Beaty previews Homecoming game against Oklahoma State

October 22, 2016

Location Lawrence, Kan.
Venue Memorial Stadium
Time 11 a.m.
TV Fox Sports 1
Listen Jayhawk Radio Network
Video Weekly Presser
Notes Game Notes


Tickets OK State (Oct. 22)
Tickets Iowa State (Nov. 12)
Tickets Texas (Nov. 19) 

Twitter @ku_football
Facebook /kansasfootball
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Snapchat @ku_footballLAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas head football coach David Beaty met with the media in Mrkonic Auditorium inside the Anderson Family Football Complex Tuesday during his weekly press conference previewing the Jayhawks’ Homecoming game against Oklahoma State Oct. 22.

Good afternoon. Thanks for coming again. Just obviously we are preparing for a really good opponent to come in here Saturday morning 11:00. Excited to be back home in front of our fans, homecoming, a lot of cool things going on around campus, unveiling a new uniform. I think you guys is saw that. I think our kids like that stuff and are excited about representing our university Saturday. So that’s going to be fun.

Our job is to win the game when it comes to homecoming. That’s our goal, and our job is to take care of that part, so all of our fans, alumni, our students, everyone associated with this place has a nice cherry on top for that weekend because there is going to be a lot of reunions and things going on this weekend. Our job is to make that an even better experience.

So we’re working hard to make that a reality for those guys this weekend. We got a great team coming in here. Coach (Mike) Gundy, as you know is one of the best in the Big 12, if not in the country, and this year is no different. They got a really good football team again, led my Mason Rudolph, as good of a manager as I’ve seen so far. He manages the ball really well, takes care of the ball. You’re going to have to beat these guys. They’re not going to beat themselves. We are going to have to work to create some turnovers, though, because you gotta get those guys after schedule and he’s a good player. He’s taking care of the ball, really, really well which bodies well for them.

One of more dynamic players in the conference, James Washington, who is a really talented guy. You just flip on the Texas game alone he makes a couple of plays in that game that are just ridiculous. He should have been tackled two or three times in a couple of those plays and somehow he stays on his feet and goes the distance against some really good players. He had a nice day against us last year. We have our work cut out for us again this year because he is a talented player. I think he’s third in the Big 12 in receptions per game and second in yards per game, and they’re going to find him. They find ways to get him the ball.

Their running backs are good. They got a true freshman, (Justice) Hill, out of Tulsa. Really a quick dude, very much along the same mold that they have always had there at Oklahoma State. The kid runs really, really fast. They have several that they use. (Rennie) Child’s is another good one that ones the ball well. They do a good job of making you beat them. They’re not going to give you the football. They take care of the ball. He does he want put it in jeopardy and they’re big up front and they move your defensive line a little bit in the run game. They got a good squad on the offensive side of the ball. Defensively, Glenn Spencer is one of the best guys I’ve ever had to coach against. They’re high in the Big 12 in just about every category. They are second in the conference, third down defense, which is something I always look at.

So they do a good job on money downs. They’re first in the conference in fourth down defense. So they’re not easy to convert against, but we have got to get better in that area acned there is a big emphasis on that, and it really doesn’t matter where they’re ranked. We need to go out and execute and be better in that area. They’re a smart team defensively. They’re really never out of position and they’re going to create some pressure on the quarterback, they’re third in the league on sacks and second in the league in turnovers, per game.

So we have to do a much better job in that area, knowing that these guys are turnover machines defensively and they always do a really good job in the red zone. I think they’re first in the conference in red zone as well. One guy that sticks out to me, No. 96, tackle, I believe his name is Vincent Taylor, he’s a good guy, a hard-charging ball flare. They had two really good ends last year and I didn’t know how you could replace those guys. But they have two really good defensive ends this year. They have nice recruiting. They are solid in the kicking game as well. It’s a good Oklahoma State football team, not unlike the teams he fields every year. But we’re excited about the challenge that we got put in front of us this week.

Q. With your offense so far, the passing game, (LaQuvionte) Gonzalez and (Steven) Sims are your go-to receivers, do you need a third guy to step up and be a number three receiver?
DAVID BEATY: We would like to be able to spread the ball around as much as we can and be able to get better distribution throughout the game. Yeah, we would like to be able to get the ball to more people. Two weeks ago we were able to do that with Shak (Shakiem Barbel), which helped us a lot and then we need to be able to utilize our running backs in the passing game. That will help us take pressure off those guys, but at the end of the day you also want to get — James Washington is one of their best players and they’re going to get him the ball a bunch and we’re going to try to get the ball in our guys hands that we think with make the most happen as much as we can.

Q. With the quarterback having gotten sacked quite a few times, does that come down to more than protection?
DAVID BEATY: Well, first of all, protection is always going to be number one when it comes to being able to take care of a guy from not getting sacked. But I’ve said it for years, and since I’ve been running our offense, if we get sacked that’s our own fault and just about every sack that we have, I don’t know that I have one other than maybe play action stuff that maybe is movement. That’s a little bit different because it might not be read the same way, but the ones we’re getting sacked on, that’s our quarterback’s fault because there was a place to go with the ball. There was a place and the training was there. The place to go with the ball is there. We just got to trigger it, and you gotta trust your progression and keep your eyes in the right spot. Very, very critical at that position that you play by those rules, and it takes time for guys to understand that and learn that particularly when they’re not used to playing in that system.

Q. You’re at the halfway point in the season. Can you tell us when you think the offense is and where you thought it would be compared to where it is right now?
DAVID BEATY: Assessing it right now probably the biggest thing for me is the self-inflicted wounds that we’ve had throughout the season. You can’t take those away so you don’t get to say, hey, if we didn’t do that, didn’t do that, you don’t get to do that because those things are a reality and they’ve happened. Last week was not an exception to that. We were if the game at 21-0 the other day. I still felt good we were moving the football defensively. I thought our guys were playing their tails off, and when we weren’t able to stop the bleeding when it comes to self-inflicted things, hey, man, that’s when you get blown out and that’s happened. We’re a better football team than that.

Our guys, you know, they deserve better than that. We’re going to have to find a way to quit being self-inflicted groups. There is no other way to say that. We have really improved in the area of penalties and not hurting ours in that area. Turnover margin has been atrocious and last in the country. You’re not going to win many games when you turn the ball over eight times in two weeks or four time in a week. You’re not going to win many games when you do that. You’ve got to be able to take care of the football and from that standpoint, we have to make sure that we find people that can manage the game for us. That’s where we have to start. Managing the ball game and not putting the ball in jeopardy. Fumbles haven’t really been a problem for us, it’s been more, you know, throwing the ball to the other team. We’ve had seven or eight of them in the last two weeks and that’s not okay.

Q. We haven’t seen a lot of Ben Johnson in the past couple of weeks. Are you guys moving another direction? More receivers, less tight end? What’s going on with that?
DAVID BEATY: Well, we always want to use Ben and actually we did play him quite a few plays the other day. There’s times when you maybe have something planned for Ben, five or six different opportunities, and it just doesn’t come to fruition for whatever reason, whatever the play call sometimes will dictated how they roll coverage and whether or not his route is the one given to you as the one to trigger. There is no design to keep him out of the game plan. It just has kind of happened that way. We were a little bit four wide set later in that game and we got out of tight end stuff pretty quick. We need to use him. He’s one of our better players.

Q. You decided to go for it on fourth down quite a bit and early in the game last week, just wondering if that’s being an underdog going in or what is involved in the progression there?
DAVID BEATY: Just depends on the situation. Where we’re at in terms of how far it is to get it. We will continue to be aggressive offensively when it comes to that. Being able to try to keep our defense off the field and our defense has actually played pretty good. Production wise we’ve given up a lot of points, but a lot of those points have been easily given to the opponents and not necessarily that they’ve had to work for them, but they stopped guys in poor field situations and they got us the ball back a few times and them being able to play as well as they have throughout this season, they’ve given us a chance to win, particularly early in games I felt. It gives you a chance to be able to be more aggressive offensively.

Q. Carter Stanley got some time at quarterback Saturday, how would you grade him?
DAVID BEATY: If you ask me how I grade him, he was probably average. There was still a lot of things that we saw that we need to get a lot better at. Particularly the pick. Just eyes in the right spot, understanding what coverages are doing to you, not picking a route that will get you in trouble. But there was a lot of things that he did that were actually pretty good. I thought he made good decisions on RPOs when he needed to pull it down and when he needed to give it to the back and just better communication by him out wide to receivers. We had a couple times when we weren’t on the same page with those guys and that comes down to communication and that’s — there is no excuse for that. Communication errors are not tolerated.

So we have got to get that taken care of and he’s getting better and better every week. It was good to be able to get him in the game and give him a quarter and a half to see what he can do and run some real offense other than just handing the ball off. We needed to be able to do that, and in that situation, hey, unfortunately, it was what it was. We were where we were. You’d love to get young guys in the game when you’re up by a bunch.

But in that situation it gave me an opportunity to see what he could do and I wanted to do that and we wanted to do that. It was good to be able to see him a little bit more. He’s got a long way to go just like all of them, but he works hard at it and I appreciate that.

Q. You mentioned last week that you thought Ryan (Willis) might take a big jump in the next couple of games. Is there a point in your past development of quarterbacks is there a point midpoint of the second year, end of the second year, going through three, there a point where you have a map of where they should be and how progress is so different because of each individual’s strengths and weaknesses?
DAVID BEATY: I think they are all different, but you do need to see progression. There is no doubt about that. Ryan, I know he has said this before making sure your eyes are in the right spot and you’re not just picking out route and that will get you in trouble to the tune of a lot of turnovers. We’ve got to be better there. When you don’t see it in practice a whole lot. You don’t know that it’s going to be much of a problem until you get him in the game. I said this a few weeks ago, you have to evaluate what you see in practice by when you see every day and when you get your opportunity to play in the game that’s another piece of the evaluation. It was for Montell (Cozart) and it is for Ryan as well.

Now we have got a couple of games under his belt. That’s part of the his evaluation as well, being able to continue to help grow him as well, and Carter getting playing time the other day is another piece of his evaluation. If we were playing well at the quarterback position you guys wouldn’t be asking me these questions.

Q. Do you feel good about the pace of development, whether they’re — they’re making mistakes, you said all that but as far as overall development and the trajectory of where they’re headed. Is that pace where you want it?
DAVID BEATY: No. I’m not going to say that I feel good about it because the production is not there. The trajectory and how we are training them and how they are progressing in practice needs to carry over to the football field, and, hey, at the end of the day that’s my job to be able to make that thing carry over to the field. So I’ve got to continue to do the things that I’ve got to do to make sure that it’s working for them as they pass it on to the field. Sometimes that’s just motivating guys in different ways to really pay attention to details. Because at the end of the day there is no real magic answer that you sprinkle dust on a guy and he gets fixed. It really comes down to very basic things. We’re going vertical out. Get your eyes in the corner, read him. If he comes down hit the hole shot, it’s that simple. But if your eyes aren’t in the right spot and you’re making out a route that’s where you struggle.

That’s been frustrating for me and for them as well, but those are things that we can fix and I’m going to expect them to get fixed in a hurry.

Q. Do you have offensive players who are redshirting that have good potential? Do you get to see much of them or are they on the scout team?
DAVID BEATY: Yes, we do. We have a young guns practice every Monday and Thursday. Yesterday was another practice that we had afterwards. Daylon Charlot is a talented guy. We are very excited about him. We wish he was playing this year. He’s not, but we’re glad he’s going to be here next year.

(Charles) Baldwin is a big — he’s what they’re supposed to be, he is a big, strong, physical — he puts his hand on you and it’s going to shatter you a little bit. He is a talented guy, I’m excited about him and his future as well.

Malik Clark, we haven’t seen a lot of him. He played in this game a little bit, freshman, young. But there are guys not playing right now and even Evan Fairs. We were hoping we could put the shirt on, but he is another talented guy. He’s not there yet, but he is getting better every week, enough to where we’re able to get him in the game and start growing him a little bit. We were hoping we could keep a shirt on him but we were not able to.

So there’s some guys, Dru Prox, on the defensive side. That guy is growing like a weed, a big, good-looking kid and in those practices on Thursday he’s making play after play after play and that’s what you hope to see. He is 6-1.5, 6-2, probably 220 pounds. He came here 198, 194, something like that so he’s growing.

Isaiah Bean, another guy that’s putting on weight and getting better and better. They’re young. They’ll come along. Bryce Torneden, some of those guys are playing, which is good. They’re getting experience. Mike Lee. Some of those dudes, (Kyle) Mayberry. Those guys are getting in the game which is good for us.

Q. How is Tyriek Starks coming along?
DAVID BEATY: He’s coming along really good. He’s not going to play for us this year unless we have something crazy happen, but we’re developing him exactly the way we want to develop him. He’s the first guy that we recruited in the offense for the offense and he’s a talented guy. He’s got great feet. He can move. He will add another dimension to our offense which will be good, but he can throw it. He can sling it. He’s got some fundamental flaws that we’re trying to work out, but he’s gotten a lot better from the first day he got here. So we are excited about him and his progress moving forward.

Q. With those guys from Louisiana, does it help having someone like Tony Hull around to keep them from getting homesick?
DAVID BEATY: Well, Tony has been huge and he’s so good with that group of guys. All of our guys are. But I recall when I was back at the last place that I was at, there’s something about them Louisiana boys. They’re tough kids now. I mean, if they get homesick, they don’t show it very often. They are tough dudes and we had a bunch of ’em at A&M and they were the same way. A lot of those guys never even went home when they had breaks to go home. I don’t know if these guy will or not, I know Tyriek went home a little while ago.

But they’re tough guys. That’s one thing we like about those guys from that region. You don’t hear that homesickness stuff. They are hard-working guys. That’s what I like about those guys.

Q. What is the status on Joe Dineen?
DAVID BEATY: Well, I don’t think we’ll have him this week, and we’re starting to get to a point to see if he’s going to be able to do it. It’s not necessarily — we thought we had turned the corner last week and once again. It pulled again a little bit on him when we started pushing him. I’m hoping that we can get it back pretty quick here, but he’s not progressing like we would like him to, and that’s a blow for us defensively. It’s giving somebody else an opportunity but, you’re talking about one of your captains and leading tackles in the conference from last year that we’re missing.

I hope we can get him back, but, man, I don’t know. He’s not looking like I wanted him to look at this point. He made progress that first week I thought we may have him, you know how those hamstrings are. They’re not done being healed until they’re healed. You feel like they’re about to pull the entire time and all the sudden you’re fine and you don’t feel it anymore, and he’s just not to that point anymore.

Q. Would you redshirt him?
DAVID BEATY: If things don’t work out, I think it would be a possibility. I hope we can get him back. I don’t know if it’s going to work out or not. We’ll see. It’s giving him a lot of problems.

Q. Any other guys that have injuries?
DAVID BEATY: Everybody else has been actually pretty good. We have the ACL guys that have had ACL surgery. All those guys are progressing well, off their crutches and looking good. Shola (Ayinde) looks amazing. I can’t believe he had surgery not too long ago. (John) Wirtel, (Justin) Williams had ACL surgery last week. Murph (Murphy Grant) is so good with them. They’re under anesthesia walking around in our facility the day they get out of that, which is amazing because they used to sit in a bed for weeks, and Murph is so good at what he does with those guys. You would not believe those guys have had ACL surgery. He’s done a good job. Other than that, Marcquis (Roberts) has some nag things that are still bothering him and luckily we have developed some depth over there. We don’t have to play him as much as we used to. We need to get him well, too.

Q. Couple of weeks ago you guys had a big loss to Texas Tech, but bounced back well against TCU. What do you need to ensure you can bounce back?
DAVID BEATY: We have to do the same thing. We have to bounce back, and our guys will. They will bounce back. They know what the expectations are. They also look at the reality of it. Early in that game we turned it ugly ourselves. We turned it ugly fast. We have nobody to blame but us, and I gave give all the credit to Baylor. That he took advantage of those opportunities, and they got some phenomenal players.

But early in that game we turned it ugly on our own and our guys see that. It stinks in the moment, but they understand that we have potential to be a better team than what they’re showing. We just have to go do it. We’ve got execute it and there are high standards around here and there’s going to continue to be high standards, and we’re going to school on basically what we see and that ain’t okay.

Those types of performances aren’t okay, because those are preventable. I can handle it when you beat me straight up, but not when we make a bunch of crazy mistakes like that. Those are things that we are going to prevent around here.

Q. Do you have anything to say regarding the Big 12’s decision not to expand?
DAVID BEATY: You know, I said last night I didn’t know it was going on until I got off the practice field yesterday in terms of what finally happened. But our leadership is phenomenal in our Conference. Our chancellors and presidents, I know that they have done their due diligence and they have worked hard at making sure they do the right thing by this great conferences. We are one of the greatest conferences on the planet, and we need to remain that way by making sure we make the right decisions for our conference. That’s not to say that there aren’t a lot of great teams out there that deserve membership in a Power 5, and I believe things will work out the way for everybody they way they’re supposed to work out.

But right now, I just know our leadership, we’re in good hands when it comes to making the right decisions. I got enough to say grace over right here.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, everyone.

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