The second to last possibly winnable game came and went without much fanfare. It wasn't on TV, and we suffered another fairly sizable defeat. But it was not without optimism: the Jayhawk gridders held a lead at halftime, and they showed some pluck before depth and injury issues finally caught up to them.
And as for how they did in accordance with the keys to the game?
1. Stop the run
Iowa State has one of the biggest offensive lines in the Big 12, and the most experienced. They also have a very good running quarterback in Austen Arnaud. Sadly, Iowa State ran the ball virtually at will, rushing 40 times for 246 yards, an average of 5.8 yards per carry. The Cyclones had one play where you would really give 90% of the credit to the ballcarrier, that being a 52 yard rush by Alexan Robinson. Taking out his carry, the Cyclones still rushed for 4.97 yards per carry. The backs did well running the ball, but the offensive line did well allowing them to consistently rip off handfuls of yardage. Austen Arnaud had 72 yards on the ground on 11 carries individually (removing sacks), so Kansas clearly did not do the job on him either.
2. Believe in the MIGHTY Quin
Quin Meacham, making his first career start, acquitted himself fairly well actually. He threw an interception, but was 22 of 33 for a very nice 66.7% completion percentage,and threw for a touchdown. He did only have a 4.5 YPA, but for a guy making his first start it was about as good as I expected.
3. Take a cue from your opponent
I don't really know how to objectively measure this, but based on things written about the game it seems that while depth and injuries hurt in the 2nd half, the team didn't quit and kept fighting until the end. Regardless of how poorly the season has gone it looks like they haven't quit on Turner Gill.
4. Find a way to win the turnover battle
Iowa State intercepted Meacham once, but Kansas recovered the only opposing fumble of the day. I believe in this case tie goes to the Jayhawks.
In even better news: basketball starts tomorrow.