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5 Questions, New Head Coach Edition: Kansas vs. West Virginia

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Charlie Weis is out, Clint Bowen is in as KU's head coach, and we have five big questions entering his first game at the helm.

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1) How many yards will Clint Trickett throw for?

I know it's pretty cynical to put this as the first question, but considering that Trickett is passing for 400 yards per game so far this season, and also taking into account the state of the Kansas Jayhawks defense, he has a shot to beat his season average come Saturday. KU has playmakers in the secondary, but too much inconsistency to go along with it. Dexter McDonald, Jacorey Sheppard and the rest of the secondary is going to have their hands full all day, to say the least. I think the Jayhawks will be fired up for this game, but that doesn't mean I'm necessarily expecting a lot from them.

2) Will Kansas continue to have a fairly even split between run plays and pass plays?

Montell Cozart is the starting quarterback, but I personally feel as though the ball needs to be taken out of his hands more. With a completion percentage barely over 50, only 162.75 passing yards per game (which is inflated thanks to a few long touchdown with plenty of YAC) and less touchdowns than interceptions, it's safe to say Cozart hasn't been very good this year. De'Andre Mann is still averaging almost 5.7 yards per carry, and Corey Avery is getting 4.7, which to me justifies getting them the ball more. If Mann is averaging almost 6 yards per carry, he should be getting the ball more than 13 times per game (his current average). Our strength really is not through the air right now, so getting the ball to the running backs cannot hurt right now. The passing game hasn't worked very well, so running the ball more often seems like a logical next step.

3) Will Tony Pierson get more than five touches?

I harp on this every week it seems but the point remains that Tony Pierson has got to get the ball more. He is averaging less than five touches per game this season, which is ridiculous considering his ability. He should be getting more plays in the passing game, and if Cozart isn't doing well through the air, put Pierson in the backfield more. The fact of the matter is that he just needs to get the ball more often. Frankly, several players need to get the ball more. Pierson, the aforementioned running backs and also Nick Harwell, who despite leading the team in receptions is averaging only 7.5 yards per catch. He's the Jayhawks' best receiving threat, he should be getting the ball down field more. But if only one guy is going to be getting more touches in this game, it has got to be Tony Pierson.

4) How many tackles will Ben Heeney have this week?

Kansas is really going to miss Ben Heeney in the (unfortunately) not too distant future. The Big 12's tackles leader is averaging almost 11 tackles per game right now, and frankly it has come to be an expectation that he will have a big game, considering that even when the rest of the team is down, he seems to step up. Another game of double-digit tackles would not be surprising at all. This is a more lighthearted question (for lack of a better term) but it really is nice to get to appreciate a special player, even on a bad team.

5) What sort of impact are we going to see from Clint Bowen in his first game as head coach?

I am really excited for Clint Bowen. I'm biased and I'm willing to cling on to any glimmer of hope for the future right now, but I really do like him. His press conferences have endeared me to him and I like his attitude. That said, I have no idea what the answer to this question will be. I would love to see some sort of surprise outing on Saturday, but I'm not going to get my hopes up. Changing the attitude and culture of a team takes a while (ask Charlie Weis), and while I would love to see the team really fired up and ready to get a win for their new coach, I'm not going to plan on it. In all honesty, I just want to look competitive. Hopefully that's not going to be too much to ask for going forward. We're not going to know if firing Weis was a good idea for a while, but hopefully the Jayhawks will look less embarrassing in the coming games.