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Monday, September 18, 2017

KU opens Big 12 play vs. ‘explosive’ West Virginia

West Virginia quarterback Will Grier (7) attempts a pass during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Delaware State, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, in Morgantown, W.Va. (AP Photo/Raymond Thompson)

West Virginia quarterback Will Grier (7) attempts a pass during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Delaware State, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, in Morgantown, W.Va. (AP Photo/Raymond Thompson)

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The non-conference portion of the Kansas football schedule didn’t exactly go to plan. Now, Saturdays turn even more demanding for the Jayhawks, with West Virginia’s upcoming trip to Lawrence marking the opening of Big 12 play.

The Mountaineers, with victories over East Carolina and Delaware State, and a season-opening loss to Virginia Tech, are averaging 46.3 points per game, bolstered by the conference’s top two touchdown-scoring skill players, junior receiver David Sills V and senior running back Justin Crawford (five touchdowns apiece).

“Very talented. Very explosive,” KU head coach David Beaty said Monday on the Big 12 media teleconference, when asked for his initial thoughts on WVU. “Always, offensively, it’s going to be a very big chore playing against a Dana Holgorsen offense. He does such a good job offensively.”

This season, former Florida quarterback Will Grier ignites Holgorsen’s attack. Grier’s 11 TD throws tie Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph for the league lead.

Podcast episode

KU Sports Hour

KU football's offense is not the problem

On this episode of the KU Sports Hour, hosted by KU football beat writer Benton Smith, the KUsports.com staff discusses KU football's 42-30 loss to Ohio. Topics include: The turning point of KU-Ohio (1:45-7:20), the state of the KU football offense (7:20-24:00) and defense (24:00-32:10), the KUsports.com football mailbag — ...

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Kansas (1-2) has allowed quarterbacks from Southeast Missouri State, Central Michigan and Ohio to combine for a 67.6 completion-percentage and a 297 yards-per-game average, with 10 touchdowns and one interception.

WVU’s pool of offensive talent doesn’t dry up with Grier, Sills and Crawford, though. Beaty said junior receiver Gary Jennings (23 receptions, 363 yards) is “terrific,” too.

“He makes them go in a lot of ways,” KU’s coach said of Jennings, before adding senior receiver Ka’Raun White (14 catches, two TDs) “can run as fast as a dag-gum Ferrari” and sophomore receiver Marcus Simms (five receptions, 143 yards, three touchdowns) “can absolutely fly.”

Beaty’s praise continued as he shifted focus to the other side of the ball. He said defensive coordinator Tony Gibson’s 3-3-5 alignment brings another obstacle to preparing for West Virginia.

Redshirt senior linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton leads WVU with 24 total tackles (five for loss). Senior safety Kyzir White has two interceptions, two quarterback hurries, one pass breakup and 18 total tackles through three games.

“What they do with their three-stack stuff is built for this league,” Beaty said. “(Gibson’s) one of the better guys in this league when it comes to adjusting, and obviously it’s a great challenge, but it’s one that we’re looking forward to Saturday back here at home (11 a.m. kickoff, ESPNU).”

WVU finished one spot out of the Associated Press top 25 this week.

Dineen productive for KU

After three weeks, Kansas junior linebacker Joe Dineen leads the Big 12 in both total tackles (12.7 a game) and tackles for loss (2.3 a game).

After making 11 stops at Ohio, though, the defensive captain felt responsible for much of the Bobcats’ offensive success in a 42-30 KU loss.

“Personally, I didn’t play well enough for us to win,” Dineen said. “I missed a bunch of tackles on the perimeter — tackles I normally make. I over-ran them (Saturday) and that hurt us big-time. A lot of third downs got outside and converted on third-and-long.”

Areas to address

Kansas thus far is is worst in the Big 12 in points allowed (34.3 a game) and passing yards surrendered (297 a game).

Beaty said Monday issues on offense, defense and special teams have to be addressed on a week-by-week basis, lose or win.

“As you look at the tape it’s never as good as you think it is and never as bad as you think it is. There’s a lot of times where you’re a lot closer than you thought you were, and that was true with us defensively,” Beaty maintained. “Just a few technique things here, a few technique things there. Our coaches are doing a good job of continuing to rolodex and continue to find schemes that fit our guys the best they can. We do have some young guys in that back end. We have a bunch of new guys back there (in the secondary). And those guys are learning to play together and mesh together. And our guys are working really hard to get that thing solved and fixed, and we’ve got to do it pretty quickly, because we’ve got a great opponent coming in here this week.”

Comments

John Fitzgerald 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The most daunting stat I've seen about KU football was a post by Edward Daub on a different article.

"One other note from the Game Rosters. Ohio has over 70 Red shirts on their roster (Yes 70!). KU (due to lack of depth) about 7?."

Dennis Mahorney 2 months, 3 weeks ago

David Beat "There’s a lot of times where you’re a lot closer than you thought you were, and that was true with us defensively,” Beaty maintained. “Just a few technique things here, a few technique things there...... Of West Virginia, " Very talented. Very explosive,” KU head coach David Beaty said... "Ka’Raun White (14 catches, two TDs) “can run as fast as a dag-gum Ferrari" and finally these words of wisdom.... "Issues on offense, defense and special teams have to be addressed on a week-by-week basis, lose or win.".. You can't beat Dag-gum wisdom like that!.. Hoooweee!

Bob Bailey 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Hope the coach WVU pulls the plug at about 10 touchdowns!

Ryan Shelton 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I wouldn't count on it. So many pollsters only look at the final score. The days of calling off the dogs are over.

Jason Musick 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I think there is some kind of Big 12 Rule where you can't destroy a team in your own conference.

Ryan Shelton 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I don't want to be a Debbie Downer, but we're in last place in the conference, giving up 34 points a game to MAC competition and SEMO. If we don't get our secondary woes fixed, that average is going to blossom to around 50.

Jason Musick 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I am thinking the West Virginia coach will tell his Quarterback not to throw to any wide open receivers this week. He will challenge his QB to through to receivers that are covered. This will keep the score down and keep the first string in longer.

Chris DeWeese 2 months, 3 weeks ago

It wasn't that long ago we beat WVa at home (2013), so it can be done. Realistically, do I think it'll happen this Saturday? Not really, but I do hope the players give 'em heck.

Jason Musick 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Wasn't Clint Bowen the HC for that game?

Bryce Landon 2 months, 3 weeks ago

No, Charlie Weis was. It was the only Big 12 game he ever won; he was fired after getting shut out by Texas in the 2014 Big 12 opener. Clint Bowen, however, was the interim head coach for KU's only conference win of the 2014 season, at home against an Iowa State team that will finish winless in conference play in Paul Rhoads' next to last season with the Cyclones.

Austin Lopez 2 months, 3 weeks ago

So ESPN has this new weekly write up called Bottom 10, guess where they crack jokes on the 10 worst teams of the week, good thing we dodged a bullet this week even though only a few of the jokes on this weeks write up was funny. Guess who is on the waiting list for cracked jokes this week? You have guessed, Kansas. Boy are we going end up on that joking list this week.

David Kemp 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Yeah it is almost as bad as when we were tied by the armadillos by a girl who kicked the fg

Chris DeWeese 2 months, 3 weeks ago

It's not new. KU was on it all last year and the year before.

Freddie Garza 2 months, 3 weeks ago

We've got 'em right where we want 'em, I tell ya!

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