I know I’ve been slacking on this so let’s just get it over with. (Hey, maybe that’s KU’s slogan for football this year?)
Kansas came into the game as approximately a 27-point underdog, and lost by 3. Progress?
As David said in the postgame, this seems like nothing more than KU’s annual close-game-against-a-conference-opponent-to-give-you-hope-before-getting-embarrassed-again. David Beaty won six games in four years; two of those games featured a +6 turnover margin. Against Tech, the Jayhawks were +4, plus, Tech missed 3 field goals (40, 41, 45).
In other words, it’s not exactly a repeatable scenario.
The Raiders outgained KU 410 to 214 total yards of offense, averaging 5.9 yards per play to KU’s 2.9 ypp. The Jayhawks were just 4-18 (22.2%) on third downs, and 1-5 on fourth downs. This, against a sub-100 defense per S&P+. That’s what we call an inept offense, folks.
Kansas isn’t really in a position where I should complain about playcalling, but I’m going to anyway. Aside from the last fourth down attempt on the final drive (which was a 4th and 4), KU was 1-4 when faced with 4th-and-2 or less. The three failed conversions were predictable handoffs to RB Daniel Hishaw, who had no chance on any of them. If I can tell what the play call is pre-snap, I guarantee a D1 defense can as well. Do better, Brent Dearmon.
It would be easy to say the defense here, and that would be fine. After all, the only touchdown Tech scored on the day was on a trick play (if you count a WR reverse as a trick play, that is). But I’m going to specifically point on Karon Prunty. He got a lot of twitter hype during the game, but I think deservedly so. Check this out:
This kid is a great young player and will be a big time pro soon but...Karon Prunty erased this guy today. 7-183 2TDs against OKState. 2-20 on screen passes today Prunty is one of the best CBs in football period. pic.twitter.com/ov6Qp5OLYz— Brandon McAnderson (@BRANDONMCANDERS) December 6, 2020
I already complained about playcalling earlier, but it bears mentioning again. What are we doing on offense? I don’t think KU threw a single pass more than 20 yards past the line of scrimmage. This is the one team on the schedule KU should have been able to move the ball against, and they just couldn’t do anything.
Sorry but I have to - Offense ain’t got no alibi.
Miles Kendrick started and played the whole game, completing 17/29 passes for 102 yards. He added 23 yards on 15 rushes, which isn’t too bad considering that number includes negative yardage from 4 Texas Tech sacks.
Daniel Hishaw was a beast (when he wasn’t used in predictable 4th down play calls), rushing 18 times for 87 yards and a nifty TD.
Luke Grimm led the Jayhawks in receptions (6) and yards (41).
Kwamie Lassiter had 5 receptions, but they amounted to just 18 yards.
DB Nate Betts had 6 tackles and 2 fumble recoveries.
Caleb Sampson had 5 tackles, 1 TFL, and partially blocked a punt that of course still went through the uprights because this is Kansas football.
Nick Channel had 5 tackles and KU’s only sack.
Karon Prunty had 4 tackles, an INT, and absolutely erased Tech’s best receiver from the game.
Jacob Borcila hit both of his field goal attempts (42, 29).
Reis Vernon hit 7 punts for a 38.3 average.