PREVIEW: Can players rally behind Beaty for rare win in Manhattan?

Lawrence, KS – After what seemed like an eternity, Kansas football fans finally heard the news they have been longing for. David Beaty will not return as head coach of the Jayhawks for the 2019 season. This comes as a shock to no one, especially after an abysmal showing at home against Iowa State this past week. Since taking over the program in 2015, Beaty has accumulated a 6-39 record, with two Big 12 wins, two non-conference FBS wins, and two FCS wins.

It’s hard to predict what’s going to happen Saturday in Manhattan. KU has played well enough at times throughout the year that would make this game a blowout. They have also played so poor that K-State could be ahead so much that the game is over by halftime. However, with Beaty being a player’s coach, it’s hard to believe we won’t see a Jayhawk team trying to win the Sunflower Showdown for him.

History has not been kind to KU football when they travel to K-State. Since 1978, the Jayhawks are just 3-15-1 in Manhattan. Two of the three wins came in 1989 and 2007, with the tie coming in 1987. The other win, recorded in 1980, is filled with controversy on whether some Kansas players were eligible to play or not, and each school records it as a win for themselves.

With K-State currently on a nine-game winning streak against KU, no players on the Jayhawks know what it’s like to win the Sunflower Showdown. Beaty spoke with the media earlier this week about that, and said a win for the seniors “would mean the world to them.” After everything that has gone on this week, it’s hard to believe that the seniors aren’t going to put it all out there on Saturday, not only for themselves, but for Beaty as well.

Later in the week, one of the leaders of the defense and football team as a whole, senior linebacker Joe Dineen said “The thing I really like is he’s going to get to finish the season out with us. For us as seniors, I’m glad it’s going to kind of stay the same in that regard. He’s obviously a great man and a great football coach. I really think he’s going to be fine. I can’t be more thankful to him because he’s done a lot for me. I’m really glad he gets to finish out the season with us.” This just shows how much Beaty has meant to some of the players, and they’re going to try to finish the season with a bang.

All in all, it was time to make a change in the coaching staff. Beaty had the insurmountable task to turn this football program around, and he just couldn’t do it on a big scale. This team is better than the one he coached in his first season, however, going from 0-12 to a three, possible four-win team this year.

After the way they played against Iowa State last week, it’s hard to believe this Jayhawk team can get it done on the road against K-State. With almost nothing left to play for this season, Kansas is only motivated by themselves, their in-state rival, and their departing head coach. Whether or not that’s enough to rally this team, we’ll have to wait until Saturday to find out. Let’s hope it’s just enough though.

Kansas Jayhawks 21

Kansas State Wildcats 20

Kickoff is at 11 a.m. from Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kansas

Featured image courtesy of Kansas Football

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