Weis saw improvements with the Jayhawks despite a rainy gameday
By Trevor Graff
After three quarters of play the Jayhawks were still facing a shutout on their home turf in Memorial Stadium Saturday. The rainy conditions slowed both offenses, but the late spark provided by the Jayhawks backup quarterback Michael Cummings helped Kansas put up 14 in their 20-14 loss to the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Dayne Crist looked sharp from the start of the game to the weather delay, but seemingly never made it back from the locker room, finishing with a 10-for-22 completion rate and only 136 yards prompting his replacement.
“I had dialed up the play sheet already,” coach Charlie Weis said. “After the first quarter we had 100 yards of offense. Then after the first break we didn’t do too much, and after half time I felt we were kind of flat. If you don’t have much inventory left on the call sheet, the one thing you can do is change the personnel.”
Weis said after the first couple of drives under Cummings, when the offense picked up the pace, the move sparked the team. Cummings finished the game completing 5 0f 10 passes for 75 yards and a 21-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jimmay Mundine.
Junior running back James Sims provided another spark late in the game for the Jayhawks. Sims ran for 138 yards on 27 carries including a 30-yard touchdown run that put Kansas within a possession late in the fourth quarter
“He had a good day at the office,” Weis said. “He really did. He had a full day. He played tough and he played physical. The best part about it is as sore as he should be, he feels worse emotionally than physically. Which, that’s a good thing.”
The Jayhawk defense was charged with stopping the Freshman J.W. Walsh and the top ranked air raid offense of the Cowboys.
“That offense is one of the best you’re going to go against,” Weis said. “Coming out of that game, if you told me we were going to hold them to 20 points, I’d say sign me up 100 out of 100 times.”
The Cowboys’ offense featured running back Joseph Randle a 6’1” 200 pound Junior from Wichita, Kan. averaging 5.9 yards per carry on the season.
“Going into this game all week long we were anticipating inclement weather. We thought there wouldn’t be a bunch of runs to the edge today. I thought the defense did a nice job making sure he didn’t have any cheap bounce out runs. We did a better job of tackling.”
Coach Weis said he felt a shift in the team’s mentality after his team fought back to a 6-point deficit late in the game. Although the team still lost, Weis was encouraged by his team’s performance.
“They all hurt, but this is the first time we’ve went out and played like a team that want’s to win,” Weis said. “First time. First time since I’ve been here. If you ask anyone who they think was the best team in the fourth quarter, I’d be surprised if anyone would pick them.”