Padway: Weis must change ways for Jayhawks to succeed

I am not a football coach, nor have I spent extensive time on the sideline with NFL Legends Bill Parcells or Bill Belichick like Kansas coach Charlie Weis has.

But I do watch a lot of football.

I believe that when Weis opened up the Jayhawks’ game against West Virginia by trotting out senior Dayne Crist at quarterback, he showed that he might not have what it takes to turn the Kansas program around.

Yes, the team has improved from last year, being competitive at times, but it was a joke how many times this season Weis returned to playing the proven bust known as Crist in games when he underwhelmed whenever he stepped foot on the field.

So why did Weis think it would be any different this time around?

If you’re a coach, your responsibility is to put your team in the best situation to win the game; against West Virginia, Weis didn’t do that. When facing a fast-paced offense, you don’t want to get in a shootout, especially when your quarterbacks haven’t thrown a touchdown to a wide receiver all season.

The best way to shut them down and take away their momentum is to rely heavily on the ground game, milking the clock and keeping your opponent’s high-octane offense on the sidelines.

Kansas has the pieces to do this. Between running backs James Sims, Tony Pierson, Taylor Cox and Brandon Bourbon there’s no reason to try to keep pace with the Mountaineers through the air.

If Weis truly wanted to be ‘revolutionary’ or original, he could’ve changed up his attack and used a different ground approach—the triple-option.

Not the spread-option or ‘read’-option that has overtaken college football recently, but the good ole’ triple-option with the quarterback under center where everyone knows you’re going to run the ball, they just don’t know who will be carrying it.

Yes, the triple-option, which relies on deception to move the ball forward on the ground and employs multiple runningbacks on the fiels at the same time, is out of style and isn’t a viable long-term solution in the current college football climate, but for one game it could’ve taken West Virginia by surprise.

Cox would’ve been perfect as the dive back and the prospect of Sims and Pierson sharing a backfield would make any football fan salivate.

When the defense is guarding the edge, Cox takes the ball up the middle. When they squeeze in, the quarterback, preferably Christian Mathews or the forgotten about Kale Pick— an effective runner out of the quarterback position as a freshman— takes it outside and options the end by pitching it to either Sims or Pierson.

It’s similar to the ‘Jayhawk’ formation, which worked well when used this season, except with an added twist of the dive-option up the middle.

Not only did the Jayhawks have a whole two weeks to install a unique offense, but West Virginia would’ve spent their week preparing for the wrong offense, leaving them scrambling to make adjustments.

If Kansas comes out on its first possession and rips off an extended scoring drive, taking time off the clock, it’s a whole different ball game.

Maybe Kansas gets its first conference win since 2010.

But instead, Weis stuck with Crist as his offensive ‘wrinkle’ and after two drives, the game was all but over.

Weis showed that he is not the new, humbled coach he presented himself as in his introductory press conference. Instead, he is just as stubborn as ever, and may not be the solution to the Jayhawks football woes.

Weis can talk about recruiting — which is important — all he wants, but at the end of the day, he’ll never win at Kansas on talent alone. The victories will only come if he’s finally able to out-coach his opponent.

  • Updated Dec. 3, 2012 at 10:42 pm
  • Edited by Whitney Bolden
  • anon

    I am not a journalist. But I do read a lot of articles.
    This one is terrible.

  • KUSucks

    KU would’ve lost 59-0 if they ran the triple option….it’s not like they were a throwing team before. There’s a reason only the military schools and GTech run it.

  • jz

    Dude, you might watch a lot of football, but your knowledge is lacking. You don’t put in the triple option halfway through the season. It takes hundreds of reps in practice before you even want to attempt to throw it out in a game. See Oklahoma of the late 70s and 80s who had more talent than anyone else and they lost games because they put the ball on the ground which is a by product of the triple option.

    Leave the football commentary to someone who knows something about the sport.

  • Christopher Pritchard

    Kansas will not win with Weis. if you followed him at ND he thinks it is about him…it is about the players.