The Kansas Jayhawks ended their 1-11 season Saturday in similar fashion to how it has gone all season. Though the score read 59-10 by the closing tick of the clock, what the score really signified was the amount of progress that needs to be made during the offseason—which officially starts now.
Kansas Coach Charlie Weis again pulled out all the stops but West Virginia fired the musket a few too many times for the Jayhawks to keep pace.
Oh, and it doesn’t help when Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith doesn’t commit a single incomplete pass—the entire game.
Smith finished the day going 23-24 passing (one interception) for 407-yards and 3 touchdowns. Not a bad day for a guy many presumed to be out of the Heisman race.
Weis made a noticeable effort to squeeze some production out of the passing game which included a rare start from QB Dayne Crist over Michael Cummings. This was a bit of a surprise although Weis had indicated multiple times over the last couple of weeks that Crist gave them better passing options on long yardage situations.
Both Kansas QB’s failed to make an impact and the West Virginia defense completely took away Kansas’ rushing game seemingly for the first time all season on both sides.
I take a closer look at the passing game and look forward a bit on how it will shape up for 2013. Plus, I take a look at some of the offensive numbers for the Mountaineers in the 2012 season finale of Scotten’s Scribbles.
Kansas Passing Game
The most disappointing aspect of the 2012 Jayhawks has been the completely ineffective passing game—and it’s not even close.
Dayne Crist, the starter, completed just 1 of his 5 passes (albeit a 41-yard completion to WR Andrew Turzilli) and threw a pick. But his counterpart Michael Cummings was only moderately more successful going 6-11 for 76-yards.
That’s just not going to get it done against a West Virginia team that plastered the Jayhawks for 647 total yards. Kansas’ running game is good but it’s not that good.
With no passing touchdowns Saturday, the Kansas offense will official end the season without a single receiver with a touchdown reception—not one (though Christian Mathews did pass for one).
Coach Weis said earlier in the week he would be hitting the recruiting trail beginning Saturday night and you can bet it will start with some offensive weapons.
Weis had been grooming transfer QB Jake Heaps for the 2013 job but the cupboard is pretty bare in terms of returner.
Heaps will be joined by fellow scout team superstar Justin McKay who will likely be the Jayhawks top offensive target. Weis also just landed a verbal from Nassau Community College WR Mark Thomas who is likely to compete with returners Andrew Turzilli, Josh Ford, and Chris Omigie for playing time.
I would also expect another splash by Weis in recruiting before all is said and done.
Tough Task For Defense
Coach Campo said it was one of the toughest jobs in the Big 12 being a defensive coordinator and today was a glaring example of why.
Campo’s defense simply didn’t have a chance against the multiple weapons the Mountaineers through at the Jayhawks Saturday.
West Virginia finished with 407 passing yards lead by WR Stedman Bailey and RB Tevon Austin who each finished with over 100-yards receiving. But it wasn’t just the Mountaineer passing game that did in the Jayhawks. West Virginia finished with 240 rushing yards with 4 different rushers finding the end zone.
Though Kansas’ defensive playmakers like Bradley McDougald and Ben Heeney came up with some nice stops, they never found any consistency.
Kansas has already added some more beef to the defensive line and linebacking unit but the secondary will be a mystery until next fall. With young guys like defensive backs Tevin Shaw, Tyree Williams, and Greg Allen however, it could turn around very quick for the Jayhawks defense in 2013.