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fUTure19 Recap and Participation Tracker: Week 8 - Kansas

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Jake Smith made a big mistake against the Jayhawks.

NCAA Football: Kansas at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA redshirt rule, which made its debut last season, allows scholarship players to play up to four games without burning their redshirt. To keep track of how many games each freshman has appeared in throughout the season, I’ll list the number of games next to their names.

The seven freshmen participants from Saturday’s game included: WR Jake Smith, CB Chris Adimora, RB Roschon Johnson, S Tyler Owens, DE T’Vondre Sweat, TE Jared Wiley, LB David Gbenda (4).

Injured/DNP — WR Marcus Washington (4), LB Marcus Tillman (4), WR Kennedy Lewis (2), CB Kenyatta Watson II (2), RB Jordan Whittington (1), OT Javonne Shepherd (1), TE Brayden Liebrock (1).

fUTure19 Game Notes and Highlights

  • Once again, Roschon Johnson was quietly productive with the workload he received on Saturday. He averaged 4.2 yards on 11 carries and scored the game’s first touchdown on his longest run of the game — a 14-yard score.

After last week’s performance, Johnson deservedly received the first carries of the game at running back. Although Ingram had a bigger game in this one, snaps remain near a 50-50 share between the two backs right now. It’ll be interesting to see how the carries are split among the three running backs when Whittington returns.

  • Jake Smith saw an uptick in targets his way and his involvement on offense this past week. He hauled in four receptions for 34 yards, which included an easy 10-yard touchdown on an out-route to the boundary where Smith made one defender miss with a juke on his way into the endzone.

Herman’s fourth-and-short binder really needs some modification this season. It lacks creativity and screams predictability. They tried to run Smith up the middle off a direct snap on fourth down but it was sniffed out by the Kansas defense.

Besides all of that, Smith coughed up another fumble in a one-possession game to set Kansas up in plus territory. Smith’s tendency to cut laterally costed him on that play, as he ran right into the pursuing defender. Despite the freshman mistakes, it was encouraging to see the offense involve him in different ways given his special skill set. The simple mistakes like trying to beat defenses with speed to the outside comes with adapting to the collegiate game as a freshman. Smith will learn from them.

  • David Gbenda made his first career collegiate start at middle linebacker in place of injured senior Jeffrey McColluch. Gbenda was eventually replaced by redshirt freshman Byron Vaughns a few drives into the game.
  • Chris Adimora saw action at cornerback when Texas went to their Cowboy defensive look. He brought physicality and tackling to a defense that has severely struggled with that aspect of the game as of late. Adimora totaled two tackles, had a quarterback pressure, and wrapped up well in the open field while he was out there on defense.
  • Jordan Whittington is listed as questionable to play against TCU.
  • As of Monday afternoon, offensive tackle Javonne Sheppard entered his name into the transfer portal. He hasn’t seen any in-game action since the team’s season opener against Louisiana Tech.