Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State football: 5 things to know about Kansas

Jayhawks picked up first Big 12 win over TCU last week

Kansas running back Pooka Williams Jr. (1) poses for a photo with fans after the Jayhawks beat TCU at home last Saturday. (Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports)
Kansas running back Pooka Williams Jr. (1) poses for a photo with fans after the Jayhawks beat TCU at home last Saturday. (Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports)

It wasn’t long ago Iowa State (4-3, 3-2 Big 12) and Kansas (3-5 1-4) battled for the bottom of the Big 12. But under the direction of Matt Campbell, the Cyclones have removed themselves from the cellar-dweller conversation.

The Jayhawks have not.

1. Desperate David Beaty

Coach David Beaty is in his fourth season as head coach of the Jayhawks. In his first three years, he won three total games and just one conference game.

This season, in a move that seemed desperate, Beaty fired offensive coordinator Doug Meacham and took over the play-calling duties.

Kansas has played two games since Meacham’s firing. The Jayhawks lost the first game 48-16 to Texas Tech. The next week, Kansas beat TCU 27-26.

Through eight games, Beaty has matched the win total from his first three wins combined.

2. Quality players

The one thing Beaty has done well at Kansas, at least in spurts, is recruit. Beaty lured in 4-star running back Pooka Williams, who has been nothing short of amazing for Kansas.

Williams averages 93 yards per game and 6.6 yards per carry. He also has four touchdowns.

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He’s also a threat in the passing game, averaging three receptions per game for 31 yards. He also has two receiving touchdowns.

Linebacker Joe Dineen is another consistent, top performer for the Jayhawks. He averages 8.5 tackles per game. He also has two tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and an interception.

While the overall talent at Kansas isn’t extraordinary — or even ordinary — the Jayhawks do have a few dangerous pieces.

3. Defense (clap, clap) Defense (clap, clap)

This player easily could’ve been mentioned with the previous two, but his name provides an opportunity too good to pass up.

Junior cornerback Hasan Defense leads the Kansas secondary. Defense has three interceptions this season, three pass breakups and a fumble recovery.

His best game came against West Virginia when he had seven tackles, two interceptions and two pass breakups.

4. The good years

It’s somewhat hard to believe, but in the not-too-distant past, Kansas was good at football.

Former Iowa State offensive coordinator Mark Mangino led the Jayhawks to success the program has rarely seen. Mangino was the Kansas coach from 2002-09.

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Under Mangino, Kansas went to four bowl games and won three of them — including the Orange Bowl in 2007, when the Jayhawks beat Virginia Tech 24-21. Kansas finished No. 8 in the final BCS rankings that seson.

5. Pay heed all who enter, beware of the Phog

You got me, that’s actually for Kansas basketball. Phog Allen is known as the father of basketball coaching and Kansas’ basketball arena, Phog Allen Fieldhouse, is named after him.

But, Allen was also the football coach in 1920. He led Kansas to a 5-2-1 overall record and a 3-2 record in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Rightfully, Allen is known more for his basketball coaching acumen. He had two stints as the Jawhawks head coach — one from 1907-09 and another from 1919-56. He had a 73 percent win percentage and won 590 games. He also led Kansas to three national championships and two runner-up finishes.

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