The Jayhawks are hoping that change, along with an emerging mobile quarterback will help jumpstart an offense that scored more than 20 points just twice last season.
“With the nature of the offense we’ve been running for the last couple of years, I think the true drop-back quarterbacks have been exposed,” Weis said. “And that’s one of the reason why I changed what we’re doing. I think that the only position arguably you could say have been in the Big 12 caliber for the last two years has been the running back position.”
Last year’s leading rusher James Sims, who accounted for more than half of the total rushing yards and rushing touchdowns, is gone, but that’s just another part of a changing offense.
Weis expects the running back position to again be the focal point of the offense, but with quarterback Montell Cozart coming in as the starter and transfer receiver Nick Harwell entering immediately as an experienced No. 1 target, there’s hope in Lawrence.
“In the passing game, I’m so confident,” Harwell said. “… I feel like moving the ball to the air isn’t a barrier to our offense being successful. I can’t wait to see it.”
Harwell said the receiving corps is getting together three or four times a week to work with Cozart and develop chemistry. Harwell said that Cozart lacked confidence last year, at times affecting this accuracy. But this year is different and might help Kansas, which plays Oklahoma on Nov. 22, win just its fourth conference game since 2008.
“This year, knowing that he is going to go in and start and play, his confidence is boosted,” Harwell said. “He’s experienced now so he knows the speed of the game; having him as our quarterback is just a great opportunity for our offense.”
NUMBERS TO KNOW
3 - the number of Big 12 wins since the 2008 season, when the team won four games. … 1 - In the Jayhawks’ game against Southeast Missouri State on Sept. 6, Catherine Conti will become the first female official in Big 12 history. … 22 - the Jayhawks have 22 players from the state of Kansas on the roster. … 111 - Kansas and Oklahoma first played one another on Nov. 7, 1904: 111 years ago.