Pre-BYU roundup: Logan’s progression, the role of the scout team and more
photo by: AP Photo/Colin E. Braley
Kenny Logan Jr. was responsible for what could have been a defining play for the Kansas defense Saturday night. When that didn’t pan out, he made another one.
The senior safety and defensive leader chased down Nevada running back Ashton Hayes as he was headed toward the goal line to force a potentially game-changing fumble; of course, like so many other Nevada fumbles Saturday, it wound up in the hands of a Wolf Pack teammate. But Logan came through again later on when the Jayhawks needed him, surging into the backfield to sniff out a fourth-down reverse for speedy Jamaal Bell and throwing the receiver down by the waist to seal KU’s win.
“He’s just going,” defensive coordinator Brian Borland said Tuesday. “Some guys would have hesitated to pull the trigger like that and we wouldn’t have gotten that tackle for loss.”
It was a big day for the former all-conference selection, who racked up nine tackles, including 2.5 for loss.
“I was just trying to go out there and be who I am,” Logan said postgame.
Who he was on this occasion was the best version of himself so far this season, Borland said.
“He’s really improved his practice habits,” Borland said, “he’s really taken a step forward in maturity and just leadership, not just through words but through action, and he’s starting to see that. I think that’s starting to produce results on the field also.”
The KU offensive and defensive lines are once again trying to work themselves up to match the perceived physicality of their BYU counterparts. It’s a familiar narrative for the Jayhawks and one that they also drew upon entering Week 2 against Illinois. During that week, left tackle Dominick Puni told reporters that the linemen had told their scout-team counterparts in practice, “Come hit us.”
“We told the scouts today, like, ‘Go as hard as you can, we’re not going to take anything personal,'” he said at the time. “‘Whatever happens, happens.’ And I think that’s the best way to prepare for it.”
Puni added that he had gone hard against players like Dylan Brooks, Davion Westmoreland and Jaydon Brittingham.
Puni’s fellow bookend on the offensive line, Bryce Cabeldue, drew upon that familiar theme this week, noting that the scout team is “getting real hyped up, being a little bit more chippy, a little more physical.” This time, though, he gave particular kudos to one specific player, a walk-on end.
“Cole Petrus is probably the best scout team player that we have,” Cabeldue said. “I don’t know what it is about that kid … Cole Petrus has given me the most work. I cannot block that kid to save my life in pass protection at all.”
It’s high praise for the redshirt sophomore from St. Louis, who has recorded one career tackle.
Slipping back into routine
Cabeldue also said that he was thrilled to finally have an afternoon kickoff (2:30 p.m., to be specific) after three weeks of night games, capped off by a 9:30 p.m. Central Time start at Nevada last week.
“That’s my bedtime, you know?” he said. “I’m usually asleep by then.”
The team stayed in Reno following the game but then had to practice upon returning to Lawrence Sunday night in order to accommodate NCAA rules regarding what counts as a “team day.” Players and coaches indicated they were getting readjusted well.
“I was OK with it,” quarterback Jalon Daniels said. “I was able to stay up all day on Sunday even on the flight. Went to practice that night and was able to get everything done, I felt like we were able to get a head start, being able to get started on Sunday instead of Monday.”
Head coach Lance Leipold pointed out that the previous week, with an extra day following a Friday game, the staff had also practiced Sunday and given the players Monday off.
“I was very encouraged and impressed with how we handled (Sunday’s) travel and then came out to practice because it was a long day,” Leipold said, “but I thought that what we tried to get accomplished, we were able to do so.”
The hope for the Jayhawks is that they have cleared the travel hurdle and will be recentered when it comes time to take the field again.