What else could lead the way this week? The Jayhawks ended the suspense early in their pursuit of becoming bowl eligible. After missing out on their first three chances, KU got it done convincingly on Saturday. Now they turn their attention to working their way up the bowl game adder.
So this did not hit me until Sunday, but this is Jason’s first victory as a starter at KU since beating South Dakota in his first game in Lawrence. This is his first victory at KU, again as a starter, over an FBS team. I think it would be hard to argue it was not his best game at KU. No turnovers. Beat a ranked opponent. An amazing touchdown run. Two touchdown passes. It was a good day the be Jason.
KU may have a long way to go to match other conference teams in overall talent, on a day when players were getting banged up almost from the opening kick, Oklahoma State was not able to exploit any position while a starter was missing. The coaching staff’s concerted effort to develop the whole roster all season paid off in this game. If you did not know someone had just come off the field with an injury, you would not have noticed the player’s absence.
I know I have been critical of Big 12 officials previously, who hasn’t? The officials had their moments on Saturday. There was an unannounced penalty. There were certainly two no-calls on two no-doubt intentional grounding calls. But overall the officials were not a team either school had to overcome in their attempt to win.
When last we visited the stock market, McCaskill’s helmet had been a mess for two games in a row. Apparently, the bye week was the prescription. This week his helmet stayed where it is supposed to be, on his head and not rolling around on the turf.
Not surprising, but this kid is good. Watching the game Monday night, he did not look like a freshman. His jumper is out of his hand before you can blink. After a dunk, he even had a bit of a Christian Braun flex. He led all scorers. He played a team-high (tied with Jalen and Dajuan) 32 minutes. It has to be one of the best debut performances in KU history.
I noted this in an earlier post, but I was disappointed in the turnout for the tailgating. I know the excitement level has dropped after a three-game losing streak, and we were not going to be as many people at the game, but I was surprised that the people in my lot that have purchased a season’s worth of parking passes were not here early and enjoying the beautiful day.
Goalpost breaking knowledge
After the game was over and the student took to the field, I made my way onto the field as did a large number of fans from the alumni side of the stadium. As I made my way to the exit, I passed the goalpost after it had been brought down, but before it had been dislodged from its position on the field. As I passed, someone else, probably with experience from over a decade ago, yelled “you have to twist it, if you are going to get it to Potter Lake”. To that point, the students had just been bouncing on it trying to break it. It had not occurred to them it would break faster if they twisted it some. After that bit of advice, the goalpost was quickly on its way to the pond.
I was unable to watch the entire basketball Monday night, not because I had other plans, I was on my couch all evening. I was not able to watch the entire game because ESPN+ kept erroring out. It was very frustrating. Maybe the new media rights deal will move the Big 12 to a model similar to what the Big 10 and SEC have. If not, maybe the conference and its media partners will spend significant time and money to upgrade the existing apps to be more reliable.
Tom Chambers References
In what was the cringiest moment of the broadcast, the play-by-play announcer referenced Tom Chambers after a Gradey Dick dunk. Two tall white guys who can shoot I guess is the connection, but who is he trying to appeal to? One is a current player and the other has not been relevant for over 25 years. Update your references if you are going to be broadcasting games. It should be a top-3 bad announcing moment of the young college basketball season.
Hardwood First Half
In two games, one exhibition and the season opener, it is concerning the Jayhawks got off to such slow starts against clearly inferior teams. I know the ‘Hawks have a lot of new and/or inexperienced pieces to mesh together in the early going, but I hate slow starts. Do not give teams you should beat any reason to think they can win.