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Monday, October 4, 2021

Bye week should be a busy one for Lance Leipold and KU football team

Kansas head coach Lance Leipold leads his team onto the field against Coastal Carolina in an NCAA college football game in Conway, S.C., Friday, Sept. 10, 2021. Coastal Carolina won 49-22. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

Kansas head coach Lance Leipold leads his team onto the field against Coastal Carolina in an NCAA college football game in Conway, S.C., Friday, Sept. 10, 2021. Coastal Carolina won 49-22. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

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There’s no game on the schedule this week for the Kansas football team, but head coach Lance Leipold and his staff have a long list of plans and tasks to accomplish, with the Jayhawks on a four-game losing streak.

“We’ve got a lot of balls in the air,” Leipold said of the days ahead, with some extra time available during the bye week and his team not playing again until Oct. 16, when Texas Tech comes to Lawrence.

Leipold said following KU’s 52-point loss at Iowa State on Saturday that the coaches already had this off week mapped out “before the score of this game or anything else,” and the staff knew what needed to be addressed. As disappointing as this latest defeat may have been for the coaches, he added, it wouldn’t change their to-do lists.

“You don’t coach mad. You don’t modify. You look at some different things you can do to improve on,” he said. “But it’s not like you’re going to drastically change everything you do, because otherwise you’re just grasping at straws.”

Although Leipold and the former Buffalo assistant coaches who followed him to KU may have been tempted to have full-blown practices every day this week, given they’ve been playing catchup since coming in after spring football already had concluded, Leipold said that wasn’t the best option.

“You’ve got to remember: they did have spring practice,” the head coach said of the players. “There is a mental part of this. There is a physical part of this for them to be healthy. So we have to be smart.”

The staff, which also will be able to get out and do some recruiting this week, plans to look closely at various aspects of the team and where the Jayhawks (1-4 overall, 0-2 Big 12) are at this stage of the first season of Leipold’s rebuilding project.

The coach said, unlike most weeks, the Jayhawks wouldn’t practice on Monday, instead using their time that day to meet, watch video and go over corrections. Part of having an open week, Leipold said, also involves trying “to get healthy,” as some players are dealing with nagging injuries and/or soreness. That’s why the Jayhawks get an extra day of rest before practicing Tuesday through Thursday.

In some ways, this week’s practices will look a little more like what the Jayhawks did during preseason sessions in August. Some of the younger players who aren’t counted on during games will get opportunities for increased reps, Leipold said.

Another benefit of not having a game looming is the Jayhawks can add to their play book, too. Offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki said he’ll be able to install “a few more things” that the offense didn’t have time to get to during preseason practices.

Obviously the Jayhawks can’t just take a break and press pause for a week, Kotelnicki added, “because we need to view it as more of an opportunity for us to grow.”

The O.C.’s bye week agenda includes a thorough self scout of KU’s offense, to evaluate what the players are doing well and ways they need to improve, as well as what’s working and what isn’t from a play-calling perspective.

“We have a better understanding (now) of our players and our personnel,” Kotelnicki said.

KU defensive coordinator Brian Borland described the bye week as an ideal time for the players to get back to some fundamentals.

Borland also said the practices will allow some of the younger players to continue their development, with more reps than they get during a game week.

Plus, Borland said the defense can get a head start on some of its preparation for Texas Tech (4-1, 1-1).

“We’ve got a lot to work on. We just do. And we all know it,” Borland said. “We’ve just got to keep harping on those kind of things on a daily basis. And drill them and coach them and point things out off of film. Correct ourselves, try to go back out there and do it better the next day. If we can keep doing those things, eventually some of the difficulty we’re having right now will certainly improve.”

Comments

Bryce Landon 3 weeks ago

Everybody has been saying that for years, and yet nothing has changed. The program still sucks as badly as ever. I quit believing four years ago, and I'm happier for it. ON IOWA.

Eliott Reeder 3 weeks ago

Bryce Landon you are a terrible human being and nobody likes you.

Glen Miller 3 weeks ago

You should have stopped coming to this site 4 years ago as well. You're like herpes, you just never go away no matter how hard we try or how much we want you to.

Ashwin Rao 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Is it too late to see who is available in the transfer portal? (Just kidding).

Dirk Medema 3 weeks, 1 day ago

There are probably a few new players jumping into the portal around weeks 3, 4, 5. At least one.

It would be nice to pick up some recruits. Lots of opportunities.

“You don’t coach mad. You don’t modify. You look at some different things you can do to improve on,” he said. “But it’s not like you’re going to drastically change everything you do, because otherwise you’re just grasping at straws.”

I’m with Coach on this one too.

Eliott Reeder 3 weeks ago

To quote the last successful coach we had... just gotta "keep sawing wood".

Layne Pierce 3 weeks ago

We are not the worst team ever, but we are clearly one of the worst teams of the last ten years.

We cannot go on like this forever. There will come a time when even mediocre players wont come.

We also face a terrible future with a football team that none of top 5 conferences would want.

We are on the Bataan death march, and business as usual is just not good enough

We do not have the luxury of taking 5 years , we .must change the perception of our program even faster than the progress of the team.

Use the clock, run it down, shorten the game, use wing or option formations. Put a fullback in, use ne and locklin at same time. Its the perception stupid.

Rcjh

Rodney Schulz 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Unlike the previous coaching hires After the boneheaded chancellor ran Mark Mangino out I believe this coach and his team are the real deal. However, if he can’t get the program to .500 within five years, it really is time for KU to pull the plug on it’s football program and shut it down.

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