Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Weis sticking with Cozart as starting QB for finale

Kansas quarterback Montell Cozart takes off on a run against the Iowa State defense during the second quarter on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.

Kansas quarterback Montell Cozart takes off on a run against the Iowa State defense during the second quarter on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.


One day after saying he had no plans to divulge the identity of this week’s starting quarterback, Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis released the latest version of his depth chart with true freshman Montell Cozart listed as the first-team quarterback.

Cozart started the past two games in place of Jake Heaps, who started the first nine, but was replaced by Heaps in the third quarter of last week’s 34-0 loss at Iowa State after struggling to get anything going offensively.

The performance was the complete opposite of what took place just one week earlier in Lawrence, where Cozart led the Jayhawks (3-8 overall, 1-7 Big 12) to an upset victory over West Virginia and, in the process, snapped a 27-game conference losing streak and led KU’s struggling offense to its highest point total since Week 1.

Against the Cyclones, on a brutally cold night, Heaps, a junior, came in and threw some of the best balls he had thrown all year. His numbers did not reflect the quality of his throws because KU’s wide receivers offered no help, but his individual performance was impressive enough to merit consideration for the starting nod against the Wildcats (6-5, 4-4).

“I could’ve very easily today handed you a depth chart and put Jake on top,” Weis said. “And, really, no one should question me doing that based off that last (game). But you could shatter somebody doing that, too. And that’s the last thing you want to do is go into the offseason with a guy that you think has a boat-load of talent and put him in the tank before you even get started.”

In many ways, Cozart’s rough outing at Iowa State provided one of those classic teaching moments and Weis took full advantage of every second — from the sideline during the third quarter in Ames to the film room on Sunday in Lawrence and his quarterback meeting Monday night.

“With a young guy, here’s what you do,” Weis said. “Before the game’s over you love him up. Then you hammer him. Then you love him up again. He’s starting on the uptick.”

Asked if hitting rock bottom so soon after his highlight first start could be good for Cozart’s overall development, Weis shuddered at the thought.

“It’s never good,” he said. “There’s never a time when that’s good. Will it be a learning experience? Yes. But you’re gonna have a tough time getting me to ever say, ‘When you play bad, that’s good.’ Just like when I coach bad. I can’t say, ‘Well ...’ When you’re bad, you’re bad. There’s nothing good about it.”


Michael Leiker 8 years, 10 months ago

Good to see Weis playing his cards close to his vest like he said Monday...wait.

Charlie continues to show he just can't keep his mouth shut. I'll retract my statement if Heaps starts Saturday. Hopefully they're hitting Cozart in practice this week. Him getting his shoulder pads square to the line and getting upfield is the only chance they have Saturday. Are we so convinced he is "The Guy" that we have to be this concerned about his fragile ego heading into the offseason? If his ego is that fragile and being benched doesn't produce the exact opposite effect Weis is concerned about is there any way in hell he could possibly be "The Guy?"

Note to Cozart, KU fans aren't convinced ur the guy to take this team to the next level. Please stop running out of bounds when there is and extra yard or two that can be gained, we are absolutely willing to risk your unproven, off target, overthrowing talent getting your bell run so as not to have a football team that looks like a bunch of junior high girls against our in state rival.

Michael Leiker 8 years, 10 months ago

Keep reading this and get more pissed. Did he not basically just tell the team he's more concerned about one players ego going into the off season than he is about winning this game. Does Charlie think pressers happen in a bubble? What are these comments? What coach says that? It doesn't even have the effect of giving confidence to the guy you are starting.

In summary:

  • I don't necessarily always start the guy that gives us the best chance
  • I'm more concerned about an unproven freshmans confidence than I am about winning
  • This game that we've been counting down to for however long is suddenly not as important as I've made it out to be
  • I'm not sure you can win this game Montell, but at least you'll feel good for the next couple days

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 10 months ago

Michael, you raise very valid points and concerns, but you do realize those quotes were soundbites only on the subject of Cozart, so only a fragment of the big-picture press conference and all the aspects of KU football, not just who starts at QB. I think the pending arrival of a true OC (Reagan) is BIG, BIG news. On another note, Weis is a yapper, plain and simple. His is one of those Jersey types that are just talkers. I want to see results on the field. Im still pissed at Turzilli and a few other WRs. How many drives have stalled when passes hit them in the hands (and we got IowaSt WRs catching in the same weather all damn day...)? Lots of work to do in the off-season.

Hopefully we see Cozart's passes come at least within 2-3ft of the intended WR, not that it will least Jake put it on the money. WR change is good, right about 5 games ago...

Jim Jackson 8 years, 10 months ago

I will cut him a bit of slack since he is a true freshman but him running out of bounds a yard too soon was just awful. Furthermore, I blame the elements for him not being able to accurately throw on Saturday albeit we all know he is not Peyton Manning.

The icy conditions were a big hindrance to Montel as he could not run the read-option which made it easy to decipher that Sims was going to get the ball as opposed to the threat of Montel taking it himself.

Was glad to hear Charlie state that he is looking for around 10 juco guys this offseason albeit I think we need more. We desperately need Oline and Dline help as well as WR.

Hope the fans show up for the game on Saturday! Rock Chalk!

Michael Leiker 8 years, 10 months ago

He just takes off for the sidelines all the time, it was definitely not a one time occurrence. Agree, hope to see a good crowd on Saturday.

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 10 months ago

Jim, dont blame the elements for ANYTHING, as that didnt slow down IowaState's passing game all game long. Im not letting certain WR's off the hook any longer. Put up stats, or transfer, or study hard at that degree, as you aint earning money as no WR...not in any league.

Lucas Town 8 years, 10 months ago

Just read that other article about Snyder, and now this one. My how different these two coaches are. Weis needs to keep his mouth shut and worry about the game on Saturday. Do you ever hear Snyder giving the media anymore than he wants them to have. Weis is an absolute train wreck when talking to the press and if the players had any sense at all they would see through this. So does Cozart hear this and say to himself..." So the only reason I am starting is so my feelings don't get hurt?" Give me a break, how about we put the best 11 players on the field to win the game or at least compete all 4 quarters.

If by some chance K-State blanks KU like ISU did...Does Weis keep his job?

Lance Cheney 8 years, 10 months ago

Weis definitely keeps his job, regardless of the final score. Good god, can we put this discussion to bed, at least for 1 more year?

Jim Jackson 8 years, 10 months ago

Agreed. Next year is the year to properly evaluate; I have seen much improvement on defense (excluding last Saturday); we just need more big 12 caliber players.

David A. Smith 8 years, 10 months ago

Even a train wreck of a president gets four years. 8 if he has friends in Hollywood.

Jim Jackson 8 years, 10 months ago

I don't think George W had too many friends in Hollywood.

Chris Bailey 8 years, 10 months ago

Weis could go with Peyton Manning or hell Michael Vick and we still don't have a chance! How the hell do you beat WVU and get absolutely dismantled by Iowa Fricking State??? How does that happen??? I really don't know if want to watch this last game. I'm sure I will but no matter I'll spend another off season hearing how fricking great KSU is and crappie we are at football. I'm so sick of this pile of crap! I'm calling out the damn offense! Pull your damn heads out of your butts! This is K fricking State! You're biggest rival now! Remember this game will be with you the REST OF YOUR LIVES SENIORS!!!! Play your best ball! NO EXCUSES! Earn your scholarship!

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 10 months ago

Chris...our problem was the same vs. IowaState that it had been ALL YEAR LONG: the WRs dont belong on a college football team. WVa was beaten by Mr. James Sims. Dont let the WVa win fool you into thinking the WRs got any better. You will be pleasantly surprised by Nick Harwell (#1 college WR last yr), and a healthy Pierson...and maybe add Coleman or Josh Ford. The others may be beyond hope.

Michael Sillman 8 years, 10 months ago

Last year I walked into the TCU gym expecting the Jayhawks to obliterate the Horned Frogs basketball team. We all know how that turned out.

When you are dealing with 18-21 year old kids, you never how they are going to play from game to game.

Bobby Oviemena Birhiray 8 years, 10 months ago

That is a weak excuse... and that train of thought allow mediocrity to be the standard.

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 10 months ago

More importantly, players gotta make plays. And great players make plays even when its no secret its coming, or during crunch time. Self was ultrapissed at the team after that TCU loss. Inexcusable. As in NO excuses.

When we get in a gotta-pass situation (everyone knows its coming), we cannot execute a 1st down most of the time, and nobody makes the play. Maybe they wouldnt stack the box against the run if we could pass the daggum ball, and had demonstrated repeated ability to make intermediate and long passes. Soooo many pass plays that would have been successful and kept drives alive if that ball that hit em in the hands was actually caught.

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