Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State football: 5 Things to know about Kansas

Jayhawks are 3-7 in Les Miles' first season

Kansas Jayhawks head coach Les Miles. (Rob Ferguson/USA TODAY Sports)
Kansas Jayhawks head coach Les Miles. (Rob Ferguson/USA TODAY Sports)

AMES — After a dramatic win over No. 19 Texas last week, Iowa State takes on traditional Big 12 bottom feeder Kansas in its home finale Saturday.

Here are 5 Things about the Jayhawks.

1. Les might be more for Kansas

Kansas hired former LSU national championship-winning coach Les Miles in the offseason after firing David Beaty.

Beaty showed improvement last season, leading the Jayhawks to a 3-9 record. The problem is 3-9 is showing improvement — the year before he went 1-11.

Before this season, Miles hadn’t coached since 2016, when he was fired by LSU.

During his 11 years at LSU, he led the Tigers to a bowl game in each season, winning seven of the 11 bowls.

A bowl game is out of the cards for the Jayhawks this season at 3-7, but Kansas has shown a couple flashes of becoming an impactful speed bump.

Kansas lost to West Virginia by four and to Texas by two and beat Texas Tech 37-34 for its lone Big 12 win of the season.

Kansas has Iowa State and Baylor left on the schedule.

Miles has a chance to make history for Kansas in the final two weeks — though it seems unlikely. The Jayhawks haven’t had two conference wins in a season since 2008 when the Jayhawks went 8-5 overall and 4-4 in the Big 12.

2. Serviceable Stanley Carter

Kansas quarterback Stanley Carter has been an incredibly average Big 12 quarterback for the Jayhawks this season. Which is a big step in the right direction for the Jayhawks.

Stanley ranks fifth in the Big 12 in passing yards (2,241), fourth in touchdowns with 21 and sixth in completion percentage at 63.1.

Last season, Kansas quarterback Payton Bender passed for just 1,894 yards and 13 touchdowns for the entire season. Carter still has two more games left.

Unfortunately for Kansas and Miles, Carter is a senior, so they’ll have to groom a new quarterback for next season.

3. Pretty good Pooka

Kansas running back Pooka Williams is probably the best player the Jayhawks have.

The sophomore is second in the Big 12 among running backs in rushing yards (791) and carries (162).

The problem for Kansas is Williams isn’t turning that production into points. The running back only has three rushing touchdowns this season.

4. Kansas’ indefensible defense

While Kansas’ offense under Miles appears to be headed in the right direction, overall, the defense has been abhorrent.

The Jayhawks are surrendering 33.1 points per game, worst in the Big 12 by 2.1 points.

Kansas is also giving up a staggering 471 yards per game, which is second worst in the Big 12 behind Texas Tech’s 478.

The problem area for the Kansas defense is on the ground. The Jayhawks have allowed 233 yards rushing and 23 rushing touchdowns, worst in the Big 12 by a wide margin.

5. Rumblin’, stumblin’, fumblin’ Mike Lee

Kansas safety Mike Lee isn’t the one doin’ the fumblin’, he’s the one causin’ the fumblin’.

Before the season, Lee had forced seven fumbles in his career, which was tied for ninth among active leaders in the FBS.

This season, Lee is still finding ways to pop the ball out. The senior has forced two fumbles this season along with 56 tackles, which is second on the team.

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