Welcome back to another edition of “WRNL Interrogates.” Before today’s game, misterbrain from Rock Chalk Talk shares some of his thoughts on this year’s Jayhawk football team and also explains what Kansas can do to improve their position in the Big 12 standings in upcoming seasons.
Kevin: The season started off well for the Jayhawks with a 55-6 win over Rhode Island. However, it’s been all downhill since then with the closest outcome to victory being a 24-23 loss to TCU. What’s the morale like for KU right now?
misterbrain: I think everyone is pretty much just glad that basketball season is here. The year started out with more blind optimism than I thought it would, because the areas that we expected David Beaty to be good in were actually coming along better than expected. It seems that we have a Louisiana pipeline opening up for recruiting, we signed a couple high-profile transfers, and in general it looks like we are going to restore the talent level to that of a P5 school at some point in the near future.
But reality has set in that this staff is a long way off when it comes to Xs and Os. And the blame for that is squarely on the head of Beaty, who has been way too much of a micromanager and actually hindered the execution of his squad this year. Hopefully he learns to lay off a bit, but it doesn’t seem likely at this point.
Kevin: Who are the star players on both sides of the ball for Kansas?
misterbrain: There are a lot of stars on the defense, and some potential stars on the offense that can’t seem to shine directly due to Beaty’s decisions at the QB position.
On defense, names to know include Fish Smithson, Daniel Wise, and Dorance Armstrong. These are the guys that have been consistently making spectacular plays early in the game, only to run out of gas or be successfully schemed around later in games. The rest of the defense is solid, but it’s hard to go at full throttle for huge amounts of time during the game, especially when the offense has one long drive and a ton of short ones back to back.
On offense, Steven Sims Jr is probably our biggest home-run threat at receiver, simply due to his blazing speed and quick lateral movement. He can find a hole and be gone, but has had a little bit of an issue reeling in some catches that he should have made. LaQuvionte Gonzalez is another guy who has a lot of talent but has underperformed. Part of that is due to Montell Cozart throwing him the ball, but some of that just seems to be a lack of concentration on some big plays.
Kevin: What’s one reason to be bullish on the Jayhawk football program in upcoming years?
misterbrain: They still are well below the scholarship limit. While this is a bad thing for right now, it means that in the future these talented players won’t have to play the ENTIRE game, and will get a chance to play more to their strengths instead of trying to do everything. With some sort of semblance of depth on this squad, it’s easy to imagine that the defense doesn’t wear down consistently in the 4th quarter, that the OL actually has a decent shot at finding a decent lineup, and that the running backs find some way to actually be productive.
Kevin: If you could take one player from the Kansas basketball team, put them in pads, and add them to the football team, which player would you add and why?
misterbrain: It’s easy to say someone like Josh Jackson, who is such a great athlete that he probably could find a place to contribute on the team, but there isn’t a guy that just jumps out at me and says “I’d be good at football too”. I’ll probably go with Carlton Bragg, just because with the extra muscle he has put on, he’s bound to be able to push someone around on the field.
Kevin: Let’s hear your prediction for the game. Which team slaps slightly harder than the other and comes out with a victory?
misterbrain: I really want to pick Kansas. I really do. And while I think I’m going to, I’m concerned that “good” ISU shows up and flat out embarrasses the Jayhawks. My only hope in this is that Kansas plays a lot better at home than they do on the road, especially on defense. I’m going to add in that Carter Stanley appears to be the starter at this point. If that is true, I expect to see at least a half-competent offense on the field, and Kansas squeaks out the victory. Kansas 27, Iowa State 24.
Kevin: BONUS QUESTION — This is our thing. You must comply. FMK: Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Watson, Anna Kendrick. GO.
misterbrain: It looks like I already answered this one last year. I can’t really argue with any of my reasoning on this one, even if the movie Joy somewhat softened the bad-ass image of Jennifer Lawrence. I’d like to think that she has toned down a bit, but she still has that violent streak in her (movies at least) that could resurface at any moment. Way too dangerous. Emma Watson hasn’t done anything to make me like her any better, and Anna Kendrick sure as hell hasn’t done anything to make think any less of her (although I haven’t checked how they voted in the election yet…)
Thanks to misterbrain for taking the time to answer our questions. Good luck to Kansas today.