Beaty previews Saturday's clash with Iowa State

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LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas head football coach David Beaty met with the media in Mrkonic Auditorium inside the Anderson Family Football Complex Tuesday at 1 p.m. for his weekly press conference, this time previewing Saturday’s matchup against Iowa State. A replay of his press conference can be found by clicking the link above.

COACH BEATY: Right now, give you a little bit of an injury update. Marcquis (Roberts) is probably going to be out this week with a shoulder. He separated it in the game the other day, so we’re not going to have his services.

Mike Lee and Montell (Cozart) both have recovered pretty well from their concussion protocol. We’ll see how they look today out at practice. Once you get that activity going, sometimes that tells you a little bit more about where they are at.

Joe Gibson on the other hand, we feel like he’s actually ready to go, which would be good to have him back into the mix and the rotation there.

Bobby Hartzog, he didn’t make the trip the other day. He had an injury in practice last week to his Achilles. He still isn’t practicing with us today, so he doesn’t look like he’s going to be able to make the trip or make the game this week, but we’ll see.

Mike Lee, like I said, he’s responded pretty well. He looked pretty good. Those are the guys really that I know you may have some questions about.

We did get some good news from the league the other day that Daniel Wise has been reinstated from the penalty that occurred the other night. So we’re getting him back and that’s some good news. I know we’re excited about that.

Just moving on to Iowa State, our seniors, I can’t be prouder of those guys. They have done a really good job of leading our team. I have a lot of questions a lot of times about how our guys continue to move forward and how they are so resilient, and the answer is just quite simply in those seniors remembers and their character. They have done a really nice job. They deserve a great finish here to end their senior year, and our guys are committed to doing that for them and those guys are, too, Fish, Banks, those guys have kind of led the charge there are to us.

So we are committed to getting those guys a great finish starting with this week. It’s going on a great Saturday against another really good opponent. They have a lot of experience coming back on that anybody team. There’s a new staff there, and Matt has done a terrific job with those guys.

Offensively I think I counted up 173 starts that they have. They have a bunch of experience. They have four senior offensive linemen, and they have got one of the best receivers that I’ve seen around, Allen Lazard. I know him well, recruited him back in the day. Big kid, really about player.

They have got a couple other wide-outs that are really, really good, too. They have got a stable of running backs, some young running backs that are starting to play really well for them and of course we all know what Mike Warren can do, he’s a talented guy.

Defensively you can just see Matt (Campbell) bringing his stamp to the table with those guys. He’s done a really good job. They have got a leader over there in the secondary, and the (Kamari) Cotton-Moya kid, I think he’s a really good player. Jhaustin Thomas is a defensive tackle, really big guy. They have got some big guys inside. Demond Tucker and Jhaustin Thomas are both really big, sizable guys that, man, you have a hard time in those A-gaps with those guys.

They do a really good job on special teams and he really has done a great job of getting these guys to be very competitive in a very tough league early in his career.

So I know it’s going to be a great challenge. I know both of us are looking forward to playing, so it will be good to see them on Saturday.

Let’s take some questions.

Q. With Montell returning to practice, have you made a decision on who is starting Saturday?
COACH BEATY: We’ll go through practice today and tomorrow. We’re still in that competition mode. But we’ll go through practice today and tomorrow and make that decision.

Q. When Carter (Stanley) has not been the starter and the other guys have, what has he done in practice to be in the game so that there’s not a learning gap between and the other quarterbacks?
COACH BEATY: Well, I tell you that it’s a good question, because you’re not ready to play just by mistake when you go out thereafter you haven’t been out there very much.

I think I mentioned it a few weeks back; every single play that we have in practice, that kid is actually going through the play behind the quarterbacks or behind that actual play taking place. He’s actually going through the procedure, he’s going through every bit of that and I think that’s how he was really prepared to play the other day.

He’s been doing it for four or five weeks and it’s something we require our guys to do, and he never misses a play. You look up, every now and then, you see some of them missing plays but every play, he goes through procedure, the communication, and he’ll actually take his drop and you’ll see his eyes worrying.

I think that’s really what’s helped him. I think his commitment to being prepared is what helped him step in the other day and play well, and he sparked us. I was really, really impressed with the fact that he came in; just he started right off the bat with a snap that really hit the ground on his left-hand side, and he picked it up and found Steven Sims on a quick little run-pass for a six-yard gain, and that was something that told me he was prepared. He knew where all of his answers were. So it was good to see him do that.

Q. You’ve had to make a few of these quarterback decisions. Would you classify this as one of your most difficult ones, based on how well Carter played on Saturday?
COACH BEATY: Our deal is we want to win. And whatever we’ve got to do to help ourselves get a chance to get that victory is what we’ve got to do. It’s not about what’s challenging. It’s about what is best for this football team.

And listen, the guy did a great job in that game the other night sparking us, and he kind of left that game with a hot hand.

Now, we had two drives there late that we should have capitalized on both of those and that game would have got real interesting real quick and we made a mistake there that cost us from being able to do that, put that ball in the end zone. That goes to 35 points pretty quick. And there really wasn’t anything on their side of the ball that really stopped those drives. It was us.

So we have got a lot of things that we can — but he’s been a guy that, I said before, there’s something about him. He’s got kind of a gamer deal to him. He did a good job the other day. I fully expect him to be prepared if his number is called this week. Just how I expect all of them to be prepared this week.

Q. His high school coach went to a clinic, was it Tony Franklin, something Franklin?
COACH BEATY: I think he played in the Tony Franklin system.

Q. When you said that (Tyriek) Starks was the first one you recruited for this offense, do you mean your specific wrinkle on the air raid?
COACH BEATY: Yeah, I guess when it comes down to whether we recruited Carter for; that what you’re asking? We knew what he could do. He was a dual-threat guy. We knew some of the things were similar. The language is always the barrier. It takes a while to get that stuff ingrained.

But we knew he definitely had the talent. We knew definitely had that talent. Tony just happened to use all of our terminology while Starks was there, which kind of helped him a little bit.

Q. Did you talk with Daniel Wise after the ejection, since the ejection, and what was the conversation and what was the tone of it?
COACH BEATY: Yeah, we spoke out there on the sideline, right after it happened. He’s a classy kid. He was under control. He just simply asked, he said, “Coach, I didn’t do anything. I’m not sure why I’m getting kicked out of the game. I ran into the guy. We pushed a little bit but I didn’t throw a purge at him.”

I said, “Well, hey, you know, you were standing around it, so you left it up to those guys to decide and when that happens, man, we go with what they say.”

So from that standpoint, he handled himself well. He did everything that I asked him to do to that point. He didn’t react in a poor fashion. He did a really nice job that way.

At that point, there’s really not much else that we as coaches can do or he can do, other than make sure we abide but what they asked us to do and we continue to play on.

Now after the fact when we got back, we addressed all of that with our team, just the chippery stuff that was going on that we haven’t seen since we’ve been here.

Those types of things are just sources of frustration that they just simply can’t happen. We don’t allow those to happen. It’s just not part of what we do. I said it last night; when you’re doing things like that or when you’re involved in things like that, whether they are bad enough or not in your mind, it doesn’t matter what you think. It matters what he sees and how he interprets it.

So when you’re standing around something, you can step in it. You’ve got to be careful. Get away, do your job, make the play, play as hard as you can, play as clean as you can, and then get off the field. Those are things that, if there was something that I was really disappointed in the other night, it was the fact that we had a couple of personal fouls that whether they were really warranted or not, I don’t care. We were close enough that we put ourselves in position to be judged. We’ve got to learn from that. Get yourself away from those situations, and that won’t be a problem from this point forward, promise you.

Q. Personal fouls, you guys have quite a few penalties on Saturday, hasn’t been a problem for you this year, but do you look at Saturday as an anomaly?
COACH BEATY: Well, we look at it for what it was. We had to go find — figure out what caused some of those things. And as you look at it, a lot of it that goes down, really comes down to focusing on what your job is, and not focusing on things that don’t matter, just like I talked about.

You know, your job is to go play as hard as and you can then get off the field or go get back in the huddle. So that takes care of a lot of it there.

I think focus early in the game was kind of a big deal, making sure that we’re focused. We had pretty much all of our penalties on offense in the first half, which cost us on a lot of drives. We had one penalty that was declined in the second half offensively and the production was way different. We go to school on that and we look at the fact that, hey, that’s why we do focus so much on making sure that we don’t beat ourselves.

Q. How did Montell suffer his concussion? Did you even see the play?
COACH BEATY: He threw a deep vertical ball to Steven Sims on a back side post and he got lit up. And it wasn’t necessarily the hit, but his head had hit the ground, when he came back, the guy hit him when he was in the air and you could see his head hit the ground pretty good. He got hit a few times in the game, so I’m sure maybe it was a accumulation effect, but that one hit was a pretty good hit that he took.

Q. How important was to see Carter not only with No. 1s but against No. 1s?
COACH BEATY: Very important. I’ve been saying it from the beginning: Trying to get him some meaningful reps is a challenge, particularly when you’re in a rebuilding process and maybe you’re not getting into situations where you’re able to get your second guy in there and be able to let him play meaningful minutes because maybe you aren’t leading games.

So that makes it a little bit more challenging. So you have to give them their experience in real game situations. In that situation, I’m not — we were not about to go to Carter right there until Montell got hurt and it presented itself, but the plan was already in place to put him in the game and I thought he responded well.

Q. You know Iowa State has not won in the Big 12, but Baylor, Oklahoma State, K-State, Oklahoma, those are all pretty close scores. How much better are they than 1-8?
COACH BEATY: They are a lot better than 1-8. They are the best 1-8 team in the country. Maybe one of the best 1-8 teams you really have seen.

They had a 17-point lead, I believe at Baylor; 17-point lead at Oklahoma State. So they can put points on the board. Like I talked about, they have got two really good quarterbacks. I think both those guys can play just about anywhere.

Joel Lanning, he’s a dangerous guy. He can run it and he can throw it. He’s big and he’s got a lot of experience. He’s a good player. Jacob Park, they love that guy throwing the football and I can see why; he can sling it.

They have got some good players over there. Allen Lazard, that dude is really good. He’s a really good player, and they have got four senior offensive linemen up front. You know, you don’t realize how important that is until you don’t have four seniors up front. Once you have four seniors up front, things kind of start settling down.

You know, our senior up front plays pretty good. He’s played a lot of football.

Q. The fact that you’ve employed different starting quarterbacks this season, how does that help you prepare for whatever Iowa State, whichever quarterback they throw at you?
COACH BEATY: Yeah, I think from him, we’ve been watching this team obviously all year. We track all the teams that we are playing.

I really do like the Lanning kid. He’s a good player. I watched him last year when he came in in relief of the other guy that they had been playing and I was like, man, this guy is good. He’s talented. He really is. He’s a talented guy.

I didn’t really know much about the Park kid until we’re getting to watch him play a lot. You can see why they are playing both those guys because they are both very capable, very talented kids.

It’s interesting to see how the plays have changed with regard to who is starting and who is coming in and playing more and how that thing is working out right now. I mean, as of late, Joel has been running the ball pretty much, and then Jacob has been throwing the ball pretty much.

But I think both of them can do it. So we’re going to have to be prepared for whoever goes in there; which makes it a little bit more challenging on our defensive staff to be ready for those guys.

Q. The game against West Virginia, is like the first time Dorance (Armstrong) had had a sack. Is there enough you can say about the job he’s done?
COACH BEATY: You know, I really can’t. When you’re developing your program or trying to turn a program around, you need to hit on a couple every year, a couple really good ones. You need to — it’s kind of unrealistic to say that you’re going to hit on more than a couple in every class that are just really talented.

But you need to hit on a couple. And Dorance is one that we hit on. Steven Sims is one that we hit on. And so there was two in that class that were — that were exceptional that we think can be really, really good.

In this next class, we have got some guys coming. Daylon Charlot, you haven’t seen him yet, but he’s a talented cat. He’s in that class. Khalil Herbert, we think he’s a really talented guy.

Dorance is one of those guys that you put into that, hey, we need 12 to 15 real guys to help us be what we need to be in the conference, and it takes time to do that. You get three or four every year over a four or five year period, next thing you know, you’re playing with 12 to 15 of them and now you have a shot.

Q. When you got Dorance, you knew that you had hit on one, did you know that with Sims or was he a pleasant surprise?
COACH BEATY: I knew Sims was talented. I had him at camp at A&M, and he was by far the best route runner we had. We signed, three, four, five stars that year, we had some really talented guys.

But he was destroying people in camp. His routes were ridiculous, and my heart was really kind of breaking for the guy, because I’m like, this guy is really good. He just wasn’t very big, and for what we were looking for at that time. I mean, my eyes were on him.

Once I got this job, it was the first phone call, one of the first phone calls I made, and he’s been a really good get for us. He can play at a lot of places, there’s no doubt about that. He’s a talented guy. We had an idea, we had one — the hard thing about young guys is you play them as freshmen, sometimes it slows their progress, unless you do it right.

I just go back to Jadeveon Clowney. He averaged 17 snaps a game his first year. I thought the old Ball coach did a great job, because it’s hard on any freshman to play as many snaps as really most people want them to play. They are just not ready for it.

And I’ve said it before; Steven has matured so much. Dorance was already a mature guy. But he weighed 215, 220 pounds; he weighs 253 pounds right now. I mean, he’s kind of got himself into growing up a little bit, and same thing with Steve. Just takes a little while.

I mean, they are not going to answer the world’s questions right away, but if you give them a little time, they turn out for you.

Q. What about Khalil Herbert? Is he going to be able to play this week?
COACH BEATY: He’s a lot better than he was. We could have used him last week. We could have used him. But we were able to kind of get through that game without doing it.

I thought Ke’aun (Kinner) was playing really, really well and then I thought Taylor (Martin) was running the ball really hard. He had some nice improvement in that game last week.

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