As Kansas fans rushed the field after the Jayhawks’ 31-19 win over West Virginia on Saturday, breaking a 27-game Big 12 losing streak, Jayhawks coach Charlie Weis said several groups surrounding the football program were in his thoughts.
The celebratory rushing of the field by Kansas’ fans along with the tearing down and carting off of the goalposts, were fitting tributes to fans who have stuck through a valley in the football program, he said.
“I’m the type of guy that really believes the football team should be a part of the student body,” Weis said Monday. “To have the players be intertwined with the students — my enjoyment really comes when they have enjoyment and there were a lot of happy faces out there. I wasn’t just happy for our players — I certainly was happy for them — but for all our fans who have had to endure this years of losing streak in the Big 12 and to get that behind us.”
Of course, as Weis said, the players were uppermost in his thoughts after the win.
“When guys are used to losing, no matter how hard you play, and nothing good happens, it wears old on you after a while,” Weis said. “It’s a big, big psychological lift for our players and therefore our program.”
Of those players, praise certainly was due for freshman quarterback Montell Cozart, who picked up the win in his first start. Cozart ran for a career-high 60 yards, the most for a Kansas quarterback since 2010.
“We’ve been fairly inefficient on offense and I think that his athleticism helps hides some of our deficiencies,” Weis said. “He gets us out of some trouble we’d have if we didn’t have that. I think Montell has a bright future and this is a good first step for him.”
Moving forward from the season-defining win, Kansas (3-7, 1-6 in Big 12) has a chance to pick up a road victory Saturday at 1-9 Iowa State before closing the season against rival Kansas State.
“We have two opportunities to get rid of a couple other things that are on the list of things that change the program,” Weis said.