TOPEKA, Kan. – Lance Leipold currently is familiarizing himself with many of the aspects of his new position. The new Kansas coach took over just shy of two weeks ago. Since that time he’s been meeting with players and staff members in an attempt to get a full handle on the situation in Lawrence.

That being said, there are already some things about the new Kansas football coach that have been nailed down, such as his general beliefs when it comes to the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Speaking on an episode of Hawk Talk last week, Leipold opened up on his offensive and defensive philosophies, which helped the Buffalo Bulls to first-place finishes in the MAC in 2018 and 2020.

Offensively? Leipold likes to have options when it comes to moving the ball. Just look at the statistics from his last four years (per sports-reference)…

  • 2017 season (6-6): 3,490 passing yards, 1,712 rushing yards
  • 2018 season (10-4): 3,155 passing yards, 2,722 rushing yards
  • 2019 season (8-5): 1,795 passing yards, 3,279 rushing yards
  • 2020 season* (6-1): 1,337 passing yards, 2,019 rushing yards

*Seven-game season due to the COVID-19 pandemic

“I think that’s one thing we liked, at least on the offensive side of our philosophies,” Leipold said. “We’re going to be multiple enough to use the personnel to our best to go out and win football games. That might be with three-four wide receivers on the field or two or three tight ends or two running backs in there.”

Sure enough, that’s exactly how it looked at Buffalo.

“We played last season a lot with two tailback-type players in the backfield quite a bit and with two tight ends at different times,” Leipold continued. “In 2018, we led our conference in passing, and then the last couple years we led in rushing. [That] really shows the great job that our offensive line was doing.”


Line play in particular was a major area of concern for Kansas last season. Kansas ranked dead last nationally in sacks allowed per game (5.22). Buffalo, per the NCAA’s stat logs, allowed just a single sack on the season, a mark that ranked first nationally.

“We gave up the fewest sacks the last two seasons,” Leipold said. “I think one year we [had] the fewest sacks in the country. And we’ve done a really good job of stressing fundamentals and the fundamentals of ball security.”

On the other side of the ball, Leipold’s teams at Buffalo ran a 4-3 scheme that led to a good bit of success. Buffalo ranked 27th in turnover margin per game last year, as well as 11th — between Clemson and Notre Dame — in third down defense.

Buffalo also ranked 27th nationally in yards per play allowed last year. That will come with an adjustment for Kansas, though, as the Jayhawks used a 3-4 under previous D-coordinator D.J. Eliot.


“I think you’ll see a similar scheme when we get rolling,” Leipold said, referencing the 4-3 setup. “Preventing those big plays [is important]. We go back to our 2016 season. [It] was a tough one in transition, so to speak. We weren’t stopping the run very well. We were giving up a lot of big plays. As things started to come together, it starts up front. Everyone talks about big plays over the top in the passing game, but if you’re not slowing anybody down when they’re running the ball it’s going to be a long day.”

He continued.

“We’ve got to start up front in that front seven, of course, and build from there,” Leipold said. “What I’ve been able to see in really a quick glimpse is I like what we have up front defensively. I think we’ve got a lot of great athleticism in the back end. So it’s going to be fun to put this thing together.”