Following a six-turnover effort in Saturday’s 43-7 loss to Memphis, the Kansas football team leads the nation with 11 turnovers.
KU coach David Beaty was asked during Monday’s Big 12 teleconference what a staff does to address that specific issue.
“Basically you do exactly what you’ve been doing. We’ve got a great plan, and we’re going to continue to work our plan,” Beaty said. “What we’ve got to do is we’ve got to really figure out what’s causing those things. It’s not always what’s right on the surface.”
KU’s mistakes have varied. The Jayhawks have three fumbles on punt returns, two by quarterbacks, one by a receiver and one following a poor snap. Montell Cozart also has thrown three interceptions, while Ryan Willis has one.
“All 11 guys have to do their job effectively for us to prevent ball security issues,” Beaty said. “We talk about it all the time. Ball security is not just the player carrying the ball, it’s the quarterback’s job. It’s the running back’s job. It’s the O-line’s job to protect. It’s the tight end’s job. It’s everyone’s job to ensure ball security.”
Six-turnover games have been rare for KU, even while struggling in recent seasons. Since 2003, the Jayhawks have had only one other game with that many giveaways: a 31-10 loss to Kansas State on Nov. 30, 2013, in Lawrence.
“We’ve got to do a better job there,” Beaty said of his team’s turnovers. “But from my standpoint, one of the things that we will talk about with our team a lot is, ‘Hey listen, we don’t want a bad play to turn into two bad things.’ ”
Though KU sits at minus-seven in turnover margin — a number Beaty says is “not acceptable” — the team’s defense has limited damage. The Jayhawks have allowed 22 points off turnovers, and seven of those points came on a pick-six.
“That’s amazing what our defense has been able to do,” Beaty said. “If we can just minimize mistakes, that’ll help us get into the win column.”