A long, long time ago (in a galaxy far far away) I thought the KU-Duke game was going to be close and come down to a couple key factors. Whoops! Turns out the New England Patriots lined up against the elementary school down the street and delivered a good old fashioned ass kicking.
To make matters worse, I still don't think Duke is all that good; Kansas just appears to be THAT bad. Again. Anyways, for fun (or to make me want to kill myself more than I already do) let's review the five keys to the game:
1. First down success rate
I thought if Kansas could get Duke into some second and long situations they could maybe get off the field quickly and who knows maybe control the ball a bit. The first part happened, as Duke had just a 38% success rate, and only 2 successful first downs in the first half, but unfortunately that was more of a speed bump than any sort of deterrent.
As for the Jayhawks, they ran a successful first down play just one-third of the time, with the majority of those coming when the game was well out of hand (of course the whole game was when the game was well out of hand). I also noticed that the Jayhawks did a much better job running on first down than throwing it (of course they did a better job running period), with even Joe Dineen getting on the act and rushing for 4.7 yards per carry.
This ended up technically as a wash, but it's worth noting that when you have a quarterback who throws for just 3.3 yards per attempt, it's a bit more important to get chunks of yardage on first down than when you have a quarterback who can, you know, play quarterback.
2. limiting explosive plays
hahahahahahahahahaha. Duke posted 1.7 points PER PLAY and scored touchdowns of 36, 69 (nice), 68, and 45 yards. What a god damn disaster.
3/4. Third and fourth downs.
Kansas was 4-17 on third down, which sounds about right given how backed up they were and how often the line allowed Duke to blow holes in it when Cozart needed time to throw. Of course, he either bailed out so fast it wouldn't matter or when he did get time only sometimes threw it in the same zip code as his receiver. Then again I can't blame him for being skittish when my grandparents could get through our line.
It is worth noting Kansas DID go for it twice on fourth down......and didn't get it either time. Duke meanwhile was 6-15 on third down and 1-2 on fourth.
5. Get Tony Pierson the ball
Kansas's best all around offensive player got a total of two touches. Two. Fire everyone.