#83 Kansas Football Preview

Kansas Jayhawks

Overall Rank: #83
#10 Big 12

Kansas Logo

Kansas Home Page

2010 Record: (3-9, 1-7)
2010 Bowl: none
Coach: Turner Gill (3-9 at Kansas, 23-39 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Chuck Long
Defensive Coordinator: Carl Torbush

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: James Sims, RB, 742 yards
Passing: Jordan Webb, QB, 1,195 yards
Receiving: Daymond Patterson, WR, 487 yards
Tackles: Steven Johnson, LB, 95
Sacks: Steven Johnson, LB, 2.0
Interceptions: Isiah Barfield, CB, 2; Tyler Patmon, CB, 2

Other Key Returnees: TE Tim Biere, CB Greg Brown, DT Patrick Dorsey, C Jeremiah Hatch, DT Richard Johnson, OT Tanner Hawkinson, DE Toben Opurum, S Lubbock Smith, DT John Williams

Key Losses: G Sal Capra, LB Drew Dudley, CB Chris Harris, DE Jake Laptad, S Olaitan Oguntodu, RB Angus Quigley, LB Justin Springer, G Brad Thorson, WR Johnathan Wilson

Kansas averaged a mere 17.1 points per game last year and that just has to get better. Their quarterback, Jordan Webb, returns, but he will not likely be the starter come fall. Incoming freshman Brock Berglund is expected to be the new signal caller. Considering Webb threw more interceptions than touchdowns and Berglund has a lot of hype surrounding him, this battle should go well into August. Webb is just a sophomore and he did learn a few things last year, so that is a plus, but Berglund should take over this team sooner rather than later.

The offense does have a few weapons to work with. Despite their inefficiency last season, there is some talent on this roster. Wide receiver Daymond Patterson is a speedy receiver and led the Jayhawks with 60 receptions for 487 yards last season. If somebody could get him the ball, Patterson would be a much more productive player. Coach Turner Gill has also brought in some young receivers he hopes can stretch the field. Tight end Tim Biere is a veteran who is a big target in the red zone and led the team with four touchdown receptions in 2010. If the quarterbacks struggle again, Biere will get plenty of touches. Running back James Sims was a pleasant surprise during his freshman campaign, totaling 742 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground. If the line can hold, Sims should have another solid season. But that is a big ‘if.’ The line was awful last season and a few starters return, but how well they improve from last season is the big question. Having former starting tackle Jeff Spikes back from injury should certainly help and the line should be a little better than they were last season.

The defense gave up twice as many points as the offense scored. That is not a recipe for success. The main problem for the defense was getting consistent pressure on the quarterback. The team tallied just over one sack per game and sack leader Jake Laptad is gone. The rest of the line returns, but for a team that gave up 205.2 yards per game on the ground, that may not be a good thing. The Jayhawks will have to break in a couple new starters in the linebacker corps, but they can build around Steven Johnson and also get Huldon Tharp back from injury and Buffalo transfer Darius Willis. Considering the time the opposing quarterback usually had to throw the ball, the secondary did quite well. Isiah Barfield, Tyler Patmon and Greg Brown are all decent cornerbacks, but yet again they will likely be asked to do a lot for this team and that just will not be possible if the front four cannot get pressure on the quarterback. Breaking in a couple new safeties will not make life any easier for the corners, but Bradley McDouglad and Keeston Terry are quality players who should fit in nicely.

The Bottom Line:
Toben Opurum will be the key for the defense. Coach Gill has built up his junior defensive end and expects him to be the player that can consistently get into the backfield. The former running back had a great spring and should lead the team in sacks. However, leading a team in sacks that ranked 105th in that category a year ago may not be enough. He does need help from the rest of the front four. Coach Gill had a tough time with the Jayhawks in his first season, but he has reason to be optimistic. This is a young, growing team. They may not leave the Big 12 basement this year, but any signs of improvement could help get Kansas back to their old ways.

Projected Bowl: none

2010 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 134.58 (87th in nation, 12th in conference)
Passing Offense: 161.83 (103, 11)
Total Offense: 296.42 (113, 12)
Scoring Offense: 17.08 (111, 12)
Rushing Defense: 205.17 (107, 11)
Pass Defense: 222.50 (65, 7)
Total Defense: 427.67 (98, 9)
Scoring Defense: 34.42 (103, 12)
Turnover Margin: -.67 (105, 11)
Sacks: 1.17 (105, 11)
Sacks Allowed: 3.08 (112, 12)

Check out another article about Kansas football