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Stock up, Stock Down: Post Houston

How high can Jalon’s stock get?

NCAA Football: Kansas at Houston Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

KU has moved to 3-0 with a win over Houston. They have passed all their early season test, and have the top-rated quarterback in the country along with the third-highest scoring offense in the country. Man, it has been great to be a Jayhawk so for this season. As the Jayhawks ride high on the field, I find it hard to come up with candidates for stock down, so this week it is all positives save for one tiny dark cloud on the horizon.

Stock up:

Jalon Daniels: After week 2, Jalon was third in the country in QBR, and started getting a bit of Heisman hype. This week, Jalon leads the nation in QBR and the Heisman talk heat turns up just a bit more. Obviously, he is still an extreme long shot, but any heat is great. After another, now routine, great performance in the early season, Jalon continues to bring in recognition. He was named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week, Manning Star of the Week for the second week in a row, and on the Davey O’Brien Great 8 List for the second week in a row. Jalon Daniels is the definition of fire and fun to watch.

Did the announcer at the end of the clip call him ‘Kalon’ Daniels?

Lance Leipold: “Lance Leipold is doing God’s work” - Joel Klatt

Modern Day Triple Option: It is billed as a wide zone rushing offense that adapts to the talents of its personnel, and that may be true, but right now it looks like a triple option run from the shotgun instead of from under center. Though not the triple-option look we have seen this season, Patrick Mayhorn wrote an interesting piece, “Buffalo Doesn’t Even Need To Pass“, about the offense when Leipold and Kotelnicki were at Buffalo.

Defense: It is very easy to rail on the defense and its lack of progress when compared to the offense, and again this week they allowed two quick touchdowns to put KU in a 14-0 hole early. This week though was different than the game against West Virginia. Against the Mountaineers, the Jayhawks benefited from having the last possession of the first half and the first possession of the second half and scoring touchdowns on both possessions to get back in the game. From there it was time to hold on for the wild ride.

This week after giving up two quick touchdowns, the defense “stiffened.” They played well enough to allow the offense to go on a 28-0 run and by the end of the game generated two turnovers. Unlike against West Virginia, it was not a wild ride to the end of the game. The defense only surrendered 17 points over the last 3 quarters and I would argue the last 10 points they allowed were as much about running the clock as it was preventing points.

Incremental progress is progress. The defense has moved out of the 100s and come in 99 on Bill Connelly’s SP+ ranking. A ranking in which they spent most of last season in the 120s ending the year at 126.

So yes the defense has not been great. They have not made the dramatic improvement the offense has since the beginning of 2021, but they have improved, and they did play better this weekend. Not great, but better.

Lonnie Phelps, Sr.: Lonnie Phelps, Jr. and the Jayhawks could do a lot worse than the senior Phelps as hype man and speaker of truth on Twitter.

Commenting on Saturday’s weather

His series on Houston and holding

Smack talking beaten opponents and the season win total line

Finally, a pitch to recruits

Field Goals: They were not long (22 & 33 yards) and they were not in high-pressure situations, but Jacob Borcilla made both of his field goal attempts on Saturday. It was nice to see even though they were not important. Additionally, he again made all of his PATs again this week.

Jason Bean: For good reason, he has not gotten much of an opportunity at quarterback, but I was glad to see he came in for a play this week as a wide receiver. He did not get the ball, but if the Jayhawks are not going to be able to utilize his speed at quarterback, I am glad they are thinking about using it at another position.

Stock down:

FBS Coaching Carousel: So far this season, two FBS head coaches have been fired. Scott Frost last week and Herm Edwards this week. As the list gets longer, the more my anxiety grows, will one of these schools come for Leipold and his crew? Anxiety gets worse when the subject is Nebraska and its future coach but subsides when I see stories about Arizona State and who they are targeting.