Rhoads: Don’t sleep on Kansas

By Chris Williams, Publisher

Kansas will more than likely start their third-string quarterback and they’ll for sure be playing without their best playmaker on Saturday in Ames.

Yet, the theme surrounding Iowa State’s Tuesday practice was simple.

Do not underestimate the Jayhawks.

“This is a team that is very maligned right now by a lot of people,” said Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads. “Young men don’t take to that very lightly. This is a team that is going to come up here and play lights out on Saturday at one.”

Yesterday, Kansas head coach Turner Gill announced that running back/wide receiver D.J. Beshears has been suspended for Saturday’s game due to violating team rules.

Gill also announced that backup quarterback Cale Pick will miss the game due to a concussion he suffered in Saturday’s 45-10 loss to Texas A&M. Kansas’ first-team quarterback, redshirt freshman Jordan Webb, is listed as doubtful due to a shoulder injury.

That means that unless Webb is able, JUCO transfer Quinn Mecham will get his first career start in Ames on Saturday.

“We have had a chance to see a little bit of him on film. There is also a recruiting film on him actually. We got a chance to watch that,” said Rhoads. “He can whip the ball around the yard with good velocity and we know that about him. You don’t make a switch to a quarterback like that and alter your entire offense. They are going to keep doing the things that they do and work to run the ball well and throw screen and work their play action. We will be in position to defend it hopefully.”

Kansas started off the 2010 season with an embarrassing 6-3 home loss to North Dakota State. The next week, the Jayhawks came out to upset Georgia Tech, who was ranked in the top 25 at the time. The point is that this team has already shown the ability to bounce back when they are at an all-time low. Over the last three weeks, Kansas has been outscored 159-24 by Baylor, Kansas State and Texas A&M. Rhoads believes that they have the ability to regain that Georgia Tech form against his Cyclones.

“That is exactly what I am anticipating and exactly what I told our football team,” Rhoads said. “They are going to come up here and play great. They have the capability. Georgia Tech is a very disciplined program. You don’t beat Georgia Tech unless you have good players and good schemes in place. That is the kind of team that we must count on playing Saturday afternoon.”