Saturday, November 12, 2016


Tom Keegan: Carter Stanley infused energy into Jayhawks and then he punted

Kansas freshman quarterback Carter Stanley fires a pass during Saturday's game against Iowa State on Nov. 12, 2016 at Memorial Stadium. It was the first start of Stanley's career.

Kansas freshman quarterback Carter Stanley fires a pass during Saturday's game against Iowa State on Nov. 12, 2016 at Memorial Stadium. It was the first start of Stanley's career.


It all was following the script so perfectly.

Team seeking its first conference victory in two years and a few days feels a little extra juice with a freshman getting his first start at quarterback. The QB adds to the energy with a peppy approach, marches the squad down the field for a couple of touchdowns to take a big lead.


The second quarterback punt on fourth-and-2 in two weeks, this time from the 37, this time a touchback.

The energy never returned and Iowa State rallied to a 31-24 victory in front of 23,757 in Memorial Stadium.

Just a coincidence that that was the instant the momentum shifted? Bound to lose anyway? We’ll never know. This much is certain, Kansas was leading 14-3 when debuting starter Carter Stanley was circling his hand furiously, wanting the play to come in more quickly. Then he circled it again, at which point head coach David Beaty showed him his palm, a stiff-arm of sorts, as if it to say, “Relax.” Beaty never intended to send in a play. Instead, he used a timeout and decided to use the quarterback to punt. Stanley felt it, was certain Kansas would get the first down. Beaty didn't ride the wave.

“Just too far away, man,” Beaty said of not going for it. “Fourth and two’s a whole different animal. If we’re out there in fourth and a half a foot, it’s a little bit different deal, but we just didn’t feel good about what we were seeing. We felt like we were stopping them and we wanted to pin them.”

Instead, the punt rolled into the end zone and Iowa State took over at the 20.

“We know that was the right decision because if not, we have the lead, we give them a huge momentum swing right there (at the 37),” Beaty said.

If the offense had cashed in on the fourth-and-2, its confidence would have soared. The players deserved that vote of confidence from the coach. Didn't get it. Two plays after the punt, Iowa State had the ball at the 37. The extra 17 yards didn’t keep the momentum from flaming out, although Beaty disagreed.

“No, I think we came out and ran the football pretty good right in that first drive coming out,” Beaty said. “I thought we did. I thought we went right down there and scored. I don’t think that affected us.”

Actually, the punt took place not quite five minutes into the second quarter with Kansas leading, 14-3, and the Jayhawks didn’t score again until the third quarter. I point that out simply to lend credence to what it felt like when Stanley punted. It felt like it curbed the confidence of the offense. I’m not pointing it out to imply that it’s a big deal that Beaty got the details jumbled after the fact. He was looking back on a game he couldn’t do anything about at that point anyway. It’s what he does looking forward that matters.

On that note, Beaty said red-shirt freshman Carter Stanley will make his second career start at home vs. Texas. Stanley earned it by showing a good feel for the offense, managing it well and rallying teammates.

“Carter’s a confident guy,” said blocking back Michael Zunica. “We had a lot of confidence in him coming into this game. You wouldn’t know this was his first game starting. You could hear confidence in his voice. He’s not hesitant.”

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

David Beaty discusses 31-24 loss to Iowa State, Carter Stanley's first start

After a 31-24 loss against Iowa State on Saturday, David Beaty talks about Carter Stanley in his first career start, frustration with not scoring more points on offense and much more.

Download podcast

In completing 26 of 38 passes for 171 yards with one touchdown and one interception, Stanley showed enough to want to see more of him. He showed enough to know this is a quarterback you want on the depth chart, while continuing to shop for an upgrade. You want your second-string quarterback to look like he’s a starter when needed and that’s exactly what Stanley looked like.

His running ability made Iowa State account for an extra helmet and his arm-strength limitations also made the run-heavy approach the right way to go with him at quarterback.

The extra life to the offense was obvious from the outset.

“Carter definitely had a role in that,” Zunica said. “People were excited for him to get his first start and just really wanted him to contribute, which he did.”

The excitement generated by the home team faded and the Big 12 losing streak grew to 19 games.

— See what people were saying about KU's matchup against Iowa State during’s live coverage.

More news and notes from the loss against Iowa State


Brett McCabe 1 year, 7 months ago

Too kind, Tom.

Beaty's explanation, of course, just makes it worse. You believed in your defense? Then go for it. Your offense was running downhill, you'd already converted a 4th down, and you went for it on 4th and four later.

It does not matter who plays QB, the coach will find a way to lose.

Tell me how many coaches have QB punted this year. Tell me the last time you witnessed one personally. Well, now you've witnessed two in two weeks from the same guy.

It absolutely cost us the game. My hope is that it costs us a coach.

Marius Rowlanski 1 year, 7 months ago

As soon as he punted, I told my wife we were going to lose..

Michael Lorraine 1 year, 7 months ago

Seriously. 10 minutes left in the 2nd quarter and you write them off because they don't go for it on 4th down on the 37 yard line.

David Kemp 1 year, 7 months ago

Have to agree with you and this game more than any brought out the ineptitude of Beaty as a coach, because we had a chance to win. Also blame Bowen, no blitzes in 2nd half and lack of double coverage help in Lazard . Special teams also a disaster. Wyman kicks out of bounds, misses fg and fumbled punt. Have to say carter looked good but play calling flawed. No te passes or plays down the middle. At this rate we will never win recruits or not.

Brett McCabe 1 year, 7 months ago

Re: the blitzes, I'll go back to the fact that we did not have any first-string LB's available for the game. I've seen Bown blitz more this year, seen him be very aggressive, but you are right that it was definitely not there yesterday.

Michael Lorraine 1 year, 7 months ago

I didn’t like the call but it’s not like it sucked all the air out of the stadium. There was still 40 minutes of football left. Firing Beaty is not the solution, it will only make things worse. When you wake up tomorrow you'll probably come to the same conclusion.

Marius Rowlanski 1 year, 7 months ago

I know that when I wake up tomorrow I'll still think he made a terrible call. They only got 17 net yards off the punt...

Brett McCabe 1 year, 7 months ago

Actually, Michael, that's exactly what it did. Precisely what it did.

Andy Godwin 1 year, 7 months ago

I completely agree. I made the same call to the people I was sitting around. The fourth down was not the issue. It was the 2nd and 2 and 3rd and 2 play calls that were the problem. Why pass when KU was dominating on the ground. Up 14-3 and driving. You can put doubt in the other team by pounding the ball down the field and going up 21-3 (yes in the 2nd quarter). A game can be won early if you physically dominate the other team and impart your will. This loss is squarely on the shoulders of offensive coordinator. I think it is become clear that he does not have a great feel for playing calling during the game.

David Williams 1 year, 7 months ago

Based on what I have seen thus far, and especially today, David Beaty is not capable of leading KUFB to a D1 win.

I would not be surprised (actually, I expect) to see transfers out and more assistants leave the program after the season.

Marius Rowlanski 1 year, 7 months ago

Thats a coach telling his players he has no faith in them.. Great call Beaty on still not winning a conference game.

Brett McCabe 1 year, 7 months ago

One of my concerns with Beaty has been his stubbornness. He took heat last week for the same play, same exact chain of events. Then he does it again - almost as if to say "I'll do it again". He's shown the same stubbornness in sticking with Cozart, not naming his two-deep, etc. For a second-year coach, he shows a lot of hubris.

Sean Kelly 1 year, 7 months ago

Every other soul, both in the stands and watching the game KNEW what that pooch punt did, except Beaty...

Andy Tweedy 1 year, 7 months ago

I'm not disputing anything in the article, but if we're going to put blame where blame belongs, let's not leave Booker off the hook for dropping the pass on third down. Had he caught that, all this is moot.

Brett McCabe 1 year, 7 months ago

The coach has to do his job, just as well as the players. He's taken over punt returns, how has that worked out? He's taken over the O.C. duties, how has that worked out? He's taken over QB coaching, how has that worked out?

Kyle Sybesma 1 year, 7 months ago

I didn't have as much of a problem with the punt as I did with the previous two play calls. It was 2nd and 2 and the next 2 play calls were passing plays with one being a dropped pass as Andy mentioned above. We had established a run game and with Stanley's ability to run a variety of play calls are available. I think we may have found a quaterback. Looking forward to next week.

John Fitzgerald 1 year, 7 months ago

That punt was no different than raising a white flag and giving up. I can do nothing but sigh and hope the curse over KU football ends soon. Has any other D1 program had a fall as deep as ours? If so, I'm sorry. Would not wish this inefficacy on anyone.

Kyle Sybesma 1 year, 7 months ago

Steve - The most Zenger can do is recommend Beaty remove himself as OC. Zenger can't fire Beaty without getting himself fired. AD's don't get to fire and hire 3 coaches.

The majority of talent on this team are underclassmen. Underclassmen who have been recruited by Beaty's staff. If he's not the right coach at least let him recruit this program back to a roster with a full 85 scholarships. In the mean time maybe he'll surprise us.

Brett McCabe 1 year, 7 months ago

As Tom pointed out in a previous article, KU's hands are pretty much tied, given the Chancellor announcement. She'd have to fire Zenger and then handle the coaching search, or put together a search that does not put Zenger as the decision-maker. Neither will happen, I fear.

If Zenger doesn't get Beaty under control, then he deserves to be fired. Three things to do: 1. Require a new OC with play-calling duties 2. Require a new QBC 3. Give special teams to the special teams coach.

If Zenger doesn't do all three of those things, he doesn't to deserve to have a job the Monday following our last game.

David Kemp 1 year, 7 months ago

And the decommits are trickling in which is going to make his recruiting efforts tougher as the ineptitude continues. Filling a roster with low level talent won't make us any better.

David Williams 1 year, 7 months ago

Nothing is going to happen until there is a new Chancellor in place, who can then move on the AD role. Any new AD or HC candidate will not want to step into this situation until they know who they have to work with at the top. Until then, as I noted above look for turnover in assistants and transfers out of the program.

Humpy Helsel 1 year, 7 months ago

Guys, I'm still back at the TCU game when it is very early in the 4th quarter and we are down 34-20 (if my memory serves me) and we have first and goal at the 6. Three running plays nets two yards. Take the 3 points! We are still in this and he goes for it on 4th down with a pass our QB's aren't good enough to complete. You could hear the air rush out of the team and stands. Game over. Mental mistakes everywhere. Unforced turnovers. I want this guy and his staff to succeed for everyone involved, but I can't help what I see. I get the talent level differential, but that doesn't account for the other parts of the game for which I am not seeing any improvement. This little QB is the first of the three to actually look comfortable in this offense. His body language, decision making, style, all says he is the best we have right now in this offense. As I've said before, let the AD go and work with Self to find someone with whom he is comfortable. This would be someone who knows football and can put fresh evaluation on this coach and his staff, making decisions accordingly.

Robert Moore 1 year, 7 months ago

One of my friends at TCU said in his opinion we had the game won an just seemed to stop and fall apart. Just saying.

Lee Henry 1 year, 7 months ago

So much about the offense??? How about the defense that held nobody, they ran through us like we were a bunch of grade school fact our defense has done nothing to hold the other teams this year...better look at those coaches....

Lucas Town 1 year, 7 months ago

Texas and K-State will do much worse on this run defense. 1-23 here we come.

Michael Lorraine 1 year, 7 months ago

Clearly I was wrong, the fans have spoken. First thing the new chancellor needs to do is fire Zenger. He was a total disaster, a terrible, terrible AD. The new chancellor needs to hire an AD who is terrific. Then we can get a new head coach who knows how to win. We’ll have so much winning we’ll get bored with winning. He’ll be tremendous. He’ll bring in great athletes from all over the country except Texas because frankly folks Texas is not sending us their best. And of course we’re going to build a new stadium and the other 9 conference opponents are going to pay for it. They don’t know it yet but they are going to pay for it. Let’s make KU great again!

Brett McCabe 1 year, 7 months ago

Good post - made me smile.

Zenger has done some very good things while here, I just went to KU's 2OT win vs. Mizery at Rock Chalk and overheard MU fans talking about how nice it is. Women's VB, Women's SFB, Women's Track - all doing a great, great job for KU.

The challenge is that, without a strong FB team, we could get left out in the cold in a few years. Zinger's hires for FB have both been complete head-scratchers. Beaty's behavior has made me scratch until my scalp started bleeding. You are right, Zenger is protected for one year barring a really big move by BGL. He needs to get Beaty under control, or they'll both be looking for work early in December next year.

Beaty could help himself, and his recruiting, if he brought in someone exciting for O.C., or promoted from within. But he cannot do the job himself.

Robert Moore 1 year, 7 months ago

The Head Coach is just that. He needs a coaching staff capable of running a game under his overall plan. How is he going to discipline himself for a bad call, stand in front of a mirror. Beatty has shown his weakness as a leader. He wants to coach, not lead. Bad move. I've said this before. A OC who is also the Head Coach has a fool for a head coach.

Brett McCabe 1 year, 7 months ago

And it almost only ever works when the head coach spent a lot of time as an OC first, so managing the game is already in his blood.

Paul Christiansen 1 year, 7 months ago

Carter Stanley was great but the punt made no sense at all. This loss is on the Coach.

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