Last week, if I would have said to you, "Hey, look. We're 0-5. We just gave up 66 points to Baylor when they could have scored 96. But next week, KU is gonna have the ball, down 3, with 5 minutes left against Texas Tech, and all you have to do is buy me a beer." Would you have taken that?
Of course you would have. Well, it turns out that was a good purchase, because that's exactly what happened.
Special teams was amazing. There's no other word for it. They were absolutely amazing.... -ly AWFUL. The Jayhawks missed three field goals and an extra point. They may have found a punter in former placekicker Matthew Wyman, but KU missed field goals of 52, 22, and 34 yards, leaving a minimum of 10 points on the field.
David Beaty continues to punt from around midfield, and elected to kick (and miss) a field goal on fourth and goal from the 4-yard line.
KU found themselves down 20-0 at halftime, but did make a decent comeback. These kids sure aren't quitters, and Ryan Willis looks more and more like the quarterback of the future after each game.
Texas Tech came into the game as the #2 offense in FBS. They're probably gonna stay up there in the top 5, as they got their yards - 576 total yards of offense - but KU forced three turnover and picked up 5 sacks, and generally harassed the Tech offense all morning long. KU held Tech to 9/21 on third downs, and time of possession was basically even.
So the defense did all you could have asked of them today plus some. The offense put up 475 yards of their own, but turned it over three times, including the dagger pick-6 late in the 4th quarter that iced the game for the Red Raiders.
This game was expected to be a blowout by most, and turned into a missed opportunity for David Beaty's boys. Better special teams play, or even better offense (due to three turnovers) would have allowed KU to send the Red Raiders home with what would have been quite the embarrassing loss.
It might be hard to tell (or maybe it isn't) but this KU team is getting better already under Beaty. In every game, no matter the score, they have fought for four quarters, and today, finally, they had a chance to snatch victory. It may have slipped out of their grasp this time, but there's a brighter tomorrow coming to Lawrence, KS, my friends.
The road to 0-12 may be littered with moral victories, but for now - I believe.