Losing your opener to an FCS team stings, but Kansas head coach David Beaty isn’t going to allow a pity party. In fact, Beaty knows his team can grow from that adversity and they’ll need to, as they face Memphis, Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.
The Jayhawks hope some of the lessons from last week’s 41-38 loss to South Dakota State will show on the field. What is clear that despite the strange ending to the game, there was much to take from it that could be described as good.
“As we watched the tape, and as I came off the field on Saturday and we've dealt with the last 48, 72 hours, I can say this: There's not a single thing that I'm discouraged about,” Beaty said.
“Now, there's a lot of things I'm disappointed in, but there's 23 new players out there on the football field for the first time,” Beaty continued. “They are going to make mistakes, and I think the thing that was kind of a ringing tone all the way across all of our positions was just trusting your training and playing with technique and not getting out there and abandoning your teaching or your training; and that 100 percent of the time leads you down the path of not being successful.”
The season is going to be an ever moving process for the Jayhawks, as the long rebuild is in full swing. Beaty and his staff know that there will be ups and many downs, but it’ll how the team responds that will dictate the course of their season. In reality, there are no surprises anticipated.
Where Kansas will hurt is in its youth and inexperience. Many of the young players will have the unique opportunity to learn on the job. In Beaty’s eyes, it’s just part of the story.
“And really, we know that's coming as coaches. It's part of the growing process. We know that. There's one thing we can't give them is that experience,” Beaty said. “So although we had a few more experienced guys on that defensive front side, there's not a lot of them. Those guys are going to have to learn hard lessons.”
“The thing that was disappointing is that we didn't have to learn those lessons because we've talked about them, and we've put them in situations and at that point, we've got to do a better job of taking it over to the field and applying it, because we knew the answers to the test and we just simply didn't use the information right,” Beaty continued.