Kansas Football: Scott Fuchs to fix offensive line struggles

Kansas Jayhawks offensive line. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
Kansas Jayhawks offensive line. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s been no secret the Kansas football offensive line has been a major factor in the program’s lack of progress over the last ten years. But last year seemed to be one of its worst seasons yet.

In just nine games the Jayhawks’ offensive line gave up 47 sacks, landing them last in the FBS with 5.22 sacks per game.

The next closest team was UNLV with 4.83 sacks per game. South Alabama even gave up 40 sacks, but they played in 11 games last year.

It goes without saying new offensive line coach, Scott Fuchs, has his work cut out for him. Not many programs give up 47 sacks the year before and live to tell about it.

OK, that’s not true. But still, it won’t be an easy task.

Something tells me Fuchs is the man for the job, though.

Scott Fuchs the right man for Kansas football

He’s a carry-over from new head coach Lance Leipold’s staff at Buffalo. There he worked with Leipold for two years but also worked with the new Kansas head coach at Nebraska-Omaha from 2004-2006.

And before working at Buffalo Fuchs worked with Craig Bohl at the University of Wyoming.

In his five years at Wyoming, from 2014 to 2018, his offensive line assisted in multiple strong rushing attacks. They averaged 153.2 rushing yards per game in 2014, 173.4 in 2015, 204.6 in 2016, 108.8 in 2017, and 199.4 in 2018.

Last year, in seven games, his offensive line at Buffalo assisted the team in 287.1 rushing yards per game, ranking them 2nd in the FBS.

But, what’s even more impressive, his offensive line only gave up one sack the entire year. Yes, you read that right.


That incredible mark was good enough to rank Buffalo first in the FBS with only .14 sacks per game.

Obviously, Fuchs won’t be able to fix the Jayhawks offensive line overnight. Of the 23 offensive linemen on the Jayhawks roster, 13 of them are either freshmen or redshirt freshmen.

But he’ll have the assistance from a few offensive line transfers, two of which are from his Buffalo squad, Michael Ford and Mike Novitsky, and a Notre Dame transfer, Colin Grunhard, who are all in place to make an immediate impact.  He’ll also have the help from current Kansas offensive lineman and veteran, Chris Hughes.

Scott Chasen with 247 Sports spoke with Fuchs about his new role and how he can help the Jayhawks improve.

"“I’m not 100% sure how many variables they were dealing with,” Fuchs said of the O-line. “But simplification, just the ability to not have to think and just play [helps]. You want to go down that road so that they can get closer to that and they can play fast.”"

If the Jayhawks can make big improvements on the offensive line their offense can begin to make progress. The wins may not come immediately, but the progress should be visible in as soon as year one.

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