Commentary

Early Kansas preview

New coach and new quarterback arrive in Lawrence

Updated: July 26, 2012, 4:26 PM ET
By Carter Strickland | HornsNation

Editor's note: HornsNation will count down to the start of fall camp by taking an in-depth look at each team Texas will face in 2012.

[+] EnlargeDayne Crist
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesDayne Crist is familiar with Charlie Weis' offense having played for him at Notre Dame.

The Rundown

Record in 2011: 2-10 Last meeting vs. Texas: Texas won 43-0 in 2011. All-time vs. Texas: 2-9

Top returners/newcomers: Dayne Crist, QB; Mike Ragone, TE; Bradley McDouglad, S; Tanner Hawkinson, OL; Duan Ziatnik, OL; Darius Willis, LB; Toben Opurum, DE.

Players lost: Jordan Wedd, QB; Keeston Terry, WR; Jeff Spikes, OL; Darrain Miller, RB; Steven Johnson, LB.

Statistical leaders

Passing: Dayne Crist (transfer from Notre Dame) 15-of-24 for 164 yards with one interception

Rushing: James Sims 182 rushes for 727 yards (60.6 ypg) and nine touchdowns.

Receiving: D.J. Beshears 40 catches for 437 yards with three touchdowns

Tackles: Bradley McDougald, 89

Sacks: Toben Opurum, 4

Interceptions: McDougald, 2

Did you know: Charlie Weis said there is not that much difference between the KU job and his previous head coaching job at Notre Dame? Seriously. Here is his comparison:

"No, really you might say the expectations are different. But everyone wants the same thing. It's just the one thing about Notre Dame, as we all know, it's a national school with a national presence. So anytime you said something, it was national news.

"Okay. Well, whether it's national news or regional news is not really the point. Okay. The Jayhawk fans, you couldn't get any more exuberant fans than the people who root for the Jayhawks. So really at the end of the day they all want the same thing. They want their team to go out there and play competitive football and win."

Three things to watch

Any improvement? Kansas was statistically the worst defense in FBS in 2011. Weis has brought in Dave Campo to try and shore up that defense. Campo, a former Dallas Cowboy assistant and head coach, is widely respected for his ability to line the players up in the right spot but will still need to find some players.

Out of their league? Kansas, which was winless in the Big 12, only returns six players on offense and six players on defense. Now it does get Dayne Crist, a Notre Dame transfer, at quarterback. But that might not be enough to turn things around.

Other transfers Crist is not the only transfer for KU. Weis brought in six transfers. Three of those are from Notre Dame. One to watch is tight end Mike Ragone. Ragone is being granted a sixth year of eligibility to compete for the Jayhawks. He has had two knee injuries that have cost him all or part of two seasons. He had one catch in 2011 before injuring his knee.

Carter Strickland | email

Reporter, HornsNation