How about that, folks? Kansas has a starting QB going into prep week for game one of the season. This is fantastic news and it’s nice to know only one guy will be getting first team reps instead of two or even three.
Having said that, Peyton Bender is the guy if you haven’t’ heard yet. There were some disgruntled fans and then were some appeased fans. Either way, it seems most of the complaints were whether the line will be improved enough for Bender to show his talents. I’m optimistic that it will be.
But since this is an offensive preview let’s dig right into the good stuff…
As I mentioned above I’m optimistic the offensive line should improve. Kansas returns guys like Andru Tovi, Hakeem Adeniji, Cam Durley, Malik Clark, Clyde McCauley, Antione Frazier and Chris Hughes. All of these guys have quality experience. And then throw in the mix new comers Kevin Feder, Dwayne Wallace, Adagio Lopeit, Api Mane, Reuben Lewis and Alex Fontana. I think what it all shows is they have experience and they have depth. If the line doesn’t improve it’s definitely on the coaches.
Of the guys listed I’m thinking Alex Fontana will start at center, Dwayne Wallace at right guard, Andru Tovi at left guard, Kevin Feder at right tackle, and Hakeem Adeniji at right tackle. I’m not saying I know for sure that’s the starting lineup, but a recent picture by Michael Swain of 247 Sports showed those five as the ones taking first team snaps at the latest Saturday scrimmage. I like it, though, as it brings in experience and a little bit of the old with the new.
Like the offensive line Kansas returns a lot of production from their wide receiver core—Steven Sims Jr., Daylon Charlot, Evan Fairs, Jeremiah Booker, Quan Hampton, Takulve Williams and Kerr Johnson Jr. They also bring in a new guy Stephon Robinson who could be a bright star and maybe even land in the starting lineup. But as of right now, I see Steven Sims Jr., Daylon Charlot and Evan Fairs getting the starting jobs over the rest.
We all know what Steven Sims can do but we really need another guy, maybe even two, to step up and spread the defense out. The two best guys to do this are Daylon Charlot and Evan Fairs. Jeremiah Booker is also a guy that’s clutch and doesn’t drop many passes so maybe he gets himself in the mix. When it’s all said and done, the talent is there they just need to come together and work well with the QB.
And here we are, the most talented unit on the Kansas football offense, the running backs. Beaty says he wants to run this year and I can see why. They return Khalil Herbert, Dom Williams, and Deron Thompson. Then he added new four start recruit Pooka Williams who will most certainly be in the mix.
I think this unit will be fun to watch, especially if the offensive line holds up. It’ll take just that, though, and anything less could lead to another rough year. But as talented as these guys are, even if the line isn’t superb, they will still make things happen and keep the defense on their toes.
Now that I’ve covered every position, let’s dig into my thoughts on how the offense will look this year.
I understand there was some frustration about Bender being named QB but I get what Beaty is thinking. He wants to run the ball a lot and if he does the one guy that can keep the defense from stacking the box is Peyton Bender. The line will obviously have to do their job in order to keep this plan feasible, but I definitely like the idea.
A few weeks back I also took to watching some Peyton Bender highlights and when given time he really does look impressive. There’s no doubt he’s the best passer on the team, both with accuracy and arm strength, and he’s a senior so I think that could have played a part as well.
At the end of the day, I see this offense being better and much more consistent than last years. The offensive line will finally come together and look like a cohesive unit, our QB play will finally look mediocre instead of atrocious, and our RB’s will shine and be the true success drivers of this offense.
Will this turn into wins? That I’m not sure of. But the good news is it can’t get worse than last year. At least I hope not.
This is all enough for KU football fans to have optimism. And maybe even give reason for them to go out to Memorial Stadium on Saturdays to check it out for themselves. At least for game one.
I think that first game will tell us everything we need to know and will dictate how many people show up when Rutgers comes to town. Does the team progress or regress? My hope is for the first option.