Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Low penalties a positive for Weis’ Jayhawks

Kansas head coach Charlie Weis gives lip service to a game official as he disputes a call during the second quarter on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012 at Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla.

Kansas head coach Charlie Weis gives lip service to a game official as he disputes a call during the second quarter on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012 at Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla.


Earlier this season, the Kansas University football team found itself among elite company in the takeaways department.

Although things have leveled off in that area — the Jayhawks recorded 12 takeaways in their first three games but have just five since — Charlie Weis’ first KU team has remained near the top of the country in another crucial area.

Heading into this weekend’s match-up at Baylor — 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Waco, Texas — the Jayhawks are tied for second nationally for fewest penalties. KU has been penalized just 29 times in eight games, good for an average of 3.63 per outing and good enough to keep the company of a few programs known for discipline.

Navy ranks first, with 28 penalties in eight games, and Air Force and Kansas State sit tied with Kansas at 29 total infractions. KU finished 56th in 2011, with 69, and 64th in 2010, with 72.

While the Jayhawks still have four games to play, the improvement they have made in avoiding those shoot-yourself-in-the-foot moments have been a source of pride for Weis.

“It has been one of our points of emphasis from Day One when we identified the things we were going to have to do to be competitive,” Weis said. “One accepted penalty for five yards (KU’s total vs. Texas), that’s a good day at the office.”

Even better than the low total has been the fact that KU has improved as the season has gone along. Nearly half of KU’s total penalties (14 of 29) came during the first three weeks of the season.

The Jayhawks have been whistled for eight false starts, eight holding penalties, four delay-of-game penalties, three personal fouls, two pass-interference calls, two offsides calls, one sideline warning and one illegal block.

KU has committed the same penalty more than once in a game just four times this season, and Weis said there was a reason his squad did not make a habit of becoming repeat offenders.

“We penalize ’em when penalties occur in practice,” he said. “And when practice is over, it’s usually not very pleasant if you had penalties during practice.”

KU-Texas Tech to kick off at 11 a.m.

The Kansas football team’s Nov. 10 road game against Texas Tech will kick off at 11 a.m. and will be televised on FSN, the Big 12 announced Monday.

It will be the fifth straight week that the Jayhawks will have a game televised on FSN.

Kansas will be traveling to Texas Tech for the first time since the 2009 season, when the Jayhawks fell, 42-21. Tech is 12-1 all-time against Kansas, including 5-1 in games played in Lubbock. KU’s lone win in the series, a 34-31 overtime thriller, came in 2001.


David Leathers 9 years, 6 months ago

Just curious as to the penalty yardage for the teams that are tied...

texashawk10 9 years, 6 months ago

KU's 3rd in penalty yards per game at 28.25 yards penalized per game.

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Well, I would be surprised if any of us are happy with a one win (so far) season, but this is pretty much what all of us asked for - to be competitive. We're not getting blown out by 40, 50 , 60 points on a regular basis and, in fact, are holding some very high powered offenses to about half of their average point/yardage totals. So - kudos to the defense, we are making huge strides.

The offense is in dire need of a quarterback and the kicking game is just awful. But - the TV announcers last week spoke very highly of the offensive line and our running game.

So.......sigh..........I'm sorry Charlie. I take back most of the things I've said and thought so far. I guess it actually does take some time to build a program from the ground up.

741hawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for recognizing significant progress. It's tough to be patient, but historically it has taken 3-5 years to turn around a football program. If Charlie can get us some wins next year and a bowl game in his third year . . . I think we should be pleased . . . especially considering what he had to start with.

Cameron Cederlind 9 years, 6 months ago

And by "ground up" you mean buried 30 ft underground . . .

Travis Shinkle 9 years, 6 months ago

Only 30ft? Gill I think buried the program a little further...

John Thomas 9 years, 6 months ago

considering the best players are Gill recruits (Pierson, Cummings, Love, Heeney, etc), it appears that he is giving Weis a jump start on turning this program around.

NebraskaJayhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

I would agree. I don't think he was that bad of a recruiter. I think our O-Line could be improved in the coming years. Gill put a lot of effort into recruiting the O-Line and Martin is one that is already paying dividends. It's just a shame he couldn't coach x's and o's. Weis and Campo have things heading the right way. We're close to winning some games. As much as I dislike Mack Brown, his comment the other day about "we are used to winning" has some merit to it. This Jayhawk squad obviously does not like losing, but I think when they finally start putting up some W's, confidence will grow and they won't want to go down the path we are currently on again.

hotrodm 9 years, 6 months ago

Dear Santa, Give us a kicker for Christmas.

Robert Brock 9 years, 6 months ago

How is it that KU cannot come up with decent kickers. Should be able to find better kickers over at the Pi Phi house.

kureader 9 years, 6 months ago

or, maybe not ... but it's worth a look.

Bville Hawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Back in my day kicking isn't what the Pi Phi's were known for. (Feel free to add your own punch line here...)

Sayers44 9 years, 6 months ago

A person cannot wonder why it took Weis 6- 7 games to bench Crist. We all could see in game #1 that Crist did not have it.

Weis used the excuse that Crist was far better than all the other quarterbacks - not true!. Game after game Crist showed nothing and Wies stuck with him. So I lay the lackluster first part of the season problems on Weis for not making a QB change much earlier.

Cummings ran the plays last week without turning the ball over. He will have to do more than just handoff to beat Baylor. If Cummings cannot do the job then hopefully Weis moves on to the next QB in line and gives him a chance. Hopefully Weis is not going to revert back to Crist, as he is not part of the future.

Bottom line: Wies wasted 1/2 of the season staying with Crist. Wies's lack of judgement has delayed the improvement of the KU offense.

Brad Farha 9 years, 6 months ago

@Sayers44 It's a tough call. My guess is that Weis was concerned that with a young QB and a limited playbook, other teams would have easier time preparing for us. Part of me does wish that he made the change earlier, but none of us see what happens in practice. If Crist outperformed everyone in practice, it's hard not to think that he's just a few plays away from breaking through.

It didn't happen, so I give credit to Weis for making the tough decision.

Jeremy Hays 9 years, 6 months ago


I'm sorry what? First of all I for one didn't think Crist was not great week 1. So I guess I'm not part of "We all." I'm not trying to attack you but Crist looked good in the spring game and early in the season when they had the open practice he looked good then as well. I for one thought he was going to rebound against Rice or TCU or NIU. Maybe I'm the eternal optimist but I thought he could be as good as billed.

Not as far as saying that he didn't change soon enough. If Cummings didn't come in against OSU and have a good game (mostly running the ball) would you have said the same?

I agree that the hype that even I kept spitting out for Crist didn't make him play to that level. However I don't think if you watch this team that ALL of the Offensive woes can be put on Crist and/or Charlie. There are not very good WR, the Right side of the OL is not there yet as far as pass blocking (or least they weren't before Texas and watching early some exotic blitzes eat them up makes me think they still aren't). Why do you think that they ran 40 someodd times and threw 9 times. To protect the QB from making bad decisions? or also because most teams can defend our WRs man to man with only a great pass? maybe both. I'm sorry but we don't win anymore games with Cummings in. I wish he would have not thrown the int against Rice or missed pick against NIU but I am glad he came to KU. Made us relevant in the off season and I for one hope nothing but the best for him

Jayhawker111 9 years, 6 months ago

Crist is ranked 121 out of 122 in the nation.

The statistics do not lie. Crist perform miserably and KU lost games it should have won. You have to lay that on Wies for not benching Christ much earlier in the season.

In the spring game they did not let the defense pass rush. You grandmother could sit back there and throw completions with no pass rush. Once teams applied pressure Crist was like a deer looking into headlights.

Wies said Crist knew his system and was the best guy by far over other QBs'. Wies was wrong and cost KU wins.

kellerman411 9 years, 6 months ago

That is just incorrect Jayhawker. Crist performed poorly but he was actually even better than expected with the rush. He was not a deer in the headlights. I specifically watched for just that every game and he always kept his eyes down field. What you are refering to would be just a lack of physical ability to create space in the pocket. He has heavy feet but he isn't scared. That much at least should be clear.

Crist wouldn't be anywhere near the bottom of the QB rankings if he was in a different offense. A rebuilding team like KU needs a mobile quarterback who can buy time and innovate. Crist is a system guy who needs time to stand and go through the reads. He isn't that bad of a QB just bad for KU.

yovoy 9 years, 6 months ago

Just a couple of other things to consider: if Crist (bless him anyway, and I have no hard feelings toward him) had completed just a bit higher percentage of his passes, and/or hit just one or two more open receivers at the right time, and our run game might've been even BETTER than it really has been. With the run game not losing any of its strength, and with just a slightly more effective passing game, this team might be having quite a different season than it's having.

Second thing: not having James Sims for 3 games really has hurt the team. Hopefully he can talk sense to some of the youngsters or other players and convince them to toe the line for the benefit of the team. Granted that Cox and Pearson did a nice job, and they continue to do that, but Sims surprises me constantly.

Katie Bieber 9 years, 6 months ago

You have one thing right. Statistics do not lie. If not benching Crist cost us wins, I assume there must be a better option to have favored in the benching of Crist. Who might that be? It certainly isn't Cummings. No, you want to bench Crist to punish him because you feel he fooled you into having high expectations and you'd do it in favor of a less productive backup. That's truly disgusting and shows a deplorable lack of understanding of the game. If statistics do not lie, Dayne Crist is the best chance to win, and your argument is exhausted. Too much of your self-worth is invested in KU football.

KGphoto 9 years, 6 months ago

No offense but this is beating a dead horse.

texashawk10 9 years, 6 months ago

I'm saying right now you're full of crap if you thought Crist was going to be a total bust after the SDSU game. When a QB hasn't played in 2 years and has minimal game experience, it's next to impossible to tell if a performance he had against SDSU was knocking the rust off and developing game chemistry with his receivers or if he was a total bust. If you want to say after 2-3 games of looking horrible that's fine and I'll give you that, but I'm calling BS on anyone who claims they knew Crist was a bust after 1 game.

John Thomas 9 years, 6 months ago

Weis will be ok...bringing a program up takes time

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 6 months ago

As is mentioned in the article, penalty yardage is considered one of the discipline statistics. It's surprising that a 1-7 team is in the top 3 least penalized teams nationally. Like in 2007, if we are playing highly disciplined football then we would expect good results. Of course you could say that 21-17 vs UT is a "good result" and that the OSU outcome was a "good result". But in my opinion, while penalty yardage is certainly a key discipline statistic, it's not the only key discipline statistic. Other discipline statistics include turnovers lost, points scored off turnovers, points scored per red zone trip, return yardage allowed, among several others. We've got the penalty yardage under control and it appears to be a leading indicator of where we are headed. We still have some shoring up to do with ball control as evidenced by Bradley McDougald's botched fair catch attempt among other things. We have some work to do on red zone scoring and points off turnovers for sure, those will come as the passing game improves. We are working on special teams to tighten up the coverage units.

These discipline statistics are things that we did very well in 2005-2008. The disciple statistics along with wide open offenses with stars at the skill positions are what took us to the Orange Bowl. It's a formula for success and it's what Charlie Weis wants to and is attempting to do. This team is 2 or 3 pieces away from being a bowl contender, and we should have those pieces in place by next season.

I'm excited about the future of KU Football!

Brad Farha 9 years, 6 months ago

Good point, and I'm on the same page. I am concerned about the seniors we'll lose. But, if Weis has us this competitive with the talent level we have, I think next year we'll see another step forward.

gchawk 9 years, 6 months ago

"low penalties a positive for Weis' Jayhawks". So we got that going for us, which is nice!

shelleysue 9 years, 6 months ago

I agree that sticking with Crist for so long cost us some wins. I feel bad for the senior class because I wanted them to get some decent wins this season. However, it's hard to stay upset for long, because this team has improved in so many ways that it gives us hope and excitement for the future. And those seniors can be proud that they're helping with the turn around. I'm sure many of the same people who said they just wanted to be competitive with the south are the same ones complaining now about losses. You can be miserable by focusing on the negative or be excited about where this program is headed. I was cautious with the Weis hire but it's obvious Weis and staff have the ability to do good things. Quit complaining about this play call and that play call. The staff and players are going to make mistakes every game whether you're Alabama or Kansas. Go along for the ride and have fun when fun moments happen. It's life and it will never be perfect.

KGphoto 9 years, 6 months ago

It's just a ride. -Bill Hicks

+1 shelleysue!

Bville Hawk 9 years, 6 months ago

+1 shelleysue gets it. Nuleaf is getting it.

Dale Stringer 9 years, 6 months ago

3-9... 39yrds. Doesn't sound any better than any of Crist's game. Put Baty in.

Chris Bailey 9 years, 6 months ago

Has anyone else noticed that some of the articles on you can read like two days earlier almost word for word on Just an observation.

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