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September 10, 2013
New looks on offense, defense
If the real football junkie paid close attention to the Jayhawks style of play against South Dakota they saw something new on both sides of the ball. And both included a much faster style of play.
Offensively Kansas started the game and played much of the half in an up-tempo pace that Charlie Weis hasn't shown yet. It rivaled the offensive game styles that Big 12 opponents like Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have in their game plans.
They got to the line quick, received a signal from the sidelines, and then snapped the ball.
"We have been practicing and trying to snap the ball in 15 seconds or less," Weis said. "I don't stand there with a stop watch but that is probably about what it was. And it was multiple formations. It wasn't just one formation all the time. We have been working on this for quite some time."
Since the end of last season Weis started thinking how to help the defense prepare for the high speed offenses in the Big 12.
"It was part of my thought methodology back in November and December," Weis said. "When I was looking at how to get the defense better I thought if we're going to practice it we might as well put it in. Why practice it without doing it ourselves. If we were using half of the team it would be a waste of time."
In August Weis admitted they were doing things to get the defense prepared for the speed of the offenses. With a sly smile on his face he said nobody ever asked him about his own offense.
"No one ever asked me that question," Weis said about the offense. "They just thought I was doing it for the defense. I'm selfish I am an offensive guy. You think I would've done all of that work without getting anything out of it for the offense."
The defense also showed a new style. There were several plays during the entire game the defense used five and six players to blitz the South Dakota offense.
"By playing it we felt like that was something that gave us a little bit of an advantage," Clint Bowen said. "We went out there and executed a few and gave up a few. That is kind of the way that strategy goes. That is kind of what we're going to be."
Bowen believes you have to show different looks since offenses get to the line of scrimmage so quick to snap the ball.
"It is a combination of things," Bowen said. "You have to figure out what will stop these offenses. If they know what you are going to line up in, snap after snap they can take advantage of you. The systems they have in place that is what they do. I feel it is important to keep things changing and not let the quarterback get real comfortable. There are a lot of quarterbacks if they get comfortable they can beat you."