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Planning for success: Tempo could be key for Kansas

David Beaty likes the way the Jayhawks have been able to keep opposing defenses off balance by picking up the tempo. John Rieger/USA TODAY Sports

David Beaty knows it is important for his football team to take small steps forward during his first season as the head coach at Kansas.

While victories are the unquestioned goal, the win-loss column won’t be the "end all, be all" as he strives to measure his team’s success during his debut season. Beaty’s team is 0-2 after a pair of games and a bye during the first three weeks of the season. Yet the former Texas A&M receivers coach is happy with the offensive tempo of his team.

“I’m pleased with our identity,” he said. “That was the big thing for me to see our identity as we were playing games. We’ve talked a lot about playing at a high tempo and being able to see that carry over to the football field has been good to see.”

The Jayhawks lead the Big 12 with 87.5 offensive snaps per game.

“We can go faster at times and we talked about that,” Beaty said. “That was something we obviously focused on during our bye week to utilize it even more to our advantage as we move forward.”

For Kansas, tempo can help level the playing field. A team that operates its offense fast and efficiently can force a defense to worry about lining up more than it worries about disguising coverages or schemes. And tempo also can create big-play opportunities against a tiring defense.

As Beaty is instilling a tempo mindset in the program, having film from the first two games was a valuable piece of the teaching puzzle during the bye week.

“One of the big things is understanding the things we’re looking for as we work through tempo,” Beaty said. “There are specific things we ask our kids to look for when it pertains to the opponent,” such as taking note of when the quickened tempo is wearing a team down and taking advantage of that. “Looking at some of those things on tape over the last week has probably helped us understand it a little better even than we did before.”

While Kansas plans for success against Rutgers on Saturday, its offensive tempo will continue to be a top priority for Beaty.

“We’re still relatively new at this on the field,” Beaty said. “So it’s really been good for us to have two weeks look at it and learn from it as we move forward and hopefully start applying it and being more successful on the field.”