When you're 1-5 on the season and winless in the conference its safe to say that you've got a few things stacked against you. That's the position that Kansas head coach Charlie Weis is in as he gets ready to bring his Jayhawks to Norman to face the Sooners. In his weekly press conference on Tuesday, the subject of talent level came up and Weis' answer set the stage for either the greatest upset in the conference this season or a built in excuse for losing.
"They have a bunch of (good) players. They do, they have a bunch. And they have them on both sides of the ball, too. I'm looking at my current draftable guys and their current draftable guys and it's night-and-day different right now. Let's be practical, if they play their best game and we play their best game, they win. They have good coaches and they have good players. But I'm counting on that's not the way it goes. I'm counting that we play our best game and they don't. I mean, that gives us the best chance of winning."
Weis was knowledgeable about the Sooners and didn't just mention names of players but sizes and stats as well. He mentioned the Sooner offensive line as the most athletic that Kansas has played against.
"Their offensive line is the most athletic we've gone against. Their left tackle Lane (Johnson) is another tall guy, 6-foot-7, 305-pounds, but he's probably the leader of the pack. He's a very, very, very good player and the tackle opposite him Daryl Williams is 6-foot-6, 300-pounds, so they're kind of clones (of each other). (Adam) Shead plays the left guard and (Gabe) Ikard plays the center and (Bronson) Irwin plays the right guard. They're all similar body types and physicality."
When it came to the OU offense in general, Weis said that it all centers around the quarterback position and Landry Jones.
"...so everyone knows about Blake Bell, but it really all starts with Landry Jones. He's 6-foot-4, 218-pounds, has experience, a big arm and accurate. He throws for 270 a game. The things that you have to look for to stand out for good quarterbacks is touchdown-to-interception ratio and in this case it's 3-1, which I think is always a magic number. He has nine touchdowns and three interceptions, which is a 3-1 ratio."
Weis was pretty much more of the same when asked about Oklahoma's defense.
"Now we get to the bad news and if that wasn't bad enough, their defense is only giving up 17 points per game and that's 20th in the country. They are only giving up 300 yards per game and that's 14th in the country. Out of that, they are only giving up 179 yards passing per game and that's 9th in the country. So anytime you're (ranked that high) in the country in those categories, that bodes well for how well you're playing on defense."
One comment that I found to be interesting was who Weis singled out for Oklahoma's special teams. Justin Brown has been exceptional in punt returns, as has Brennan Clay in kickoff returns. Tress Way is one of the best punters in the country and Michael Hunnicutt has re-established faith in the Sooners' kicking game. Weis mentioned all of those players but he also singled out someone else.
Normally, I don't call out a long snapper, but when a guy sticks out for me, this (Daniel) Franklin kid, who's a long snapper, is a good solid player, because normally you have these slugs that can get the ball back there and can't cover. Well, you have to account for him (Franklin), because this guy can run down the field.