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5 Questions: Kansas vs. Texas

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It's Homecoming week, and we have five questions for KU's match-up with the Texas Longhorns

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

1) Will Tony Pierson get more attention in the offense?

Last week, Tony Pierson ran for 74 yards and touchdown on the first play of the game. After that, he had 5 more touches for a combined 14 yards (2 rushes for 2 yards and 3 catches for 12 yards). The long run was great and exciting and all that, although you can't count on one of those every week. However, if you actually get your best playmaker the ball, he is more likely to make plays. His long reception on the day was eight yards; this has a lot to do with they type of throws that Montell Cozart was allowed to make throughout the game: short, safe and somewhat unproductive routes. Get Tony Pierson in space and feed him the ball. He is your best offensive weapon, so he should be getting the ball more than six times in a game. Rather, he needs to be getting the ball more than six times in a game.

2) Is Montell Cozart going to be able to open the field up on offense?

As previously mentioned, last week's game against the Central Michigan Chippewas saw Montell Cozart throw a lot of short passes that did not go for much yardage. It is good that Cozart hit eight different receivers throughout the game,  but it would be nice to see some more down field movement through the air. He's not very accurate and he's lucky to have a lot of the numbers he amassed last week, but this Jayhawks team has a hard enough time competing as it is; throwing multiple barely forward passes and setting up third and long situations repeatedly is not going to help any. Nick Harwell, Tony Pierson, Jimmay Mundine; there are some players on this team that can make plays further down the field, so they need to be getting the ball more than two yards past the line (although credit to Jimmay Mundine, the John Mackey Tight End of the Week).

3) Who is going to actually move the ball for the Jayhawks offense?

Ignoring the Pierson touchdown, KU didn't even have 300 yards of offense against the Chippewas. The Jayhawks' first two touchdowns were of 75 and 60 yards, respectively, and that second one can be attributed to a missed tackle. Other than those two big plays, Kansas barely did anything offensively for most of the game. As already mentioned, Pierson needs to get the ball more, that should be obvious. The running also were disappointing against Central Michigan, with De'Andre Mann and Corey Avery racking up a combined 61 yards on 19 rushes. Cozart is still not a consistent passer. This one isn't for me to diagnose, because I'm still wondering who is going to make this work. Cozart needs to play better, the offensive line and the running backs need to work better together and the playmakers need to get the ball more. In short: I have no idea how this team is going to move the ball right now.

4) Can Trevor Pardula keep it up?

This is a completely serious question. Pardula was one of the best defensive weapons KU had last week. With a team that can't move the ball well and a defensive that has been shoddy at times, pinning a team back is crucial and Pardula has been good at it. A punter is always important to a team, but Pardula is especially valuable to the Jayhawks. He clearly has the ability to punt and kick well, but he needs to avoid falling into a slump or one of the few things that really looks good for Kansas right now may also fall by the wayside.

5) Are we going to see a consistent week-to-week performance for the defense?

Ben Heeney is the man, we all know that. Versus Central Michigan, the captain played well of course, but he had some help as well. Jake Love had a good game, as did Courtney Arnick and Michael Reynolds. Plus, Jacorey Sheppard had a fantastic interception on the sideline to effectively end the game (although one play doesn't quite equate to a great game). The question now is if the defensive unit can have another good performance against Texas. The D looked good for one half against SEMO, then bad in the second half and against Duke, and the squad mostly played well this past Saturday. The talent difference between Central Michigan and Texas is substantial, but the Jayhawks have to play solid defense again. Think of it this way; the worse the defense plays, the more Cozart is likely to pass, and nobody wants to see that.