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A (Semi) Statistical Recap of Central Michigan

I was wrong - THIS time.

The scoreboard at Kelly/Shorts Stadium following showing a 31-7 victory for the visiting Jayhawks.
Mike Plank

OK, I’m big enough to admit it. After (deservedly) gloating last week, I can admit when I was wrong.

Fortunately, most of y’all were wrong too, so at least I can take some solace in that.

But not even the beat writers who predicted a KU victory foresaw SIX turnovers by the Chippewas - and zero turnovers by the Jayhawks. My favorite stat coming out of the weekend is this: David Beaty is now 2-0 when his team gets six turnovers, and only one of those games went into overtime.

Kansas only outgained CMU by 81 yards, 361-280, probably partially due to KU getting six turnovers and having short fields to work with. After a dreadfully boring first half that saw 211 total offensive yards and 12 punts from both teams combined, KU ended up at 5.0 yards per play while CMU still managed 4.6 yards per play.

Kansas converted just 5-16 (31.2%) third downs, while CMU somehow did even worse at 2-12 (16.6%).

David Beaty elected to punt in plus territory FOUR TIMES, including a 4th-and-1 from the CMU 45-yard line while leading 21-7 late in the third quarter. Tracking this stat is making me sick.

The Good

Obviously Pooka Williams was incredible, but plenty has been written about him. So, defense is the obvious next answer here, especially from the linebackers, Joe Dineen and Keith Loneker, who combined for 23 tackles, a sack, two TFLs, and an INT. Those guys were all over the field on Saturday afternoon. As a team, the Jayhawks scooped up two fumble recoveries and four INTs, including a neat 55-yard pick-6 from Shakial Taylor.

The Bad

Guys, I want to like Peyton Bender, I really do. But, in my opinion, he just looked bad again on Saturday. Here’s the thing - I don’t think it’s necessarily his fault. He connected on 17-26 passes, but only connected on one pass that went for more than 11 yards. He averaged just 5.0 yards per attempt.

KU just won’t throw the ball down the field, which is too bad because I really wanted to see what Daylon Charlot could do to MAC cornerbacks. My guess is that it’s due to the offensive line, which brings us to...

The Ugly

A couple of things stick out here. With three different starters from week 1, the offensive line was awful again, especially in the first half. I don’t know if they need to simplify schemes or what, but something has got to get figured out quickly or we’re looking at a bunch of beat-downs in Big 12 play (again).

Also, if the defensive gameplan was for the defensive line to suck up blockers so Dineen and Loneker could make plays, then they executed it to perfection. But what worries me is that KU had just one sack and one “QB Hurry” - and both of those plays were made by KU’s linebackers! KU also had just 3 TFLs on the day, which should be worrisome considering the quality of the opponent.

The Stats

Peyton Bender started and played through the third quarter. His final line was 17-26 for 130 yards an one TD.

Miles Kendrick played a series in the second quarter and most of the fourth quarter. KU had a 28-7 lead by the time Kendrick saw most of his action. He threw one pass, complete, for 15 yards, and rushed for 17 yards on 4 carries.

Carter Stanley came in for the final possession which consisted of four handoffs and two kneel-downs.

Anthony “Pooka” Williams rushed for 130 yards on just 14 carries, an average of 8.9 yards per attempt. He was electric, and if Twitter is any indication, will quickly become a fan favorite - assuming he stays eligible.

Dom Williams picked up 30 yards on 10 attempts.

Khalil Herbert started the game at RB but was mostly kept bottled up, gaining just 31 yards on 9 carries.

Kerr “The Blur” Johnson led KU in receiving yards with 68 on four receptions, including a 31-yard TD catch in the second quarter.

Steven Sims had just 30 yards on four catches.

Kwamie Lassiter had three receptions (yay!) for five yards (boo).

Joe Dineen led all defenders with 14 tackles and an INT.

Keith Loneker was right behind with 9 tackles and a sack.

Bryce Torneden had 5 tackles, 1 TFL, and a fumble recovery.

Ricky Thomas got in on four tackles and had an INT.

Denzel Feaster recorded two tackles and an INT.

Shakial Taylor had just one tackle, but was credited with a forced fumble and had the 55-yard pick-6 INT.

Kyle Thompson hit 8 punts for a 40.3 average.

Gabriel Rui was 1-2 on field goals, missing a 39-yard attempt into the wind but nailing a 36-yard attempt with the wind.