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October 6, 2012Recruits might want to check their inboxes this week to see if Charlie Weis sent them highlights of Kansas' 56-16 loss to Kansas State.
After the game, Weis decided to use their blowout loss for a chance to give a message to recruits. If they want a chance to play early, Saturday's game showed that opportunities aren't lacking at Kansas.
"It really doesn't have to be that difficult when it comes to recruiting," Weis said. "Guys all want to have the opportunity to come in and play. They want to be difference makers. There are plenty of positions maybe they will be calling me. I might not even have to call them."
Unlike previous years blowouts to their in-state rivals, Saturday's game started with the potential of a watchable game.
Offensively, Kansas came into the day with a conservative game plan. Going up against Kansas State's opportunistic defense, Kansas was going to be patient and nickel and dime their way down the field. For a while it worked. Kansas had success with swing passes to Tony Pierson and jumped out to a 14-7 lead.
The times that Weis did gamble in the first half, they worked marvelously. On one drive, Kansas converted on a fake punt and later a fake field goal.
"When you know you are playing against a team of this caliber you got to be willing to take some risks," Weis said.
As the second quarter began to unfold, it looked like momentum was leaning towards Kansas then ... Kansas State went on a 49-2 run. Those tend to hurt. Defensively, Kansas didn't look much different than the previous year's units that ranked near the bottom of college football.
Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein and running back John Hubert combined ran for 219 yards. Kansas players were constantly caught out of position as Kansas State's offense scored quickly. The most telling stat, Kansas actually won the time of possession over Kansas State 36 minutes to 17 and Kansas State still put up 475 yards of total offense. Kansas State coach Bill Snyder had the opportunity to pull Klein near the start of the fourth quarter.
"We have guys not doing their jobs and wanting to make someone else's play," Toben Opurum said. "You stay in tune with what you are doing and stay focused, and just do your responsibility and not somebody else's. I think we would have seen a different outcome."
The Kansas offense sputtered in the second half after Tony Pierson left the game with an injury.
Quarterback Dayne Crist ended the day with three interceptions and two fumbles. By the fourth quarter and the game out of hand, Crist was pulled for backup quarterback Michael Cummings. Weis said to not look too deep into the switch and he just wanted to get a closer look at the freshman quarterback.
"At that time we were going to go into a package that Mike does the best," Weis said. "He doesn't do it better than Dayne but that's in his comfort zone. He has to get some playing time to see what we got. I am glad we got him in there to throw the ball a couple of times and run the offense."
While Crist's spot may be safe for now, Weis said something has to change.
"One thing I can't do is remain status quo," Weis said. "I can't just say, 'That's okay we got our butts whipped to Kansas State, that's okay fellows'. That was not the message that was being relayed in the locker room after the game."