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Jumping inside the numbers this week and it isn't as if it's easy to find any glaring statistical issues, until you consider that this was Rice. Rice was destroyed by UCLA in almost every statistical aspect a week ago, Rice narrowly won most of the battles in week two against Kansas and that led to a narrow win for Rice over the Jayhawks. That in itself is a failure for Kansas and hats off to Rice for regrouping nicely and learning from some of those lessons learned in week one.
5.4 - Kansas yards per carry in the run game.
This is a good number, but was it good enough? Obviously not and during the fourth quarter we averaged less than two yards per carry. UCLA torched the Rice defense for 9+ yards per carry. Yes UCLA is a better team than Kansas, but are they that much better in this one area that Kansas views as a strength? Apparently so, Kansas didn't break off the big one which is something UCLA used to bury the Owls in the second half of their matchup.
76 - 64 - Rice Owls total number of plays vs. the Jayhawks
The defense has to get off the field. Long sustained drives killed the Kansas defense. Those same drives kept the Kansas offense on the sideline and took this game into the fourth quarter where Rice simply made the plays to win the game. This probably also speaks to the confidence factor that cannot be measured, but Kansas appears to be sorely lacking.
5 to 1 - Rice touchbacks v Kansas touchbacks
This wasn't a huge huge deal on Saturday but it could be down the line. Kansas looked better, but this is clearly an area that almost every other division one team can figure out and we can't. Kansas is borderline bad in the kicking game.
10:10 - Rice time of possession in the 2nd quarter
This would have been a great time for Kansas to work on putting this game away. Instead the Jayhawks pin the Owls on the six and Rice goes the length of the field for a touchdown. Now we have a game on our hands and the offense is kept off the field for over two thirds of the period. Kansas still led at half, but only by a four point margin. Heading into the second quarter it felt as if we were better by more than a four point margin but as the game progressed, that obviously wasn't the case.
2 - Number of plays that involved a defensive tackle making a stop
Maybe we need to rethink Ty McKinney's decision? The defensive line looked better last week but that was all under the qualifier of playing SDSU. Now they played a division one program and didn't look nearly as effective. That was probably more disappointing considering the youth and inexperience of the Rice offensive line. Rice ran the ball 41 times, that's a pretty big number. Where were the DT's?
0 - Catches by a wideout that isn't a starter
Josh Ford? Chris Omigie? Andrew Turzilli? Where are these guys? Turzilli was targeted once and slighly overthrown. You could argue for more touch from Crist or more effort from Turzilli on the play but either way the catch wasn't made. So what we have is 11 receptions by our wideout group and all 11 come from Daymond Patterson, DJ Beshears or Kale Pick. 7 go to Patterson. We have to find more options. Yes Crist needs to be better too, but he isn't exactly working with a dynamic offensive personnel group. Pierson is our best weapon and at the moment we're limited to using him almost exclusively as a featured running back.
5 - 2nd half drives for Kansas
That doesn't give you many opportunities. The opening drive was great, after that it went downhill in a hurry. Hats off to Rice for dictating the gameplay for most of the second half. Kansas still should have been able to manage this one.
126 - 3rd quarter yardage for Kansas
Hey! we're moving in the right direction
35 - 4th quarter yardage for Kansas
Bummer, only five less plays.
4-4 - Kansas scoring inside the redzone
This is certainly an improvement over week one, now we just have to figure out a way to get inside the redzone more consistently.
3-10 - 3rd down conversions for Kansas
No question this needs to improve. The defense needs to get off the field, the offense needs to stay on the field. Even Jordan Webb could keep our team on the field and converting 3rd downs in non conference play. I'm not looking to trade back for the last staff or the last quarterback, but this group needs to start putting the offense in a better position. This is the college game, lets get a little more creative and try to exploit our advantages where we have them.