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A (Semi) Statistical Recap of UNLV

Jayhawks take care of business in the desert.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 26 Guaranteed Rate Bowl - Kansas vs UNLV Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

I know I’m a couple of days late and there’s a basketball game coming up, but give me a break, I’m a busy guy! On the off-chance that you’re not done talking about KU’s bowl win over UNLV, here’s one more opportunity to do so.

Similar to the Cincinnati game to end the season, things started off slowly for the Jayhawks, but once they got going life became very difficult for UNLV (and their bettors). The Rebels scored easily on the first drive of the game, leading some KU fans to be concerned, but that concern turned out to be unwarranted.

Yes, UNLV still scored 36 points. Yes, KU turned it over 3 times. UNLV even averaged a respectable 6.5 yards per play. And while I think its possible that the officiating rattled the Jayhawks (including Jason Bean) a bit in the third quarter, neither the refs nor the Rebel defense could do much about the Kansas offense. Kansas had just two drives end with a punt, but outside of those plus the 3 INTs by Bean, every other drive ended up in the end zone.

The Jayhawks blew up for 591 yards at 8.8 yards per play. Kansas converted on 6-12 third downs while holding UNLV to 3-10. Over a third (34.8%) of UNLVs first downs came via penalty, which helps explain why KU struggled to get off the field on defense.

Without star DE Austin Booker, Kansas struggled to pressure the UNLV backfield, picking up just 3 TFLs and 1 sack (which came on corner blitz that the UNLV QB never saw coming). On the flip side, it seemed like defensively UNLV sold out to stop Devin Neal, which they kinda did, at the expense of allowing Jason Bean to toss SIX touchdown passes.

Overall, it was a dominant offensive show for the Jayhawks, who at this point look to return 8 of 11 offensive starters to next year’s squad in what is set up to be an exciting 2024.

The Good

What a great day week year to be a Jayhawk. I am genuinely excited for the next football season.

The Bad

As one commenter noted, we almost got the full Jason Bean experience - all that was missing was a 50+ yard scramble for a touchdown. The three INTs were all pretty bad, but I partially blame that on the way the officiating was going at that point in the game. I think Bean was trying to force plays to make up for what was going on around him, and they turned into some ugly interceptions. But we love him anyway, even those that were late to the party.

The Ugly

Oh boy, where do I start? Eh, just read this.

The Stats

Jason Bean started his 8th game of the season and wow. 19-28 passing for 449 yards, 6 TDs (!!!) and 3 INTs. Add in 21 rush yards on 6 carries and yeah, what a way to go out in your last college game.

Devin Neal picked up 71 yards on 20 carries, and was able to punch it into the end zone once as well.

Daniel Hishaw added 27 yards on 5 carries. Hishaw did have a scary fumble at a critical time in the game, but KU managed to recover it.

Dylan McDuffie turned 4 carries into 26 yards.

Luke Grimm hauled in 4 receptions for 160 yards and 3 TDs. Yeah, you read that right.

Lawrence Arnold had 6 receptions that went for 132 yards and 3 TDs. You also read that right.

Quentin Skinner had just 2 receptions but 80 yards, and continued to add to his highlight reel. He’s really fun to watch.

Mason Fairchild added 2 receptions for 29 yards.

Jared Casey, who is “just a blocking TE” added 2 receptions for 22 yards.

Kenny Logan was credited with 9 tackles with a TFL. He added 103 kickoff return yards for KU as well.

Marvin Grant added 6 tackles.

Cobee Bryant and Craig Young each picked up an INT. Bryant also had KU’s only sack of the night.

Seth Keller made all 7 PATs. KU did not attempt a field goal in the game.

Damon Greaves punted twice, which didn’t go great - one punt was 38 yards, and the other just 29 yards.