In a way this game felt different watching it but the end result was the same, maybe even worse when you realize Kansas didn't make it in the endzone once. Overall, this was one of the closer statistical games the Jayhawks have played this year. Kansas gained 316 yards to Oklahoma State's 359. Montell Cozart, James Sims, and Tony Pierson created a nice total on the ground, ending the game with 208 yards between the three. However, outside of a long run on a reverse for Tony Pierson the ground game couldn't break anything.
That was a major problem because the passing game was as bad as we've seen this year. The two quarterbacks finished a combined 10-25 for only 114 yards. Neither quarterback got close to getting into a rhythm or sustaining success when passing, only twice did the quarterbacks throw for consecutive completions. Jake Heaps did it in the opening drive on a quick pass to Pierson that lost 4 yards followed by a screen to Sims that gained 6. Cozart did it once in the 3rd, also with a quick pass to Pierson and a screen to Sims on 3rd down. Just can't expect to sustain drives when that happens.
Defensively, the Jayhawks actually played pretty well despite the Cowboys scoring 42 points. The defense only allowed four drives that gained more than 34 yards. Without comparing it to other defenses in the conference, I have to imagine that's pretty good. Oklahoma State was forced to punt nine times and was only 6-15 on 3rd down conversions. The secondary was tested at times, especially close to the end zone and the results weren't great there but that happens sometimes. A competent offense and we have ourselves a game yesterday, unfortunately that's been the theme all too often.
Three questions to consider this week
Is Cozart going to get the start next week? Heaps started the first three possessions of the game with the offense producing only 16 yards. Then Cozart comes in and the next two drives went for 36 yards and 61 yards respectively. Cozart's third drive also gained 22 yards but ended in a punt following two first downs but an incompletion on 3rd and 10. At this point, drives with Cozart at quarterback had gained 119 yards to the same number of drives with Heaps totaling 16 yards. So of course Heaps comes back in at quarterback for the next two drives. 6 plays, 10 yards on the first one. Followed by a 38 yard pass to end the first half. Thankfully, Cozart did play the entire second half. He wasn't great but at least he got the opportunity to gain experience and the offense was still better with Cozart than Heaps because of his ability to run the ball.
Where was Darrian Miller? If he was injured, I missed the news. If he was suspended, I missed the news. With Pierson back, I understand that another playmaker was added to the mix. But Miller was the leading rusher last week against Texas, yet he doesn't touch the ball once this week? Why? How?
*edit: It was pointed out in the comments that Miller was out for personal reasons.
At the end of the first half following a long completion to Josh Ford, Kansas had the ball at about the 30 with 1 second clock. The clock ran out after the ball was spotted for play before a snap could take place, taking away a chance for a shot at the end zone or a long field goal. This happened because KU was out of timeouts. Normally I don't worry about timeouts, they rarely end up mattering. However, all 3 timeouts in the first half came at odd times. The first was following a dropped pass Pierson where he looked shaken up on the play, using a timeout allowed KU to keep Pierson on the field for the next play. However, Heaps was sacked on the next play. Don't we have other guys to throw the ball to? Is it necessary to use a timeout to keep one player on the field? The second timeout came on a 4th and 2 with Cozart at QB, the offense lined up as if they were going for it only to be stopped by a timeout and followed by a punt. Forget about punting being dumb in this situation, why line up and then waste a timeout to do it? The 3rd timeout was called by the defense after an incomplete pass leading to an Oklahoma State 3rd and 10. A timeout is called by Kansas as the teams are lining up, coming out of the timeout the Cowboys hit a 39 yard pass to take them inside the 5 yard line. Three timeouts, zero benefits following any of them.
At the end of the day, nothing really changed yesterday. Just more head scratching moves by the coaches.