Kansas Jayhawks Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Kansas season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
Kansas Jayhawks Preview
Head Coach: Lance Leipold, 2nd year at Kansas, 2-10
16th year overall, 148-49: 2021 Preview
2021 Record: Overall: 2-10, Conference: 1-8
Keys To The Season | Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Kansas Top 10 Players | Kansas Schedule & Analysis
Kansas Jayhawks Preview 2022
If it’s possible for a two-win season to be fun and promising, 2021 was it for Kansas.
Of course the football season was a way to kill time before the basketball side rolled on the way to a national championship, but it really is possible to win football games at Kansas – it’s been done before.
Head coach Lance Leipold was a Division III legend at UW Whitewater – 109-6 in eight seasons with six national titles – before turning Buffalo around into a winner in his five years.
Oh sure, it was rough last year for the Jayhawks – there were times when the team didn’t even belong on the field – but it gave Oklahoma a mega-scare, shocked Texas, and pushed TCU and West Virginia in losses to close the season.
And now there’s hope.
No one is thinking Big 12 title, and even going to a bowl game this season is a bit much, but as long as Kansas is more competitive and can get to at least four wins for the first time since 2009, it’ll be time to get truly interested and excited before the new world of the Big 12 kicks in next year.
Kansas Jayhawks Preview 2022: Offense
It was the worst offense in the Big 12 in yards, scoring, passing, thing down conversions … and there’s reason to get fired up. Nine starters are expected back, there are real playmakers to build around, and the transfer portal is providing a whole lot of depth and options. Everything is going to revolve around …
The quarterback – Kansas has one. Miles Kendrick transferred to New Mexico, and Jason Bean is still around, but this is going to be the Jalon Daniels show after he took over late in the season and became a real, live consistent passer for a Kansas attack that hasn’t known a whole lot of steadiness at the position.
He won’t have leading receiver Kwamie Lassiter to throw to, but there’s experience and production in the corps – Luke Grimm, Lawrence Arnold, and Trevor Wilson are key parts of the promising group – to grow into their roles even more.
For all of the Kansas problems on offense, pass protection wasn’t one of them. The line wasn’t great at cranking up the ground game, but it didn’t allow a whole lot to happen behind the line. Four starters are expected back up front with options coming in from the transfer portal to mix in.
The running game will be a plus. Devin Neal led the team with 707 yards and eight scores, and on the way is Ky Thomas from Minnesota and Sevion Morrison from Nebraska to rotate in. Daniels can run, too.
Kansas Jayhawks Preview 2022: Defense
The offense was the worst in the Big 12 in a whole slew of ways. The defense was worst than that. It was the second-worst in college football in tackles for loss – yay Akron! – was second-worst in scoring D allowing 42 points per game – yay UMass! – and was second-worst in third down conversion defense – again, yay Akron!
Seven starters are expected back and the transfer portal is loaded with parts about to play a huge impact, especially at …
Linebacker. Rich Miller and Gavin Potter are back after finishing second and third, respectively, in tackles and with Taiwan Berryhill back after making plenty of plays. UCF transfer Eriq Gilyard is coming in after making close to 200 tackles for the Knights along with Ohio State transfer Craig Young.
The transfer portal is helping the line and secondary, too. Miami University’s Lonnie Phelps will instantly be the team’s top pass rusher – he made 8.5 sacks for the RedHawks last year – and Jarrett Paul is a former Rutgers and Eastern Michigan playmaker who could start at safety right away.
Throw in Marvin Grant – who made 76 tackles for Purdue last year – and there’s a big upgrade happening for a group of defensive backs that gets back 111-tackler safety Kenny Logan.
Up front, the D that was so awful against the run needs the big combination of Kenean Caldwell and Caleb Sampson to be a whole lot stronger.