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Kansas falls in OT to Nicholls State


NCAA Football: Nicholls State at Kansas Amy Kontras-USA TODAY Sports

It's safe to go ahead and start calling this David Beaty's last season at Kansas. The Jayhawks were favored, albeit by single digits, against their FCS opponent Nicholls State Saturday, but struggled throughout.

After KU went three and out to start the game, the Colonels gashed the defense, going 78 yards in nine plays to take the lead. Kansas answered, tying it up a at 7 late in the first quarter. The teams exchanged field goals in the second and went into halftime with the two teams looking very evenly matched.

The deadlock continued until the 4:00 mark in the third, when Nicholls State's Kendall Bussey broke free for a 40 yard score.

The KU offense, operating behind an offensive line that somehow actually looked worse than last year, couldn't get anything going in response. Fortunately, Nicholls State did their best to bail them out. A snap flew over the punter's head, resulting in a safety, making it a 17-12 game. Kansas promptly turned it over after a Peyton Bender fumble, which looked like it could easily be an incomplete pass. Kansas would block a punt just a few plays later, but went backward and punted in Nicholls territory. Kansas came up with another big special teams play, recovering a muffed punt, which finally led to a touchdown. A two point conversion made it a 20-17 lead.

Of course, it didn't last long. Nicholls State marched into field goal territory. An attempt to ice their kicker failed, as the kick that didn't count missed, allowing Lorran Fonseca a chance to correct his mistake. He tied it up, and the game went to overtime.

KU went three and out in OT, but Gabe Rui hit a field goal to give them the lead. KU's defense offered little resistance as Nicholls State scored a touchdown, winningin Lawrence 26-23.

Kansas looked completely unprepared. We saw a timeout on fourth down, as apparently Beaty needed time to call for a punt. We saw a timeout on the first play after a punt. I counted four snaps that didn't make it into Peyton Bender's hands. Nicholls State honestly didn't even look good. This wasn't like South Dakota State in 2015, a team with playmakers at a number of key positions. No one stood out as a great player. Kansas just wasn't good enough to beat them toe to toe. David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium will likely be virtually empty the rest of the year.