Saturday, October 26, 2013

Notebook: Freshman QB Montell Cozart gets extended time; Tony Pierson leaves with dizziness

Kansas backup quarterback Montell Cozart watches the scoreboard against Baylor during the second quarter on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013.

Kansas backup quarterback Montell Cozart watches the scoreboard against Baylor during the second quarter on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Charlie Weis

Kansas coach Charlie Weis talks after KU's 59-14 loss to Baylor on Oct. 26, 2013.

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Box score


True freshman quarterback Montell Cozart figures to remember Saturday's 59-14 loss to sixth-ranked Baylor for something much different than the final score.

It was in this game, KU's fifth loss of the season, that Cozart completed his first college pass while playing roughly half of his team's offensive snaps. Although the Bishop Miege graduate was not available to the media following the loss, there were plenty of Jayhawks willing to size up his performance in just his second career game.

“If I was Montell, I would feel pretty good,” junior running back Brandon Bourbon said. “To be a freshman and come in and have some success, that's so pivotal, especially as a quarterback.”

KU coach Charlie Weis, who said after the game that Cozart and junior starter Jake Heaps likely would continue to split snaps as the season moved on, also thought Cozart was sharp.

“It was nice to see him hit that one deep ball,” said Weis of Cozart's 45-yard hook-up with Rodriguez Coleman in the third quarter that accounted for 25 percent of his completions and 65 percent of his yards. “I told you he was going to play a lot more, which he did. I don't know who will play more on a weekly basis, but I think we have to get 'em both ready to play.”

Pierson plays, Heeney sits

KU running back Tony Pierson returned to the lineup after missing the past two games because of a concussion he suffered in the second half of KU's loss to Texas Tech. The Jayhawks got Pierson involved early by throwing a go route to him on KU's first offensive play of the night, but Pierson was double-covered and the pass sailed over his head.

A few plays later, Heaps dropped a perfect pass into Pierson's arms near the Baylor sideline, but the ball bounced off his hands and fell incomplete. Pierson did not play much of the rest of the night and Weis said Pierson was held out of much of the game after experiencing dizziness.

“He wasn't hit in the head or anything,” Weis said. “But when you are coming off a concussion, you have to act on the side of caution.

Linebacker Ben Heeney, wide receiver Andrew Turzilli and defensive lineman Tedarian Johnson all missed their second straight game. Wide receiver Josh Ford also did not play.

Coleman contributes

Junior wide receiver Rodriguez Coleman recorded the first touchdown of his KU career on a 30-yard strike from Heaps in the fourth quarter and also hauled in a career-long reception of 45 yards on a pass from Cozart midway through the third quarter.

“It's been a long time coming for him to get into the mix,” Weis said of Coleman. “And we really need him to step up and get involved more.”

Asked to assess his night, Coleman sounded relieved.

“I got off to a slow start,” he said. “So I felt like I was due for a good game. Hopefully it will carry over to the next few games.”

Jaynes honored

Former KU quarterback David Jaynes, who guided Kansas to the 1973 Liberty Bowl, was in attendance at Saturday's game and was honored for the 40th anniversary of his All-American season. Jaynes, a Bonner Springs native, ranks fourth on KU's career passing list with 5,132 yards and led Kansas to 15 victories in three seasons, including a 7-4 mark in 1973, which produced to a final Associated Press ranking of 18th.

This and that ...

The Jayhawks won Saturday’s opening coin toss for the second time this season and chose to defer their choice to the second half. Baylor elected to receive the game's opening kickoff. ... Kansas still has not allowed an opponent to score on an opening drive all season. ... James Sims' 70 yards rushing moved him to within three yards of third place on KU's all-time rushing list. ... KU forced a Baylor season-high five fumbles, but recovered just two of them. ... Baylor now leads the all-time series vs. Kansas, 9-4, and improved to 3-4 in games played in Lawrence. ... Temperature at kickoff was 58 degrees, under clear skies with winds of 10 mph out of the north.


Ashwin Rao 8 years, 6 months ago

Decision making of Coach is not his strongest suite. He needs to make up his mind about a QB and let him develop. Coach needs to get emotions out of this if we have to improve. I feel that Cozart has the most upward potential. Coach needs to stick with Cozart through the Freshman mistakes so he is a much better player later in the season, or even beyond.

Chris Bailey 8 years, 6 months ago

I agree. Cozart needs to be handed the job going forward. Heaps isn't what we need at quarterback. He is a pocket passer and we don't have the line for that nor the receivers. Gawd has it been that long since Meier and Briscoe were here??? I hope Weis gets us some big bad lineman and A couple receivers. Let's face it we need a lot of help as most of our key players will be seniors next year. Our line graduates all but 2 so we're no where near to a point where we can say fixed. With how bad we are on offense I'm pretty worried going forward. Hopefully we can grad a good high school running back this year and next and maybe a JUCO guy. Weis and company better be hitting that recruiting trail like mad. My two sense not that I said anything enlightening.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 6 months ago

I think that our O Line will continue to improve with each game as long we we don't move everybody around anymore. Howard threw some bad snaps, and we were luckily that Cozart was able to maintain possession of them, and we missed some blocks and missed some blitzes, but overall the line looked quite a bit better this week than it has all year.

As far as the line graduating all but two, you are talking about after next year right. We will return 6 out of 10 on the 2 deep after this season. And Lewandowski, Fusimalohi, Admire, Smithburg, Fondal, and Damon Martin will all be seasoned veterans. I wouldn't expect any recruits to come in and start next year unless they arrive for the spring semester, and I thought that I read somewhere that a new Juco transfer rule would make that much more difficult.

Chris Bailey 8 years, 6 months ago

I thought we lost Howard and Lewendowski to graduation as well as Sterling?? The two deep is fine but the same 5 starters would be great. If I'm wrong about those two graduating that would be great!

Chris Bailey 8 years, 6 months ago

I was 1/2 right we lose Howard and Sterling

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 6 months ago

Yes, Howard and Sterling will graduate. Hopefully Admire is a capable center. Sterling has been good but he wasn't good enough to keep his job at LT. I expected more from Sterling than what we've gotten. For a 6'5" 325 lb guy who reportedly moves like a running back after shedding 75+ lbs, he just never seemed to pan out as a premiere NFL caliber LT. He may still get a shot based on his size and athleticism, but I'd like to see him start blowin up some huge holes for our backs.

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