Morgantown, W.Va. With 5:35 left in the third quarter and the Kansas football team down 38 points at No. 14 West Virginia, KU head coach and offensive coordinator David Beaty inserted backup quarterback Carter Stanley to run the offense.
Less than three minutes later, Kansas reached the end zone, as the redshirt freshman played a part in the second touchdown of a 48-21 loss on his first series Saturday.
A pass interference call on WVU’s Kyzir White extended the drive, but Stanley and company took advantage, as the QB made a short throw to sophomore running back Taylor Martin two plays later. Martin sprinted away from the defense for a 45-yard score.
By the end of his second series, which concluded with an 11-yard touchdown throw to Steven Sims Jr., Stanley, who Beaty said entered when starter Montell Cozart showed concussion symptoms, had completed five of his first six passes.
Stanley, a 6-foot-2 freshman from Vero Beach, Fla., finished the loss 9-for-11 through the air, with two touchdowns and an interception.
“I wanted to see him in some meaningful minutes,” Beaty said afterward, adding he was proud of Stanley, because he entered the game mentally prepared to execute.
Following a West Virginia extra point in the third quarter, with the game already out of hand, officials flagged standout KU defensive tackle Daniel Wise for a flagrant personal foul, earning the sophomore lineman an ejection.
Beaty called the penalty, which came less than six minutes into the second half, “inexcusable.”
“That kid’s a good kid,” Beaty added of Wise, who had three total tackles, “but he lost his mind there for a second and you can’t do that. This is college football. I’m very disappointed in that, because it hurt us and we’re relying on that guy.”
Asked if he received an explanation on what Wise did to earn the ejection, Beaty said he didn’t see the play but was told his interior linemen punched an opponent.
“But if a guy said that they slugged him, usually where there’s smoke there’s fire, you know,” the coach added.
No Hartzog for Kansas
An unspecified injury kept Kansas wide receiver out of the lineup at WVU.
A 5-foot-11 junior from Houston, Hartzog had started every game this season prior to the team’s eighth straight loss, contributing 17 catches for 132 yards.
In his place, KU only started three receivers instead of four and gave fullback Michael Zunica a start.
Hartzog did not travel with KU due to the injury.
West Virginia’s typical starting running back, senior Rushel Shell, also missed the game due to an injury. The Mountaineers started junior Justin Crawford, and the backup back ran for 115 yards and a TD on 11 carries.
As has been the case every time KU football has ventured outside of Lawrence since September of 2009, the Jayhawks failed to pick up a victory at WVU. The Jayhawks beat UTEP on the road a little more than seven years ago but saw their losing streak outside of their home stadium hit 43, while the true road game slump reached 40 games.
Though the streak isn’t as substantial, Kansas hasn’t won a Big 12 road game in even longer. KU has dropped every conference game in an opponent’s stadium since October, 2008, when the Jayhawks won at Iowa State. The Mountaineers brought that losing skid to 35 games.
KU also remained winless in Big 12 games since Beaty took over. The program’s most recent league victory came in 2014, during defensive coordinator Clint Bowen’s stint as interim head coach, against Iowa State. The loss at West Virginia increased that losing stretch to 18 games.
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