University of Kansas

KU receiver says Jayhawks need to open up passing game, starting with Boston College

KU’s Les Miles on why he’s staying with Carter Stanley at QB

Kansas Jayhawks football coach Les Miles explains why he's sticking with quarterback Carter Stanley for the team's upcoming game against Boston College. Miles spoke to reporters on Sept. 9, 2019.
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Kansas Jayhawks football coach Les Miles explains why he's sticking with quarterback Carter Stanley for the team's upcoming game against Boston College. Miles spoke to reporters on Sept. 9, 2019.

Kansas receiver Andrew Parchment wants to be clear.

He understands the Jayhawks have talented running backs like Pooka Williams and Khalil Herbert. And he believes the team has a strong offensive line too.

Having said all that, Parchment would like to see a change with KU’s offense starting with Friday’s road game against Boston College.

“If we take more shots downfield,” Parchment said, “I feel like we’ll have a better chance of winning the football game.”

Much of Parchment’s frustration is understandable. Not only did the Jayhawks have a disappointing offensive outing in a 12-7 home loss to Coastal Carolina, but they also did that while not making much effort to get their receivers involved.

That included Parchment. After catching eight passes for 121 yards in the opener against Indiana State, he was limited to three receptions and 14 yards the next week.

“We’ve just got to take advantage of what they give us and play open space,” Parchment said, “and just get the ball to our playmakers.”

There weren’t many opportunities Saturday. Parchment’s targets went from nine the first week to six the next — according to RotoWire’s statistics — while teammate Daylon Charlot went from eight targets against Indiana State to none against Coastal Carolina.

KU coach Les Miles was asked Monday what led to Parchment and Charlot not being as productive in Game 2.

“They were targeted well. Plays needed to be made,” Miles said. “We’ve not had time of possession on our side yet, and when you go up in there and you don’t score and you turn the ball back to a team that’s eating the clock, it’s difficult. Suddenly those calls become, ‘Do you need that run? Do you need that pass ... what do you need?’”

Parchment did not shy away from responsibility for his errors against Coastal Carolina. He admitted to reporters that he ran the wrong route on the game’s first play, and later, he also didn’t interpret the correct hand signal from coaches on the sideline, which led to him being in the wrong location on a Carter Stanley interception.

“We can’t just blame everything on play-calling and stuff like that. We’ve got to look at ourselves in the mirror as well,” Parchment said. “The receivers didn’t play up to par either, so we’ve just got to get better this week.”

Parchment, as much as anything, hopes KU can get back to what brought it success during its opening touchdown drive last week. The Jayhawks tried deep throws and also played with a quick tempo, which eventually led to a 41-yard Herbert TD run.

Things were more difficult late. Coastal Carolina — especially when KU had personnel with one running back and two tight ends — began heavily stacking the box to stuff the Jayhawks’ runs.

“I just feel like if we take more shots down the field,” Parchment said, “then that can make the box a lot easier.”

Herbert, for his part, came away with the same impression after re-watching last week’s film. He believes KU can benefit by better utilizing its receivers.

“I feel like we’ve got a lot of speed on this team, so just being able to get the ball in some people’s hands and just let them run, I think, is a big thing,” Herbert said. “If they’re worried about us going outside, we’re able to pound it up the gut. So just being able to balance things off there I think can help us out.”

Parchment’s dissatisfaction showed most on KU’s final two offensive plays against Coastal Carolina. When looking to the sideline for his signal before both snaps, Parchment turned his palms up toward the coaches after processing they were going to be runs.

“It wasn’t just playcalls. I just feel like our team’s a lot better than what we showed,” Parchment said of his emotions then. “And I feel like we shouldn’t have been in that situation to begin with.”

The good news for KU: There are still 10 games left to get things figured out.

“You look around: All the other Big 12 teams are scoring a lot of points,” Parchment said. “I feel like we had the opportunity to score a lot of points too. So I’m just waiting for our offense to start doing that as well.”

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Jesse Newell — he’s won an EPPY for best sports blog and previously has been named top beat writer in his circulation by AP’s Sports Editors — has covered KU sports since 2008. His interest in sports analytics comes from his math teacher father, who handed out rulers to Trick-or-Treaters each year.