The Duke loss still burned. The wounds from a nightmarish performance were still fresh. So before he answered any questions, Kansas quarterback Montell Cozart wanted to say one thing.
“I just wanted to start things off first,” Cozart said, sitting in the Anderson Family Football Complex on Wednesday afternoon. “Last week, we came out and we were disappointed in our performance, and I was disappointed in my performance as well.
“(On) Sunday, I came in and talked to Coach Weis and Coach Reagan and Coach Powlus and we addressed the issues, and we have no excuses for them. We’re just trying to move past it and get ready for Central Michigan.”
Cozart, a sophomore, had not spoken to reporters since Saturday’s 41-3 loss at Duke, a day that included a “bad day at the office” from the Jayhawks’ young quarterback, as Kansas coach Charlie Weis framed it. Cozart completed just 11 of 27 passes for 89 yards. He added two interceptions. The Kansas offense couldn’t recover.
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On Sunday, Cozart went through a carwash of meetings with Weis, offensive coordinator John Reagan and quarterback coach Ron Powlus. Cozart looked at film, studied his mistakes and internalized the pressures of his position. By the end, he was refreshed. He was ready to get back on the field against Central Michigan this Saturday.
“It’s what comes with being the quarterback,” Cozart said. “Any quarterback goes through it. (But Tuesday) was a great day. I started off kind of slow, kind of going off of last week. But as practice started to progress, we feel great about things going forward.”
On Tuesday, Weis was honest about Cozart’s struggles against Duke. He looked shaky, even when the pocket stayed strong. He missed open receivers. He passed when he should have run. But as Weis spoke, he also stated that he still believes that Cozart gives the Jayhawks, 1-1, the best chance to win. Now Cozart is ready to prove his coach right.
“I feel good,” Cozart said, four days after the Duke loss and one day after his coach’s vote of confidence. “I feel like that doesn’t define me as the quarterback or who I am.”