LAWRENCE — The endless search for more consistency on offense continues for Kansas coach Charlie Weis.
By RUSTIN DODD
The Kansas City Star
Two days after Saturday’s 35-13 loss to Texas in Austin, Weis said Monday that he’ll likely shake up the offensive line again in advance of this Saturday’s road game at Oklahoma State.
The Jayhawks have already played three players at center — senior Gavin Howard is the latest — and shuffled in multiple people at left tackle. The changes, for the most part, have served as a temporary bandage on a gaping wound.
Kansas has allowed 22 sacks in eight games this season, an average of 2.75 sacks allowed. That’s tied for 98th in the country in sacks allowed. Starting quarterback Jake Heaps took a beating against Texas, and the game turned when Heaps fumbled after absorbing a big hit midway through the third quarter. The Longhorns returned the fumble 40 yards for a touchdown, igniting a second-half rout.
“I think it all starts up front, to be perfectly honest with you,” Weis said on Monday during the Big 12 coaches teleconference. “You try to establish some chemistry, and get the same guys playing together all the time. But we have not been very efficient up front.”
Kansas, 2-6 and 0-5 in the Big 12, is 114th in the country in scoring offense, averaging just 17.1 points per game. The Jayhawks have failed to score 20 points against a team from the Football Bowl Subdivision.
For now, Kansas will continue to play two quarterbacks, Weis says, juggling junior Jake Heaps and freshman Montell Cozart.
Heaps completed 11 of 21 pass attempts for 160 yards against Texas, but Weis says he saw some improvement from a transfer quarterback who has struggled to find a rhythm in his first season at Kansas.
“He’s significantly improved over the last two weeks,” Weis said. “Sometimes stats are a little bit misleading, because you throw in a couple of throwaways and a couple of dropped balls … and all of a sudden, he could have been a 75-percent completion guy.”
Cozart, meanwhile, rushed four times for 34 yards and a touchdown while attempting just one pass. After the game, Weis said he was still confident in Cozart’s ability to throw the ball. But Cozart didn’t get many chances against Texas; his one completion came on a shovel pass.
“I think he was a little bit of a freshman this past week, to tell you the truth,” Weis said. “You’re playing there in Texas (in front of) 100 grand in the stadium. But I think that each week, Montell will continue to play. And I think that by the end of the season, we’ll have a guy that is really ready to blossom as he goes into his second year.”
Oklahoma State’s Patmon to face old team
Kansas will face a familiar face this week at Oklahoma State. Cowboys cornerback Tyler Patmon started parts of three seasons for Kansas before graduating last spring. With one year of eligibility remaining, he landed at Oklahoma State and was eligible immediately under the graduate-transfer rule.
Patmon, who started this past week in a victory against Texas Tech, will enter Saturday with 14 tackles, one interception and eight pass breakups.
“Tyler was graduating from school,” Weis said, “and we both chatted, and when you graduate from college, you can move on and go somewhere else, and I let him.”
Sims moves up charts
Senior running back James Sims had 48 rushing yards against Texas, moving him into third place all-time at Kansas with 3,119 yards. Sims passed former KU running back Laverne Smith, who played from 1973-76.
Early start time for Kansas-West Virginia
It’s another early start time for Kansas, which will play host to West Virginia at 11 a.m. on Nov. 16. This week’s game at Oklahoma State is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start.
To reach Rustin Dodd, call 816-234-4937 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/rustindodd.