He make the stock-up list not because of his performance on the field, but because he was on the field this week. Six weeks ago the rumors were flying that he may be done for the year, so being on the field again this week is great. His on-field performance improved as the game progressed. It seemed like this week was about shaking off the rust as much as looking for a great performance against Texas. By the end of the game, his stats looked fine. Early in the game, his passes were off-target, but in the second half his passes looked better. The playcalling also did not play to Jalon’s strengths and I think it was a concerted effort by the coaching staff to not have Jalon run. The shoulder may be better, but not good enough for the entire playbook to be available. We can only hope that changes against K-State.
After a career-high in points against Duke, Jalen followed it up by setting a new career against Southern Utah with 33 points. This included being 7-8 from the free throw line and carrying KU past Thunderbirds to avoid an embarrassing early season upset on the Jayhawks’ home court.
In a much-needed change to the place-kicking duties, Piepergerdes (we will call him Owen) got a chance to kick the extra points in the fourth quarter this weekend after Borcilla missed another field goal. Though extra points have not been Jacob’s problem this season, it was a good way to get Owen some experience. Review his kicks on youtube, they look better than Borcilla’s. Like I mentioned last week in this post, Borcilla’s kicks just flutter, they do not cut through the air. Owen’s two kicks cut through the air. I do not know if he will be better than Jacob, but it is time to see what he has because it would be hard for him to be worse.
This week’s miss came at a time when KU was trying to stay in contact with the Longhorns and build some positive momentum. He was not even particularly close to making it. A 34-yard field goal needs to be automatic. Right now it is not and next week I would expect to see more of Owen Piepergerdes.
For the second week in a row, the run defense was, to be generous, lacking. Bijan Robinson 243 yards. Jonathan Brooks 108 yards. What do the Jayhawks expect next week at K-State? Deuce Vaughn, left. Deuce Vaughn, right. Deuce Vaughn, right up the middle. Until they prove they can stop him that is all they should expect.
Free Throw Shooting
Outside of Jalen Wilson, the Jayhawks were 3 for 8. For the big guys, they continue their season-long run of 1 free throw made by people not named Jalen Wilson. Free throw shooting has been poor in the past, but this is a next-level, Shaq-like, performance so far.
This is aimed at the coaching staff and the decision to play Jason Bean at quarterback late against Texas. Why? He played a snap or two early in the game, so he got on the field for his “senior” day. He will not be here next season, I assume he will transfer to another school to use his COVID year in hopes of being the starter and getting a second senior day. Why not play Ethan Vasko? He will be the backup next season and as we saw this year, that can be a very important position to have some experience at. The time at the end of a blowout loss is only meaningless if you choose it to be meaningless and it seems that is what the coaching staff chose.
As beautiful as the weather was against Oklahoma State, the weather sucked at the Texas game. The only thing that could have made it worse is rain. Normally cold does not bother me. Just dress appropriately and you will be fine, but the wind added the biting element that made it miserably cold in the stands.