On Saturday September 5th The University of Kansas is hosting South Dakota State at 11 a.m. at Memorial Stadium. South Dakota State has nine wins in three consecutive seasons while KU has won 12 games in the last five seasons. In 2014, junior Zach Lujan gained on the job experience while completing 61% of his passes and throwing for 1943 yards and 13 scores. Their running backs have big shoes to fill, but the experience of the wide receivers will help South Dakota State’s process. The secondary is the strength for the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, so hopefully the Jayhawks can find a way to get past them.
The problem for Beaty taking the reins this year is that this season isn’t necessarily “his season”. These kids are still Charlie Weis’s kids. They were recruited by Weis so they aren’t as hard working as Beaty would like and not near the talent he would like either. Beaty is a much better recruiter than Weis is so hopefully he can prove it in the next couple of years. Beaty wants to make recruiting in Texas a high priority. Kansas has nine early pledges and four are from Texas. Kansas has also landed three junior college targets.
Beaty can have make his first campaign a success if key things happen like clarity at the quarterback position and young play makers emerge. Montell Cozart needs to prove doubters wrong. He has started eight games in the past two years and needs to be more confident this year he can win in tough situations. De’Andre Mann can help him on offense since he is the only returning Jayhawk that accounted for more than 200 yards from scrimmage last season. Everyone hopes that running back Ke’aun Kinner will also help Cozart this year, as long as the offensive line improves.
The 2014 Jayhawks defense had more 2015 NFL draft picks than Baylor and TCU combined. The only problem is not only do the draft picks need to be replaced but so do the junior college players who left when Weis did. KU’s numbers are down but Beaty will make progress this year, but it might not be till next season when his own draft picks some in a start playing.
Prediction: KU is going to beat South Dakota State 35-21.