For the second time this Big 12 season, the Jayhawks had a second half lead and couldn’t hold on, falling to 1-9 for the year. Kansas, who gave redshirt freshman Carter Stanley his first career start against Iowa State, looked like it might be headed for another blowout early. They did manage to force a three and out on ISU’s opening drive, but LaQuivionte Gonzalez fumbled a punt return for the third time this year, which gave the Cyclones the ball at the Kansas 8. KU managed to keep the ‘Clones out of the endzone, but ISU would go up 3-0 after the mistake.
KU’s offense quickly punted, but fortune would smile on the Jayhawks on the next drive, as senior Fish Smithson picked off a pass at the KU 15 yard line. Carter Stanley would then lead the Jayhawks down the field on a drive that would be capped off by a 7 yard touchdown pass to Steven Sims, putting the Jayhawks on top with a lead they would hold for much of the game.
After a quick three and out, KU drove the ball down the field again, and Taylor Martin scored on the first play of the second quarter, putting Kansas up 14-3. The Cyclones then went on a long, clock-eating drive that resulted in a TD of their own, and KU held a 14-10 lead at the half.
Kansas would extend their lead to seven with a Matthew Wyman field goal from 37 yards out on the opening drive of second half, giving them a 17-10 lead. ISU responded with a touchdown, but a blocked extra point would sustain KU’s lead. Kansas then extended that lead with a 39 yard touchdown run by Ke’Aun Kinner, which no doubt left mikeville screaming about how he should be starting.
However, Kansas just can’t have nice things. ISU went on another long drive, failing on a two-point conversion to make it 24-22 at the end of the third quarter. KU did nothing on the ensuing drive and Iowa State promptly scored again, regaining the lead for the first time since early in the first quarter, 28-24. They would tack on another field goal and make it 31-24 with 2:53 to go. Carter Stanley had an opportunity to drive the Jayhawks down the field and tie it up, but on the second play, threw a deep ball to Steven Sims. The problem was, Steven Sims had been knocked down out of bounds prior to the pass even being thrown, so they only players in the area were two Cyclones, one of whom intercepted the pass and effectively ended the game.
So close, and yet once again, so far.
Stanley turned in a not-terrible performance overall, completing 26 of 38 passes for 171 yards (less than 5 yards/attempt though), with 1 TD and 1 INT. Ke’Aun Kinner had a big day, rushing for 152 yards on 18 tries, and Taylor Martin chipped in 83 yards on the ground. Steven Sims hauled in 9 passes, but too many were screens that went nowhere, as he only gained 37 yards. Freshman Mike Lee led the way on defense with 9 tackles, and Dorrance Armstrong’s sack streak ended as he only registered 1 tackle on the day. Also, Carter Stanley punted in a bit of trickery, and average more yards per punt for the day than our actual punter did, so there’s that.
Kansas is now 1-9 for the year and plays Texas for Senior Day next week.