Apparently someone forgot to tell the Jayhawks that the game started this morning, as they kept hitting the snooze button during the first quarter. South Dakota State quickly put together two scoring drives to take a 10-0 lead, capitalizing on a Montell Cozart interception to waste a long march down the field. The early deficit jarred at least one player awake, as Ryan Schadler took the kickoff 91 yards for the first Kansas touchdown of the season.
Unfortunately, the Jayhawks went right back to napping, letting the Jackrabbits score 3 straight touchdowns with absolutely horrendous defensive play. The offense continued to only go through the motions with a quick 3 -and-out and a 3-and-fumble in between those TD drives.
The Jayhawks finally appeared to wake up before the half, putting together two long drives and scoring one touchdown to pull within 3 scores, and they stopped the Jackrabbits to keep the halftime score 31-14.
Someone finally woke up the entire squad in the second half, as we seemed to see a completely different team coming out of the tunnel after the break. The Jayhawks scored on their first two drives to get within 3, then traded punts and field goals to come into the final quarter down 34-31.
South Dakota State put together a long drive to go up by 10 with 6 minutes to go, but Kansas fought right back to pull within three. However, Kansas coach David Beaty elected to kick deep, and the defense was only able to get the ball to the offense with 39 seconds to try to tie or win the game. The Jayhawks set up at their own 41 and quickly drove into SDSU territory, but Montell Cozart fumbled the snap with KU on the fringe of field goal range, effectively downing the ball instead of spiking it as time ran out on KU's comeback attempt.
It was a tough first game for the Jayhawks, first with how bad they looked early, and the not being able to come all the way back once they showed some life. The team looks like they might be able to give some of the other teams on the schedule a good game, but all KU fans need to be ready for the inevitable blowouts where the Jayhawks just can't move the ball at all.