Weis focuses on hard work leading up Sunflower Showdown

During the bye week, Kansas football coach Charlie Weis didn’t take any breaks while prepping his players for the Sunflower Showdown with a three-game losing streak in their rear-view.

Weis visited the history between Kansas and Kansas State with his players. He stressed the importance of this rivalry to give them pride going into Saturday’s game. This was especially important to those who have never played in a Sunflower Showdown before — like quarterback Dayne Crist.

Sophomore quarterback Jordan Webb chases after the ball after fumbling it in the second half of a game against Kansas State.

“We just went in-depth with a ton of details and why this game is so important,” Crist said. “I enjoyed that. I think the emphasis was more on Missouri in years past. I think that a lot of guys enjoyed what we did on Sunday.”

Crist was motivated by what Weis showed the players to get them amped up before facing one of the best teams in the country. But Crist knows that the team can’t play the same way they have been if they want a shot at beating K-State.

“You don’t look at them and see a ton of flaws,” Crist said. “They play very well together. They’re a very cohesive unit and play well enough and don’t make very many mistakes. You’ve really got to be patient with a defense like that. You’ve got to elevate your game and play your best.”

After the first four games of the season, Crist threw two touchdown passes and four interceptions. Kansas struggled holding on to a two-possession lead in the fourth quarter against Rice and Northern Illinois.

Crist felt the bye week came at a perfect time for him. He took the opportunity to stabilize himself. Crist and his teammates are prepared to work hard during their extra week of practice and are trying to put their three losses behind them.

“You’re practical with your analysis,” Crist said. “But you’re worried about the games to come. I just try to go back and revisit everything, but just figure out how I could get back to being more confident, going back to times where I was at my absolute best and what I did to get there. I’m just trying to implement some of those ideas again.”

Weis, who wanted Crist to be more loose, said that he doesn’t feel that his quarterback is down. All of his players, Crist included, continue to practice just as hard with the same amount of enthusiasm as they have all season.

Even though K-State has an advantage over Kansas in every aspect of the game, Weis’ expectations for Crist remains the same every week.

“He can’t worry about the games we played already,” Weis said. “They are past-tense. All he can do is put us in the best position to beat K-State.”

With Weis still confident in him, Crist has the support of his entire team.

“We all feel like, as an offense, we can do something better,” said Daymond Patterson, senior wide receiver. “He’s our quarterback. We know what he can do, and we know what he will do to help our team.”

  • Updated Oct. 2, 2012 at 9:34 pm
  • Edited by Lauren Shelly