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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Sports Potpourri: Wildcats facing down Longhorns

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  • Texas' beleaguered coach, Mack Brown, can't be looking forward to Saturday's game with Kansas State in Austin.
    Since the inception of the Big 12 in 1996, coach Bill Snyder has led K-State to a 7-2 record (1998 48-7, 1999 35-17, 2002 14-17, 2003 20-24, 2006 45-42, 2007 41-21, 2010 39-14, 2011 17-13, and 2012 42-24) against the proud Longhorns.
    K-State has won the last five against Texas.
    The current Texas team has internal issues.
    Brown's Longhorns were crushed by BYU (40-21) and Mississippi (44-23) in their last two games.
    Texas gave up 550 yards rushing to BYU and 272 to Ole Miss.
    With the talent available, those defensive statistics confirm there's a lack of team cohesion and effort. And that goes back to the coaching.
    Kansas State is not as formidable as they were last season—not by a long shot. Coach Snyder recently said, "We need to get a whole lot better real quick . . . real quick."
    Snyder will likely go to running quarterback Daniel Sams against Texas.
    The Wildcats' main weakness is defense. Snyder knows he needs to control the clock against Texas and the best way to do that is to run the ball right at the Longhorns' pitiful defense.
    This game is more than difficult to predict: who knows what's going to happen? Texas is far superior in talent, but coaching is another matter. Don't bet against Snyder in games he considers vital.
    Show, don't tell
    Since last season, Kansas football fans have been told by the Jayhawks' coaching staff how great BYU transfer quarterback Jake Heaps is. He was ineffective during the loss to Rice.
    Heaps is slow and no threat to run. He holds the ball too long when he does have time to pass and his short passing leaves much to be desired.
    In fairness, his receivers dropped five or six balls that were right on the money. But Jake Heaps is strictly one-dimensional.
    There will be no quick turnaround in the Kansas football program. Losing to Rice was a disaster. Everything about KU's offense was—to put it as kindly as possible—substandard.
    The offensive line was pitiful and their run blocking and pass blocking were far below the necessary efficiency. Rice isn't a poor team, but they aren't world-beaters either.
    KU's offense has no deception, often using just one running back. When the defense knows that Heaps can't run, they can focus on the lone running back.
    And the play calling was disappointing—it lacked imagination. If Weis insists on calling the plays, he should do it from the press box where he can see what's going on.
    The pass receivers showed no improvement in their second game. Teams are supposed to show the most progress between the first and second games
    Page 2 of 2 - If that old coaching adage is true, the Jayhawks are in trouble again. Coach Weis had better find a replacement for tight end Jimmay Mundine on passing downs.
    In the first two games, he's dropped at least four passes that hit him right on the numbers.
    Rice blocked a punt late in the game and that proved costly. The same thing happened in the South Dakota game and there's no excuse for that type of mistake.
    Ironically, the Jayhawks' defense played excellent football.
    Heaps threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown in the first half and that was Rice's only touchdown until late in the fourth quarter, when the game had already been decided.
    KU's great effort on defense went unrewarded.
    Kansas could have gone into this week's home game against Louisiana Tech riding a wave of momentum, but it didn't come close to happening.
    The loss to Rice was deflating to all connected to the KU football program and it's going to be difficult for the team and fans to regain the necessary enthusiasm.
    Chiefs improvement
    If anyone needed proof that the head coach and general manager of NFL teams are of the utmost importance, then Clark Hunt's hiring of Andy Reid and GM John Dorsey proves it once again.
    The improvement of the Kansas City Chiefs is amazing indeed. There's no resemblance to last season's dismal ball club.
    KC is off to a 2-0 start after their thrilling 17-16 win over Dallas on Sunday. The Chiefs entire team is better, but the defense has been exceptional in the first two games.
    Kansas City will play at Philadelphia on Thursday night in a game that will be televised on the NFL Network. The Eagles are Andy Reid's old team and the media buildup will be frenetic.
    Coach Reid has a young team learning new systems on both offense and defense. If they can stay healthy, KC will get better and better.
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