How One College Football Team Went a Full Season Without WRs Catching a TD Pass

Ben KerchevalCollege Football Lead WriterAugust 29, 2013

Apr 28, 2012; Lawrence, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks quarterback Jake Heaps (9) drops back to pass in the first half of the Spring Game at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

There are a lot of amazing stats in football you can find if you dig around long enough. As we pointed out in Wednesday's Week 1 predictions, Wofford, Baylor's opponent for Saturday, racked up a whopping 590 yards on the ground in one game last year (to just five yards passing). Now, the Terriers are my new favorite team.

But as impressive as that number is, there's another out of the Big 12 that makes absolutely no sense and never ceases to blow my mind: Not a single wide receiver for Kansas caught a touchdown pass in 2012—not one

Yeah, Kansas was dreadful last year and had among the worst passing offenses in all of college football—only five ranked lower in yards per game and three ran the triple option as their base playbook, per ESPN Stats & Info—but that's almost unbelievable. 

(For the record, the breakdown of passing touchdowns for the Jayhawks last year went as such: four to running backs and three to tight ends.) 

Something this egregious surely won't happen again in 2013, otherwise I'm almost positive it's a violation of NCAA bylaws. The question is who steps up in the passing game? 

Nick Harwell, the transfer from Miami (OH), would have been the natural selection. The senior has 229 receptions and 23 touchdowns for his career. But an offseason suspension and coursework issues will force him to redshirt this year. 

That turns the attention to former Oklahoma wideout Justin McCay. Like Jayhawks quarterback Jake Heaps, McCay was forced to sit out the 2012 season because of NCAA transfer rules. He only played one season with the Sooners in limited action and didn't record any stats, so he's a bit of an unknown commodity. 

But he does have ideal size (6'2", 210 pounds) and received a lot of buzz during spring practices. Head coach Charlie Weis has praised McCay's willingness to block downfield, and his physicality could prove to be valuable in the red zone.

Most importantly, however, he's had a year to develop some chemistry with Heaps. That's something that was severely lacking not only in the passing game last year but in the entire offense. 

And how appropriately ironic would it be for a wide receiver who never so much as caught a pass in a college game to catch a touchdown for a unit that hasn't recorded one in over a year?

If McCay is everything KU coaches and players are touting him to be, he should become a go-to guy in the Jayhawks passing game this year.  

Ben Kercheval is the Lead Writer for Big 12 football. You can follow Ben on Twitter @BenKercheval