What was a pretty boring 16-3 game became very interesting in the span of just a few minutes on the game clock.
With Kansas holding a fairly comfortable 16-3 lead with just 11 minutes to play, ISU hit on a fourth-and-seven - for a touchdown. By the time the clocked ticked down to 4:30 to go, Carter Stanley fumbled in the end zone, recovered by ISU.
Suddenly, Kansas trailed.
But, nine plays later, Kansas led once again. A four-and-out on ISU’s ensuing possession gave Kansas a win in Les Miles’ debut.
While Kansas kept ISU out of the end zone until the fourth quarter, the Jayhawks didn’t dominate their FCS foe like you’d like to see.
Prior to that crazy fourth quarter, the two squads were pretty much statistically even. Through three quarters, even though Kansas led by 13 points, both teams had 15 first downs. Turnover margin was even. ISU was 3-9 on third plus fourth downs; so was Kansas. The difference was here: ISU averaged just over 5.0 yards per play, while Kansas was averaging 6.1 yards per play. Time of possession was negligible.
Even after accounting for the chaotic fourth quarter, the final stats really didn’t change much. Kansas finished at 5.4 yards per play, admittedly, a number slightly affected by Carter Stanley’s four kneel-downs to end the game. (It’s 5.9 ypp if you removed those four plays.) ISU finished at 5.1 yards per play.
Kansas was credited with a 34/29 run/pass ratio. Again, take out Stanley’s kneel-downs, and you’re looking at near 50/50 (well, 30/29).
Kansas averaged less than one yard per play more than it’s opponent. The Jayhawks finished -1 in turnovers. ISU scored 14 points off turnovers, KU 13 points.
The difference? Indiana State missed two field goals, albeit, both were 45+ yards. Kansas converted its only two red zone opportunities, one field goal and one touchdown. ISU had two red zone opportunities as well, but came away with just one field goal.
The wide receivers were awesome - all of them. Andrew Parchment, Daylon Charlot, and Stephon Robinson all had at least one circus catch, and as a team the receivers averaged 12 yards per catch.
Ball security. Four fumbles, with three lost. There was a backwards pass included in that number, but wow. That has got to get better. These guys have got to value the football.
The Carter Stanley strip-sack-fumble-ISU TD was just awful, but what stood out to me was ISU converting 2-3 fourth downs. I believe both of those conversions were QB sneaks, as well as a converted third and short that was a QB sneak. This tells me that the defense line was getting pushed off the ball, which doesn’t bode well when teams like Boston College come calling.
Oh, and, a missed PAT that almost made a difference in the game. WTF.
Carter Stanley started AND PLAYED THE ENTIRE GAME. Crazy, I know! He did lose two fumbles, which is concerning, but his passing stats weren’t bad: 20-29 for 241 yards and 2 TDs. Although I will say, his deep ball was consistently underthrown, and he did get bailed out by his receivers on at least one potential INT.
Khalil Herbert rushed 17 times for 88 yards, a 5.1 ypc clip.
Dom Williams added 34 yards on 9 carries. However, it should be noted that 27 of those yards came on one carry.
Andrew Parchment led all receivers with 121 yards on 8 receptions.
Daylon Charlot had himself a game as well with 6 catches for 79 yards and 1 TD.
James Sosinski, he of basketball fame, added 2 catches for 25 yards and a TD (that was reviewed but no one knows why).
Stephon Robinson was credited with one catch for 14 yards.
Freshman Velton Gardner had two receptions (out of the backfield, I think?) for three yards.
Dru Prox had 9 tackles and a HUGE sack late in the fourth quarter.
Darrius Moragne and Azur Kamara were each credited with a sack as well.
Hasan Defense had just one tackle, but started off the game scoring with a 57-yard pick-6.
Jeremiah McCullough added an INT as well.
Liam Jones was 1-2 on field goals, hitting a 36-yarder and missing a 49-yarder (and missing a PAT).
Team captain Kyle Thompson booted 3 punts for a 49.0 average.