5 takeaways from 'Hawk Talk with Lance Leipold' as Kansas vs. Iowa State game approaches

LAWRENCE — Kansas football coach Lance Leipold participated Wednesday in another episode of "Hawk Talk with Lance Leipold," with redshirt sophomore wide receiver Lawrence Arnold and redshirt junior linebacker Craig Young as the player guests.

Leipold recapped the Jayhawks’ win last weekend against Duke, giving Kansas a sweep of its non-conference slate. Arnold and Young discussed how they felt Kansas’ season has gone so far, after a 4-0 start that includes a 1-0 mark in Big 12 Conference play. And it allowed their fan base another chance to build interest around the team ahead of a game Saturday at home against Iowa State (3-1, 0-1 in Big 12):

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Here are five takeaways from the Sept. 28 edition of Hawk Talk with Lance Leipold:

Lance Leipold reacts once more to a sold-out stadium for the Duke game

Kansas coach Lance Leipold applauds his defense after stopping Duke on a play in the first quarter of last Saturday's game at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.
Kansas coach Lance Leipold applauds his defense after stopping Duke on a play in the first quarter of last Saturday's game at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.

Kansas’ win against Duke was played in front of the Jayhawks’ first sellout crowd since 2019. For Leipold, in his second year at the helm, that was amazing and something he dreamed of last year. More than anything, he’s happy for his players and grateful for the fans who provided that extra energy his players can feed off of.

One play that stood out when it mattered most was a 4th-and-short play when Duke was on offense early in the third quarter. Kansas led 21-13 as Duke threatened to reach field-goal range. Super-senior Jayhawks defensive lineman Eddie Wilson helped deliver a key stop that led to a Kansas scoring drive.

“It was a big play by Eddie and, again, those are the plays that your fans can really — the crowd can take over for you,” Leipold said. “You can hear it. I mean, we have headsets on like now and stuff. You can hear that noise. You can hear it. You can see the difficulties sometimes of teams trying to communicate. And I know our players really fed off that.”

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Lance Leipold thinks his cornerbacks will continue to be tested

Kansas’ cornerbacks have been tested by quality wide receivers already this season, including West Virginia redshirt junior Bryce Ford-Wheaton and Houston junior Nathaniel Dell. Leipold doesn’t see that stopping anytime soon as Big 12 play progresses.

Leipold is confident, though, that players such as redshirt sophomore Mello Dotson and sophomore Cobee Bryant will rise to the occasion. Leipold liked how the group tackled against Duke. And he knows he’ll need them defending the run.

Lance Leipold believes Kansas’ wide receivers are underrated

Kansas redshirt sophomore wide receiver Lawrence Arnold (2) maneuvers around Duke's defensive back Brandon Johnson (30) during the third quarter of Saturday's game at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.
Kansas redshirt sophomore wide receiver Lawrence Arnold (2) maneuvers around Duke's defensive back Brandon Johnson (30) during the third quarter of Saturday's game at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.

Leipold praised the work wide receivers coach Terrence Samuel has done with this position group in terms of how the players understand and accept their roles within the offense. Leipold noted the players can see how valuable they are in the running game and how that opens up things for them in the passing game. Leipold considers his group of wide receivers the most underrated in the Big 12.

Leipold also thinks the wide receivers do a lot of small things that keep drives alive. That allows the Jayhawks more chances to eat up clock and score points. The unit might not have any big stars at this point, but the depth of the receiving corps can make defending Kansas a tough task.

“Lawrence has had some catches for us in games, and they might be four-to-five-yard catches, but they’ve been third-down catches,” Leipold said. “And if you watch him midfield, he plants his foot and he’s going right up field and he gets us first downs. And that’s a sign of experience.”

What Lawrence Arnold wants to do after he’s done playing football

Arnold said his family owns a trucking company. Once he is done playing football, Arnold wants to help grow his family business. He wants to start his own trucking company and use that to help add on to what his family’s company is doing.

Andy Kotelnicki makes Lance Leipold talk about Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift performs at the Nashville Songwriter Awards at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn., on Sept. 20.
Taylor Swift performs at the Nashville Songwriter Awards at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn., on Sept. 20.

Kansas offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki had the opportunity to ask Leipold a question on this week's show, and he took a musical twist with it. Kotelnicki said there are two types of people in the world: people who like Taylor Swift and liars. And Kotelnicki pressed Leipold on what Leipold’s favorite Swift song is.

Leipold, who needed some help, ended up choosing “Shake It Off.” Leipold also noted that senior safety Kenny Logan Jr. dances to that during practice. Depending on how many more games the Jayhawks win, maybe fans will see Leipold dance to it as well.

Jordan Guskey covers University of Kansas Athletics at The Topeka Capital-Journal. Contact him at jmguskey@gannett.com or on Twitter at @JordanGuskey.

This article originally appeared on Topeka Capital-Journal: What Kansas football coach Lance Leipold said on Iowa week 'Hawk Talk'