Latest Team Rankings
Free Text Alerts
|ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports|
|College Teams||High Schools|
September 18, 2012Injury Update
It looks like wide receiver Kale Pick will be back in action this week. He missed last week against TCU after suffering a knee injury the week before against Rice. Safety Lubbock Smith is still questionable for the game. Weis said he is a step behind Pick, but Smith was out practicing on Tuesday.
The biggest injury news was that offensive tackle Riley Spencer will miss the remainder of the season to have surgery on his knee.
The coaches were hoping to put off the operation until after the season but because Gavin Howard has settled in at right tackle, the staff felt it would be better get the operation out of the way now so they can have Spencer at full strength for spring ball next season.
As far as the other position on the right side of the line, Weis said he was pleased with right guard Randall Dent's progress. Dent replaced Aslam Sterling at that spot after the first series of the game against Rice.
"That right side of the line has settled in pretty nicely," Weis said. "And what we're going to do now, with Riley being down, is we're going to get into a little bit of a three-man rotation and get Aslam (Sterling) more involved here between the people who have position flexibility or Aslam and Gavin, where Randall's settled in at right guard, so that's what we're going to try to do now."
Running back James Sims returns this week after sitting out a three game suspension. Weis though wasn't ready to anoint Sims as the main guy at running back. Kansas has had success with the combo of Taylor Cox and Tony Pierson the last three games and it appears Sims will have to earn back his carries.
"A lot of times when a player leaves, he figures 'well, they need me,'" Weis said. "He's sitting in the stands those games, watching those guys run the ball pretty well. And then he's starting to question, 'I wonder if they need me?' So, I think he's very hungry. That excites me."
Weis made sure to give Sims enough reps early on in spring practice and fall camp so Sims was familiar with the offensive scheme, but Sims has spent most of his time in the last several weeks on the scout team.
Weis jokes that having a scout team consisting of Sims, Jake Heaps and Justin McCay gave him the best scout team in the country.
"Sometimes when I looked over there, I wanted to watch the show team," Weis said. "But any time you get to run in practice, full speed, against a defense, you're getting to practice things at the speed that the game is played at. When you go against a show team, that isn't the speed that the game is played at, because you're looking off of cards. So it always slows down. I think that he's got some great opportunities to go ahead and refine his skills and get beat up a little bit in the process; those are two good things."
Depth Chart Changes
JaCorey Shepherd found himself on the two deep this week at cornerback. The coaches moved Shepherd during fall camp from wide receiver to defensive back. Part of the reason for the move was that Kansas will be thin in the secondary next year after losing three starters to graduation. At the time of the move, Shepherd was the third string slot receiver and realistically probably would not have seen the field this year on the offensive side of the ball. Now, Shepherd is slowly working himself into the secondary rotation.
"I think that he sees himself having the greater opportunity to move up the ranks on defense," Weis said. "And he's got quick feet, he can backpedal and he can turn his hips. Not every offensive player can play that position."
Another player who is receiving more playing time is wide receiver Andrew Tuzilli. He has always been one of the more naturally talented players on the team, but was incredibly raw when he arrived on campus two years ago.
Weis said Turzilli's height gives him an advantage over the smaller D.J. Beshears when it comes to catching the deep ball because he gives quarterback Dayne Crist a bigger target to throw to.
"D.J. has gotten the same amount of reps as he normally has," Weis said. "Maybe he took more of the second reps last week, rather than the first reps. But our receivers all get plenty of reps. So, you have to go by performance. You can't go by seniority. You've got to go by performance and who you think gives you the best chance right now. And right now, D.J.'s not out of the mix, it's just Turzilli's playing better. That's why he's playing."