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Big 12 Preview Series: Kansas Looking for Progress in Miles’ Second Year

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(photo via kuathletics.com)

WVSN’s Big 12 Preview Series will give a snapshot of all nine of WVU football’s Big 12 opponents throughout this week. The schedule for this week is:

Monday: Baylor and Iowa State
Tuesday: Kansas and Kansas State
Wednesday: Oklahoma and Oklahoma State
Thursday: TCU and  Texas
Friday: Texas Tech

The Kansas Jayhawks were not a good football team in their first year under head coach Les Miles last season.

With only three wins and a 1-8 Big 12 record in 2019, the Jayhawks undoubtedly wanted to get off to a fast start in 2020. Instead, for the second-straight year, KU lost at home to Coastal Carolina last weekend.

Entering last season, the Jayhawks had one of the best running back tandems in the Big 12 with Khalil Herbert and Pooka Williams Jr. After four games, however, Herbert decided to sit out the rest of the season and eventually transferred to Virginia Tech. By himself, Williams rushed for 1,061 yards and was named to the All-Big 12 first team. Williams will be back in 2020, joined by the top-two receivers from last season, Andrew Parchment and Stephon Robinson Jr.

Parchment (831 yards, seven touchdowns) and Robinson (727 yards, eight touchdowns) both had good production last season and, paired with Williams, give Kansas some of the most productive returning skill players in the Big 12.

“In our offensive system, the ball is passed around a lot,” Robinson said during Big 12 Football Media Day. “It’s given a lot of our receivers a lot of opportunities to make plays. We set (the bar) pretty high, but we feel like we could do a lot more as a receiving corps. We have a lot of guys who can do many different things so we’re expecting big things this year.”

The question for Kansas’ offense comes at quarterback. Against CCU, Thomas MacVittie started and had 156 yards two touchdowns and an interception on 15-24 passing.

On defense, Kansas graduated a number of starters but will return a Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year finalist in linebacker Gavin Potter.

Five Key Departures:

HB Khalil Herbert
– Transferred to Virginia Tech
– 1,735 rushing yards, 14 TD in 35 career games

OL Hakeem Adeniji
– 1st Team All-Big 12 in 2019
– Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year Finalist in 2019

DL Azur Kamara
– Big 12 Honorable Mention in 2019
– 51 tackles, 6 TFL, 3.5 sacks

S Mike Lee
– Big 12 Honorable Mention in 2019
– 72 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 1 INT, 2 forced fumbles

CB Hasan Defense
– Big 12 Honorable Mention in 2019
– 37 tackles, 1 INT, 8 PBU

Top Five Returners:

HB Pooka Williams Jr.
– 1st Team All-Big 12 in 2019
– Preseason All-Big 12 in 2020
– 1,061 rushing yards, 3 TD

WR Andrew Parchment
– Big 12 Honorable Mention in 2019
– Preseason All-Big 12 in 2020
– 65 rec., 831 yards, 7 TD

LB Gavin Potter
– Defensive Freshman of the Year Finalist in 2019
– 56 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks

WR Stephen Robinson Jr.
– 45 rec., 727 yards, 8 TD

OG Malik Clark
– Started 22 games last 2 seasons

Schedule:

  • Sept. 12 vs Coastal Carolina
    • Lost 38-23
  • Sept. 26 at Baylor
  • Oct. 3 vs Oklahoma State
  • Oct. 17 at WVU
  • Oct. 24 at Kansas State
  • Oct. 31 vs Iowa State
  • Nov. 7 at Oklahoma
  • Nov. 21 vs Texas
  • Nov. 28 vs TCU
  • Dec. 5 at Texas Tech
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Cody spent the last two years getting his master's degree in journalism from WVU. He graduated from Slippery Rock University in 2018 with a degree in digital media production. He was born and raised in Mercer, Pennsylvania.

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