#103 Kansas Football 2017 Preview

Kansas Jayhawks
Overall Rank: #103
#10 Big 12
It does not sound like much, but winning two games was a big step in the right direction for Kansas, especially since one of those games was against Big 12 foe Texas. The Jayhawks hope to build off that momentum and take a big step towards respectability in 2017.
2016 Record: 2-10, 1-8
2016 Bowl: None
Coach: David Beaty (2-22 at Kansas, 2-22 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Doug Meacham
Defensive Coordinator: Clint Bowen
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Taylor Martin, RB, 324 yards
Passing: Carter Stanley, QB, 959 yards
Receiving: Steven Sims, Jr., WR, 859 yards
Tackles: Mike Lee, S, 77
Sacks: Dorance Armstrong Jr., DE, 10.0
Interceptions: Mike Lee, S, 1
Other Key Returnees: WR LaQuvionte Gonzalez, OL Hakeem Adeniji, LB Keith Loneker Jr., DT Daniel Wise, DT DeeIsaac Davis, P Cole Moos
Key Losses: RB Ke’aun Kinner, QB Montell Cozart, WR Shakiem Barbel, OL D’Andre Banks, DB Fish Smithson, CB Brandon Stewart, LB Courtney Arnick, S Tevin Shaw, K Matthew Wyman
New offensive coordinator Doug Meacham, who was at TCU, is a good start for revitalizing the offense. Quarterback Carter Stanley started late last season. He completed 59.6 percent of his passes for 959 yards and six touchdowns and six interceptions. Peyton Bender, who spent time at Washington State before hitting the junior college ranks, will compete with Stanley for the starting job. Whoever starts under center will have some decent talent around him. Receivers Steven Sims, Jr. and LaQuvionte Gonzalez lead what should be a talented group. Sims caught 72 passes for 859 yards and seven touchdowns, while Gonzalez added 729 yards and three scores. The ground game might be more of an issue, but the hope is junior Taylor Martin or junior college transfer Octavius Matthews can emerge as a decent rushing threat behind an experienced offensive line.
The Kansas defense had some good moments in 2016 yet there is a lot of work to do. The ground game was atrocious and can only get better. With end Dorance Armstrong, who tallied 10.0 sacks last year, the pass rush should at least be serviceable even without Damani Mosby. With tackles Daniel Wise and DeeIsaac Davis, it is the line that could be the strength of the unit in 2017. Two linebackers are gone and so are four out of five starters in the secondary. However, safety Mike Lee is a superb talent who can make big plays and tallied 77 tackles during his freshman campaign.
The Bottom Line:
For the first time in a long time, this could be an interesting season in Lawrence. A bowl game is probably asking too much right now, but this is year three for Coach David Beaty and there should be some noticeable improvement. Last year the Jayhawks played some tight games against decent teams. This year they should be able to win a couple of those games and give the desperate Kansas fans something to really look forward to in the years to come.
Projected Bowl: None
2016 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 119.1 (116th in nation, 9th in conference)
Passing Offense: 240.4 (59, 9)
Total Offense: 359.5 (106, 10)
Scoring Offense: 20.3 (120, 10)
Rushing Defense: 236.4 (114, 9)
Pass Defense: 219.8 (54, 1)
Total Defense: 456.2 (109, 9)
Scoring Defense: 37.3 (114, 9)
Turnover Margin: -1.17 (123, 10)
Sacks: 2.33 (42, 5)
Sacks Allowed: 2.25 (81, 5)
Madness 2018 NFL Draft Rankings:
#77 Dorance Armstrong