Saturday, October 22, 2016

Montell Cozart to start at QB vs. Oklahoma State

Kansas quarterback Montell Cozart (2) throws during the second quarter on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas quarterback Montell Cozart (2) throws during the second quarter on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 at Memorial Stadium.


After two weeks of sophomore Ryan Willis at quarterback, Kansas football coach David Beaty announced Saturday morning, a few hours before the Jayhawks’ homecoming game against Oklahoma State, his decision to return to junior Montell Cozart as the No. 1 QB.

Willis threw six interceptions and zero touchdowns in KU’s previous two losses, and only passed for 89 yards — going 10-for-19 on his throws — last week at Baylor.

Cozart, who began the season as the Jayhawks’ starter and rotated in and out of the first few games with Willis, hasn’t appeared in a game since a woeful showing at Texas Tech on Sept. 29, in which the fourth-year junior went 9-for-20 for 97 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

On the season, in four starts, Cozart has thrown for 581 yards and completed 62.6 percent of his passes, with six touchdowns and four interceptions.

Willis, who has played in all six games to varying degrees, has completed 61.5 percent of his throws for 811 yards, with three touchdowns and seven interceptions.

On four occasions this season, Willis has fumbled, and KU lost two of them. Cozart’s lone fumble of 2016 so far came at Memphis, and the Jayhawks lost possession. Willis has been sacked 16 times on the year, while Cozart has yet to be taken down behind the line of scrimmage.

KU (1-5 overall, 0-3 Big 12) enters its game versus Oklahoma State (4-2, 2-1) eighth in the Big 12 in passing offense (255.0 yards a game).


David Kemp 2 years, 10 months ago

Where's the Beaty camp supporters now? This is a major setback unless a great metamorphosis has occurred. I am always willing to be surprised.

Mollie Joyce 2 years, 10 months ago

football. He had already graduated and wanted to move on to the next stage of his life.

Steve Grimm 2 years, 10 months ago

I would bet that even Beaty is not all that excited about switching quarterbacks back and forth. I am sure he is discouraged by how slowly his quarterbacks have progressed. In fact, I seem to recall him even making a statement to that effect recently. I am pretty sure the decision was done to try to stem the massive bleeding in turnovers (12 pics: second to worst nationally & last in Big 12 turnover margin of -11). We may have better players than last year who are more athletic. But you will never win with a severe case of the turnover bug. Unfortunately, Willis has been the biggest culprit. Just another illustration of the continued need to upgrade our skilled positions. Our climb away from the abyss is a slow and painful one. But I do see improvements. It will happen. And I still strongly believe the firm of Beaty & Bowen will get us out of the depths and begin a new trend of successful football.

Larry Jackson 2 years, 10 months ago

I have ALWAYS said Michael Cummings is the ONLY KU QB solution the last 5 years. He out performed the succeeding clowns by miles. Cummings should be starting today his medical red shirt 5th season. But no, we get Cozart, "Mr. Practice". I am so underwhelmed to say the least.

Aaron Paisley 2 years, 10 months ago

Michael Cummings chose to move on from football. He had already graduated and wanted to move on to the next stage of his life.

Gavin Fritton 2 years, 10 months ago

You have GOT to be kidding.

I don't think anybody is expecting a win today. Candidly, a win the rest of the season would be a surprise. But what I think most people do hope to see is growth and advancement. Coach Beaty has forgotten more about football than I will ever know, but it just seems to me that if a player is constantly afraid that he's going to lose his starting spot, he's going to play scared. He won't try to develop, he will just try not to make mistakes. And that isn't what we need . Pick a guy and stick with him. Let him know he has the job. How confident can either Willis or Cozart be if they are both in constant fear of getting the hook? And what recruit is going to come here knowing he's going be constantly at risk of losing his spot if he has a bad game?

Dirk Medema 2 years, 10 months ago

Any QB who has watched any of our games will know that you can have a bad game and remain a starter. Cozart is proof of that. Any recruit who has enough confidence in himself to be a D1 QB will have enough confidence to come here and compete. They still may choose to go somewhere else, but if they don't have confidence in themselves before coming here, they'll never make it here or anywhere else.

David Kemp 2 years, 10 months ago

My assessment of the situation is that this solidifies that Beaty does not believe Willis is the qb of he future or he would let him painfully play through the mistakes.

Tom Keegan 2 years, 10 months ago

I didn't like rotating quarterbacks within games, but Willis had two whole games to win the job ad didn't. He was sacked too often and turned it over too often. Oklahoma State does a great job of putting heat on the quarterback. Willis has been sacked 16 times, Cozart not once. I would have been surprised if Beaty did not make this move.

Gavin Fritton 2 years, 10 months ago

Alright, that's a fair critique and my earlier criticism may have been unfair and ignorant. But what will it say if Willis appears in this game for any reason other than injury?

Michael Lorraine 2 years, 10 months ago

We can pretty much do that no matter who is behind center but I wish Beaty would not give up on Ryan so soon. Still feel he provides the best chance for a win.

Waylon Cook 2 years, 10 months ago

Zenger proved with his Charlie hire he was barely able to handle job of cleaning gum off park benches. This hire showed he needed relieved of those duties. Disgusting.

Dirk Medema 2 years, 10 months ago

At some point, does Carter get more of a chance?

My initial reaction was to shake my head at the switch. It seemed to me that the boat had sailed on Montell as a starting QB. I'm also not buying the blame Beaty (much less Dr Z) for Ryan's lack of performance (in the games or practice).

It feels like we're throwing in the towel on the season, tho I definitely don't envy the choices Coach is confronted with.

In a lot of ways Beaty's performance mirrors Dr. Z's. There is lots of improvement in the non-marquee positions/sports, but the most important is underwhelming. Hopefully, the people who make decisions realize that change isn't necessarily better.

Michael Lorraine 2 years, 10 months ago

My apologies to Mr. Cozart. That was not a bad game. Not sure if the outcome would have been much different if Ryan starts.

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