The Kansas Jayhawks are a team that really can’t afford to have any bad luck this time of the year. But unfortunately, a heaping dose of bad luck is exactly what the Jayhawks got on Sunday when their top two running backs went down with injuries. Brandon Bourbon tore his ACL, and Taylor Cox tore his Achilles’ tendon; both are out for the 2014 season.
This is very bad news for a team that already has to find a way around a massive talent deficiency compared to the rest of the Big 12. The Jayhawks probably would have liked to rely on their running game this season as well, while they break in their new starting quarterback Montell Cozart.
Cozart won the starting job in the offseason (likely prompting former starter Jake Heaps’ decision to transfer), but played very little as a freshman last year. In the little action he did see, Cozart completed only 23 of his 63 pass attempts (36.5 percent) for 227 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions.
Barring a major leap forward from the sophomore quarterback, the Jayhawks’ offense could be ugly.
The bulk of the carries should fall to JUCO-transfer De’Andre Mann or true freshman Corey Avery. Either one could surprise and have a great season, but they were likely behind Bourbon and Cox for a reason and it’s hard to imagine the Jayhawks having that kind of depth at running back.
The Jayhawks will need someone to step up though, or Charlie Weis might find himself on the hot seat at the end of this season.