What was shaping up as a potentially disappointing year for preseason All-Big 12 running back Pooka Williams Jr. came to an abrupt end on Monday, as the Kansas junior announced he would be opting out of the remainder of the 2020 season.
The winless Kansas football team found a new way to lose in 2020 on Saturday in Manhattan. In earlier games this season, it had been KU’s offense or defense — or both — that did the Jayhawks in. But during the Sunflower Showdown, the Jayhawks’ special teams no-showed and took the majority of the blame in a 55-14 rout.
According to Kansas football head coach Les Miles, the Jayhawks are expecting to have running back Pooka Williams back on the roster in 2021.
Kansas State scored on two different punt returns and added a pick-six for good measure in a 55-14 win over Kansas Saturday afternoon.
Follow along during the game with our crew and the KUsports.com community.
Ideally, upon losing arguably the most important skill player on the roster earlier this week, the Kansas football team would be able to ease into life without running back Pooka Williams by leaning on its veteran receivers and the passing game. However, the Jayhawks’ lack of any consistency at quarterback and struggles along the offensive line make that a risky venture.
With the early signing period a little less than two months away, the Kansas football program added another receiving prospect to its upcoming recruiting class.
Speaking in a public forum for the first time since Pooka Williams opted out of the rest of the season, Kansas football coach Les Miles said Wednesday night on his “Hawk Talk” radio show that the running back made a “great decision” given the circumstances.
Perhaps Miles Kendrick won’t start for Kansas in the upcoming Sunflower Showdown after all. KU football coach Les Miles was back to his old tricks on his “Hawk Talk” radio show Wednesday night, speaking in vague terms while discussing the quarterback position.
If ever there was a time for an opponent to look past the Kansas football team, it’s this week. The Jayhawks are winless. Their star running back just opted out of the season. And even with Pooka Williams, KU averaged just 261.3 yards per game (75th in the country, out of 77 FBS teams that have played) and 15.3 points (74th) during its 0-4 start.
While Les Miles observed his Kansas football team from afar this past weekend, the recuperating head coach enjoyed watching the defense perform, especially during the first half at West Virginia. “There was a lot of pass breakups,” Miles recalled earlier this week of one aspect of KU’s play that encouraged him as he isolated one final day due to his COVID-19 diagnosis. “There was a lot of action around the ball.”
Though Pooka Williams opting out of the remainder of the 2020 schedule may seem like a death knell to some, at least one person close to the program thinks the Jayhawks can manage the blow, because of the presence of Williams’ backup, sophomore Velton Gardner.
The Kansas football program’s 2021 recruiting class lost a prospect for the second time this month on Monday night, when offensive lineman Edgar Amaya announced he was backing out of his commitment.
Les Miles and his Kansas football assistants might not until later in the week have a clearer picture regarding the Jayhawks’ quarterback situation for their upcoming rivalry game at Kansas State. But one thing was for sure as of Monday: junior Miles Kendrick is in line to start.
Les Mies has basically seen it all in his 200-plus games as a head college football coach. But the 66-year-old was out of his element this past Saturday, when his Kansas football team kicked off a road game at West Virginia, and Miles was some 900 miles away, back at home watching the game play out on his television.