Well, the game started out great!! Tony Pierson took a handoff on the first play from scrimmage and went 74 yards around the left side for a touchdown!
Only problem was, Pierson would only touch the ball five more times. Five more times in the first quarter, you mean, Mr. mikeville? No. Five more times in the first half? No. Five more times in the ENTIRE GAME. More on this later.
The Kansas offense was, let's say, ineffective for most of the game. Consider: After Pierson's opening run, Kansas earned 95 yards on 33 plays the rest of the first half. Do the math, that's 2.88 yards per play. Fortunately, without their best RB (and I think their best WR was out, too) CMU couldn't do much on offense either. Halftime score of this snooze-fest: Kansas 7, CMU 3.
KU would move the ball better in the second half, but didn't get a lot of points to show for it. Wyman hit one field goal in the third and missed a second. After the made field goal by Wyman, the Chippewas immediately answered on their next drive with a TD of their own to even the score at 10, the RB knocking over Ben Heeney during his 18 yard trek to the end zone.
Less than two minutes into the fourth quarter, Justin McCay took a pass from Cozart - on third and nine - to the house after the man guarding him went to knock down the ball, missed, and fell to the turf. The teams then exchanged three and outs for a while before a punt return set up KU in CMU territory. A few plays later - again on third and nine - Kansas called the perfect play offensively, anticipating the CMU LB blitz and countering with a middle screen that Corey Avery took 30 yards for the score.
JaCorey Shepherd would shortly officially end the game with an interception, and the Jayhawks would get in the victory formation and kneel out the clock.
KU finished with 369 yards on 69 plays, a 5.35 yards per play average. Just for fun, let's take away Pierson's opening play and McCay's TD - those plays aren't gonna be there against Big 12 teams anyway - and KU averaged 3.51 yards per play. Yuck.
Kansas did have one turnover, an INT by Cozart, in the Red Zone. (Admittedly, the INT wasn't on Cozart, as the KU receiver came down with the ball, got popped immediately, and the ball went back up in the air, right to a CMU defender.) The 'Hawks also put the ball on the turf a couple of times, but didn't lose any fumbles. The Jayhawk defense picked up three takeaways, two fumble recoveries and Shepherd's game-sealing INT.
It was an uninspiring win against an uninspiring opponent. I guess we should be thankful we even got the win, as this is only the third win against an FBS opponent with Charlie Weis at the helm. The offense was stagnant most of the game, but at least the defense seemed to return to form. CMU did average 4.57 yards per play, but never broke a big play and gave the ball away three times. Again, let's remember that CMU was without their best offensive player.
Now I gotta ask - why is our best offensive weapon not getting at least a minimum 10-15 touches per game? I'd really like to see us force-feed the ball to Pierson, a la Tyler Lockett at K-State. As I watched that Auburn-KSU game, I kept thinking, why don't we do that with Pierson? It would totally open up the field for Nick Harwell and Jimmay Mundine.
Also, I quickly got sick of all these sweeps and screens to the outside. The middle of the field was wide open most of the game, and the few times we attacked the middle of the field - usually on third down - Mundine would pull in a pass for a first down. I just feel like a hard pump fake toward the sideline and a deep pass over the middle would have worked wonders, probably more than once. Kansas didn't take a single shot down the field at all this game... not one. And I just gotta wonder why.
But what do I know? After all, I'm just a dumb blogger. Right, Charlie?
Anyway, this game likely bought Charlie Weis some time - at least a little time. I guess we'll wait and see what Texas does when they roll in here next week.