For the second week in a row, the Jayhawks were non-competitive on the football field.
Well, that’s not completely true. They were competitive for a quarter. The first quarter, even! You could maybe even argue the entire first half. Kansas took the opening kickoff, went right down the field, and went up 7-0. And then the defense held Baylor to a 3-and-out to boot!
But then the Jayhawk offense sputtered, Baylor tied it up, and on KU’s third possession, the Jayhawks punted inside the Baylor 40-yard line.
STOP PUNTING INSIDE THE 40. I don’t care what down and distance it is. Criminy.
Anyway, that’s pretty much all you need to know about how the game went, but just for laughs, KU’s drive chart after that third possession:
3 plays, 3 yards, punt
5 plays, 23 yards, punt
8 plays, 33 yards, downs
3 plays, -1 yard, punt
5 plays, 13 yards, punt
3 plays, 1 yard, punt
2 plays, -1 yard, safety
Kansas then finally sustained two drives late in the fourth quarter - after the Bears led 40-7.
I am still sad.
If you look at a box score, the two teams had similar overall numbers. First downs, total yards, passing, rushing, penalties, turnovers, even time of possession are all very comparable. So how did Kansas lose this game?
The short answer is hidden yardage in big plays. Baylor returned a kickoff and a free kick (following a safety) for a touchdown. Baylor also punted four times compared to KU’s six punts.
The Bears were just much more consistent offensively. Not counting the end of the half, BU had just two drives that went less than 10 yards; Kansas had five.
Neither team turned the ball over, so hey! No negative turnover margin for the ‘Hawks in this one. However, KU was just 4-16 (25.0%) on third down, while Baylor was 8-15 (53.3%). KU was 2-4 on fourth down, while Baylor converted its only attempt.
Kansas averaged 4.3 yards per play on 77 plays while Baylor averaged 5.25 yards per play on 67 plays.
Oh and before I forget, Baylor should still be evicted from the Big 12.
The Kansas rushing game was surprisingly successful - Pooka and Velton Gardner combined rushed for 146 yards on 28 carries, a 5.2 ypc average.
KU’s bend-but-don’t break defense kept the Jayhawks in the game until halftime, but with the offense sputtering, the wheels came off in the second half.
Also, why is Pooka only getting 14 rush attempts?
Special teams, you ain’t got no alibi. That was scary bad. Two kickoff returns for TD allowed and on the other side, averaging just 21.5 yards per kickoff return is a bad combo.
Jalon Daniels, the true freshman from California, started and played the whole game. He showed some flashes, but also showed plenty of room for improvement as well. Dude has a cannon, too, so if KU ever decides to throw the ball downfield, this kid can handle it.
His overall line was fairly pedestrian, however: 19/33 for 159 yards, which is just 8.3 yards per completion. That’s, uh, not great, Bob. Daniels had no TDs but also no INTs which is a plus. Because he plays at KU, he was constantly under pressure, and
rushed scrambled for 23 yards, a number which I assume includes yards lost due to sacks. (Baylor was credited with 4 sacks.) Daniels was also credited with two fumbles, but the Jayhawks recovered both.
Pooka Williams had just 14 carries, but turned that into 76 yards and 2 TDs. Pooka also snagged 3 passes for 24 yards.
Velton Gardner also had 14 carries, for 70 yards.
Kwamie Lassiter led the Jayhawks in receptions and receiving yards, snagging 6 receptions for 65 yards.
Takulve Williams added 5 catches, but for just 26 yards.
Andrew Parchment got just 3 balls for 14 yards.
Stephon Robinson had just 1 reception for 23 yards.
Kenny Logan led the Jayhawks with 7 tackles, and was credited with KU’s only sack on the night.
Kyron Johnson had 6 tackles.
Dru Prox had just 3 tackles.
Kyle Thompson hit 6 punts for a 37.5 yard average.
Jacob Borcila did not have a field goal attempt, but converted both extra points.