After a great win last week for the Jayhawks and a breakout performance from QB Peyton Bender, Kansas seemed primed to make a run at the Central Michigan Chippewas today. That is, unfortunately, not what occurred in a game that left many chances for KU to come through and grab the momentum. Quite the opposite happened, in fact, a game that started off with a Kansas 3-0 lead going into the second quarter turned into that of a blowout.
The game started off looking like a classic defensive battle as the first quarter only had a total of three points scored. However, once the game went into the second quarter, things changed and the momentum rapidly swung onto the CMU side. Central Michigan put up a 24 spot in the box score for that quarter which left Kansas all out of sorts heading into the half down 24-6.
The second half started off with a Kansas offense marching downfield and leading to a Ryan Schadler 33-yard touchdown run to make it 24-13. After that, the Jayhawks were able to get a stop and start up another Peyton Bender-led offensive drive capped up with a Dom Williams touchdown run.
What looked like that of a comeback and a momentum shift, turned to a game of cat and mouse. The Jayhawks tried to pull closer, but everything seemed to be falling back in CMU’s favor. Kansas cut the lead back to 11 but was unable to capitalize a one-play game-breaker pushed the deep hole to a 45-27 game. Kansas still continued to fight, but ultimately missed a field goal and that was all she wrote.
Kansas falls to 1-1 on the young season after losing to a last season’s six-win team at home. Peyton Bender finished with 32 completions on 62 passes, 323 yards, and two interceptions. Running back’s Dom Williams and Deron Thompson finished with a combined 28 carries for 112 yards and two touchdowns. Bender continued to spread the ball all over the field with no Steven Sims Jr., which clearly hurt the offense a lot. The overall issue for Bender was the lack of time he had to throw the ball down the field, the offensive line was clearly bested versus the Chippewas pass rushers.
Overall the defense looked fantastic in the first quarter, but after that, they had a rough time stopping CMU QB Shane Morris who seemingly had all day to throw and it showed in his stat line of 467 yards and five touchdowns. A hopefully non-developing trend that was magnified after this game was that the Kansas defense was once again unable to generate turnovers. Kansas only forced turnover was an odd muffed punt by the return man that was just a fumble that Kansas special teams unit fell on.
Being 1-1 is not the end of the world, but the Jayhawks will have another one of these non-power conference teams, but tough matchup versus Ohio. Unfortunately for Kansas, it’s only going to get harder for them as they venture out on the road for the first time all season. We’ll have more analysis for you in the next few days, but for now, we’ll turn the comments section over to you to vent.