SEC-Big 12 Preview 2015 – Kansas 2017-04-25T11:39:43+00:00

Allstate Sugar Bowl Looks at Big 12-SEC 2015The Allstate Sugar Bowl secured its future through January 2026 with the announcement that it would host the champions of the Southeastern and Big 12 Conferences in eight of the 12 years between 2014 and 2025. If the champion of either or both leagues is selected for the College Football Playoff, a replacement team from that conference will play in the Sugar Bowl. In the four seasons that the Sugar Bowl is not hosting the Big 12 and the SEC (2014, 2017, 2020, 2023), it will serve as a College Football Playoff Semifinal.

After last year’s Playoff Semifinal game, this year’s Allstate Sugar Bowl will be the first as the official destination for the top available teams from the Big 12 and the SEC. To lead into the season, the Bowl is providing brief previews of each team in the leagues.

Kansas2014 Record: 3-9 (1-8, ninth in the Big 12)

Bowl Projections

Key Returnees
Montell Cozart (Jr., QB): 52-of-186, 701 yards, 5 TDs, 7 INT
Fish Smithson (Jr., S): 49 tackles, 2 TFL
Joe Gibson (So., C): Seven starts at center in 2014
Larry Mazyck (Sr., OL): Nine starts at right tackle in 2014
Tevin Shaw (Jr., NB): 36 tackles, 2.5 TFL

Key Stat
After posting a 3-9 record last season and firing head coach Charlie Weis after four games, fans may hope for immediate improvement under new head coach David Beatty. Unfortunately, it will take some time for anyone to get things rolling in Lawrence. The Jayhawks return just six starters and will have less than 75 scholarship players on this year’s squad.

Key Early Games
Sept. 12 vs. Memphis (5 p.m. CT, ESPN3): Kansas opens with FCS foe South Dakota State, then looks to pick up a home win over Memphis to get started on the right foot, but the Tigers won 10 games last year and are picked to win the West Division of the American Athletic Conference.

Oct. 3 at Iowa State (TV TBD): Unfortunately for the Jayhawks, their annual showdown with Iowa State will once again be one of the key games of the year as it could determine who escapes last place in the Big 12. Iowa State won last year in Lawrence, 34-14, and Kansas has dropped 27 straight Big 12 road games – the last road win in conference was at Iowa State in 2008.

Senior Spotlight
Senior Larry Mazyck is a mountain of a man on the Kansas offensive line – and that’s after shedding over 60 pounds in the last year. When the big man arrived in Lawrence after a standout juco career at Iowa Western, the 6-8 tackle weighed in at approximately 400 pounds. After significant efforts with the team nutritionist and strength coach, he is looking to play in 2015 at about 340 pounds. “He is like another human being,” offensive line coach Zach Yenser told the Topeka Capital-Journal. “He’s dropped 16 pounds since the start of this year and it’s made all the difference.”

The Washington, D.C., product played in all 12 games and made nine starts at right tackle in 2014 for the Jayhawks. “I’ve had to stop eating spaghetti,” Mazyck said. “It’s been tough, but cutting all this weight has definitely made me a much better player.”

YouTube Jayhawks
While Kansas Football has struggled in recent years, the hiring of new head coach David Beatty from Texas A&M has brought a brighter outlook to the gridiron in Lawrence. It is understood that it will take time for Beatty to turn things around, and this video shows that Kansas plans on building its way to success, focusing on out-working its foes.