Kansas’ added depth brings hope for bigger success in Big 12

Posted Monday, Aug. 26, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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More information Kansas Coach: Charlie Weis (second season, 1-11) 2012 record: 1-11 Season opener: Sept. 7 vs. South Dakota Key issues: Weis pulled no punches talking about how terribly his first season at Kansas went last season saying, “Have you looked at that pile of crap out there? Have you taken a look at that?”… Almost everything needs to be fixed with the Jayhawks, but offense is the most glaring problem. … Kansas ranked last in the conference in scoring offense, passing offense and total offense among many other offensive categories. … Kansas also ranked last in field goals and second-to-last in scoring by the kicking game in the conference, but that problem was an easy fix, Weis said Monday. “Change the kicker.” Big 12 countdown Featuring a Big 12 team daily leading up to this weekend. Aug. 20: TCU Aug. 21: Texas Aug. 22: Oklahoma State Aug. 23: Oklahoma Aug. 24: Texas Tech Aug. 25: Baylor Aug. 26: West Virginia Today: Kansas Wednesday: Iowa State Thursday: Kansas State

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They couldn’t pass and were pushed around up front in finishing 1-11 a year ago.

So what’s the bright spot coming out of fall camp for the Kansas Jayhawks?

Coach Charlie Weis actually has some depth.

His depth chart lists three, if not four, players at every position. It’s a noticeable improvement from last season, when inexperienced players filled a two-deep squad.

Weis, in both jest and seriousness, has used that lack of depth as a recruiting tool.

“There’s no one that wants to not play,” Weis said in July during Big 12 media days. “I said, have you looked at that pile of crap out there? Have you taken a look at that? So if you don’t think you can play here, where do you think you can play? It’s a pretty simple approach. And that’s not a sales pitch. That’s practical. You’ve seen it, right? Unfortunately, so have I.”

Kansas went to the junior college ranks to fill holes on the offensive and defensive lines. Most important, Weis said, Kansas should answer the passing game question mark with BYU transfer Jake Heaps.

Heaps started 10 games his freshman year but lost the starting job his sophomore season. He is expected to turn around a passing game that ranked 113th out of 120 FBS schools.

“Although we had a pretty solid running game, we couldn’t pass the ball, and we couldn’t score points, and I think that that’s what I’m counting on this year for us to be a more balanced team on offense,” Weis said.

The Jayhawks’ strong running game returns behind senior James Sims, an Irving MacArthur grad whose 115.2 yards per game led the Big 12 in 2012.

“If you looked at our stable of running backs, you’ll find a tough time in this league trying to find a group of running backs that’s any better than the ones we have,” Weis said.

Kansas was picked to finish last in the conference in the preseason media poll.

“Obviously, inside closed walls and closed doors, our expectations are much higher than everyone else, but the proof’s in the pudding,” Weis said.

“Until we start beating some teams in the Big 12, which is quite a challenge with the ability and talent throughout the league, we’re going to be put in the same spot every year.”

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