2013 Kansas Spring Football Analysis
Kansas Jayhawks 2013
Head Coach: Charlie Weis
Why To Be Excited As bad as going 1-11 might have been with 11 straight losses and no wins in FBS play, it might not take a whole bunch of tweaking to quickly become more than just competitive. The Jayhawks lost five games by a touchdown or less, and while there were some ugly blowouts along the way, they should’ve beaten Texas, the should’ve beaten Texas Tech, and they pushed Oklahoma State and a good Northern Illinois team. With Jake Heaps ready to fight for the starting quarterback job, and with James Sims among the Big 12’s best running backs, the backfield should have the pieces to get the offense going. The D might need a lot of work, but leading tackler Ben Heeney is back along with the rest of the linebacking corps.
| 2013 Schedule|
8/31 OPEN DATE
9/7 South Dakota
9/14 at Rice
9/21 Louisiana Tech
9/28 OPEN DATE
10/5 Texas Tech
10/12 at TCU
11/2 at Texas
11/9 at Oklahoma State
11/16 West Virginia
11/23 at Iowa State
11/30 Kansas State
Why To Be Grouchy Can Heaps actually play? Michael Cummings was fun to watch at times as a runner, but he was brutally painful as a passer with no downfield ability and no accuracy. Heaps was the superstar recruit for BYU a few years ago with all the pressure on his shoulders to be the Next Great Cougar QB, but he struggled when thrown to the wolves and ended up transferring out. He’s a good, accurate passer who could develop into what Charlie Weis wants, but he has to prove he can make an offense produce at a Big 12 level.
What Needs Working On The pass rush was the worst in the Big 12, helping to lead to the pass defensive problems giving up 289 yards per game and rarely coming up with a big stop. No Jayhawk came up with two sacks on the year with the team generating just 12 on the season. Making matters worse, six of those 12 came in the first three games and three more came in the season finale against West Virginia. This spring it would be nice if one player could step up and become a dominant playmaker in the backfield after losing Toben Opurum and Josh Williams on the outside along with linebacker Tunde Bakare.
Non-Conference Games: South Dakota, at Rice, Louisiana Tech
Realistic Best Case Record: 6-6
Worst Case Record: 3-9
Likely Finish: 5-7
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: South Dakota, at Rice, Louisiana Tech, Texas Tech, West Virginia
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: at TCU, Oklahoma, Baylor, at Texas, at Oklahoma State, at Iowa State, Kansas State
Schedule Analysis: The Jayhawks return a ton of veteran players, and now they need to win and win early with three good chances to get off to a nice start. After starting out against South Dakota, going to Rice and hosting Louisiana Tech won’t be easy, but if KU can’t win those, it’s going to be ugly once the Big 12 season kicks in. Worst of all, after getting a week off at the end of September before the conference slate starts, the Jayhawks don’t get another week off the rest of the way with nine straight games.
Three of the first four Big 12 games are at home, starting out against Texas Tech before going to TCU and getting Oklahoma and Baylor in Lawrence. However, three of the next four games are on the road starting out with back-to-back away games at Texas and Oklahoma State before hosting West Virginia and going to Iowa State. The brutal run finishes up against Kansas State.
Team Concerns For 2013: Jake Heaps, are you ready to shine? The Jayhawks didn't exactly get the Charlie Weis passing game rolling
finishing last in the nation in efficiency averaging just 149 yards per game. Heaps, the former superstar recruit for BYU, needs to take the offense by the horns, but Michael Cummings showed he could run a bit last year when he was thrown to the wolves. The offensive line needs to be better and has to replace three starters, but James Sims is a nice back to use to take the heat off the passing attack. The miserable pass rush has to start finding ways into the backfield, and the Big 12's worst run defense has to be far more physical.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... JUCO. Charlie Weis needs
to improve his team in a hurry, and he's looking at the junior colleges
to do it. Marquel Combs is a sure-thing defensive tackle starter out of
California, while end Chris Martin is a ready-made pass rusher out of
City College of California. Cassius Sendish, Kevin Short and Dexter
McDonald are being brought in to help the secondary right away, while Rodriguez Coleman and Mark Thomas are going to help out the receiver depth. There are some decent prep talents coming in, too, with quarterback Jordan Darling and tight end Ben Johnson to eventually be a pitch-and-catch option.
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 86. That Class Was Heavy On ... Firepower. The biggest recruit was new head coach Charlie Weis, but he doesn’t have the pieces in place to start firing away with the better Big 12 offenses. Weis has already improved the passing game for now and the near future with Dayne Crist transferring from Notre Dame and former No. 1 quarterback recruit Jake Heaps coming in from BYU. This year, though, he’ll be doing whatever he can to bring in a few JUCO targets and start to use the short time he’s had to work to bring in enough talent to salvage some sort of a class.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 40. That Class Was Heavy On ... Safeties. The Jayhawks need answers for the offense, and the hope will be for either Brock Berglund or Michael Cummings to be a playmaker at quarterback as soon as humanly possible. Running backs Darrian Miller and Anthony Pierson should add some flash to the backfield early on. In the big class, the emphasis was on the safeties with six brought in with JUCO transfer Tnde Bakare expected to start right away and Marquis Jackson and Alex Matlock big, dangerous prospects for down the road.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 65. That Class Was
Heavy On ... The defensive
line. Mark Mangino concentrated on the secondary
last year, and Turner Gill, with little time to
work, beefed up the defensive front with six
prospects headed up by Jeremiah Edwards, a
potentially dangerous interior pass rusher, and
speedy end Jaqwaylin Arps. Both are from Texas. JUCO
transfer Quinn Meachem will push hard for Todd
Reesing's vacated starting quarterback job, while
the running back tandem of Brandon Bourbon and James
Sims might be too good to keep off the field.
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 46. That Class Was
Heavy On ... defensive backs. The Jayhawks went out to get better on defense, and it did with LB Huldon Tharp, three JUCO defensive ends, end Kevin Young, and tackle Randall Dent all coming in to form the foundation for the future of the defense, but it’s the secondary that got the most help with six prospects led by corner Prinz Kande, a speedy, big coverman, while the safeties are all terrific led by JUCO transfer Calvin Rubles and true freshmen Bradley McDougald and Darian Kelly.