Kansas University's football team had trouble early on offense Saturday against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane in the teams' season opener at Memorial Stadium.
The entrance of two sophomores shortly after halftime quickly took care of that problem and helped the Jayhawks to a 21-3 victory over the Golden Hurricane.
"I'm glad our defense played well. Our offense learned some lessons," KU head coach Mark Mangino said.
Running back John Randle and Charles Gordon, who started at cornerback, sparked KU in the second half. Randle gained 56 yards on 17 carries - all in the second half - and Gordon caught a seven-yard touchdown on his first offensive drive of the game.
Kansas gained just 80 yards in the first half, but were tied, 3-all, with Tulsa behind a 50-yard field goal by Johnny Beck late in the second quarter. Brad DeVault kicked for Tulsa's field goal, a 28-yarder early in the second quarter.
The Jayhawks took a 6-3 lead on another Beck field goal following a 55-yard kickoff return by Greg Heaggans opening the second half.
Randle, who was arrested three times in the past year, sat out the first half. He rushed just two times for two yards on KU's first drive after intermission, but sparked the Jayhawks on their next possession.
"We talked at halftime about some of the things we needed to do ... we knew we were going to have fresh legs at the tailback spot," Mangino said.
After two Tulsa penalties put KU near midfield, Randle gained 35 yards on five consecutive carries. Barmann then found Gordon for a touchdown and a 12-3 lead after Beck missed the extra-point attempt.
With the help of Randle and Gordon, Kansas gained 100 yards in the third quarter, more than doubling its total for the game up to that point.
A high snap on Chris Kindred's punt on Tulsa's first drive after Gordon's touchdown helped give Brandon Rideau time to block the kick. Kansas took over at Tulsa's 17-yard line. KU moved to the 1-yard line, but couldn't push the ball in on fourth-and-goal.
The gamble paid off on the next play when Tim Allen sacked Tulsa quarterback James Kilian in the end zone for a safety and an 11-point lead, 14-3.
Kansas couldn't get a first down after the free kick, but Kevin Kane picked off a Kilian pass on the next drive and returned it 18 yards to Tulsa's 2-yard line.
Three plays later, Barmann scored from a yard out. Beck's PAT gave KU a 21-3 lead midway through the period, an advantage that stood for the rest of the game.
While KU's offense sputtered before Randle's entrance in the second half, the Jayhawks' defense was strong throughout.
"Our defense, that's the time of consistency we need every week. That's how we'll build this program in the long run..." Mangino said. "This is the way they need to perform, week in and week out."
Kansas held Tulsa to 124 yards in the first half, 22 yards in the third quarter and minus-5 yards in the final period. Even with most of their offense coming in the first half, the Golden Hurricane crossed the Kansas 40-yard line one just one of nine possessions before intermission.
Along with Kane's interception, the Jayhawks forced two other turnovers, both by junior-college transfers. Jermial Ashley recovered a fumble and Theo Baines picked off a pass. KU also sacked Kilian six times.
Barmann finished 14-of-31 for 99 yards, and rushed 11 times for 21 yards.
"Today was a good learning experience for Adam," Mangino said. "I'm not worried about Adam at all. He's going to be fine."
Clark Green rushed six times for 23 yards. Mark Simmons caught four passes for 48 yards, Rideau had three receptions for 27 yards and Gordon caught two passes for 10 yards. Gary Heaggans caught a 12-yard pass, and Jonathan Lamb had one catch for six yards.
Kilian finished 11-of-24 for 91 yards, and lost three yards on 16 carries. Uril Parrish gained 45 yards on 15 carries.
Garrett Mills caught four passes for 10 yards, Montiese Culton had two catches for 28 yards, and Jermaine Landrum caught two passes for 24 yards.
¢ True freshman defensive tackles Todd Haselhorst and James McClinton both played during the second quarter.
All stats are unofficial.