Kansas Football: Fans should believe in head coach Lance Leipold

Though the record may not show it, Kansas football fans have reason to believe in head coach Lance Leipold, further proven by the most recent game against heavily-favored Oklahoma.

To rebuild a program like Kansas, a massive culture change is a necessity. Since coach Leipold arrived, the program is already showing growth. The players seem to be buying in more than in years past, a noticeable difference and a welcome one.

October’s first two games against Iowa State and Texas Tech were not good showings by the Jayhawks who were blown out in all phases. However, a near-upset and a strong performance against undefeated Oklahoma reinforces confidence in the program’s trajectory.

Kansas has suffered several blowout losses, but coach Leipold has made important adjustments and continues to instill a winning culture. After the 45-7 loss to Baylor, Leipold was honest about his frustration with the performance and made big adjustments the following week.

In the first four weeks, the Jayhawks were at least competitive through halftime, if not later into the game, something that should not be overlooked.

The game at Duke stands out as Kansas struggled early, but kept it close and put together an excellent 2nd quarter to hold a 24-21 lead at halftime. The game unraveled in the second half, but the team showing fight is the main takeaway.

In certain moments, Kansas has shown flashes of competitiveness against better teams. The next step is putting together a complete game and making better halftime adjustments, something we witnessed the Jayhawks do more of against Oklahoma.

The Kansas football program is moving in the right direction

The Jayhawks have proven they can contend in games when they avoid costly mistakes like turnovers, penalties, and surrendering big plays.

Compared to last year, Kansas Football is showing more discipline. In 2020, KU averaged 1.6 turnovers and a -0.5 turnover margin per game. This year, Kansas’s turnover margin is +1, with 8 turnovers gained 7 and lost, a +0.14 average margin.

The Jayhawks have improved drastically in the penalty department from 2020 to 2021, reducing average penalties from 5.7 to 4.6. Kansas is tied for 13th in fewest penalties and 11th in fewest penalty yards per game in the FBS.

These improvements are early signs of a culture change and I expect the team to continue improving over the remainder of the season. Kansas will look to build on their most recent performance this Saturday in Stillwater against Oklahoma State.