Jayhawk Fans are Optimistic
After a productive off-season, a season-opening win, and a dominant performance from Lonnie Phelps, Jayhawk fans are optimistic. With a 56-10 win over the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles, Kansas looked good for the first time in awhile.
Back in July we predicted a 48-10 victory over Tennessee Tech, a similar score. Read the entire season prediction here.
Tennessee Tech came into Memorial Stadium and faced a totally overhauled Jayhawk roster and culture. With an Offensive Line that increased its average weight by almost 20 lbs per position while dropping 6% body fat, the Jayhawks bullied an outmatched Golden Eagles team up front.
A re-vamped defense built through the transfer portal and the Jayhawk staff’s ability to develop players on the roster, Tennessee Tech was held to 10 points. Lonnie Phelps, the transfer Defensive End from Miami (OH), led the Jayhawk Defense with 7 tackles, 3 sacks, and 4 tackles for loss. It was a dominant performance from Phelps. He was named the Big 12 defensive player of the week.
Jalon Daniels was efficient with the ball, going 15-18 for 189 yds and a TD. He added another score on the ground. Devin Neal only had 4 carries, but he made them count, running for 108 yds and 2 TDs–a 27 yds per carry average.
Kansas kept a 60/40 run/pass ratio, understandable given the depth and talent at RB. If there is anything to cause concern going forward, it’s the lack of a downfield passing game. Most of Daniels passes were completed to RBs and TEs.
Leipold Contract Extension
Fresh off Northwestern’s defeat of Nebraska last week, rumors of Lance Leipold taking over the Nebraska program from Scott Frost began circulating. Kansas shut that down by agreeing to terms with Leipold on an additional year to his deal…locking him in through 2027.
AD Travis Goff on the Leipold extension:
“This is a statement about our exceptional confidence in Lance, his outstanding staff and the unlimited potential of Kansas Football,” Goff said. “When you consider he and his staff did not arrive until May (2021), and therefore did not have a chance to coach our guys until August last year, the 2021 season could be considered ‘year zero’. Given the progress that’s been made both on and off the field in such short order, I could not feel more strongly about the trajectory of this program under Lance’s leadership, as well as our shared commitment to elevate Kansas Football to unprecedented heights.”
Next up: West Virginia
Up next for the Jayhawks is West Virginia. The Mountaineers lost a close game to Pitt in the annual Backyard Brawl between the two geographically close teams. West Virginia will be hard to beat in Morgantown…but it will be a great test for the Jayhawks. WVU opens as 13.5 favorites.
Week 2 is an away game in Morgantown, WV against the West Virginia Mountaineers. The Moutaineers went 6-7 last year, but played well at home, going 4-2. This will be a great indicator for the Jayhawks season…a win here is a great sign. Jayhawks win a close one, 42-38. Jayhawks 2-0.