Kansas called 56 running plays compared to just nine pass attempts during Saturday’s 21-17 loss. KU coach Charlie Weis said after the game that he didn’t intend to lean so heavily on the run, but he wanted to protect freshman quarterback Michael Cummings.
By RUSTIN DODD
The Kansas City Star
“They’re walking everyone around and bringing every exotic blitz known to mankind,” Weis said of the Longhorns. “… I just shut it down and said ‘OK, we’re just gonna grind it out.’”
Cummings, making his second career start, said he could see early on that KU would be most effective running the ball.
“I could tell,” Cummings said, “and I could tell it was working, too. So I didn’t have a problem with it.”
• Weis unveiled a new offensive wrinkle on Saturday, putting quarterback-turned-receiver Christian Matthews at running back in a formation that turned into an option play once Matthews took the handoff.
The play resulted in a 15-yard touchdown for Matthews in the opening minutes of the second quarter.
“It opened up like the red sea,” Matthews said, “and just give credit to the line.”
Weis said he used to use the play when he was with the Jets, calling on New York running back Richie Anderson to run the option.
• Senior defensive end Toben Opurum and freshman linebacker Jake Love each left the game in the fourth quarter. Love appeared to suffer a head injury, while Opurum limped off. Weis had no update on either player.
• Senior offensive lineman Tanner Hawkinson started his 44th straight game, one better than the school record of 43 he set last week. The previous record of 42 belonged to former KU linebacker Nick Reid.
• Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby took in part of Saturday’s game from the Memorial Stadium press box. It was his first trip to Lawrence for a football game since taking the job earlier this year. … Former KU quarterback Todd Reesing, an Austin native, was also at the game.
| Rustin Dodd, email@example.com.