Saturday, November 5, 2016

False Start: Jayhawks can’t recover from slow start in 48-21 loss

West Virginia quarterback Skyler Howard (3) slips by Kansas safety Shaquille Richmond (4) on his way to a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, in Morgantown, W.Va.

West Virginia quarterback Skyler Howard (3) slips by Kansas safety Shaquille Richmond (4) on his way to a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, in Morgantown, W.Va.


Another week, but the same story for the Kansas football team.

Once again, the Jayhawks fell behind in an early first-half hole and couldn’t recover. This time, No. 14 West Virginia scored on three straight drives in the second quarter Saturday and cruised to a 48-21 victory over the Jayhawks at Milan Puskar Stadium.

It was the first time the Mountaineers (7-1, 4-1 in Big 12) scored more than 40 points this season, led by five touchdowns from Skyler Howard — two rushing, three passing.

After a field goal and two three-and-out punts on their first three drives, the Mountaineers scored touchdowns on six of their next eight drives against KU’s defense. WVU running backs Justin Crawford and Kennedy McKoy combined for 256 yards and a touchdown on 31 attempts.

The Jayhawks (1-8, 0-6), who have lost 40 consecutive road games, showed some life in the second half, but never pulled closer than three scores.

Senior running back Ke’aun Kinner started the scoring following a fumble recovery by linebacker Courtney Arnick in the third quarter. On five straight runs, Kinner completed the 29-yard drive with a 2-yard plunge into the end zone.

Redshirt freshman Carter Stanley, who entered midway through the third quarter, threw touchdowns in the second half. He found running back Taylor Martin on a check-down pass, and Martin showed off his speed on a 45-yard score. On the next drive, Stanley connected with Steven Sims Jr. for an 11-yard TD pass.

Junior quarterback Montell Cozart completed 11 of his 24 passes for 124 yards and an interception. Stanley finished 9 of 11 passing for 127 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

Steven Sims Jr. was the top receiver with nine catches for 124 yards and a touchdown.

Here’s a quick look back at some of the action:

The game turned when: Midway through the second quarter, the Mountaineers scored on three straight possessions to turn a 10-point lead into a 31-0 advantage at halftime. That included two touchdown passes from Howard in the final 3:04 of the half, a seven-yard pass to Daikiel Shorts and a 19-yard strike to Shelton Gibson.

It was the most points scored in the first half by the Mountaineers this season, taking most of the competitiveness out of the second half.

Offensive highlight: After Dorance Armstrong forced a fumble and Arnick recovered to give the Jayhawks a short field in the third quarter, Ke’aun Kinner ran the ball five straight times on his way to a two-yard touchdown run. It was the first time the Jayhawks scored a touchdown in seven quarters.

Defensive highlight: At the beginning of the second quarter, the Jayhawks made a goal-line stop after the Mountaineers had first-and-goal from the one-yard line. After an incomplete pass, the Jayhawks stuffed three straight run plays, including a stop in the backfield on fourth down by redshirt freshman Shaquille Richmond.

Key stat: Total yards. Known more for their defense than offense, the Mountaineers racked up 605 yards of offense (341 rushing, 264 passing). Even when the Jayhawks pushed West Virginia into bad field position, the Mountaineers made explosive plays to drive down the field.

Up next: The Jayhawks will return to Memorial Stadium for two straight games, starting with Iowa State at 11 a.m. The Jayhawks are looking to end 18-game losing streak against Big 12 opponents. Their last win was against Iowa State on Nov. 8, 2014.


Michael Lorraine 1 year, 6 months ago

Covered the spread on the road against a ranked team. Could be worse.

Michael Maris 1 year, 6 months ago

Well, Carter Stanley may not have the strongest throwing arm on the team.

But, he appears (to me) to understand the offensive scheme a whole lot better.

He doesn't appear to be so overwhelmed by the defense that he's unable to improvise and find the outlet receiving option and actually complete the pass to them.

So, I will say this, Carter Stanley should start the Iowa State game as QB. I've had enough of Montell "This How I Can't Do It" Cozart as the starting QB. And, it looks like Bishop Miege HS is not a High School that can produce Power 5 NCAA QB's.

John Myers 1 year, 6 months ago

And a rarity, we actually finished stronger than we started. Granted, they pulled their starters towards the end of the game, but we won the second half. How often does that happen? I like Stanley moving forward. Michael Maris, you're right though - his longer throws sure do float.

brett conrad 1 year, 6 months ago

Get rid of cozart, practice player, game choker

Marcus Balzer 1 year, 6 months ago

Beaty needs to put his pride aside and hire a FULL time offensive coordinator and let that OC run things. The offense has regressed since he became HC and the only constant has been that Beaty has been 100% involved with the decisions made on the offensive side of the ball. I'm not saying our defense is on Alabama's level but it can hold its own when given some help by the offense. Beaty has a max of two years left to turn this thing around and that timetable could become significantly shorter if he continues to parade Cozart out at QB. I see zero reason why Carter doesn't start for the rest of the year and doesn't play any pick up basketball in the off season.

Jack Hoff 1 year, 6 months ago

In the wise words of Donald Trump. WRONG! If you wanna get technical, KU is actually better offensively than the were a year ago in terms of Points per game which is probably the stat that matters the most. Isn't it funny how when Carter came in the very same offense that Cozart was running suddenly looked explosive and effective. It's the players that make the system work, bring in playmakers and talented kids and the system will work. I do agree however that Carter should get his shot next week.

David Kemp 1 year, 6 months ago

If you want to get technical excluding the Fcs games, we are 7 points better than last year at this time. Hardly better and those points are probably more the result of defense and creating turnovers than offense!

Rick Breitenbach 1 year, 6 months ago

Ok first time writing/commenting here so be kind. I am by no means an expert on this team etc. So I am just going to ask a few basic questions (again I am no expert). Are our players smaller in general than other big 12 teams? Are they less athletic than other big 12 teams? When I look at them in person or on TV our guys look the part (size, speed etc.). When it is recruiting time I look at and compare our recruits to what K-State is bringing and I see about the same talent level (2 or 3 star players). I watched the West Virginia game today(well the 1st half) and they just seemed to execute better than we did in about everything. Our offensive play calling seems predictable (as a coach from the couch). I could almost guess with 100% certainty exactly what we were going to run before we even ran it. West Virginia on the other hand seemed to have our defense guessing every time they snapped the ball. I really feel for our guys. I can't imagine for one minute playing on a team where you are pretty confident you have lost before you even take the field. Kentucky is winning at football, Duke is winning at football, Louisville is winning at football, The University of Houston is winning at football. What do they know that we don't. There is absolutely no reason why we should not be winning. Our neighbors 100 miles to the west have figured it out. Doesn't make sense. Thanks for listening/reading.

Jack Hoff 1 year, 6 months ago

So you guessed when they ran that lateral pass trick play for a big gain? Pretty Impressive. Your neighbor next door has a full complement of scholarship players, a coach that has been there for decades and system that they've ran for years. And no KU doesn't have players the same size and speed on the field as the other teams, how you see that is beyond me. There are plenty of reasons this team isn't winning and it starts with an experienced Oline and a competent QB both of which this team doesn't have. They also don't just fall from the sky so it takes time to recruit and develop them. Tough to do in a year and half when you start with arguably the worst football team in the history of college football as your foundation.

Jack Hoff 1 year, 6 months ago

Hopefully I'm not the only one who left this game relatively encouraged. Lets not forget WVU beat KU 49-0 in Lawrence last year and WVU is much improved this year. So for anyone that says this years team has regressed, I'm sorry but that's just not true and that makes no sense. Perhaps Beaty isn't the best OC for this team, maybe he is and when he gets better talent they'll be much improved. But if you're whining for him to step aside as OC, please shut up about it. We get it. That's not something he would do until the end of the season anyway, it would make no sense to bring in someone new halfway through a season. Griping about it every week won't change it. In the offseason I'm sure they'll assess the offense as a whole and make appropriate adjustments for next year. Stanley looked good today (against mostly the backups) never the less the moment didn't seem too big and I think it would be fair for him to get a shot at Iowa State. However. Willis is awful and Cozart isn't much better so there really aren;t many options. KU is clearly improved from last year, teams in this conference are well ahead developmentally. They will continue to trend in the right direction. Clearly a few playmakers away from being somewhat competitive. Rockchalk!

Jerry Walker 1 year, 6 months ago

The fair weather fans departed the scene long ago...leaving only the Jayhawk faithful around this place. So you can put down your megaphone and pom-poms.

I'll still give Beaty a passing grade overall...although I'm downgrading him to B-. Yet there's only one grade to assign him as OC and that's an abysmal "F". There's no way to sugarcoat the results...getting blown out week after week.

There was no improvement this year vs they were well on their way to a 60-0 romp until they called off the dogs.

Just like always I'll stick with the beleaguered Hawks but that doesn't mean that I have to suffer in save your lectures.

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