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Kansas Football Report Card: Texas Tech

Our weekly look at the football team's performance, this time in a 34-21 loss to Texas Tech in Lubbock

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Another performance that wasn't awful, but just wasn't good enough. The Jayhawks kept this one within the range of respectability, but I doubt Tech fans were truly nervous about losing at any point. If we had done this against last year's Tech team, I might call it a solid enough performance. Against this year's Red Raiders though, I'm having a hard time gleaning much positive from a "should Clint Bowen stay as head coach" standpoint

Quarterbacks - C

Cummings turns in his second straight C this week. His 58.6 adjusted QB rating was the highest single game rating for any Kansas QB since Charlie Weis was hired. I said during the week that if he can keep averaging 7+ yards per attempt and connecting on the occasional downfield throw, I'm fine with him as our QB moving forward. He did it again last week, completing 20 of 32 passes for 235 yards (7.3 ypa), and threw two TDs compared to one pick. He did fumble a snap and was unable to get much going on the ground (netted just 20 rushing yards), so it wasn't a perfect day, but overall he's giving us the best quarterback play we've seen since...Jordan Webb (*shudder*)

Running Backs - C

Another game, another lackluster performance from the running game. Pierson, Avery and Mann combined for just 108 yards on 25 attempts, as Kansas falls to 107th in the country in yards per carry (3.56). But like I've said just about every week, I feel like Mann and Avery are talented backs. Not talented enough to create something out of nothing and scare opposing defenses, but behind a solid line I think each could do some damage. For that reason, I'll keep giving them Cs, even though the numbers merit something less

Receivers - B-

Jimmay Mundine is making a legitimate case for 1st team All-Big 12 at tight end this year. In his last two games, he has 12 catches for 170 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, Nick Harwell and Nigel King continue to show flashes of big play ability, though neither is racking up as many receptions as you'd like to see. Those two combined for just 5 catches Saturday, but for 96 yards. This is the first time in years we've had multiple receivers with playmaking ability on the field, and I'm 100% serious when I say I think we should be seeing 40-50 pass attempts per game (as long as Cummings can continue completing them at a reasonable clip)

Offensive Line - F

Giving up four sacks to the Texas Tech front seven is abysmal, as is averaging just 3.2 yards per carry against the Big 12's worst defense. It helps illustrate just how hard it's going to be for Cummings et al to get anything going this year. Our line is terrible, and at this point I would say that most of the offensive success we're seeing from Kansas has been despite their play, not because of it. It looks to me like we have the talent in the backfield and on the outside to be a legitimate offense if we had more than one capable offensive lineman. We need some young guys to develop fast for the future, because this unit is an absolute disaster right now

Defensive Line - C-

Another week where the line wasn't making many plays, but they weren't allowing blockers to get to the second level and allowed the linebackers to make plays. Goodman, Johnson and Stowers look like they should be our starters moving forward, and combined for 8 tackles Saturday

Linebackers - A

Ben Heeney had 21 tackles and a 37 yard interception return. That's an A in and of itself. When you throw in 3 more tackles for loss (6 total) and yet another strip sack for Michael Reynolds, and this grade is easy

Secondary - C

The defensive backfield gave Tech's receivers a bit more than I anticipated, but still managed to hold them under their season average for yards and yards/pass attempt. Greg Allen continues to steal snaps from Tevin Shaw, and I wonder if he isn't the better nickel at this point. Grading the safeties continues to be a tough task, because for every impressive play I see from them, they seem to make a poor play to balance it out. Losing Shepherd and McDonald after this year is going to hurt

Special Teams - D

Special teams have look awful to me this year (outside of punt coverage). I appreciate Shepherd's determination to make a play in the return game, but he needs to realize that he has to get the ball past the 25 yard line in order to make it worth taking a kick out of the end zone. Once again, we gave up a big kick return, and once again, we missed a field goal. Wyman has hit just 6 of 12 attempted field goals this season, and though he looks more comfortable than last year, we still have to consider ourselves in the market for a placekicker. Our special teams F/+ rating this year ranks just 125th in the country

Overall - C-

There were some positives to point to this week, but less of them than the week before. Our offense is clicking a bit more, but still finds itself relying on the defense to keep them in ballgames. In the Big 12, that simply isn't going to result in victories. The defense didn't play poorly, but outside of Heeney, they weren't anything to write home about, either. We played a mediocre, maybe even bad Texas Tech team, and never really threatened to take command of the game. If I had to describe this game in one word, I think it would have to be "meh"