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October 31, 2012

Players Talk About Offensive Adjustments

It didn't take long for Charlie Weis to adjust KU's offense to the type of defense schemes that Texas was bringing. In last week's game, Kansas threw out much of their playbook after the first few series after taking into account the blitzes and movement before the snap that Texas was doing.

Kansas reverted to a set of plays and blocking techniques that had worked well against Oklahoma State several weeks earlier when the Cowboys brought a lot of movement before the snap.

The Kansas offensive line for the most part stayed in their tracks. For example, if it was an inside zone to the right and a defensive tackle slants to a lineman's face, then the offensive lineman continues to block the next player to the right or moves to the second level to block a linebacker.

KU's simplified offensive strategy worked in that they could snap the ball before Texas was in position.

"We started snapping the ball when they were moving around so sometimes we would block two guys because they were confused," center Trevor Marrongelli said.

Marrongelli and left tackle Tanner Hawkinson graded out the highest and helped open up the run game so that running back James Sims could run for 178 yards.

Also, to make things easier for freshman quarterback Michael Cummings, Marrongelli is taking a bigger responsibility in making all of the presnap calls at the line of scrimmage. In comparison, when senior quarterback Dayne Crist was starting earlier in the season, Crist had a little more control in making calls because of his experience in Weis' offense. On Saturday though, KU's strategy didn't rely as heavily on identifying the MIKE because Texas was moving around so much. It not only made it easier on Cummings, but also for freshman left guard Damon Martin who is still learning the offense.

"There's a lot less non verbal communication that goes on in that system because we all already know what happens," Marrongelli said. "You have to trust the guy next to you and know that he has your back."

It will be interesting to see what KU's game plan will be this week against Baylor. In terms of how many blitzes they use in a game, Baylor is roughly somewhere in the middle of the pack in the Big 12. Although they moved around more last week against Iowa State.

One of the more unusual things they do is they will bring their safety Sam Holl down to the line of scrimmage and play him as a defensive end in nickel situations to rush the quarterback.

"I doubt they are going to bull rush with him it will probably be a speed rush on the outside," Marrongelli said.

Baylor Offense

Weis remarked earlier this week how he hasn't seen anything like Baylor's spread offense before. Baylor will split their receivers out all the way to the sidelines to stretch the field horitizontally. That scheme has worked this year and they are seventh in the nation averaging 44 points a game.

"They spread you out and try to get you to leave a minimal amount of people in the box as possible," linebacker Huldon Tharp said. "They keep gashing people like that. It's important for us to keep a decent amount of players in the box to shut down the run game."


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