Jayhawks focused on Barnett
Iowa State redshirt freshman quarterback Jared Barnett made his first career start Saturday in the Cyclones' 41-7 drubbing of Texas Tech - getting it done both through the air and on the ground.
With him at the Helm, the Iowa State offense had a great deal of success running the zone read, and during Monday's weekly Big 12 Coaches Teleconference, Kansas head coach Turner Gill said the newcomer has the full attention of the Jayhawks.
"I thought he did some good things on the zone read, but he also ran some draw plays on them," he said, of Barnett. "He's a very good runner and he did some good things there. So he showed that he has pretty good speed and has a good desire to want to run the ball when he's called upon to do that."
Defending the zone read in Ames, Iowa this weekend will require discipline on the part of the Kansas defense. It's not an uncommon play, Gill explained, but it is effective unless the defenders remain assignment sound.
"You've gotta have a guy on the running back and then you've gotta have a guy that's on the quarterback," he said. "When you don't have people with each guy, then that's when you become more vulnerable to having those guys make some big plays out of it."
Gill proud of defense
To say the Kansas offense struggled Saturday versus Texas would be, ah, something of an understatement. The Jayhawks mustered just three more yards (46) than the Longhorns did points (43).
And while the statistics don't reveal a particularly stellar performance defensively - Texas racked up 590 total yards - Gill felt the defense showed heart.
"I think our defense, particularly, they showed some mental toughness," he said. "They showed determination. They kept playing, they kept competing particularly as they got down there moving the ball on the goal line. They stopped them on the one yard line, we got a turnover inside the red zone and I thought they flew around better than they have in the past."
As for the offensive woes, Gill's explanation was simple.
"We just got out-coached on that side," he said. "Really on both sides of the ball, and their guys were better than ours. It was a combination of we just got out-coached and outplayed. Simple as that."