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Stat of the Game: Fourth and Timeout Against Texas Tech

Beaty calls three timeouts before fourth-down plays on Saturday.

Kansas v West Virginia Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Two weeks to prepare. An offense without Doug Meacham. didn’t matter.

The offense was still dreadful. The defense put up a fight for a while, causing three turnovers and giving the Jayhawks great field position, but it couldn’t sustain what was needed to keep the game close. Basically, it was what we have seen each of the four conference games thus far.

I’m not going to blame the defense. It did its job. And is there much else to say about the offense? Bender was bad. Pooka did what he could. The play calling was questionable. It’s getting laughable at this point. Given that, let’s not even bother dissecting what went right and what didn’t on the field. Instead, we’re going to...


Timeout, let me think about this...

OK, all good.

The Stat

David Beaty called three timeouts prior to a fourth down against Texas Tech, breaking the record for most timeouts before a fourth down in a season.*

*Look, I don’t have any factual evidence to back this up, and doubt it even exists, but let’s go with it. And really, would you be surprised if you found out it was true?

The Breakdown

We do know that Beaty called three timeouts heading into a fourth-down play for the Kansas offense. That’s half of his allotted timeouts for the game, for those counting at home.

Here’s how it happened.

Timeout #1: Missed Opportunity

Kansas is trailing 10-3 with 8:50 left in the second quarter. It’s 4th and 7 from the Tech 38. The Jayhawks had just forced a three and out, giving the KU offense great field position.

Beaty basically has two options: go for it, or punt. A 56-yard field goal doesn’t seem worth it to strongly consider.

Beaty elected to punt. The punt went for a touchback, netting Kansas 18 yards of field position. On the next possession, Texas Tech scored a touchdown, because of course they did.

Timeout #2: Groundhog Day

The very next possession, now trailing 17-3 with 2:32 left in the half, Kansas advances the ball to the KU 44 and faces a 4th and 1. Cue the timeout.

So while the Jayhawks were not on the Tech side of the field like before, Kansas only needed one yard. One yard, in a situation where you can rely on the only strength of the offense: the running game.

Beaty punts it again. The punt is shanked and goes 12 yards; it take Texas Tech a whopping four plays to score again. Kansas fans everywhere need another beer.

Timeout #3: Wait, It Worked?

There’s seven seconds left in the third quarter and Texas Tech leads 27-3. Kansas is 11 plays into the drive and again it’s 4th and 7, this time from the Texas Tech 30.

Eight yards of field position is the difference between this timeout and the first. But to prove that nobody backs Beaty into a corner, he elects to go for it, and it results in a 30-yard touchdown pass from Peyton Bender to Steven Sims Jr.

That’s right, going for it can actually produce points. It’s remarkable.


Those were the three fourth-down timeouts from Saturday. I’m sure there will be more to talk about next week. Will Beaty continue to punt or will he be more inclined to go for it now?

No one knows, because Beaty doesn’t know. That’s why he needs the timeout to mull it over.