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Kansas working on replacing false starts with better football smarts

Kansas offensive lineman Andru Tovi (77) and Kansas offensive lineman Mesa Ribordy work to push aside Ohio defensive lineman Will Evans (51) and Ohio linebacker Quentin Poling (32) as Kansas quarterback Peyton Bender (7) looks to throw during the first quarter on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio.

Kansas offensive lineman Andru Tovi (77) and Kansas offensive lineman Mesa Ribordy work to push aside Ohio defensive lineman Will Evans (51) and Ohio linebacker Quentin Poling (32) as Kansas quarterback Peyton Bender (7) looks to throw during the first quarter on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio. by Nick Krug

Since he took on the monumental challenge of trying to turn around the Kansas football program, David Beaty stated the goal of his team being the smartest in America. By that, he means not turning it over and not piling up undisciplined penalties. So far, not so good.

In the 56-34 loss to West Virginia in the Big 12 opener, both KU starting guards, junior Andru Tovi and sophomore Chris Hughes, both of whom received plaudits for their run-blocking, were flagged for a pair of false-start penalties.

How did that happen?

“There is a rule in our rulebook that you're not able to simulate the snap on the other side of the field,” Beaty said. “You're not able to simulate a snap count.”

But if you walk up to the border of what’s considered simulating a snap count by shifting bodies and yelling instructions to each other in such a way as to sound a little like a snap count, you can get away with it without drawing a flag. If you’re really skilled at it, it might even result in a flag on a fooled offensive lineman.

“There's a lot of philosophy across the country defensively of shifting and moving and there can be some times where you're shifting and moving and you're seeing things and it could be something that's very close to being illegal,” Beaty said. “It's been happening quite a bit, right? I wouldn't say that I'm upset with the way that it's been called, but it's a challenge, and the thing is, we work on that. There is no excuse. We know that the philosophy across the country is people want to do that to try to draw you off and we're not going to make excuses because we work that. We work shift calls, we work move calls all the time, because we know that's absolutely something that happens.”

In short, defenses have been smarter than KU’s offensive linemen in working around the borders of the rulebook.

“It all comes down to that. When those guys come off and we talk to them about what caused it, it's communication on the other side of the ball,” Beaty said. “It's sudden movement, communications that are happening and we know it, and we work it. It shouldn't happen.”

The Kansas O-linemen are marked men now, so opponents no doubt will look to turn up the deceptive practice of simulating a snap count subtly.

"Every team we play does it," Beaty said. "You'll see them shifting and moving all the time. I would imagine after they see something like that, I would do it. But (Texas Tech defensive coordinator David) Gibbs, he's going to do it. Three-down front, four-down front. It's a common way to do it. But people across the country are all dealing with the same thing, and they're not jumping off sides. No excuse. We've got to be more disciplined, right?"

Right.

Reply 1 comment from Jayhawkinaustin

Should the Jayhawks run or should they pass vs. Texas Tech?

Kansas running back Khalil Herbert (10) takes off on a touchdown run past Ohio safety Kylan Nelson (23) during the second quarter on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio.

Kansas running back Khalil Herbert (10) takes off on a touchdown run past Ohio safety Kylan Nelson (23) during the second quarter on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio. by Nick Krug

Kansas has a good shot to score at least 30 points in a game for a third consecutive week for the first time since doing so in each of the first six games of the 2009 season.

The question then becomes whether Kansas travels primarily by ground or air vs. a Texas Tech defense that ranks 111th in the nation with 454.8 total yards allowed per game. (Kansas is 118th with 482).

The teams' hurry-up offenses are partially responsible for the defenses giving up so many yards. Viewing the average yards allowed per play paints a more accurate picture of a defense’s efficiency.

The Red Raiders defend the run (3.74 yards, 52nd in the nation) better than the pass (7.4, 83rd). So KU should try to pass its way to the end zone, right? Not so fast.

The Jayhawks rank 43rd in the nation with 4.93 yards per rush and 86th with 6.8 yards per pass play.

KU sophomore Khalil Herbert, coming off a 291-yard rushing effort in a loss to West Virginia, ranks 29th in the nation with an average of 7.55 yards per carry.

If Tech can bottle up the running game and prevent Herbert from springing free up the middle for big gains the way he did against West Virginia, look for passes to fill the air all day Saturday for the 11 a.m. kickoff.

Of the nation’s 130 FBS schools, only five have allowed more passing yards per game than Kansas (309.5) and Texas Tech (309.8).

KU has allowed 12 touchdown passes in four games and has just two interceptions. The Red Raiders have given up nine passing touchdowns and have five interceptions.

Tech ranks third in the nation, behind UCLA and Washington State, with an average of 410.8 passing yards, Kansas 18th with 306.8.

Red Raiders senior quarterback Nic Shimonek averages 394.5 passing yards (second to UCLA’s Josh Rosen) and has thrown 12 touchdowns and two interceptions.

KU junior Peyton Bender ranks 14th with 306.8 and has seven touchdowns and seven picks. Shimonek is no stranger to Kansas.

A 6-foot-3, 225-pound native of Corsicana, Texas, relieved injured Patrick Mahomes last season in Lubbock in the third quarter of a 55-19 victory in which the Red Raiders outscored KU, 27-0, with Shimonek standing in the shotgun. He completed 15 of 21 passes for 271 yards and four touchdowns and did not throw an interception.

So there is no mystery as to how Tech will attack, especially given the inexperience of KU’s secondary. The Red Raiders average just 3.93 yards per carry and 125.75 rushing yards a game. Best guess as to Tech's defensive strategy: Load up to try to stop Herbert and force Kansas to try to win it in the air.

Reply 5 comments from Cmdradama Dirk Medema Michael Maris Jmfitz85

Khalil Herbert rushed for 291 yards and didn’t win Big 12 weekly honor

Kansas running back Khalil Herbert (10) tries to break away from the West Virginia defense during the first quarter on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas running back Khalil Herbert (10) tries to break away from the West Virginia defense during the first quarter on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

Kansas sophomore running back Khalil Herbert didn't land Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honors, even though he rushed for 131 more yards than did TCU's Darius Anderson (three touchdowns, plus four receptions for 41 yards), presumably getting the nod because the Horned Frogs scored the most impressive victory of the week, 44-31, in Stillwater vs. favored Oklahoma State.

Tough break for Herbert, whose effort came in a 56-34 loss to West Virginia, but the talent Herbert showed suggests he'll win the award, perhaps multiple times, before his career is over.

Herbert's was the third-best rushing yardage total in KU history and the 20th 200-yard-plus rushing performance in Kansas football history. The top 20:

Name, Class
Yards Opponent Date
1 - Tony Sands, Sr.
396 Missouri 11-23-91
2 - Nolan Cromwell, Jr.
294 Oregon State
9-27-75
3 - Khalil Herbert, So.
291 West Virginia
9-25-17
4 - Gale Sayers, So.
283 Oklahoma State
10-27-62
5 - David Winbush, So.
268 Colorado 10-24-98
6 - Wade Stinson, Jr.
239 Utah 11-04-50
7 - June Henley, Fr.
237 Iowa State
10-16-93
8 - Laverne Smith, Jr.
236 Missouri 11-22-75
9 - Reggie Duncan, So.
227 Texas Tech
10-06-01
10 - June Henley, Sr.
226 Iowa State
11-02-96
11 - L.T. Levine, Jr.
221 Missouri 11-19-94
12 - Tony Sands, So.
217 Kansas State
10-28-89
13 - June Henley, Sr./
Kerwin Bell, Fr.
216 Utah/K-State 9-28-96/11-1-80
15 - Tony Sands, So.
215 Missouri 11-18-89
16 - James Sims, Sr.
211 West Virginia
11-16-13
17 - June Henley, Sr.
209 Texas
11-16-96
18 - Tony Pierson, So.
202 Texas Tech
11-10-12
19 - Jon Cornish, Sr./June Henley, Sr.
201 Kansas State/TCU
11-18-06/9-14/96
Source: Kansas football media guide
Reply 12 comments from Tom Keegan Greg Ledom Kent Gaylor Dale Rogers Jmfitz85 Dirk Medema Andy Godwin Michael Maris Brett McCabe Dego88

Zach Hannon transforms from Missouri Tigers fan to Kansas Jayhawks blocker

KU offensive lineman Zach Hannon

KU offensive lineman Zach Hannon

Then a junior at Rockhurst High, Kansas offensive lineman Zach Hannon sat in the stands and watched Tyshawn Taylor score nine of his 24 points in overtime to lead the Jayhawks to an 87-86 victory against Missouri in the final game between the bitter rivals.

Hannon watched with Montell Cozart, Ben Johnson and other recruits. He watched Kansas whittle away at Missouri’s 19-point lead. He watched and he stewed.

“It was so tough for me not to cheer for Missouri,” Hannon said. “I was trying to keep my mouth shut."

It’s a shame late Kansas football player and coach Don Fambrough was not around to see what the coach would have considered Hannon’s transformation from foolish teenager to wise, young husband and father.

“I never thought I’d be a Jayhawk because both of my parents and my grandma were Tigers,” Hannon said. “I actually grew up hating KU, but my parents love it for me and I love it.” For one thing, he’s getting to play. He watched others play during his four years at Nebraska before coming to Kansas as a graduate transfer.

Hannon earned his roster spot in Saturday’s loss at Ohio. It became increasingly evident that sophomore right tackle Antione Frazier needs more seasoning, so offensive line coach Zach Yenser turned to Hannon early in the game and the former Cornhusker gave a credible performance, especially for someone who had not played tackle since high school.

His reps throughout fall camp all came at guard and he just moved to tackle during last week’s practices.

At not quite 6-foot-4, 315 pounds and not blessed with particularly long arms, Hannon is built more like a guard.

“Definitely a little bit different,” Hannon said of playing without his hand on the ground. “It’s fun when you’re out on an island like they call it. It’s just you one-on-one against the D-end and you get an opportunity to show what you’ve got.”

Hannon’s not fast but has better footwork than his body type might suggest. He attributes that to playing lacrosse from a young age. His father, Tim Hannon, is on the lacrosse coaching staff at Rockhurst High.

“So even though I’m a shorter, heavier dude, I still can keep up because I have the feet,” Hannon said.

He’s atop the depth chart, expected to make his first college O-line start Saturday vs. West Virginia at Memorial Stadium, 11 a.m. kickoff.

So far, transfer Charles Baldwin has done a much better job of working himself into the coach’s doghouse than out of it — he was not in uniform the past two games — but remains KU’s most talented option at right tackle. Even if Baldwin eventually earns the job, Hannon will supply valuable depth at multiple positions.

Hannon said no to Charlie Weis out of high school and yes to Beaty when Texas Tech and Nevada recruited him as a graduate transfer.

“One of the reasons I wanted to play close to home was my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer,” Hannon said.

So even when he didn’t play in the first two games, he said he was “extremely grateful. I wouldn’t exchange this experience for anything, and as of Monday we found out my dad is cancer-free, so God is good. Everything is going great.”

He said his father underwent 49 sessions of radiation and described him as “a fighter, man. He’s always been a very positive role model, a great example of the type of man that I want to be, the type of father that I want to be, the type of husband that I want to be. I’m just very blessed to have him as a father."

Hannon and receiver Ryan Schadler are the only married players on the KU roster. Hannon and wife Jennifer, who “started talking,” as freshmen in high school, per Zach, have a 2-year-old daughter, Harper.

“My daughter’s a blessing,” Hannon said. “She came at a perfect time. She helped me and my wife through so many different things. When the coaching change happened, I was starting to get upset with my playing time, then I would come home and see her. “Then when I found out about my father being sick, whenever she was in the room with my parents or Jennifer’s parents, she just lights up the room. She definitely has her grandparents wrapped around her finger.”

Hannon has taken over at right tackle for the moment, junior-college transfer Andru Tovi at left guard, two friends ascending on the depth chart at the same time. Tovi calls Hannon, “Old Man.”

“After practices, I’m not as young as I used to be, so you can catch me limping off the field,” Hannon said. “They tell me I need a cane.”

He doesn’t need one of those yet, but he did need a chance. He came to a place where one was available and he made the most of his first shot at the age of 23.

Reply 1 comment from John Brazelton

Baylor has become the game to circle on Kansas football calendar

Kansas head coach David Beaty, right, screams from the sidelines during the third quarter on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio.

Kansas head coach David Beaty, right, screams from the sidelines during the third quarter on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio. by Nick Krug

Kansas head coach David Beaty, in his third season of trying to build something out of the rubble left him, went out of his way to praise the school's football fan base at his weekly press conference.

"I would just say that we've got unbelievable fans," Beaty said. "They've been patient. We certainly appreciate it. There's no doubt about that. But the plan is a great plan. We believe in it. We know it will work. There's no doubt in our mind."

During the offseason, Beaty underrated the importance of experience and physical maturity and talked in a way that made many believe he tought a bowl game was possible this season. Reality has set in.

"We've got some young guys," Beaty said. "We're not going to use that as an excuse. You know what, we've got some young dudes. Probably 53 percent or more of our roster that we traveled with the other day were sophomores or juniors. Only three of them, three of those guys were redshirt juniors in Joe (Dineen), and Keith (Loneker), guys like that. You're talking about there's a lot of youth there."

Young doesn't necessarily mean eventually good. Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn't. You can guess which side Beaty stands on with that one.

"I would say that the future looks bright," Beaty said. "The good thing is we're 1-2. That's where we're at. There's a bunch of teams out there that are 1-2. I would just say, Hey, listen, don't make it more than it is."

Beaty didn't mean that 1-2 is a good record when the only victory came against Southeast Missouri State, an FCS program, followed by a pair of losses to MAC schools Central Michigan and Ohio. He meant that 75 percent of the season remains and it's too early to tune out.

"We've got a great opportunity this Saturday against West Virginia," Beaty said. "Show up. Be there. Bring five friends. Let's get after 'em."

At this point, KU probably needs to show something on the field for that fan-recruiting talk to resonate. As is the only appropriate focus for a football coach, Beaty's attention remains trained on the next game, against a team blessed with a quarterback, Florida transfer Will Grier, well-armed to shred the Jayhawks' secondary.

I like the "bring five friends," pitch though. And if every KU student who goes to KU football games talks five friends into coming to one game, the more time she or he has to make that pitch, the better. So it's not difficult to know which game on the brutal Big 12 schedule is the best one for KU fans to circle if they can make it to just one game this season: Baylor.

The beleaguered Bears visit Memorial Stadium on Nov. 4, which we'll call, "Bring Five Friends Day." Baylor has lost to Turner Gill-coached Liberty, 48-45, UT-San Antonio, 17-10, and at Duke, 34-20.

Circle it, bring five friends, and in the event that Kansas should win, know that you had a part in what very well could be a victory that keeps the Jayhawks out of last place, a sign of progress.

Reply 12 comments from Tom Keegan Jhawki78 John Brazelton Brock Wells Jmfitz85 Brett McCabe Chrisdeweese Oldjayhawkjack Titus Canby

Peyton Bender a little better than so-so so far

Kansas quarterback Peyton Bender (7) is driven to the turf by Ohio linebacker Dylan Conner (35) and Ohio linebacker Quentin Poling (32) during the third quarter on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio.

Kansas quarterback Peyton Bender (7) is driven to the turf by Ohio linebacker Dylan Conner (35) and Ohio linebacker Quentin Poling (32) during the third quarter on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio. by Nick Krug

Any time a team loses football games by significant margins human nature dictates that most of the time analyzing the outcome focuses on what factors contributed to the loss.

In the case of Peyton Bender, it’s easy to pinpoint the negatives. First, he throws too many interceptions, five in three games to be exact. Second, he does a poor job of recognizing blitzes, a weakness that contributes to him being sacked too many times, eight to be exact.

But head coach David Beaty isn’t just being nice when he follows up talking about those deficiencies by saying that Bender is “doing some really good things.” He’s right about that.

Bender has shown toughness in making throws while taking hits. He’s also zipped a number of passes into small windows and as offensive coordinator Doug Meacham pointed out, when Bender doesn’t miss by a mile, he’s an accurate thrower.

The fact Bender hits so many receivers every game suggests that he does a nice job of going through his progressions and finding the right target.

He seems to be developing nice chemistry with Evan Fairs, a 6-foot-3, 195-pound sophomore who knows how to attack the ball. Keep an eye on Fairs. He's a keeper and so is Chase Harrell.

Let's look at Bender's numbers, before doing so, I’ll issue a qualifier by saying that I agree with Vin Scully, the friendly retired Dodgers broadcaster, who once said: “Statistics are used much like a drunk uses a lamppost: for support, not illumination.”

Here goes: Kansas ranks 12th in the nation in passing yardage with 343.3 yards per game. The rest of the numbers are less impressive and more illuminating. Bender completes 58.2 percent of his passes and he has one more touchdown pass (six) than his interception total.

Bender's not the problem, but can develop into part of the solution.

So far, not great, but not so bad either.

Reply 10 comments from John Brazelton Bob Bailey Tom Keegan Bville Hawk Eastbayhawk Lcjayhawk Catsandwich Jhawki78 Chrisdeweese Joe Ross

Kansas receiver Ryan Schadler back playing sport he loves most

Kansas freshman Ryan Schadler returns a kick in the Jayhawks' 23-17 loss to TCU on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in Fort Worth, Texas.

Kansas freshman Ryan Schadler returns a kick in the Jayhawks' 23-17 loss to TCU on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in Fort Worth, Texas. by Richard Gwin

As is the case with much of the Kansas roster, junior slot receiver Ryan Schadler didn’t have any Div. I football scholarship offers when he played his final high school game.

Schadler had more options than most, but no Div. I football offers.

Selected 4A state player of the year after rushing for 2,541 yards and 42 touchdowns, Schadler had a slew of Div. II offers from which to choose. One of four players to average more than 12 points a game on Hesston High’s 26-0 4A state-champion basketball squad, he was recruited to play guard by many junior colleges and NAIA schools, including Baker University.

State champion in the 400 meters and long jump and state runner-up in the 100 and 200 meters as a senior, Schadler ultimately chose to accept a partial scholarship to run for nearby Wichita State.

“I decided to give up football and focus on track,” Schadler said. “I thought it would be better for my body. But when I got there I just missed football way too much. Right when football season began I said, ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ It was killing me.”

So he asked for and eventually was granted his release from Wichita State, which does not have a football program. He and his high school coaches became pro-active in trying to drum up interest in him as a football player by sending video of his high school highlights.

He said he was on the verge of committing to Missouri State, but it was then that coach Terry Allen was fired.

“Then I was about to commit to Pitt State to be a dual-sport athlete in track and football,” Schadler said. “Then the next day Clint Bowen called me on my head coach’s phone and said “We want you to be part of our team. He’s big on Kansas kids and that’s something I really value in him. You see the guys 90 miles down the road doing it well for years now and it’s really cool how he’s helped Kansas with that.”

Since scientists haven’t yet figured out how to clone human beings, Schadler won’t be playing for Bowen. Otherwise, he might be a safety. Offensive coordinator Doug Meacham is happy to have Schadler in his stable of receivers, even though he’s new to it and needs reps before mastering the nuances of the position.

It was Meacham who suggested to head coach David Beaty that Schadler convert from running back to receiver.

Schadler already made a positive impact in KU’s second game of the season. He not only ran 33 yards for a touchdown on a double reverse and returned a kickoff 46 yards against Central Michigan, he also caught six passes for 60 yards.

“I do have a lot to work on and I feel like I’m getting a lot more comfortable,” said Schadler, who missed last season after undergoing offseason abdominal surgery to address a birth defect that led to excruciating pain. “The first game, especially after my injury, I was a little anxious and I probably wasn’t thinking as much as I should during plays. The last game I felt more comfortable.”

Beaty has coached receivers for much of his career and likes Schadler’s ceiling at the position. “There are still some things that as you go through the tape, you’re like, ‘OK, he hasn’t played that position yet.’ . . . He’s getting better every week," Beaty said. "He improved greatly (from first game to second).”

Meacham said he shrunk the number of plays he used Schadler on and put tight end Ben Johnson in the slot more often, so as not to give Schadler too much too soon.

“We made the volume of things he needed to know a little smaller,” Meacham said. “There are some little things he’s still trying to figure out. It’s really just coverage read things. It’s not the actually running in a particular route, it’s how you run it into this or that (coverage), where you go. So we try to put him in there when we know he’s going to know.”

That Schadler’s first touchdown run happened to cover 33 yards gave it an eerie quality. He has worn No. 33 his entire life and when he had his surgery, his mother, Donna Schadler, said that when she saw his patient number was 33 that made her feel as if everything would turn out fine.

Schadler was born with a malrotation of his small and large intestines and his appendix. “It’s still twisted up, but it doesn’t affect me because they cut the strands that were really long and twisting around,” Schadler said. “My intestines are still in the wrong spot.”

Yet, he’s still on the football field, which he is convinced is the absolute right spot for him to showcase his athleticism. His two autumns away from the sport, one to focus on track, one to recover from surgery, hammered home what he already knew, that football is his favorite sport.

Reply 2 comments from Dego88 Koolkeithfreeze

Kansas defensive line coach Jesse Williams liked discipline he saw during recruiting visit to KU

Kansas defensive line coach Jesse Williams flashes a smile during spring football practice on Thursday, March 30, 2017.

Kansas defensive line coach Jesse Williams flashes a smile during spring football practice on Thursday, March 30, 2017. by Nick Krug

First-year Kansas defensive line coach Jesse Williams didn’t see a strong performance from the Jayhawks when he visited Lawrence last season as part of Frank Solich’s Ohio staff, but he decided to make the move anyway.

Ohio defeated Kansas 37-21 at Memorial Stadium after jumping to a 25-0 lead. Kansas managed just 21 yards in total offense in the first half in that one. The Jayhawks never drew closer than 10 points.

So why did Williams make the move?

“I definitely saw it as a program on the rise,” Williams said during the summer. “When I was able to come on my visit, you saw the discipline. That locker room was pristine. When I was on my visit I toured it three times: before a workout, after a workout, on the tour. Not one time was something on the ground, so you knew there was discipline within the room. You knew there was talent in the room and you knew there were some good coaches in the building. That’s why I felt like it was on the rise.”

That discipline hasn’t shown on the field yet as Kansas continues to turn it over too often and draw costly penalties, but Williams didn’t expect the program to turn around overnight.

Reply 7 comments from Dirk Medema Jmfitz85 John Gorski Titus Canby Joe Ross Chrisdeweese

Kansas losingest FBS program of this decade

Kansas head coach David Beaty gives a pat on the back to Kansas wide receiver LaQuvionte Gonzalez (1) after Gonzalez fumbled a punt during the second quarter on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas head coach David Beaty gives a pat on the back to Kansas wide receiver LaQuvionte Gonzalez (1) after Gonzalez fumbled a punt during the second quarter on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

Third-year Kansas football coach David Beaty lost some followers with Saturday's loss to Central Michigan, but his team hasn't lost him as a believer. Beaty remains bullish on the Jayhawks.

"We're still a good football team," Beaty said Tuesday at his weekly presser. "That's the thing I'm excited about. We're still a good football team. Nothing's changed."

Nothing has changed, but Kansas hasn't been a good football team since last decade. In fact, nobody in the FBS has been worse than KU this decade in terms of W's and L's.

Staring at 10 games in which it will be the underdog, unless favored against Baylor in Lawrence, the Kansas football program doesn't stand a chance of climbing out of last place among all FBS schools this decade any time soon.

Two games into the eighth season of the decade, KU has a .174 winning percentage. New Mexico State is next worst with a .207 mark.

If KU (1-1) somehow still can squeeze two more victories out of the schedule, it will remain in last place, even if New Mexico State goes winless for the rest of the season.

Turner Gill (.217 winning percentage at KU), hired by Lew Perkins to replace ousted Mark Mangino (.510), coached the first two seasons of the decade. Sheahon Zenger hires Charlie Weis, interim Clint Bowen and third-year coach David Beaty have combined for a .161 winning percentage.

These are facts, which makes them slanted neither positively nor negatively. Cold, hard facts.

Here's how the 20 losingest FBS football programs of this decade have fared:

School
Record Pct. Current HC (rec.)
1- Kansas
15-71 .174 David Beaty (3-23)
2- New Mexico State
18-69 .207 Doug Martin (11-39)
3 - UNLV
23-67 .256 Tony Sanchez (8-18)
4- Florida Atlantic
23-63 .267 Lane Kiffin (0-2)
5 - Eastern Michigan
24-63 .276 Chris Creighton (12-27)
6- Idaho
25-62 .287 Paul Petrino (16-34)
7 - Tulane
26-62 .295 Willie Fritz (5-9)
8 - Purdue
27-61 .307 Jeff Brohm (1-1)
9 - Akron
27-60 .310 Terry Bowden (24-38)
10 - Iowa State
29-59 .330 Matt Campbell (4-10)
11t - Miami (Ohio)
30-59 .337 Chuck Martin (12-27)
11t - New Mexico
30-59 .337 Bob Davie (28-37)
11t - Buffalo
29-57
.337
Lance Leipold (7-19)
14 - Colorado
31-59
.344
Mike McIntyre (22-31)
15 - Virginia
30-57
.345 Bronco Mendenhall (3-11)
16 - Army
31-57 .352 Jeff Monken (16-23)
17t - Indiana
32-56 .364 Tom Allen (1-1)
17t - UTEP
32-56 .364 Sean Kugler (18-33)
19t - North Texas
36-58 .383 Seth Littrell (6-9)
19t - Hawaii
36-58 .383 Nick Rolovich (9-8)

Georgia State (10-40) and Massachusetts (10-53) did not qualify for this list because they moved up from the FCS in mid-decade. UAB (19-43) also was not included because it discontinued its football program for a couple of seasons.

Reply 29 comments from Joe Ross Bryan Mohr Brian_leslie Table_rock_jayhawk Jayhawkinaustin Larrym Catsandwich Realisthawk Layne Pierce Brett McCabe and 11 others

Offensive line disappoints in loss to Central Michigan

Kansas quarterback Peyton Bender (7) passes while under pressure from the CMU defense during the Jayhawks game against Central Michigan Saturday, Sept. 9 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas quarterback Peyton Bender (7) passes while under pressure from the CMU defense during the Jayhawks game against Central Michigan Saturday, Sept. 9 at Memorial Stadium. by Mike Yoder

The most obvious difference in performance when comparing units from Central Michigan of the Mid-American Conference and Kansas from the Big 12 came at offensive line.

The Chippewas' O-line held KU’s talented front four in check and didn’t allow a sack. KU linebacker Joe Dineen was the only one credited with a quarterback hurry.

Kansas did a decent job against the run (3.5 yards per carry), but thanks in part to sound pass protection and his mobility, lefty quarterback Shane Morris shredded KU’s overmatched, green secondary for 467 passing yards and five touchdowns without throwing an interception.

In contrast, Peyton Bender was under fire all day, largely because of breakdowns on the right side of the line, where tackle Antione Frazier showed his inexperience.

How can a MAC O-line be so much better than one from the Big 12?

The biggest factor is experience. To what degree making the right decisions in recruiting also is a factor will play out in coming seasons as we learn how KU’s young blockers develop.

Central Michigan started four fifth-year seniors who were all high school recruits who were part of the Class of 2013 and redshirted in 2013. A third-year sophomore started at left guard.

Conversely, Kansas started a true sophomore at left tackle, a third-year senior at left guard, a third-year sophomore at center, a true sophomore at right guard and a second-year freshman at right tackle.

Head coach David Beaty and offensive line coach Zach Yenser expressed confidence throughout camp that the line had made big strides from a year ago. It didn’t show Saturday, at least not in the area of pass protection.

It will be interesting to see if any shakeup is in store, heading into Saturday’s game at Ohio.

Charles Baldwin, dismissed from Alabama’s program after spending one spring with the Crimson Tide, has not earned playing time yet at right tackle. If he hasn’t earned it and Yenser determines Frazier needs more seasoning, no obvious place to turn is available.

Backup junior right guard Larry Hughes played right tackle as a freshman, so that’s an option.

A more drastic step would involve putting fourth-year senior Jacob Bragg at center and moving Mesa Ribordy to right tackle, where he never has played. That alignment at least would have KU’s most talented, smartest blockers at the tackle spot with Hakeem Adeniji at left tackle.

Shifting backup left tackle Clyde McCauley to starting right tackle also could be tried. Or, Yenser could decide to keep the line in tact and hope that all Frazier needs to hold his own are game reps.

Heading into the season, I thought the O-line was a year away, but based on Saturday’s performance, that projection seems a little optimistic. There is no rushing the development of offensive linemen.

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