This wasn't how Tim Biere was supposed to start his season.
In the past two years, the junior tight end has proven himself to be one of the most talented and reliable members of the Kansas program. Soft spoken off the field, Biere's aggressive blocking, good overall athleticism and outstanding hands earned him a starting spot as a freshman in 2008, and the native of Omaha, Neb. has never looked back.
That's why his performance in the Sept. 4 season opening loss to North Dakota State was so surprising. Though no member of the Kansas offense can lay claim to a good outing – or even an average one, really – in the 6-3 defeat, Biere's miscues stood out.
A couple of critical drops and a pair of fumbles, the last of which essentially extinguished any hopes of a Kansas comeback, had the packed house at Memorial Stadium sitting on their hands in befuddlement.
Biere did have two catches for 31 yards, but it was...not a great game. But as Head Coach Turner Gill knows, the occasional rough outing is just part of football.
"We're all human beings," Gill said. "And unfortunately (we will) have one bad day or one bad game, and that was one of those deals."
Talent and hard work always win out in the end, however, and in the weeks since Biere has returned to form. He is currently fourth on the team with six receptions through four games, with an 11.3-yards-per-reception average, and a pair of touchdowns – the most of any Kansas receiver.
Additionally, he has regained his penchant for making the difficult catch (he's managed to keep drives alive on more than one occasion), and his contributions as a blocker in the running game have played a big part in a resurgent Kansas rushing attack.
His play of late has been exactly what the Kansas coaches expect from Biere week in and week out. And if history is any indicator, the big junior won't just meet those expectations moving forward – he'll shatter them.
"He's playing well, blocking well and catching the ball well," Gill said. "And he's doing some good things for our football team, which that's what we expected this year."