For the fourth game in a row, the Kansas defense played well, and this week they were almost able to overcome the offense and lead KU to a victory. Unfortunately, a win was not in the cards as four turnovers, three missed field goals, and some curious decision-making all conspired against the Jayhawks.
Kansas outgained TCU 470-366. Turnovers were even at 4 apiece. The Jayhawks dominated Time of Possession 35:07 to 24:53. The KU offense only had 3 three-and-outs. However, KU also turned the ball over on 4 of its first 7 possessions.
KU’s final three possessions ended in missed field goals of 37, 41, and 54 yards.
Kansas held TCU to 4-13 on third downs.
Yeah, it was the defense. They got off the field on third down as just mentioned. They forced four turnovers. They held TCU under 375 yards of total offense. They picked up nine more TFLs. They did all that while missing three starters (LB Joe Dineen, LB Marcquis Roberts, DT Daniel Wise).
Once again, it’s the offense. Yes, the Jayhawks rushed for over 100 yards and passed for almost 350 yards. But there were still the four turnovers. There were still the three missed field goals. KU converted 8-19 third downs, a success rate of approximately 42%.
I’m going to have to go coaching here. Part of the reason for the offensive struggles, I believe, is due to the coaching. Punting on fourth-and-1 from the 48 yard-line. Conservative playcalling late, leading to long field goal attempts. Quarterback draws on third-and-long when your quarterback isn’t Collin Klein. The coaches are supposed to put the players in a position to succeed, and too often they let those players down.
Ryan Willis started at quarterback and played the entire game. His final line was 31/45 for 348 yards with 3 INT and zero TDs. Willis also lost a fumble on the TCU 3-yard line that led to the Frogs’ first touchdown of the game one play later. All four turnovers came in the first half, when Kansas had an opportunity to really build a lead against a struggling TCU offense.
Neither Montell Cozart nor Carter Stanley saw any action.
Taylor Martin appears to have supplanted Ke’aun Kinner as the RB1. Martin had 18 carries for 62 yards and a touchdown.
Ke’aun Kinner had 36 yards on just 7 carries. Moar Kinner, please.
Denzell Evans and Khalil Herbert each had one carry, and each gained three yards.
Quiv Gonzalez led KU receivers in yards with 131 on 8 receptions, with a long of 67 yards that saw him pushed out of bounds on the two-yard line. It was good to see Willis look for Quiv and get him the ball.
Steven Sims Jr. got back up over 100 yard mark again, with 101 yards on 9 receptions.
Shakiem Barbel was looked to early and often, more than doubling his season stats by hauling in 9 receptions for 94 yards.
Ben Johnson is not to be found in the box score a week after catching 5 balls for 86 yards against Texas Tech. Presumably he primarily assisted the offensive line in the blocking scheme this week.
Courtney Arnick was everywhere with 9 tackles, including 4 solo, and 2 TFLs.
Mike Lee added 7 tackles, 5 solo, and was in on a half-TFL.
Keith Loneker drew praise from the coaching staff following the game after collecting 7 tackles, 3 solo, and 2 pass breakups.
Fish Smithson was in on 6 tackles and was also credited with a PBR.
Brandon Stewart had 5 tackles and picked off Kenny Hill - twice!
Cameron Rosser was all over the TCU backfield, credited with 4 tackles, all solo, all 4 were TFLs, and three were sacks.
Cole Moos punted only four times with a 43.2 average.
Matthew Wyman was 3-6 on field goals, making his first three and missing his last three. The field goal attempts, in order, were 50, 29, 21, 37, 41, and 54 yards. Wyman kicked off six times with five touchbacks.