After each game, I give my opinion on the stock value of different aspects of the team, on and off the field. Is the stock rising, falling, or maybe not moving? Whether you agree or disagree, let me know where you see stock values going for different aspects of the team. With the lopsided victory, I am heavy on stocks rising.
Wide Receivers: In Episode 2: The Weaknesses Strike Back, I called out the wide receivers as the most significant weakness heading into the season. For one week at least, they performed well. They had 11 receptions on 13 targets for 183 yards. Most importantly they got it done right away when Quentin Skinner hooked up with Jalon Daniels for 56 yards. With that production, the running attack had room to operate.
Fan Attendance: Largest opening game crowd in 8 years and they were making noise.
Lonnie Phelps: Of all the new transfers Lonnie had the biggest impact. 6 solo and 7 total tackles. 3 sacks and 4 tackles for loss. For that outstanding effort, he was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week.
Devin Neal, Sevion Morrison, and Daniel Hishaw: Hard not to include the three main contributors to a running attack that produced 297 yards. Neal was the big hitter. Of his 108 yards, he had an 80-yard run and a 19-yard run. Morrison and Hishaw were the workhorses consistently banging out yards. Between the two of them, they had 13 carries for 126 yards.
Backups playing time: One positive byproduct of taking care of a team like Tennessee Tech quickly is the backups get important playing time to put into action what they have been practicing. In this case, the entire second unit of the offensive line had the opportunity to play. On defense, by the middle of the fourth quarter, most if not all of the players on the field were backups.
In stadium game production: By this, I mean everything surrounding the game. The video board was working properly, most of last season it was not. The band tunnel and fireworks for the team to run out threw after the hype video. Even the host on the field introducing different segments during media timeouts worked. Unlike previous seasons, I did not see little cringe-worthy misfires. It seems like someone may be in charge of and responsible for making sure little things are not missed in this area of the fan experience.
Player Health: I do not think they were any significant injuries coming out of the game. I am also going to tack in here, player physical development. One of the first things I noticed when the defense lined up after the opening kickoff was our guys looked bigger and stronger than their opponent. This certainly was not the case when we faced FBS teams last year, and it was not true when we faced FCS South Dakota either. It will be interesting to see how they compare when the competition level goes up.
Ky Thomas: Unlike the other three, Ky just never got going. He had 7 carries for a net of 15 yards.
Jacob Borcila: He made all his PATs, but that one field goal attempt is concerning. If he had a strong history of making his kicks I would have let it go, but he doesn’t, so I won’t.
Basketball Fan Tendencies: It is not all praise for the fans. KU fans still reveal themselves to be basketball fans slow to adapt to cheering at football games. KU fans still tend to cheer loudly when the offense has the ball in a big spot. Early in the game when the energy was high, fans tend to forget to cheer louder when the defense has the ball, and keep the noise level down when the offense has the ball.
Jalon Daniels: This is not a knock, he came out and did what was needed and continued to solidify his position. My fear going to the game was he would take a step back against an inferior opponent and doubts would start to creep into the back of everyone’s heads.
Offensive Line: Like with Jalon this is not a knock on this unit. They played well last year and in my mind their stock was high and they kept it here.