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Lance Leipold Provides Injury Updates, Talks Cincinnati Matchup and More


By Michael Swain,


LAWRENCE, Kan. – The final week of the college football regular season is here. It has been a long season for every team across the country as everyone has been going non-stop since the first week of August with just one or potentially two bye weeks sprinkled in. As a result, teams are banged up at this time of year and KU is no different.

KU was without Jalon Daniels and Trevor Kardell against Kansas State while other players like Mello DotsonDevin Phillips and Mike Novitsky (in addition to others) played the Sunflower Showdown banged up. There were other players, like Bryce Cabeldue, who left the game due to injury and did not return. On Monday, Leipold said KU is a banged-up team entering the regular season finale.

“Probably like everyone else across the country, I think it’s that that time of year,” Leipold said. “Last week was probably our most difficult week of prep as far as able bodies and I think we still played extremely hard. Other than quarterback, I’d probably say we haven’t been hit at one position. I mean, our offensive line move moving guys around last week to give us the best five to six was unique for us. [Monday] is one of those days again. I don’t know the last time Kenny Logan practiced on a Monday. And it’s for various reasons. Bryce Cabeldue didn’t finish a game and did not practice today. There are other guys, Mello Dotson did not practice today. So we’ve got some guys that are fighting through it. And we’ll see what the next couple of days bring.”

As it pertains to the quarterback position for KU, Leipold said after the Kansas State game on Saturday that Jason Bean was available to play but did not get the requisite reps in practice to make the coaches feel comfortable using him as the starter. This week, Leipold seemed more optimistic that Bean would be able to return and start his final regular season game in college.

“I think he will be cleared, he practiced [Monday]. We will continue to make our observations as we go. I think both guys [Ballard and Bean] should be ready and able to play and looking forward to it.”

Cincinnati is a better team than its record shows according to Leipold

Cincinnati has struggled in its first season under Scott Satterfield. The Bearcats started the season 2-0 with wins over Eastern Kentucky and Pittsburgh. But then Cincinnati lost to Miami (Ohio) and its first six Big 12 games. In Week 11, the Bearcats got their first Big 12 win, a 24-14 victory against Houston. Most recently. Cincinnati lost to West Virginia 42-21 on the road. The Bearcats enter Saturday’s game with a 3-8 (1-7 Big 12) record.

But, when Lance Leipold turns on the tape he sees a good team.

“They’re a lot better a lot better than what their record shows,” Leipold said. “That’s one of those things, they’re running the ball well. They’ve got an athletic quarterback that they get on the perimeter and he can run the ball. He’s a physical runner.”

In terms of personnel for Cincinnati, two players on defense stood out to Leipold.

“Defensively, the nose guard [Dontay Corleone] is a really good player, their three man front is impressive. [Deshawn Pace], the backer is an impressive player. … I go through it every time and I’ll say it, it’s about how you match up with people. And we’ve got a big challenge up front on both sides of the ball. And we’ve got to be able to come out of the gate on the road playing well.”

Leipold pleased with the response to KU’s big recruiting weekend

KU hosted over 90 recruits for game day visits last week against Kansas State and there were over 300 people on the sideline pregame. There were some major prospects on campus to take in the Sunflower Showdown. In the class of 2024, KU commit Deshawn Warner was on campus. In the class of 2025, Iose Epenesa — the No. 11-ranked prospect nationally — was on campus. Other notable local prospects in Lawrence for the game included Jayden WoodsBryson HayesDawson Merritt and Charlie Woleben.

Leipold said he was pleased with the atmosphere around the game and noted the recruits enjoyed their time around the program.

“The atmosphere was outstanding for college football and for the state of Kansas,” Leipold said. “The feedback after the game and [into Sunday] and even [Monday morning] some of messaging has been very, very excited, enjoyed the atmosphere and can see the progress and direction of where this is going. When you’re walking in, I mean, they’re not wasting any time getting ready to start [stadium renovations] as well. As this program will start changing in our surroundings, so I think it’s a good chance for some to see that and also see that we still have better days ahead of us.”