Break is over, back to work for the last game of the season

Charlie Weis is thankful Kansas didn’t have a football game Saturday.

That most likely wasn’t what Weis said at the dinner table on Thursday, but he was certainly thinking it.

After a crushing 51-23 defeat on senior night in Lawrence it would have been challenging to get the Jayhawks mentally prepared for quarterback Geno Smith and the West Virginia offense.

“You only can get the guys up psychologically in a short time span so many times without them being flat,” Weis said during Monday’s Big 12 teleconference call. “I think we were set up to be flat last week. Now they’ve had a chance to get away and get it out of their system.”

Instead the Jayhawks’ systems were filled with turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie, but Weis planned to help the players digest that with a 5:30 a.m. practice yesterday  morning to get their heads — and stomachs — back on track.

Monday’s are typically a day off for the players, but because Weis allowed his team to return to Lawrence on Sunday night, the vaunted Sunday scrimmage was pushed back a few hours.

“Two things are accomplished,” Weis said. “We got a good practice in on a Monday, and it got them out of the Thanksgiving doldrums that you have by laying around the couch and eating too much.”

Although it’s not as if Kansas is lagging in it’s preparation for West Virginia. Weis actually gave the team a head start before cutting the players lose for the break. The Jayhawks spent two practices last week getting familiar with WVU.

Weis also said he’s sure the team spent Friday watching the Mountaineers’ 31-24 victory over Iowa State, the team that whipped Kansas two weeks ago.

If they did watch West Virginia, players probably took notice of Tavon Austin, WVU’s versatile wide out, who also gets plenty of action in the backfield.

Austin accounted for 261 yards and a touchdown against the Cyclones, including his kick and punt returns.

“He’s faster than most people on the field,” Weis said. “That’s unusual talent, unusual speed and he’s a very dynamic player. He’s a pain in the butt that you always have to account for.”

But he’s not the Jayhawks’ biggest concern.

Kansas will continue it’s WVU preparation with the same question it has every week: How can we attack the ground this Saturday?

“We try to figure out how we are going to run the ball against West Virginia,” Weis said. “Then the rest of the game plan just falls off of that.”

Weis probably didn’t say thanks for this either, but more often than not, he finds that answer.

Laken Rapier is journalism major from Flower Mound, Texas. Read more from .

  • Updated Nov. 26, 2012 at 11:31 pm
  • Edited by Laken Rapier