Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Through All KU Football Changes, Much Still Rides on QB Montell Cozart

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Through All KU Football Changes, Much Still Rides on QB Montell Cozart

Article excerpt

LAWRENCE -- The meeting took place in quarterbacks coach Ron Powlus' office, a struggling quarterback wondering what his new coach might say.

Kansas interim coach Clint Bowen had already told reporters he still had faith in Montell Cozart, and the coach reiterated that message during the face-to-face meeting Wednesday, telling the quarterback that he still believed in him.

"I've never heard anything like that from a head coach," Cozart said. "I heard a little bit in high school, but in the past, I hadn't heard that. It felt really good hearing that from a head coach, getting a little confidence boost."

If anyone needs that, it's certainly the Jayhawks' quarterback.

To say Cozart struggled in last week's 23-0 loss to Texas -- he completed 12 of 31 passes for 140 yards with four interceptions -- might not be taking it far enough.

Cozart's Adjusted QBR (ESPN's all-encompassing QB stat) from the UT game was 13.1, the lowest mark by a Big 12 quarterback this season.

So as KU prepares for its second road game -- a 3 p.m. matchup against West Virginia -- some earlier words from Bowen ring especially true.

On Monday, Bowen quoted his old KU coach Glen Mason in saying the two most important people in a college football program are the head coach and quarterback -- "and not in that order."

Though spirits are high with KU players following the switch to Bowen this week, it's all not likely to matter if Cozart has another subpar game.

"You can never play down or play timid, so I feel like I've always got to remain confident," Cozart said. "I'm 1-0 against West Virginia. I'm just trying to ride off that, go in there and have a good game."

Cozart is right in that he did have some success against the Mountaineers a year ago. In KU's 31-19 victory at Memorial Stadium, he was most effective on the ground, rushing 13 times for 60 yards.

The coaching staff didn't ask him to do much in the passing game, though, as he was 5-for-12 passing for 61 yards. …

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