Sunday, September 10, 2017

Following loss, David Beaty declares need for balance in KU’s offense

Kansas running back Dom Williams (25) squeezes between blocks in a run during the Jayhawks game against Central Michigan Saturday, Sept. 9 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas running back Dom Williams (25) squeezes between blocks in a run during the Jayhawks game against Central Michigan Saturday, Sept. 9 at Memorial Stadium.


No quarterback in Kansas football history ever had attempted as many throws in one game as Peyton Bender did Saturday in a 45-27 loss to Central Michigan. And if head coach David Beaty has it his way, Bender’s new mark will stand alone atop the record book well into the distant future.

“We threw it 62 times. That’s a lot of times to throw the football,” Beaty said after Bender topped David Jaynes’ total of 58, a number that held up for nearly 44 years. “A lot. We’ve got to get more balanced there.”

A junior transfer who played previously at Washington State and Itawamba Community College (Miss.), Bender’s 32 completions tied him for eighth in KU history, with a Todd Reesing outing against Louisiana Tech in Week 2 of 2008. On that particular Saturday, one of Beaty’s first as a receivers coach on Mark Mangino’s staff, the defending Orange Bowl champions ran the ball 33 times and Reesing only had six incompletions to go with three touchdowns.

Against Central Michigan (2-0), Beaty saw 30 of Bender’s passes fall incomplete, with two intercepted and no scores through the air to show for it. In the meantime, Kansas only ran the ball 34 times.

“We don’t want to throw the ball that much over running it,” Beaty said after praising CMU for its 35-carry, 37-pass balance, bolstered by Shane Morris’ 467-yard, five-TD passing day.

After KU only netted 73 rushing yards in a Week 1 against FCS opponent Southeast Missouri State, Beaty said he wasn’t too concerned with the output, and offensive coordinator Doug Meacham agreed.

While running backs Deron Thompson, Dom Williams and Khalil Herbert contributed to the Jayhawks (1-1) improved rushing total of 147 yards versus CMU, Beaty would have preferred seeing more from the rushing attack, which averaged 5.1 yards per carry in the second half, during the entirety of what became a missed opportunity to attain a rare KU victory.

“It wasn’t until later in the game that I thought we really started effectively running the ball well,” Beaty said. “That was good to see as we started picking it up, but not good enough to get in the end zone.”

Thompson, a 5-foot-9 junior transfer from Wichita who played his first two seasons at Colorado State, started at running back for KU with junior Taylor Martin injured and sophomore Khalil Herbert apparently behind both Thompson and true freshman Williams in the coaches’ minds.

While Thompson, the former Wichita Northwest standout, rushed for 48 yards on 10 carries, Williams led the way with 64 yards and two touchdowns on 18 attempts. Herbert carried twice for six yards, while the rushing attack benefited from a 33-yard receiver reverse TD by Ryan Schadler and a 13-yard carry by receiver Quan Hampton, as well.

Thompson said the running backs wanted to make more of an impact within the Air Raid offense in Week 2, even with Martin unavailable and an injury scare for Williams leading up to the CMU game.

“We’re ready for next guy up. We knew we were going to have to carry the load, me and Dom, or even if Dom hadn’t been able to go it would’ve been me and Khalil,” Thompson said. “Just whoever they plug in.”

Upon hearing Beaty’s postgame declaration that the offense needed to keep its play-calling less one-sided, Thompson felt encouraged.

“Us being running backs, we don’t want to seem biased or anything, but of course we want to run the ball more. We want a balanced offense,” Thompson said. “We feel like we want to be more involved — nothing against anybody or trying to insinuate anything — just us as running backs, we feel like we can help this team a lot. We can propel this offense to a whole other level. We just feel like if the run game is going and the pass game is going we’re going to be hard to contend with. That’s the reason we want the run game to do a little bit more, because of how much of a threat we’d be as an offense. I mean, we’ve got play-makers all over the field.”

More news and notes from Kansas vs. Central Michigan


John Myers 5 years, 2 months ago

That may well be the case, but while the offense was definitely not good, I'm WAY more concerned about the defense. I could probably grab 11 posters from random from this site and cover the secondary as well as we did on Saturday.

Dirk Medema 5 years, 2 months ago

There was another ray of optimism before the game when Purdue soundly beat Ohio, but that was massively thrown out the window when this RIU 3OT winner shreds us.

Dirk Medema 5 years, 2 months ago

On a per carry basis, Deron actually had the better day. Hopefully, his comments to the press don't put him in the dog house. He was arguably the most productive person on the team yesterday.

Andy Godwin 5 years, 2 months ago

If the defense continues to play so poorly, then KU will have to pass more to try and catch up. Evidence of going to the pass too much was in the first half when KU was 2nd and goal from the one yard line and failed to run the ball.

Barry Weiss 5 years, 2 months ago

so is our HC taking shots at our OC here?

Joe Ross 5 years, 2 months ago

“We threw it 62 times. That’s a lot of times to throw the football."

“We don’t want to throw the ball that much over running it."

"Beaty would have preferred seeing more from the rushing attack."

Sounds like the AIR RAID is suffering from an identity crisis...

John Fitzgerald 5 years, 2 months ago

What's interesting is our goal this year is the same as last, with a horrifically glaring difference. Last year we wanted to keep the defense off the field to give them a rest because our offense was so horrible we had more 3 and outs than 1st downs. This year we want to keep the defense off the field because they can't stop the opposing offense and will ultimately lead to an easy score. Same goal, different reasons, leading to we still suck.

Bob Bailey 5 years, 2 months ago

How about a 4 position turnover; AD, HC, DC, OC. give our NO guy the HC, fill in with some of the better position coaches. Obviously a dream - you might have to get a new chancellor first.

Jim Stauffer 5 years, 2 months ago

Desperate Bob? We finally have people in place who love and care for Football and are not just waiting for basketball to start and you want to fire them all because they could not restore a dumpster fire to success overnight. This is the kind of thinking that has doomed our success in the past 40 years minus just a few years with Mason and Mangino.

Bud Stagg 5 years, 2 months ago

What gets me is we are talking about passing and running when the d line and O line are the problem! Bender suffers from the same problem his predecessors had, sacks and receivers who can't get open. The D line couldn't scare that QB, he had all day to shred the secondary. That put the secondary in a really bad position, not that they were in position to begin with. I have been reading this paper most of the preseason, there was not much said about the line play. Are we just trying to not talk about the elephant?

Damian Glaze 5 years, 2 months ago

Defense is the real problem. As a couple of you have mentioned all of the imbalance with the offense doesn't mean squadoosh if we are giving up 40-60 points a game. I was under the impression we had decent enough athletes to play these positions. To me the glaring deficiency is defensive play calling. It seems like whatever defensive set we were in, they had a play to scorch it. Not just a play to get five yards, a play to get 15-25 yards. There were a handful of plays where I saw us rush three. WHY IN THE HELL WOULD WE EVER RUSH ONLY THREE when we are behind or struggling to hold a lead. And if we rush three, how is it that they soundly beat us in 4 on 8, 5 on 8 passing plays. Clint has been running defenses and DBs for far too long for our pass defense to be this freakin' bad. I hate to say it, but it is well past time for us to find an aggressive and competent defensive coordinator. I only get to watch games on TV so I don't get to see the whole field and how a play develops, but with the way plays happen I envision it looking like a Benny Hill skit five yards off the ball. It's unbelievable. I can't take the defensive ineptitude anymore.

Danny Delgadillo 5 years, 2 months ago

I apologize to anyone logged in on the live coverage section Saturday. I was furious and its highly likely it showed. I gave GASSERS to Tornedon and Meachem at approx.the end of the 3rd qtr. Ts- Defense was terrible. he couldn't have wrapped up his mother to get a nice hug if she was standing still. Ms-play calling was atrocious as pointed out in the article. I am pleased to see this article today but still some what unsatisfied. I know that nobody answers to me, but I would like to know WHY! We know the play calling was unbalanced but WHY? Here is what I knew before the game started and this is WITHOUT watching film, preparing, or reading a scouting report. Also I am not a Professional coach!!
BEFORE GAME 1) Their secondary is the their best defensive unit. 2) They picked six interceptions the previous week. 3) Our best receiver was not playing/ or limited reps. DURING GAME 1) We were not completeing passes. 2) He was being pressured well. 3) PB was throwing int's and numerous incompleres. 4) Three quick incomplete passes in an hurry up offense= POOR CLOCK MGMNT!! I feel like they would have scored less if we had the ball longer despite our defensive woes. HINDSIGHT- 1) They allowed us almost 150 yds rushing= not bad, easily could have had more given the chance. 2) 3.6 or 4.8 ypc is a 1st down every 3- plays. NUFF said!! 3.) 2 INTs + 2 Sacks 4) 5/18 3rd downs conv.=terrible. 5) clear lack of clock mgmnt when considering our terrible defense, hurry up offense, and our unproductive pass only approach.
Just my 2 cents here. I think this game was way more manageable than the way it played out.
The #1 positive I came away with was, We rocked the 4th downs. That will be good down the road.

Patrick Dipman 5 years, 2 months ago

It seems what we have is an inability to self-assess. To recognize what type of offense to run and who you have to run it. We ended last season with some positives to take into the off-season, #1 being that Carter Stanley had the toughness and a potential "it" factor. He's someone who knew he had to be mobile to move the chains. The staff hasn't recognized that we need to move the ball running it, including with the quarterback.

Also, if we are running it, we are doing so to keep the defense off the field... regardless of it's for a break or because they are really bad. Time management, control the game. This program is constantly trying to innovate and be the next big thing when Bill Snyder has been giving college football the formula for years. Be disciplined, control the clock, don't limit yourself with turnovers, keep it simple... You don't have to run the KSU offense to play to the KSU strengths.

I support this team across the board; however, it's time to start emphasizing the right characteristics within the program and players individually. RCJH!

Stephen Johnson 5 years, 2 months ago

We continue to take quarterbacks that have failed to impress at other schools and believe they will be the answer at KU. Jake Heaps (BYU), Dayne Crist (Notre Dame) and now Peyton Bender (Washington) Is our HC so stupid as to believe that these QB's that can't impress there will impress here?!!! QUIT THIS FAILED PHILOSOPHY NOW! Start Carter Stanley. It can't be worse than what we saw on Saturday.

Greg Ledom 5 years, 2 months ago

Carter has a broken bone in his hand. You won't be seeing him for awhile. I'm all for giving Starks a shot.

Robert Brock 5 years, 2 months ago

Defense is the problem. KU will get curb stomped in every game until the D is fixed.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 2 months ago

Balance on offense or our defense? Which one needs to be addressed first?

Seems pretty obvious to me.

Mike Nicco 5 years, 2 months ago

Full disclosure, I'm just now watching the game and I've made it to the 10-6 score. Other than the fade route on 2nd & 1 at the goal line, the offense looked pretty balanced to me. I can't wait to see how our pass-heavy offense the rest of the game allows CMU to score 37 more points.

Bryce Landon 5 years, 2 months ago

Are you some kind of masochist? Why would you torture yourself like that?

Mike Nicco 5 years, 2 months ago

No doubt, right! I'm the rare Jayhawk who likes football more than basketball. I doenjoy watching the players and appreciate their decision to attend KU. I feel for them and respect their hard work for so little gain.

Joe Black 5 years, 2 months ago

DEFENSE WINS GAMES....PERIOD! FIX THE DEFENSE. This will not happen as long as Bowen is DC. He is a great guy and of value to a program but not as a DC. Much like Beaty, he is a motivational guy but not great at the management of games and situations.

Bob Bailey 5 years, 2 months ago

Jim Stauffer,

You must not read much, I've been desperate for 7 years! The problem of Defense is primary. We can't even tackle -- for about 7 years. Coverage is lousy. And the Defensive Plan has people out of position with the 'wrong' assignment. Our people on the field have a lot more talent than they are allowed to show!

As for Offense, our perhaps unworthy HC isn't so dumb he should have to point out imbalance.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.