2016-17 Football Previews – (Big 12) – Jayhawks
Looking for 2016 Kansas Jayhawks predictions? KU have forever been recognized as a basketball-first school, with good reason when you examine the football program’s results in both recent and distant history. Need me to be more specific? Kansas is 9-51 over the past five seasons. They are improved but it’s not unlike Kia Motors’s ads: “The Fastest Growing Automaker in the World” – well, it’s not hard when you start at zero.
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2016-17 College Football Preview – Kansas Jayhawks
Head Coach: David Beaty
2015 Record: 0-12
Kansas Jayhawks Odds to win 2017 FBS Championship: +50000
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2016 Kansas Jayhawks Predictions: Team Strengths
Probably the best player on KU’s offense is a WR that wasn’t on the roster last season – junior LaQuivionte Gonzalez, a speedy Texas A&M transfer that was highly regarded out of high school.
He’s slight (5″10, 176 lbs) but has the potential to be dynamic. Gonzalez is joined by TE Ben Johnson, who provides a good dual pass catching/blocking threat.
The receivers and likely starting pivot Ryan Willis need considerably better blocking; the charge will be led by senior OT D’Andre Banks, the best player on a patchwork unit that includes a former tight end and others long on experience but short on talent.
Defensively, the gem is SS Fish Smithson, who racked up 111 tackles and two picks last year.
He is the leading tackler in a defensive back unit that returns three of its four starters from 2015, with the new face being a senior junior college transfer Marnez Ogletree.
With all three LBs also coming back, the defensive back seven should logically improve a fair bit.
On special teams, kick returner Ryan Schadler is impressive, scoring a kick-off return touchdown with a long of 91 yards.
2016 Kansas Jayhawks Predictions: Team Weaknesses
Last year, Kansas lost its Big 12 games by an average of nearly 36 points per game. Yikes.
Clearly, the Jayhawks have several areas of weakness they must address. Firstly, the QB play must improve. Willis didn’t blow anyone away in 2015, completing only 52% of his passes and hurling more INTs than TDs.
He may not even win the starting job, as junior Montell Cozart is waiting in the wings. To be fair, everyone expected Kansas to be really bad, as it was woefully short on scholarship players and started many underclassmen.
On the other side of the ball, the defense must find someone who can rush the passer, DT Daniel Wise and DE Dorance Armstrong both had 3.5 sacks in ’15, but that’s not cutting it.
The Jayhawks had three games last year where they were outgained by more than 400 yards by the opponents.
If Kansas could force more turnovers in general, they would become a more effective defensive unit that weren’t constantly hemmoraging yards and points.
Kansas will also lean on freshman P Quinton Conaway, as everyone else was, well, useless.
In the kicking game, neither junior K Nick Bartolotta or senior Matthew Wyman hit on 50% of their field goal attempts, which needs no further introduction or explanation. Someone has to convert some kicks.
2016 Kansas Jayhawks Prediction: 3-9
Kansas will improve this year, purely by virtue of adding a weapon like Gonzalez at WR and another year of experience for a young team. There are also some winnable games on the slate for the ‘Hawks, notably their first three tilts (Rhode Island, Ohio, Memphis).
Still, given how decimated the roster was when Coach Beaty came to Lawrence, it should be another year or two before Kansas is seriously contending for a bowl bid.
If Kansas wins four or more games this season, 2016 will be a tremendous success for this flaccid football program.
2016 Kansas Jayhawks Schedule
- 09/03/2016 vs. Rhode Island 7:00 pm
- 09/10/2016 vs. Ohio 2:30 pm
- 09/17/2016 at Memphis Noon
- 09/24/2016 BYE
- 09/29/2016 at Texas Tech 8:30 pm
- 10/08/2016 vs. TCU TBA
- 10/15/2016 at Baylor TBA
- 10/22/2016 vs. Oklahoma St. TBA
- 10/29/2016 at Oklahoma TBA
- 11/05/2016 at West Virginia TBA
- 11/12/2016 vs. Iowa St. TBA
- 11/19/2016 vs. Texas TBA
- 11/26/2016 at Kansas St. TBA
What do you think about our 2016 Kansas Jayhawks predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2016!
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