- Associated Press - Thursday, September 18, 2014

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - The past seven quarters for the Kansas offense have been filled with miscues and miscommunication.

After rolling to a big early lead in the first quarter against Southeast Missouri State, things have gone steadily downhill. And they may have hit a nadir last week at Duke, when the Jayhawks managed just a field goal in a 41-3 whipping.

“It was a bad day at the office,” Kansas coach Charlie Weis said.

There weren’t supposed to be those bad days at the office, though. That’s why Weis hired John Reagan from Rice to be his offensive coordinator. Reagan was supposed to bring in a potent spread offense that better utilized the speed that quarterback Montell Cozart brought to the table.

So far, that hasn’t been the case.

The sophomore quarterback has been plagued by happy feet in the pocket, inaccuracy when he has time to throw and the kinds of problems that Weis had hoped were in the past.

On the first play against the Blue Devils, center Keyon Haughton snapped the ball faster than Cozart was expecting, resulting in a fumble and a loss of seven yards. Haughton and Cozart had several other bobbled snaps over the course of the game.

“It was a speed ball, which really caught him off guard,” Weis explained of the first fumble. “He got his hands on the ball, it hit in him in the hands and then went over his shoulder.”

The lack of chemistry between the center and quarterback hasn’t been the only issue on the offensive front. Cozart has been “bailing out” when the integrity of the pocket was intact, Weis said.

When Cozart scrambled behind the line on Saturday, he often threw the ball out of bounds, not targeting his wide receivers. That means that Nick Harwell, Justin McCay and the other big-play threats who have transferred to Kansas the past couple of seasons have been useless.

Harwell had just two receptions for nine yards against Duke.

“Montell shut down Harwell,” Weis said. “Duke’s defense didn’t shut down Harwell.”

Cozart didn’t just shut down Harwell, either. He shut down the entire receiving corps. He completed 11 of 27 passes for 89 yards with two interceptions against the Blue Devils, and has now completed just 45 percent of his passes for the season.

That’s an improvement over last season, when he was completing just 36 percent, but it still isn’t where Weis, Reagan and the rest of the Jayhawks envisioned he would be. Considering the Jayhawks lost their top two running backs to season-ending injuries prior to the start of the season, getting that passing game on track is crucial.

All that said, Weis is confident that some of the offensive issues will be sorted out by Saturday, when the Jayhawks return home to face Central Michigan.

“I think (the Duke game) is gone for the players,” he said. “It might not be gone on the street, but I couldn’t tell you the street because from the second we got back, it’s been all identify what the problems are. You can’t turn away from a game like that and ignore the things that didn’t go well.”

The Jayhawks even made a subtle tweak to practice this week, one designed to help them learn from their mistakes. Reagan and defensive coordinator Clint Bowen moved from the sideline into the huddle, mixing with players rather than watching from afar.

Whether it will do much good remains to be seen. But at this point, two games into the season, just about any spark - especially for the offense - would be welcomed by the Jayhawks.

“You could definitely notice the tempo of practice was pushed up a little bit,” Cozart said. “When we did scouts, we had the first defense going against us. When it was time to go against the defense, the first offense was up. It was much more competitive and the tempo was much better.”

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