KU football heads into Week 2 with even more hop in its step
photo by: Nick Krug
Kansas football coach David Beaty said Tuesday that the lingering effects from Saturday’s 55-6 victory over Rhode Island have done wonders for KU’s preparation heading into this week’s 1:30 p.m. kickoff against Ohio on Saturday.
“Obviously, there is some momentum coming off of that,” Beaty said. “Lot more smiles walking in that building and a lot more hop in their step so to speak when we got to the practice field (Monday) which was good to see…. I thought the practice was spirited. I thought the energy was really good, and I thought their attention from Week 1 to Week 2, with the scouting report that we were putting together for this team, was really good. I think it’s motivated them and driving those guys. So they like the taste and so do we. So we’re going to keep working to try to earn another one.”
Beaty said the hope for that was greater than ever because of the progress he and his coaching staff saw during the Week 1 win.
Whether it showed up in receivers making catches and securing the ball the proper way, other wideouts blocking down field or offensive linemen playing with proper technique and pad level, Beaty said the opener provided plenty of evidence that his team was improving.
“It’s like we talked about the other day, a great start makes for a great finish,” Beaty said. “And we put a lot of emphasis (on that). There were some good carry over, and those are things that you like to see.”
Beaty said several freshmen stood out during Saturday’s victory and the number of freshmen that played came as a bit of a surprise.
“We knew there were going to be a few that had to help us early,” said Beaty of players like running back Khalil Herbert, defensive backs Mike Lee, Kyle Mayberry and Bryce Torneden and defensive end Isaiah Bean. “There were a few others that we thought were going to help us, but their week of practice went downhill so they didn’t help us at all. So it was a great lesson for a bunch of guys that had opportunities to play Saturday but they didn’t get to play because the week started getting a little bit tough for them. So I think they learned hard lessons because you go through that camp and the grind and things start getting tough on you. And instead of fighting through, you got to wind up getting what you earn.”
Nothing new at QB
It sounds as if Beaty and company plan to take their quarterback-rotation of junior Montell Cozart and sophomore Ryan Willis into another week because both players performed so well in the debut of Beaty’s new offense last week.
“I was proud of those guys,” said Beaty, adding in Carter Stanley’s name for good measure. “They played the game the way it was supposed to be played. They didn’t do anything extraordinary. All they did is play by the rules. That’s why I love the offense that we run. I believe in it. The thing that I saw is their eyes when they came to the sideline when they said, ‘Hey, man, the thing coach is telling me is right. I’ve got the answers to the test. And they pushed us so hard. They told us it was going to be easier in the game.’ And that’s what Montell said, and he was like, ‘Coach, man, you were right. It slowed down for me out there.'”
Room to grow
Pleased by the 49-point victory, Beaty was far from content about the overall product.
In fact, the second-year KU coach said Tuesday that for all of the good things that happen for the Jayhawks during Saturday’s season-opening victory, there also were more than a few areas in which Kansas still could improve.
“The penalties that we took are inexcusable, and that’s not just on the players; that’s on us as coaches,” Beaty said. “A couple things that happened throughout that game, man, those are things if they don’t bother you, there’s got to be something wrong with you. And it’s been a hard couple days around here for myself, our staff and our players because those things were definitely preventable.”
In the victory, the Jayhawks committed four penalties for 37 yards and lost one fumble and threw one interception.