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Recent JUCO pro-style quarterbacks have struggled to make immediate impact

FILE — Former Pittsburgh quarterback Thomas MacVittie (7) plays in the annual Spring NCAA football scrimmage, Saturday, April 15, 2017, in Pittsburgh. MacVittie, who played the 2018 season at Mesa Community College (Ariz.) announced on Dec. 11, 2018, his plans to sign with the University of Kansas. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

FILE — Former Pittsburgh quarterback Thomas MacVittie (7) plays in the annual Spring NCAA football scrimmage, Saturday, April 15, 2017, in Pittsburgh. MacVittie, who played the 2018 season at Mesa Community College (Ariz.) announced on Dec. 11, 2018, his plans to sign with the University of Kansas. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Recent history would suggest that the odds are stacked against transfer quarterback Thomas MacVittie, who signed his national letter of intent to the University of Kansas this month — well, at least on his chances to make an immediate impact.

According to 247Sports Composite, MacVittie is the No. 3-ranked pro-style quarterback for the Class of 2019 among junior college signal callers. As a result, I looked up the top-five junior college pro-style quarterbacks in each of the previous five years via 247Sports Composite to see how every signal caller did in their respective transfer season.

Admittedly, this is an arbitrary cutoff to only look at the top-five quarterback for each season and to only include the pro-style quarterbacks. Given that this is the group that MacVittie falls into, though, it could be a good indicator of what to expect from someone of his caliber during his transfer season.

It would make sense that it takes time for a transfer to transition to a new team, particularly at a position like quarterback. In four of the last five season, at least two of the top-five pro-style quarterbacks did not play a snap in their first season.

Several different circumstances can impact this, of course. Perhaps a team already has a starting quarterback in place, such as Missouri with Drew Lock this past season. So Lindsey Scott, the No. 1 junior college pro-style quarterback in 2018, did not play last year for the Tigers.

In fact, only three of the five top junior college quarterbacks played a snap this past fall. Ricky Town, who was ranked No. 2, played in three game for Pitt and completed his only pass attempt for 15 yards. Last week, it was announced that Town was leaving the program.

Jack Abraham transferred to Southern Miss and played nine games, completing 223-of-305 passes for 2,347 yards with 15 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Max Gilliam also played in nine games for UNLV, finishing 124-of-226 for 1,394 yards, to go along with 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

In 2017, just two of the five quarterbacks even threw a pass in their first season at their next stop.

Blake Barnett, who was the top pro-style junior college quarterback that year, appeared in two games for Arizona State and went 3-of-5 for 40 yards. Oregon State’s Jake Luton, who was ranked No. 3, made four appearances and went 83-for-135 for 853 yards. Barnett ultimately went to South Florida, while Luton played in eight games for the Beavers in 2018.

De’Andre Johnson, meanwhile, was used as a runner in his two season with FAU after transferring from East Mississippi Community College. It is also worth noting that KU’s Peyton Bender was ranked No. 6 in this particular group.

The 2016 season, however, was the outlier over the past five years. All five quarterbacks played in double-digit games, including three signal callers who played in all 13 games of their respective debuts.

Riley Ferguson (Memphis), Troy Williams (Utah), Richard Lagow (Indiana), Andrew Ford (UMass) and Jacob Park (Iowa State) all threw for at least 1,791 yards. Ferguson and Lagow each amassed 3,000 yards in their first campaign, and were the only quarterbacks to play in double-digit contests the following season, as well.

Only three of the five quarterbacks played during the first year in 2015, in which Austin Apodaca produced the best stat line. Apodca, who was ranked No. 4 that year, accumulated 702 yards on 108 attempts in 10 games. No other quarterback threw for more than 315 yards.

The 2014 class had just one player take a snap under center. Nick Arbuckle made 12 starts in his first year with Georgia State, while going 259-for-429 for 3,293 yards and 23 scores.

In total, only seven of the 25 quarterbacks played in double-digit games in their first season. Just eight of them threw for over 1,000 yards in their debut with a new program.

It remains to be seen how MacVittie will do with the Jayhawks. This past season at Mesa Community College, MacVittie completed 92-of-172 passes for 1,064 yards with 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions in six games. He also rushed for 252 yards and four touchdowns.

Based on the recent track record of junior college quarterbacks, though, KU fans should temper their expectations for an immediate impact.

Reply 6 comments from Bee Bee Robert  Brock Mike Plank Jim Stauffer Dirk Medema Dale Rogers

Meet Chip Lindsey: A look at KU’s new offensive coordinator

Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham with offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey in the second half of Auburn A-Day NCAA college football game on Saturday, April 8, 2017 in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Todd J. Van Emst)

Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham with offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey in the second half of Auburn A-Day NCAA college football game on Saturday, April 8, 2017 in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Todd J. Van Emst) by Associated Press

Ever since Les Miles was named KU’s newest football coach, fans have turned their attention to what he will do with his staff.

That has started to take shape exactly 10 days after the conclusion of the 2018 season. AL.com’s Auburn football reporter, Matt Zenitz, reported Monday afternoon that sources told him the former Auburn offensive coordinator is expected to be hired by Miles at KU.

KU made it official Tuesday morning, announcing Lindsey as the team's next offensive coordinator.

Lindsey has spent the last two seasons as the offensive coordinator at Auburn. Prior to that, Lindsey directed the offense and coached the quarterback position at Arizona State for the 2016 season. He also was an offensive coordinator at Southern Miss from 2014-15.

Before rising through the college ranks, Lindsey held various coaching gigs at the high school level in Georgia and Alabama.

None by Shane Jackson

Here are some notable things you should know about the program’s newest offensive coordinator:

Lindsey’s relationship with Nick Mullens

Multiple people have lauded Lindsey for his offensive prowess, particular his ability to develop quarterbacks.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens, who threw for 262 yards and three touchdowns in his first NFL start earlier this season, has a history with KU’s newest offensive coordinator.

Mullens spent four seasons under Lindsey, two of which came in high school as a junior and senior at Spain Park High in 2011-12, and two more as a sophomore and junior at Southern Miss from 2014-15.

At both stops, the tandem put up numbers together.

As a senior at Spain Park, Mullens was named the Gatorade 2012 Alabama Football Player of the Year after throwing for 3,649 yards (fifth-most in AHSAA history at the time) and 40 touchdowns.

Three years later, Mullens was named the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year during his junior campaign at Southern Miss after setting single-season program records with 4,476 passing yards and 38 touchdowns.

“The thing about him is, he’s a great teacher. No quarterback is going to line up under center and not have an exact plan of where to go with the ball,” Mullens told the Opelika-Auburn News in 2017. “As long as you can get the ball to where it needs to go under coach Lindsey’s offense, you’re going to be successful. He’s always going to have a detailed plan, and he’s going to make sure that you know that plan.”

It all started at Hoover

Rush Propst, who is the head coach at Colquitt County (Ga.) High, knew Lindsey was going to climb the coaching ladder back in 2007.

Lindsey served as the offensive coordinator for Propst at Hoover High School during the 2007 season.

In the second round of the AHSAA Class 6A playoffs that year, Hoover’s starting quarterback went out with a concussion on the second play of the game. Propst’s nephew Simon, who was just a sophomore, came in and completed 17-of-30 passes for 262 yards and four touchdowns in the win.

"My nephew came in as a 10th grader and we beat a very good Hueytown team that night 44-42,” Propst told AL.com in January of 2017. “That told me right quick that Chip knew what he was doing, because you don't throw a 10th grader into the second round of the playoffs.”

Hoover was featured in a show called ‘Two-A-Days’ during the 2005 and 2006 seasons, which aired on MTV.

Lindsey’s fascination with history

Lindsey received his bachelor's degree in history and English from Alabama in 1997 before becoming a teacher and high school coach at Springville later that year. He then taught social studies at various high schools in Alabama and Georgia over the next decade.

Clint Woodfin, who is now an offensive coordinator at James Clemens, worked on Lindsey’s staff at Lassiter (Ga.) High School when he discovered this passion.

"He's always been into early U.S. history, and that's kind of his passion," Woodfin told AL.com in May of 2017. "He would break down the warfront based on the day.... He would discuss all the different changes and the battle strategies."

Landing commits

It remains to be seen how Lindsey will be as a recruiter at a place like Kansas.

Given his background as a high school coach in both Georgia and Alabama, Lindsey should have a connection in those states. Trying to lure players to Kansas from Alabama or Auburn, though, is obviously easier said than done.

Still, Lindsey demonstrated the ability to recruit in his lone season with Arizona State in 2016.

Lindsey helped the Sun Devils land a commitment from four-star quarterback Ryan Kelley, who was a one-time Oregon commit. Kelley was ranked as the No. 14 pro-style quarterback in the 2017 class, according to the 247Sports composite.

Kelley cited his relationship with Lindsey as a reason for picking ASU, according to the Arizona Republic. Lindsey also helped Arizona State land former Alabama quarterback Blake Barnett, who was a five-star prospect in the 2015 class.

Reply 16 comments from Dennis Strick Ronfranklin Marcus  Balzer Michael Maris Dirk Medema Brett McCabe Sae36 Steve Corder

Meet ‘The Mad Hatter’: Get to know KU’s next head football coach

FILE - LSU head coach Les Miles ponders a reporter's question's following an NCAA college football game against Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. Mississippi won 38-17. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

FILE - LSU head coach Les Miles ponders a reporter's question's following an NCAA college football game against Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. Mississippi won 38-17. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

It is no secret that Les Miles is the biggest name Kansas football has hired in the history of the program.

Miles, who was announced as KU’s next head football coach Sunday afternoon, brings an illustrious resume to a program that has experienced little success this past decade. Miles, 65, has 197 wins in his 16 years as a head coach and has netted nine bowl wins.

To put that in comparison, the Jayhawks have been a program for 118 years and have record just six bowl victories.

Still, there are fans that may not know who Miles really is. Here are some notable things you should know about the program’s next coach:

Where has Les been?

Miles was fired from LSU midway through the 2016 season after 11 years in Baton Rouge. He led the Tigers to a 114-34 record during his tenure, which included a win in the 2007 national title game.

Since then, Miles has kept himself busy in other ways.

Miles, who took up acting, had cameo roles in three released films, including a prominent role in Angry Men, which is about the Challenger space shuttle disaster. The movie was released in June of 2018.

"As a child, I wanted to be the president of the United States, wanted to be a head football coach and wanted to be an actor in a movie," Miles told the Advocate. "We only get one go-around at this thing called life. There’s no do-overs."

In addition, Miles was doing a weekly podcast, which was called “Les is More” through the Players Tribune. Miles provided an insider perspective, covering the storylines on the college football landscape.

The story behind his nickname

Miles was known as “The Mad Hatter” during his time at LSU, as he wore a brand-new white cap to each game.

None by Darren Rovell

In addition, former LSU players revealed another nickname for Miles to the Bleacher Report in 2015. Players called him “Lesticles” for his willingness to try fake field goals, fake punts, and go for it on fourth downs.

“It’s Les. They call him Lesticles,” former LSU kicker Colt David told Bleacher Report. “Just to have the balls to call some of those plays, it keeps teams on their toes.”

This type of stuff often made LSU a national topic, something Kansas has experience very little of in the history of its program. In fact, the New York Times called him as much a “mascot of LSU football as Mike the Tiger.”

Miles eats grass

Miles has more quirks than most former KU coaches, if not football coaches in general.

One of his quirks that received a lot of attention during his time at LSU was when Miles was caught eating grass during a matchup with Alabama in 2010. With eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, the camera caught Miles in the act of chewing blades of grass from the field.

"I have a little tradition that humbles me as a man, that lets me know I'm part of the field and part of the game," Miles explained afterward via Nola.com. "I can tell you one thing: The grass in Tiger Stadium tastes best."

Famous press conference rants

After LSU’s 2012 win over Ole Miss, Miles went on a rant in his postgame press conference. In the rant, which featured some profanity, Miles compared watching Odell Beckham Jr. score a touchdown to being a bowler at the bowling alley. He also told women to give his players a kiss.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=104&v=LRXP5Bf8KFs

Miles also stated the difference between Columbus Day and St. Patrick’s Day during a press conference.

Miles also admitted that he doesn't read books, despite comparing watching game film to reading books.

Reply 4 comments from Inteldesign Tim Orel Titus Canby Spk15

Getting to know: Oklahoma football

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) carries past UTEP linebacker Kalaii Griffin (7) during an NCAA college football game between UTEP and Oklahoma in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) carries past UTEP linebacker Kalaii Griffin (7) during an NCAA college football game between UTEP and Oklahoma in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki) by Sue Ogrocki (AP photographer)

The University of Kansas football team has not beat Oklahoma in this century.

KU’s last win over OU came on Oct. 4, 1997, when the team claimed a 20-17 decision at home. The Jayhawks have lost the last four meetings with the Sooners by at least 37 points, failing to score more than seven points in each contest. Over that span, Oklahoma has scored at least 41 points in each outing.

This season, No. 6 Oklahoma (9-1, 6-1 Big 12) looks to wrap up an undefeated home schedule when it hosts Kansas (3-7, 1-6) at 6:30 p.m.

The Sooners have won 31 of their last 33 games (.939) against Big 12 opponents dating back to the 2015 season. Their only two losses during that span came at the hands of Iowa State on Oct. 7 last year (38-31 in Norman) and Texas this season (48-45 in Dallas). Eighteen of those 30 victories have been by at least 15 points, and nine by at least 30 points.

BREAKING DOWN OKLAHOMA:

OFFENSE

Quarterback — Kyler Murray ranks first nationally in pass efficiency rating (212.9), yards/pass attempt (12.3), and yards/completion (17.4). This season, Murray has accounted for 39 TDs and has thrown for at least three scores in eight outings. In addition, 51 of Oklahoma’s 63 offensive touchdown drives (81 percent) have taken less than three minutes of game clock.

Running backs — Sophomore Trey Sermon has racked up 330 rushing yards and five scores over his last two outings. Sermon ranks fifth in the conference with 84.6 rushing yards per game, notching a total of 10 scores. According to Pro Football Focus, Sermon led the Big 12 last year with an averaged of 4.13 yards after contact.

Receivers — Junior Marquise Brown is Murray’s go-to option, as he ranks 13th nationally with 95.6 yards per game. Since the start of 2017, Brown leads the nation with 13 catches that have accumulated over 50 yards. Sophomore Ceedee Lamb, who has started in 22 of his 24 career games, has 87 catches for 1,584 yards and 16 scores.

Offensive line — Redshirt junior Bobby Evans has started in each of his last 36 games, and is holding down the left tackle spot. Senior Ben Powers, who is from Wichita, is the team’s starting left guard. Creed Humphrey, a redshirt freshman, is listed as the starting center. Senior Dru Samia (guard) and junior Cody Ford (tackles) are slated to take care of the right side of the offensive line.

DEFENSE

Defensive line — The defensive line is anchored by team captain Kenneth Mann, who is tied for seventh on the team with 37 tackles. Neville Gallimore is the team’s nose guard, and has also notched 37 stops. Junior Amani Bledsoe, who is a Lawrence native, has 23 tackles and four pass breakups this season.

Linebackers — Kenneth Murray, a sophomore, ranks second in the Big 12 and ranks fifth nationally with 11.4 tackles per game. The middle linebacker has 114 tackles, which is more than any Sooner since 2012. Curtis Bolton and Ronnie Perkins have also made plays alongside Murray in the linebacker unit.

Secondary — A pair of sophomores are starting at the cornerback spots, as Tre Norwood and Tre Brown are holding down the position. Senior Khalil Haugton is the team’s strong safety, while Robert Barnes is the free safety. Brendan Radley-Hiles is the the nickelback for the Oklahoma defense.

SPECIAL TEAMS — Austin Seibert, a senior, is one of three players in the nation to lead his team in punts, place kicks and kickoffs. Siebert ranks sixth in the league with an averaged of 41 yards per punt. He’s also converted an NCAA-record 287 career extra-points.

FUN FACT — OU has won 15 straight November games (last loss on Nov. 8, 2014). Since the start of the 2000 season, the Sooners are 59-11 (.843) in the month.

VEGAS SAYS… According to Bovada, Oklahoma is 35-point favorites as of Saturday afternoon. The Sooners can win this game by any margin they want to, and I don’t expect they will hold back. KU hasn’t played within five scores of Oklahoma since 2013, so I’m willing to give up this many points.

Prediction: Oklahoma 49, Kansas 10

Record against spread: 7-3

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Getting to know: Kansas State football

Kansas cornerback Hasan Defense (13) chases down Kansas State running back Alex Barnes (34) during the second quarter on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas cornerback Hasan Defense (13) chases down Kansas State running back Alex Barnes (34) during the second quarter on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

For the first time since 2009, the University of Kansas football team enters the Sunflower Showdown with a record equal to or better than Kansas State.

Coming into Saturday’s clash between in-state rivals in Manhattan, both KU and K-State boast identical clips with a 3-6 overall record, including 1-5 in conference play. The Wildcats have won the last nine meetings with the Jayhawks, posting an average margin of victory of 24.4 points per contest over that span.

“I have so much respect for (Snyder), he does such a terrific job,” Kansas coach David Beaty said. “They have battled in every single game, they have just come up on the other end of it. Those things could go the other way in a heartbeat.”

The Jayhawks have appeared to close the gap as of late, dropping the previous two meetings with the Wildcats by two scores in each outing. Last season, K-State pulled away late in a 10-point win over Kansas in Lawrence.

Kansas travels to Kansas State at 11 a.m. Saturday.

BREAKING DOWN KANSAS STATE:

OFFENSE

Quarterback — It remains uncertain who will be under center for the Wildcats this weekend. Skylar Thompson sustained an injury in the first quarter of last week’s loss at TCU. Alex Delton, who is dealing with a nagging leg injury, finished the game for K-State. Thompson has thrown for 995 yards this season, while Delton has 428 passing yards in 2018.

Running backs — Junior running back Alex Barnes is leading the Big 12 in rushing with 918 yards on the ground. Barnes, who has 174 carries this season, is also pacing the conference with nine rushing touchdowns. Barnes hasn’t been used much in the passing game, catching 15 passes on the year. In fact, Kansas State has run the ball on over 62 percent of its offensive snaps this season.

Receivers — Due to their commitment to the run game, the Wildcats don’t boast exceptional numbers in the passing attack. Still, junior Isaiah Zuber has 41 receptions for 496 yards and three touchdowns. Sophomore Dalton Schoen has netted 24 catches for 380 yards and two touchdowns. Zuber is seven catches shy of tying for ninth in school history for a career.

Offensive line — Senior Dalton Risner anchors the offensive line at the right tackle spot and is on his way to being a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Risner has started 47 games in his career, which is the third-most by a K-State lineman since 1989. Junior Tyler Mitchell is the right guard, while senior Abdul Beecham is the left guard. Junior Adam Holtorf is the team’s starting center, and junior Scott Frantz is the left tackle.

DEFENSE

Defensive line — Juniors Reggie Walker and Kyle Ball are the two starting defensive ends for the Wildcats. Walker ranks sixth in the Big 12 in sacks and is tied for 10th in tackles for loss. Junior Trey Dishon, who has started all 34 games in his career, racked up four stops against TCU last week. Jordan Mittie, who is the son of K-State women’s basketball coach Jeff Mittie, is also slated to start at defensive tackle.

Linebackers — A number of athletic players make up the linebacker unit for the Wildcats. Junior Da’Quan Patton ranks second on the team in tackles, recording at least four stops in every game this year. Sullivan did not play against TCU, but made five stops at West Virginia. Sam Sizelove made his four starts in 2018.

Secondary — Senior Duke Shelley, the team’s top corner, has not played in the last two games with a right leg injury. Sophomore AJ Parker holds down the other cornerback spot, while sophomore Waler Neil Jr. is the team’s nickelback. Junior Denzel Goolsby is the team’s starting strong safety, while senior Kendall Adams is the free safety.

SPECIAL TEAMS — The special teams unit, a staple for Kansas State in years past, has been struggling this season. Junior Isaiah Zuber has handled returning duties for the Wildcats, fumbling a punt return against TCU. Sophomore kicker Blake Lynch missed an extra point in the fourth quarter of a 14-13 loss to the Horned Frogs.

FUN FACT — Bill Snyder hasn’t lost to Kansas in Manhattan since his first season in 1989. A win on Saturday would give Snyder his 23rd win over the Jayhawks in the last 27 meetings when he is on the sidelines. The 23 wins would be the most by all active head coach over any one opponent.

VEGAS SAYS… According to Bovada, Kansas State is a 10.5-point favorite over Kansas as of Friday afternoon. During this nine-game win streak in the Sunflower Showdown, the Wildcats have won all but one game by more than 10 points. Yet it doesn’t appear either team is built to run away with this one, regardless of who wins. I’ll take the points, despite what recent history would suggest.

Prediction: Kansas State 24, Kansas 21

Record against spread: 6-3

Reply 2 comments from Dirk Medema Dane Pratt

Getting to know: Iowa State football

 Iowa State defensive back Braxton Lewis (33) celebrates with teammate Willie Harvey (2) after an interception in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Iowa State defensive back Braxton Lewis (33) celebrates with teammate Willie Harvey (2) after an interception in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

The University of Kansas football team will look to keep things rolling after defeating TCU last week.

Kansas (3-5, 1-4 Big 12) will not have an easy task, as it welcomes a red-hot Iowa State (4-3, 3-2) team to David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. The Cyclones won all three of their games in October, including a pair of victories over ranked foes.

“Getting that first Big 12 win for the season under our belt was big,” KU head coach David Beaty said. “We have to make that kind of a pillar. I said that a few years ago when we played Texas. Those games can be pillars that you can talk back on, say that was one of the big turning points if you continue to build on it. If you don’t, it becomes a game that you played.”

Kansas plays host to Iowa State at 11 a.m. Saturday.

BREAKING DOWN IOWA STATE:

OFFENSE

Quarterback — Iowa State is a completely different team with freshman Brock Purdy under center. The Cyclones are 4-0 when Purdy plays and 2-0 in his starts. Purdy has thrown for 822 yards and nine touchdowns this season. He has also rushed for 169 yards and one score on 45 carries. Perhaps Purdy’s greatest weapon, however, is ability to fool the defense with his pump fake.

None by Max Olson

Running backs — The Cyclones have one of the most talented running backs in the nation, as David Montgomery had recorded four consecutive 100-yard rushing efforts. Montgomery leads the Big 12 with 108 rushing yards per game, which ranks 12th in the nation. He has also scored a touchdown in five consecutive games. Montgomery also has a knack for shedding defenders, forcing 11 missed tackles, per Pro Football Focus, during the team’s win over Texas Tech last weekend.

None by Max Olson

Receivers — A trio of Deshaunte Jones, Hakeem Butler and Matthew Eaton have started all seven games for the Cyclones. Only four players caught a pass against Texas Tech, in which Butler netted 148 receiving yards. In his career, Butler is averaging 18.7 yards per reception, which is the best clip in school history.

Offensive line — Juniors Julian Good-Jones and Collin Olson are expected to make up the left side at tackle and guard, respectively. Freshman Colin Newell has started every game at center other than the season opener against Iowa. Juniors Josh Knipfel (guard) and Bryce Meeker (tackle) will hold things down on the right side.

DEFENSE

Defensive line — Iowa State has been a trend setter by adopting a three-man defensive front before other Big 12 teams followed suit. Junior JaQuan Bailey leads the team in TFL (10.5), sacks (5.5) and has 24 tackles to lead all down linemen. Matt Leo will replace Enyi Uwazurike, who has been the starter all year before sustaining a hamstring injury. Ray Lima recorded six tackles against Texas Tech in his first game back from a concussion.

Linebackers — Junior Marcel Spears, the team’s weak-side linebacker, claimed two interceptions, including a pick-six against Texas Tech. Senior Willie Harvey is coming off an eight-tackle performance. Freshman Mike Rose, meanwhile, has started all seven contests at middle linebacker. Braxton Lewis, who is the team’s “star” in this defense, tallied seven stops against Texas Tech last week.

Secondary — Seniors Brian Peavy and D'Andre Payne are holding down the two starting cornerback spots. Peavy paced the squad with nine tackles against the Red Raiders. Sophomores Greg Eisworth (strong safety) and Lawrence White (free safety) are slated to operate from the two safety spots.

SPECIAL TEAMS — Sophomore kicker Connor Assalley missed a field goal last week, and is now 9 of 12 for the season and 19 of 20 on point-after attempts. Sophomore punter Corey Dunn averaged just 37.5 yards per punt last week. Sophomore Kene Nwangwu is the team’s kick returner, while junior Deshaunte Jones handles punt return duties.

FUN FACT — Iowa State has an active streak of a safety in three-straight games, which is the first time in program history as well as Big 12 history. In fact, it has not happened to an FBS team since 1996 when Stats Inc. began collecting data.

VEGAS SAYS… According to Bovada, Iowa State is a 15-point favorite as of Friday afternoon. The Cyclones have defeated only one opponent by at least 15 points in 2018. However, they have done so against the Jayhawks in four of the previous six meetings between these two teams. In the end, it comes down to the ISU offense being better behind Purdy as to why I’m willing to give up that many points again.

Prediction: Iowa State 31, Kansas 14

Record against spread: 5-3

Reply 2 comments from Dane Pratt

Getting to know: TCU football

Kansas head coach David Beaty, left, and TCU head coach Gary Patterson bump fists during a meeting with game officials about a running clock the fourth quarter because of inclement weather approaching the stadium, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017 at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth.

Kansas head coach David Beaty, left, and TCU head coach Gary Patterson bump fists during a meeting with game officials about a running clock the fourth quarter because of inclement weather approaching the stadium, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017 at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth. by Nick Krug

For the first time in a month, University of Kansas football team returns home.

Kansas (2-5, 0-4 Big 12) is slated to take on TCU (3-4, 1-3) this weekend at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. The Jayhawks are coming off a 48-16 loss to Texas Tech, while the Horned Frogs dropped a 52-27 decision to Oklahoma.

“Coach (Gary) Patterson, can’t say enough about him,” head coach David Beaty said. “He’s going to find a way now. He’s one of them guys that it just seems like things could be going crazy around him and he finds a way to settle it down. So we definitely know we’ve got to get ourselves ready to go this weekend.”

Kansas plays host to TCU at 2 p.m. Saturday.

BREAKING DOWN TCU:

OFFENSE

Quarterback — Sophomore Shawn Robinson, who started the previous seven games, is out for the year after a season-ending shoulder injury. As a result, sophomore Michael Collins will make his Big 12 starting debut against the Jayhawks. Collins, a transfer from Penn, originally came to TCU as a walk-on. Collins threw two touchdowns in his three minutes of action against Oklahoma.

Running backs — The Horned Frogs are led by junior Darius Anderson in the run game. Anderson is averaging 6.1 yards per carry in his career, which ranks fourth in TCU history. Earlier this season, Anderson recorded the longest touchdown run in program history with a 93-yard score against Ohio State. Junior Sewo Olonilua and sophomore Emari Demercado provide depth in the backfield.

Receivers — As a sophomore, Jalen Reagor is leading the unit with a team-high 38 catches for 465 yards and four scores through the first seven weeks. Senior Jarrison Stewart has caught 11 of his 12 passes over the previous four weeks. Senior KaVontae Turpin is second on the team with 29 grabs, and ranks eighth in school history with 145 career catches.

Offensive line — On the left side of the offensive line, juniors Anthony McKinney (tackle) and Cordel Iwuagwu are slated to get the start. Sophomore Kellton Hollins, a team captain, is the starting center for TCU. Senior Chris Gaynor and junior Lucas Niang are expected to hold down the right guard and right tackle spot, respectively. TCU has run the ball on 51.9 percent of its snaps behind this unit.

DEFENSE

Defensive line — Senior left end Ben Banogu is the focal point of this four-man defensive line. Banogu was named the preseason Big 12 defensive player of the year, and has recorded 4.5 sacks this season. Sophomore Corey Bethley and redshirt freshman Terrell Cooper hold down the defensive tackle spots. Senior Ty Summers, who has 310 career tackles, is the defensive end on the right side.

Linebackers — A pair of quick defensive playmakers make up this unit. Senior Arico Evans is fourth on the team with 31 stops this year, recording a career-best 10 tackles at Texas. Sophomore Garret Wallow, who is a converted safety, is leading the defense with 52 tackles through seven games. TCU tops the Big 12 and is 12th nationally in third-down defense, allowing opponents to convert just 29.9 percent of the time.

Secondary — TCU has a number of contributors in the secondary, including Niko Small at free safety. The senior has made 27 career starts, notching 148 career tackles in his career. Junior Innis Gaines and senior Ridwan Issahaku also operate from the safety position. Juniors Julius Lewis and Jeff Gladney are the starting cornerbacks for TCU. The Horned Frogs allow 186.4 passing yards per game, which is the best mark in the Big 12.

SPECIAL TEAMS — KaVontae Turpin is a game-changing playmaker in the return game. He leads the nation this season in punt return average, and is the only player in the nation with a kickoff return and a punt return for a touchdown. Jonathan Song has made 12 of his 14 career field goal attempts, including a 4-for-6 mark this season.

FUN FACT — In 18 seasons with Gary Patterson as the head coach, TCU is 111-5 when allowing 17 points or less. Kansas has been held to 17 points or fewer in two of its first seven games in 2018.

VEGAS SAYS… According to Bovada, TCU is a 13.5-point favorite over Kansas as of Friday afternoon. TCU has won only one of its previous five meetings with Kansas by at least 14 points, which came during last year’s 43-0 victory. Still, the Jayhawks will not be able to score enough to keep this game within two touchdowns.

Prediction: TCU 35, Kansas 14

Record against spread: 5-2

Reply 4 comments from Dane Pratt West_virginia_hawk Robert  Brock Dirk Medema

Getting to know: Texas Tech football

Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury calls a play from the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against TCU Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, in Lubbock, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury calls a play from the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against TCU Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, in Lubbock, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

After a bye week, the University of Kansas football team will look to capture its first conference win.

Kansas (2-4, 0-3 Big 12) is slated to take on Texas Tech (4-2, 2-1) this week. The Jayhawks have dropped their last 11 meetings with the Red Raiders. Texas Tech claimed a 65-19 win over Kansas during last year’s meeting in Lawrence. The Red Raiders are coming off a 17-14 win over TCU.

“It’s going to be a great challenge going down there, but I know our guys are excited to go down there,” head coach David Beaty said. “We feel good about the game plan and the things we can do to take advantage of, so we’re looking forward to going down there and bringing back a victory.”

Kansas travels to Texas Tech at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

BREAKING DOWN TEXAS TECH:

OFFENSE

Quarterback — True freshman Alan Bowman’s performance through four starts ranks among the most impressive debuts in program history. But Bowman missed last week due to an injury he sustained against West Virginia. In his place, sophomore Jett Duffey completed 13 of 24 passes for 190 yards against TCU. Junior McLane Carter also started the season opener.

Running backs — In four starts, freshman Ta’Zhawn Henry has rushed for 274 yards and seven touchdowns on 63 attempts. Demarcus Felton, a senior, has carried the ball 45 times for 214 yards and four scores. Felton recorded a 130-yard performance on 14 attempts against Oklahoma State, while Henry accumulated 111 yards on 24 carries against Houston.

Receivers — Junior Antoine Wesley has started all six games for the Red Raiders, hauling in 41 catches for 703 yards and five touchdowns. In four starts. Ja’Deion High has caught 32 balls for 484 yards and three scores. Four other receivers have caught at least 13 passes for the Red Raiders, who rank second in the nation in passing offense with an average of 373.3 yards per game.

Offensive line — Last season, Texas Tech had one of the youngest offensive lines in the country. Behind five returning starters, the Red Raiders have kept all three of their quarterbacks upright against three of the top pass rushing teams in the country in the last month. Travis Bruffy, Madison Akamonu, Paul Stawarz, Jack Anderson and Terence Steele have started 15 of the previous 17 outings for Texas Tech.

DEFENSE

Defensive line — Sophomore Eli Howard, sophomore Joseph Wallace and junior Roderick Washington make up the defensive line for the Red Raiders. Washington, who has started all six games, has notched 14 total tackles and 1.5 sacks. Howard has made five starts, recording 18 tackles and 3.5 sacks for Texas Tech.

Linebackers — Senior Dakota Allen and junior Jordyn Brooks have started all six contests in the linebacker unit for Texas Tech. Allen has tallied 45 total tackles from his spot, while recording four quarterback hurries. Allen has made 3.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage as well. Brooks has registered 37 tackles and logged one interception. Seniors Kolin Hill and Tony Jones will be used this weekend as well.

Secondary — Senior John Bonney is the lone defensive back to have started in all six games. The safety has forced a fumble and recorded one pass breakup, while recording 19 total tackles. Senior Jah’Shawn Johnson holds down the other safety spot for the Red Raiders. Freshman Adrian Frye and sophomore Damarcus Fields are the two starting corners, while junior Douglas Coleman is the team’s nickelback.

SPECIAL TEAMS — Texas Tech has the same four specialists from 2017, including kicker Clayton Hatfield and punter Dominic Panazollo. Hatfield is currently tied for sixth all-time with 40 career field goals. He’s hit 40 of 48 field goal attempts over his career, which is good for an .833 average. Panazzolo has limited opponents to just three returns this year over his 30 punts.

FUN FACT — Opponents are only converting 31.5 percent of third-down attempts this season, which ranks 20th in the nation and second in the Big 12. The Red Raiders ranked 92nd in the country and last among Big 12 schools in that category a year ago.

VEGAS SAYS… According to Bovada, Texas Tech is an 18-point favorite over Kansas as of Friday afternoon. The Jayhawks have lost all three conference games by an average margin of 18.3 points per contest. The Red Raiders, meanwhile, have beat the Jayhawks by at least 18 in three of their last five meetings. I’m willing to give up that many points in this one.

Prediction: Texas Tech 42, Kansas 17

Record against spread: 4-2

Reply 3 comments from Dirk Medema Spk15 Eeakins1

Getting to know: West Virginia football

West Virginia quarterback Will Grier (7) scrambles for a long run between Kansas defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. (2) and Kansas linebacker Keith Loneker Jr. (47) during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 at Memorial Stadium.

West Virginia quarterback Will Grier (7) scrambles for a long run between Kansas defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. (2) and Kansas linebacker Keith Loneker Jr. (47) during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

The University of Kansas football team will have a tough test this weekend.

Kansas (2-3, 0-2 Big 12) travels to No. 9 West Virginia (4-0, 2-0) for the third conference game of the season. KU is coming off a 48-28 loss to Oklahoma State, while WVU claimed a 42-34 win over Texas Tech last weekend.

“We’ve got a big challenge ahead of us, but we’re looking forward to it,” head coach David Beaty said. “We feel like we’ve got some things shored up, and we’re going to go up to West Virginia and plan on having a fun day.”

The Mountaineers are averaging 42.3 points per game, which is good for 21st in the nation. They have the ninth-best total offense in all of college football, averaging 531.3 offensive yards per game. The Jayhawks, meanwhile, are boasting the top turnover margin (2.40) in the FBS this season.

Kansas travels to West Virginia at 11 a.m. Saturday.

BREAKING DOWN WEST VIRGINIA:

OFFENSE

Quarterback — Entering the season, senior Will Grier was a serious Heisman candidate. His numbers are certainly prolific through four games, as he thrown for 1,487 yards and 17 touchdowns on 136 attempts. Grier leads the nation in touchdowns per game, while ranking fifth in the nation with a .747 completion percentage.

Running backs — As a team, West Virginia is averaging 158.5 rushing yards per game. The backfield features four different options, as “or” is listed three different times on the team’s depth chart. Juniors Kennedy McKoy and Martell Pettaway are the top two options, combining for 436 yards on a total of 71 carries between the two players. True freshman Leddie Brown is averaging 47.2 yards per game.

Receivers — The Jayhawks will have their hands full trying to slow down this passing attack, particularly the strength of the receiving unit. Senior David Sills V has 23 catches for 294 yards and five scores. He needs four more touchdowns to tie Tavon Austin for second place on the all-time list. Marcus Simms (24) and Garry Jennings Jr. (22) have also caught at least 22 passes for 433 yards and 311 yards, respectively.

Offensive line — Senior Yodney Cajuste continues to hold down the left tackle spot on West Virginia’s offensive line. Sophomore Josh Sills is slated to start at left guard, and junior Matt Jones is the team’s starting center. Junior Colton McKivitz is expected to start at right tackle. Those four players have combined to make 80 career starts. Chase Behrndt or Joe Brown will be inserted at right guard.

DEFENSE

Defensive line — Junior Reese Donahue and senior Jabril Robinson are expected to hold down the defensive end spots. Senior Kenny Bigelow Jr. has been the team’s starting nose tackle through four games. As a team, West Virginia has recorded eight sacks in four outings. Both defensive ends have been credited with one sack thus far.

Linebackers — JoVanni Stewart, Dylan Tonkery and David Long Jr. make up the linebacker unit for the Mountaineers. Long is leading the team with 46 total tackles, including 8.5 stops for a loss. Tonkery is third on the team in tackles with 21, and has forced a fumble. West Virginia is allowing 17.8 points per game, which is good for 20th in the nation.

Secondary — Juniors Keith Washington Jr. and Josh Norwood are slotted in at the cornerback spots. Toyous Avery Jr., Dravon Askew-Henry and Kenny Robinson Jr. are also involved in the secondary. Askew-Henry, who has 43 career starts under his belt, has recorded 176 total career tackles.

SPECIAL TEAMS — Kicker Evan Staley and punter Billy Kinney lead the special teams in 2018. Staley is 3 of 5 on field goals attempts, and ranks No. 8 in Big 12 overall scoring. Kinney has only punted nine times this season, in which he has averaged 41.4 yards per punt.

FUN FACT — The Kansas defense will have the tough task of trying to get WVU off the field. West Virginia is converting 59 percent (27 of 46) of its third-down attempts this season. That is the best clip in the conference and ranks No. 4 in the nation.

VEGAS SAYS… According to Bovada, West Virginia is a 28-point favorite over Kansas as of Friday afternoon. That may seem like a lot of points, but the Mountaineers have an average margin of victory of 32.6 points over their last three meetings with the Jayhawks. As a result, I’m willing to sacrifice that many points in this one.

Prediction: West Virginia 49, Kansas 14

Record against spread: 4-1

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KU shows improvement on opening drives in loss

Kansas wide receiver Kwamie Lassiter celebrates with running back Khalil Herbert following a touchdown against Oklahoma State on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018.

Kansas wide receiver Kwamie Lassiter celebrates with running back Khalil Herbert following a touchdown against Oklahoma State on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. by Mike Gunnoe

Every Monday head coach David Beaty asks the University of Kansas football team if it scored during the first drive of either half in the previous game.

Far too often, that answer has been a no through five weeks of the 2018 season. In fact, the Jayhawks have recorded just 10 points on 10 such possession this year. The lone score on the first offensive drive of any half came on a field goal against Rutgers.

“That’s the biggest key, and it is something we focus on every day,” senior receiver Steven Sims Jr. said. “I take that personally, because I feel like we are capable of scoring every time we get the ball.”

But the Jayhawks performed better on their first offensive drive against Oklahoma State behind junior quarterback Carter Stanley, who got his first start of the season.

Trailing 7-0, Stanley marched Kansas into opposing territory. The offense accumulated 40 yards on nine plays, including a pair of completions from Stanley. Gabriel Rui ultimately missed a 52-yard field goal attempt on the drive.

Despite not getting on the scoreboard, it was a sign of improvement by the Jayhawks. After all, Kansas had combined for 31 total yards on its previous three game-opening drives that didn’t end in a score.

“Coach Beaty challenges us to score on the first drive in the first half and second half,” junior running back Khalil Herbert said. “It just starts off the game well, and gives our defense a breather.”

Kansas also got creative on its opening drive in the 48-28 loss to Oklahoma State.

The Jayhawks ran a play out of the wildcat formation, in which freshman running back Pooka Williams Jr. received the snap. Williams proceeded to run a speed option to the right before flicking the ball to Sims, who gained 23 yards on a reverse.

None by Shane Jackson

In the second half, meanwhile, Kansas needed just three plays before Williams scored on a 60-yard touchdown run. It was the first time that the Jayhawks had scored any points on their first drive of the second half.

None by Shane Jackson

Prior to that, Kansas had accumulated just 17 total yards on four possession to start the second half. The Jayhawks finished with 21 points in the second half against the Cowboys.

“We just have to be a smart team,” Herbert said. “We can’t have any penalties. Coach Beaty says we can’t go backwards. If we don’t go backwards, I think we will be in business.”

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