Kansas fans came into the Baylor game with high hopes today only to have them dashed early in the first quarter by David Beaty and company.
Things actually started off well! The Jayhawks won the toss and deferred to the second half, and Kansas forced a Baylor punt on the first drive of the game. After Peyton Bender tried throwing into triple-coverage and bounced the pass off a Baylor facemask, the Jayhawks would punt as well.
Baylor started in KU territory and six plays later found themselves a wide open receiver in the back of the end zone to take an early 7-0 lead.
Kansas would actually respond with a 50-yard drive (aided by two 15-yard personal foul penalties on Baylor), but David Beaty would ice his own kicker (yes, in the first quarter), and Gabriel Rui would miss a 48-yard attempt.
At that point, things began to spiral for the Jayhawks. Baylor scored on its next three possessions, while Kansas had two three-and-outs on its final two possessions of the first half. Miles Kendrick entered the game with a little less than 4 minutes until halftime, but couldn’t spark the KU offense and the Jayhawks went into the break trailing 23-0.
After rushing for 400 yards against Rutgers one week ago, KU registered zero rushing yards in the first half against Baylor and just 48 total yard (compared to Baylor’s 256).
The KU offense went three-and-out again to start the second half, but finally got something going on its second drive of the half, sparked by a Pooka Williams 72-yard jaunt down the sideline. Bender would hit WR Jeremiah Booker on the fade to bring the Jayhawks to within 23-7.
For the most part, KU’s defense buckled down in the second half. After punting just once in the first half, KU forced four Baylor punts in the second half and finally started getting some pressure on Charlie Brewer, even getting three sacks and holding the Bears to just a field goal.
However, the Kansas offense, plagued all day by poor line play, could never sustain anything substantial. Baylor would continue to chuck the ball down the field with under four minutes to play in the game, but the KU defense was up to the challenge. The Jayhawks would eventually run out the clock and Baylor took home the 26-7 victory.
Baylor finished with 447 yards of total offense to KU’s 271.
I don’t know how difficult it is to make in-game adjustments from the sideline, but it was extremely frustrating during the first half to watch Baylor QB Charlie Brewer continually have wide open space in front of him as he scrambled away from a 3- or 4-man rush due to the Jayhawks playing man-to-man defense.
Brewer was also able to pick apart the Kansas secondary despite the Jayhawks dropping back into coverage; on the rare occassions when KU did blitz in the first half, they couldn’t bring down the elusive Baylor QB 1-on-1.
It was equally frustrating to watch Baylor stack the box with 8 players on defense and then for Pooka Williams slam into the line of scrimmage and go nowhere. The running lanes did open up a bit more when Miles Kendrick came into the game, simply because Baylor had to respect the QB run on the option.
However, for Kansas fans, this was more of the same old, same old. David Beaty continued to call timeouts at odd times, the Jayhawks usually lost the battle at the line of scrimmage, and KU’s conference road losing streak now sits at 41 in a row.
Kansas returns to Lawrence for Homecoming to take on Oklahoma State on Saturday, Sept 29, at 11 AM.