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September 11, 2013Entering week one of the season, the offensive line had a combined eight Division I starts between them - all by Aslam Sterling - but head coach Charlie Weis was happy with what he saw from Sterling, Ngalu Fusimalohi, Pat Lewandowski, Mike Smithburg, and Zach Fondal.
"We had a couple of pressures, one was a communication error and one was a physical error," Weis said. "We didn't throw it that many times, so I would say that pass protection is yet to be determined. I would call that incomplete because there is not enough evidence based on that last game, based off of what we were doing. Anytime you rush for close to 300 yards, it isn't just the runners.
"There are obviously some holes in there or you don't get that many yards," he added. "I thought it was a good start. All of those descriptions where I thought we were going to be more physical, I really believe that what we are losing in experience we are gaining in physicality."
The Jayhawks managed 280 rushing yards and running back James Sims led the pack with 94.
Teaching tool, not revenge
Last season, Rice defeated Kansas on a last-second 45-yard field goal in a 25-24 game. While some fans may be looking at this weekend as a chance for revenge, Weis has a different approach.
"I use it more as a teaching tool. I don't talk about getting revenge for what they did because we are the ones that blew it," Weis said. "They deserved to win because we didn't close out the game. We didn't close out on offense when we had a comfortable lead. We didn't close it out on defense when we had to hold them.
"Give credit to Rice, they deserved to win that game and we deserved to lose it because that is how we played," he added.
Kansas made just six fourth quarter plays while Rice had 20 in their come-from-behind victory.
Win is utopian situation
The Jayhawks broke an 11-game losing streak with their win and while Weis was happy with the progress, he was even more excited about the opportunity it brings for improvement moving forward.
"It's utopian, it's perfect, it can't be better. It's been a bad week for some of those men by the way because you can really get on them hard because they're feeling good about themselves," Weis said. "It's great because they come in after the win as they're feeling good and you just tear them down right off the bat. It's a wonderful feeling as a coach to be able to do that. In reality, you're not beating them down, they're just more open minded. They listen to you, they want to be better after a win. When they're feeling good about themselves, constructive criticism is relatively easy."
Movement on the defensive line
When the new depth charts came out on Tuesday there was some position switching on the two-deep roster moving Ty McKinney to the second right tackle, and Jordan Tavai to second left tackle. McKinney was previously behind Keon Stowers and Marquel Combs at nose tackle and Jordan Tavai was listed at right tackle behind Keba Agostinho.
"Ty McKinney is playing really well and Combs isn't getting any reps so what we did is bounce Ty McKinney out to end and moved Combs to the second guy there, not so much for any other reason than McKinney because it gives him the option to move eventually from second to one and Keon is not getting beat out and combs gets more into the mix," Weis said. "We do two things by doing that, we don't get one positive residual, we get two residuals out of that."