The time has come to begin drinking the kool aid! Let’s see what we have to be optimistic about regarding the upcoming Kansas football season.
The guy who literally wrote the book on the RPO is our offensive coordinator, and assuming he is given the proper latitude to run the offense however he wants, could soon be re-writing offensive record books not just at Kansas but in the Big 12. Dearmon got to where he is based on his resume with high-scoring offenses at every stop, and I am hopeful he will be allowed to showcase how well those schemes translate to D1 college football.
What is really exciting about this is I don’t think it really matters who wins the starting quarterback job - again, assuming Dearmon gets to run HIS offense. According to that last link, his offenses have been successful with starting QBs, backup QBs, and WRs playing QB. Get your arms ready, it’s time to wave some wheat!
Pooka just landed on Athlon’s Preseason All Big-12 first team list a couple of days ago, and for good reason as the junior from Louisiana appears poised for a huge season. Pooka topped 1,000 rushing yards in each of his first two seasons in Lawrence - in only 11 games each season. Pooka needs just 569 yards to move into the top-5 all-time at Kansas in rushing yards, and if he stays on through his senior season, he’s currently on pace to top June Henley’s career rushing record of 3,841 yards.
Fun Fact: Currently averaging 6.0 yards per carry for his college career, Pooka is one of three Jayhawks to average 6.0 ypc or higher after a minimum of 150 carries (Laverne Smith and Gale Sayers both averaged 6.5 ypc).
Specifically, the subcategory of Recruiting is what has me optimistic here. As we’ve already noted a couple of times recently, KU’s recruiting strategy appears to be working so far, with the Jayhawks focusing on high school seniors to build depth on the roster as well as rebuild the scholarship numbers. The Les Miles effect is real, even though it hasn’t resulted in the types of classes he signed at LSU (which should never have been a realistic expectation for Kansas fans anyway).
KU’s defense got noticeably worse last season after the fourth game of the year, which unfortunately coincided with the schedule getting noticeable tougher. What we didn’t know then was that Dru Prox had suffered some sort of shoulder injury in the West Virginia game that forced him to take a medical redshirt. He’s back and healthy for 2020, which is great news for this defense that is returning just five starters (likely just four starters) from last year. In those first four games of the year, Prox picked up 39 tackles, 2 sacks, 2.5 TFL, and a forced fumble.
Are you optimistic about something that I didn’t mention? Tell me about it in the comments below.