Pictured above: definitely not targeting.
Congrats to the Kansas Jayhawks for starting 4-0 in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1915. (My god I got sick of seeing that stat all over social media.)
Also congrats to me, who is now 33% of the way to being 100% correct on my predictions for the season. OK, OK, so I haven’t exactly nailed the scores exactly, but 4-0 is 4-0, and we take those.
BYU took a 17-14 lead into halftime before the Jayhawks ripped off a 24-10 second half to put an exclamation point on the non-conference schedule. Both teams used ball-control offenses to nearly split the time of possession: Kansas behind its rushing attack, and BYU behind its short passing game. So what was the difference?
Yards per play and turnovers.
BYU ran 17 more offensive plays than Kansas did, but gained just 15 more yards than the Jayhawks. Therefore, KU averaged 6.3 yards per play, while BYU went for just 5.0 yards per play.
Your amazing stat of the week: BYU picked up just 9 rushing yards on 22 attempts. (That’s 0.4 yards per rush.) That’s the fewest allowed by a Kansas defense since UTEP picked up 4 yards on 20 attempts back in 2009.
Take out quarterback sacks and WR run plays, and BYU’s running backs still only picked up 38 yards on 15 carries, a 2.5 ypc clip. Meanwhile, KU’s backs dominated, with Devin Neal, Daniel Hishaw, and Dylan McDuffie combining for 168 yards on 27 carries, a 6.2 ypc average.
The Kansas defense continued to pressure the opposing backfield, while the KU offensive line held strong against its opponent. KU was credited with 7 TFL including 3 sacks and 2 QBH, while BYU notched just 4 TFL, 1 sack, and was not credited with a QBH.
The Jayhawk secondary was kept busy by BYU’s passing game (51 pass attempts!) but the ‘Hawks hit hard and often. Kansas scored two defensive touchdowns, forced two fumbles (recovered one!), had two INTs, and was credited with 9 (!) pass breakups, nearly doubling the season total, as Kansas had 10 of those in its first three games combined.
BYU came into this game with just two turnovers in its first three games, but Kansas won the turnover battle 3-0, with two of those leading directly to defensive touchdowns.
Kansas converted a season low percentage on third downs at 4-8 (50.0%), while BYU hit on 6-14 (42.9%). Notably, KU was 4-5 on third down in the second half. BYU was 2-4 on fourth down, while KU failed to convert its only attempt (interestingly enough, on the first drive of the game).
Too easy here to say “the offense” so how about... the rush defense? Defense in general?? THE KICKER??? There are enough legitimate reasons to be pleased with KU’s performance in this one, I’ll let y’all decide this week.
KU may officially be a second-half team, as the offense did take a little bit to get going. The Jayhawks scored on all three drives of the second half, but saw consecutive drives in the second quarter go backward.
Penalties continue to be an issue for this team. Kansas was flagged 7 times, with 3 of those resulting directly in a BYU first down and another one killing a first half drive right after BYU scored to tie the game at 14.
Jalon Daniels was solid once again, although perhaps not his usual flashy self, going for 130 pass yards on 14-19 passing with 3 TDs and, once again most importantly, no INTs (although there was an INT taken off the board due to defensive holding on BYU). Daniels also had 54 rush yards on 9 attempts.
Devin Neal picked up 91 yards on 17 carries with a long of 21, and chipped in 14 yards on 3 receptions as well.
Daniel Hishaw added 60 yards on 8 carries.
Dylan McDuffie contributed 17 yards on two carries.
Lawrence Arnold led KU with 4 receptions for 34 yards.
Jared Casey pitched in with 2 receptions for 27 yards.
Quentin Skinner added 22 yards on 2 receptions.
Luke Grimm, however, was the fantasy star, with 2 TDs on 2 receptions that covered 18 yards.
Trevor Kardell had one reception for 15 yards, but it was a big one as it went for a TD.
Austin Booker led KU defensively with 7 tackles, including 2.5 TFL and 1.5 sacks.
Kenny Logan was credited with 4 tackles and also had the tip-drill INT that he returned to the end zone.
Cobee Bryant added 3 tackles, a TFL, forced a fumble (pictured above) and then returned it for a TD.
Damon Greaves booted two punts for a 42.0 yard average.
Seth Keller remained perfect on the year, nailing a 23-yard field goal that iced the game for Kansas late in the fourth quarter.