound the predictors.

Dirk Medema 4 years, 10 months ago

We have had some nice pick-ups that are encouraging. The spread also tends to favor smaller, less talented teams, which is why it was initially so popular. That's probably a better hope for us rather than being pinned to the number of plays.

Simple math says that if you lose by 30 in a 60 play game, that you would lose by 50 if there are 100 plays.

Aaron Paisley 4 years, 10 months ago

Number of possessions absolutely makes a difference in how bad the margins of defeat will be. KU doesn't have a QB who's proved he can complete a pass with any consistency which means the clock will stop much more for those incomplete passes than they did with Weis' run heavy offense.

By whatever measurement you want to use, real time or game time, KU's defense will spend more time on the field this year because of the nature of KU's offense and how much the clock will be stopping while KU's offense has the ball which leads to more possessions for the other team which means they will score more points because KU doesn't have the depth of talent to stay fresh and compete with other Big 12 programs.

Bob Bailey 4 years, 10 months ago

Just about every coach/fan in football is way off base. One of our fans espoused "Keep the action in front of you." Probably typical and maybe pretty smart.

My first education in Defense began in 1932, before Knute Rockne (sp) and The Four Horseman. The correct philosophy is "If the ball never gets to the receiver, he won't catch it!" Perhaps it should be adjusted so that, "If the Defense scores more points than the opponents Offense, you win the game." Since the latest devisor of 'The Notre Dame Defense' retired, Defenses haven't won as many games as the past. KU under Gill conceded 10-12 yards on every pass play. The successor reduced it to 6-10 yds every pass play. And our defenders tend to stay behind the 1st and 10 marker, so the receivers stop in front of them, catch the ball, and fall on the ground for a new first and ten.

Yeah, it takes big tall fast defensive backs. We're doing that a lot better now. So if we can teach our Defense to tackle and cover receivers, the object should be three and out.

Quit worrying about Offense. Defense wins games. It appears to me we may have the makings of a good Defense. Now what we need is a really good DC!

David Kemp 4 years, 10 months ago

Was wondering about the Saturday scrimmage and anything new derived concerning 2 deep chart?

Dale Rogers 4 years, 10 months ago

Fans are fickle, especially the KU fans who leave at half-time. After a few high-margin losses those short-sighted fans will be screaming for Beaty's head and will question his approach. I just hope the coaches and the AD have the foresight to stick with the plan all the way to fruition somewhere down the road.

No doubt some will disagree with me but this is how I see it.

Clarence Haynes 4 years, 10 months ago

Those "fickle" fans who leave at half time probably have little to say about a coach's head.

Humpy Helsel 4 years, 10 months ago

I agree. This is the pattern. Add to it the bloggers who bemoan firing Mangino and want KU to hire big name football coaches who would NEVER come and coach football here. At least they would not consider doing so now. A few losses and watch the posts light up with the previously mentioned in the content. Never ceases to amaze me how smart the KU faithful understand the college basketball world, and how little they seem to understand how hard and how much time to build a successful D-1 football program. We have a coach who wants to do it the right way,and it takes time to play big boy football in a conference like the Big 12 (10). Finally a coach who has the guts and, hopefully the administrative support for the long haul. Will KU fans have the patience and faith to stick with it while it unfolds over the next two to three years? Honestly, I have doubts.

David Kemp 4 years, 10 months ago

Yes and this guy had a safe job at a&m. He has guts and vision to take this job and certainly with the money being paid.

Matt Schierlman 4 years, 10 months ago

I love the foundation Beaty has set in place. His recruiting strategy, player development, and coaching philosophy just scream envevitable success. While he has yet to have a head coaching game under his belt, I'm very confident that he'll get there....and I'm excited to follow his tenure from the beginning.

Just have some patience Jayhawk Nation and support your team!

John Miller 4 years, 10 months ago

Seems a lot like Gills hurry up offense 3 and out and put a bad defense back on the field going to be a long season if offense doesn't get first downs

Bob Bailey 4 years, 10 months ago

Hey, guys, the time could be quite short -- if the coaching was up to standard. The first game might tell it all.

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