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Texas Tech defeats Kansas, 30-20

  • 11 a.m., Oct. 17, 2015
  • David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, KS

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Different feel: Jayhawks competitive in loss to Texas Tech

Kansas defensive tackle Daniel Wise (96) reacts after narrowly missing an interception during the first quarter on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015 at Memorial Stadium. Also pictured are Kansas defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. (46) and linebacker Joe Dineen Jr. (29).

Kansas defensive tackle Daniel Wise (96) reacts after narrowly missing an interception during the first quarter on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015 at Memorial Stadium. Also pictured are Kansas defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. (46) and linebacker Joe Dineen Jr. (29).

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Saturday, on a gorgeous and sunny fall afternoon, Kansas University football coach David Beaty peered through his adidas sunglasses and saw something that was much easier on the eyes than what he had seen throughout most of his first season in charge of the Jayhawks.

“Hey, man, six weeks ago, sometimes it didn't even look like football,” said Beaty following his team's 30-20 loss to Texas Tech in front of a crowd of 25,186 at Memorial Stadium. “But we just stayed the course and continued to believe in what we were doing. It doesn't look exactly like we want it, but we're getting better every day.”

For the first time this season, that message of 24-hour improvement actually seemed to carry some weight. Sure, the Jayhawks (0-6 overall, 0-3 Big 12) lost for the 45th time in their past 48 Big 12 Conference match-ups, but this one did not look like most of the others. It featured an offense that moved the football at will and played with confidence. It featured a defense that played with life and fire. And it featured a group of players who seemed to truly believe they belonged.

“This one felt different,” said sophomore linebacker Joe Dineen Jr., who led Kansas with 10 tackles and added a sack. “And I think it showed.”

Unfortunately for KU, however, Saturday's loss also featured many of the things that have made losing the norm for this program during the past six seasons.

A winnable game became a nearly impossible feat thanks to the Jayhawks' inability to stay away from mistakes.

Beaty's squad missed four kicks — three field goals and an extra point — turned it over three times and struggled to a 20-0 first-half deficit before turning things around and operating as the better team on both offense and defense throughout significant portions of the second half.

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Postgame: David Beaty proud of Jayhawks after home loss to Texas Tech

First-year Kansas football coach David Beaty explains why he was proud of how the Jayhawks played in a 30-20 home loss to Texas Tech.

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So dramatic was Saturday's reversal of fortune that the Jayhawks actually took possession at their own 7 yard line with 4:47 to play with a chance to drive the length of the field for a potential game-winning touchdown.

The way things had gone on the two previous drives, with freshman QB Ryan Willis leading back-to-back touchdown drives to pull Kansas within 23-20, such a finish improbably seemed possible.

But after an incomplete pass on first down and a sack and fumble in the end zone on second down, Willis was intercepted by Tech's Jah'Shawn Johnson, who stepped in front of a pass intended for freshman Jeremiah Booker (65 yards on 7 receptions) and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown that put the game out of reach.

The TD ended a Texas Tech scoreless stretch of more than 12 minutes, and left the Jayhawks lamenting their poor special teams play.

“It sucks when you lose by 10 and you leave 10 points on the field,” said junior kicker Matthew Wyman, who missed a 52-yard field goal in the first quarter and a 34-yarder just before halftime. “Obviously, that's not a good feeling, but we'll bounce back. We work hard.”

Despite KU's shortcomings in the point-scoring department on Saturday, the defense delivered by far its best game of the season. The Jayhawks' front six created pressure on a regular basis, which forced TTU quarterback Patrick Mahomes into several bad throws and led to five sacks — Tech had given up just two sacks in six games coming into Saturday — and held the Texas Tech offense to just three points in the game's final 31 minutes.

This, from a team that entered Saturday averaging nearly 60 points per game and boasting the nation's top-ranked passing offense.

“Let me tell you something,” Beaty said. “I know how hard that stuff is to stop. I really do. And, man, I am so proud of those boys.... Our guys played their tails off. They just kept playing.”

Dineen said the major difference between Saturday's effort and the five that came before it actually showed up during film study of last week's 66-7 loss to high-powered Baylor. A breakdown in several small areas, Dineen said, allowed the Bears to run wild and the Jayhawks vowed to not make life as easy for Texas Tech (5-2, 2-2) on Saturday.

The Red Raiders gained 584 yards of offense on 94 plays — 359 passing, 225 rushing — and recorded big chunks of yardage during both halves. But very little of it looked easy and the Kansas “D” stiffened the more precarious the situations became.

“I thought our defense played great,” Dineen said. “We feel like we can compete with anybody.”

That, Beaty said, was the biggest takeaway from Saturday's setback. Yeah, looking back at the mistakes will sting and, sure, it was nice to see freshman quarterback Ryan Willis (35-of-50 passing for 330 yards and 2 TDs) finish two completions shy of a single-game school record, but neither the good nor the bad of the individual moment meant as much as what Saturday meant for the big picture.

“They knew they could win,” Beaty said. “They played like it. They believed in it. The morning meeting this morning was different. And I liked it. There was some intensity from coaches and players today, and they weren't afraid of anything.”

Added Dineen: “When you get beat 66-7 the week before, that one hurts. There's no moral victories. You want to win every game. But the way we played today was promising for the future.... I think it's gonna be good. I think we're gonna turn it around and we'll give the fans and people of Lawrence something to be proud of.”

— See what people were saying about the game during KUsports.com's live blog.


More news and notes from Kansas vs. Texas Tech


Comments

Humpy Helsel 4 years, 4 months ago

OK. It's a start! I don't care what coaches and players say. When you have been where we have been, and where we are...there is such a thing as moral victories. And we'll take anything we can get.

OU 55 KSU...0, Welcome to our world.

Michael Lorraine 4 years, 4 months ago

Moral victories are pretty much all we have. Even if we play a full 60 minutes like we did today, still not sure if we can win a game this year.

I'll take a 30-20 loss over 55-0.

You want to talk painful. Check out the last play of the michigan st - michigan game.

Doug Cramer 4 years, 4 months ago

Absolutely love seeing the progress.

Coach Beaty understands what it means to KEEP SAWIN WOOD !

Jay Beakum 4 years, 4 months ago

Reesing never completed more than 37 passes? That seems impossible.

But man I'm liking this Willis kid. 35 of 50 is unbelievable!

Michael Lorraine 4 years, 4 months ago

Should have been more were it not for some dropped passes.

Dale Rogers 4 years, 4 months ago

I really, really like how hard these kids play and how they just don't give up. That says a ton about their character and that of our coaches.

IF wins and losses were recorded by quarters or by halves instead of by whole games, we would be (win-loss-tie)

halves: 6-6-1 quarters: 5-14-5

Brett McCabe 4 years, 4 months ago

Anyone still think that a kicker isn't worth a scholarship?

Definitely some good things out there today. Don't read too much into it, we are now into the sleepwalking part of the season for our visiting opponents.

David Kelley-Wood 4 years, 4 months ago

Compared to the past several seasons, this one has 'felt' better to me all along. I can't put my finger on it exactly, but it's just got a different feel to it. It would be great if the guys manage to pull off an upset, but even if not, I think there's an attitude among the players that gives fans more of a reason to be proud of them.

Dale Rogers 4 years, 4 months ago

To me, a lot of that "better feel to it" has to do with the second half of the games. Our guys still playing like they can win rather than just to get the clock run out. Huge difference.

Stan Anderson 4 years, 4 months ago

I agree. You can tell the athletes have a different attitude since the beginning of the season. Maybe a sign the team is starting to gel better or the kids that don't want to contribute are moving on.

Early in the season the team had the feeling of being too serious. Hopefully the coaches realized that and are making the adjustments. Just my experience in life, having a good culture (everyone treated well) eventually leads to better performance.

Richard Duran 4 years, 4 months ago

Gad to see Bowen and Perrygetting aggressive. I've said all season we should be blitzing more because our base D is outmatched. Hope he keeps taking risks.

GO CYCLONES!

Aaron Paisley 4 years, 4 months ago

KU didn't blitz that much today though. It was mostly 4 man rushes. The DB's actually did a pretty good job in coverage and let the DLine have time to pressure Mahomes.

Gerry Butler 4 years, 4 months ago

your right Aaron, our DB'S did really well, the commentator said as much, and as they mentioned it really wasn't Texas Tech stopping us as much on offense as us stopping ourselves, can't get over excited but still like others we have some pieces, just like ben said over and over gonna take time but like what I saw we are pretty young, we have 32 freshman, 10 redshirt freshman, and 16 sophomores , give coach some time to get some more of his players in I think we will be ok, Wise looks to be pretty decent, booker, willis, there is a few just hang in there to the Jayhawks keep believing I know you believe in you, and you believe in your coaches your hard work will pay off. ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

Aaron Paisley 4 years, 4 months ago

This was a good showing by KU. But before we get too excited about how competitive KU was today, let's see if KU can back up this performance next week in Stillwater. There's a history of teams coming into KU and playing flat, uninspired football (TCU their past 2 trips, OU in 2013, Texas in 2012, Baylor in 2011) and letting KU hang around or have even have a real shot at losing to KU. Other than TCU in 2012, KU followed all of those games up by getting blasted by at least 4 possessions. If KU plays well at OSU, we can then say that KU is making tangible process, otherwise this game is going to join those others as a good team who slept walked through KU and almost lost.

Stan Anderson 4 years, 4 months ago

I agree with the comments on a good showing by the players. Sitting in the stands for the last few home games. Saturday's game had much more energy. I saw a few things that brought energy to this team and will later lead to better results.

1 - More players suited up. That tells me the coaching staff are continuing to evaluate their talent and bringing kids up if they are performing and continue to build for the future.

2 - It was great to see the all the player jumping around during kickoff, smiling, and cheering their teammates. I would rather have the redshirt/walk-ons on sidelines cheering and supporting their teammate’s vs sitting in the stands. I like the showing of team unity and I think in the long run make KU attractive for other recruits. All the jumping/cheering by the players brought great smiles and cheer to the KU fans.

3 - Good to see signs of improvement. This means the players are improving. Kudos to the coaches, GA, strength staff, and athletes. The combination of improved coaching and players pushing each other (scout teams, 1st string, 2nd string, etc...) and players moving up in the depth chart is leading to a higher level of play. All following Coach Beaty's "Earn It" approach.

It was overall both a competitive and good game. I look forward to seeing the continued improvements.

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