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Texas Tech defeats Kansas, 55-19

  • 7:30 p.m., Sept. 29, 2016
  • Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock, TX

Friday, September 30, 2016

Too Fast, Too Furious: Jayhawks can’t keep pace against Tech, 55-19

Kansas linebacker Mike Lee (11) can't hang on as Texas Tech receiver Keke Coutee (20) slips away on a touchdown run during the third quarter on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas.

Kansas linebacker Mike Lee (11) can't hang on as Texas Tech receiver Keke Coutee (20) slips away on a touchdown run during the third quarter on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas.

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— As many likely expected, the University of Kansas football team couldn’t put together nearly enough stops on defense or scores on offense to keep pace with Texas Tech in a 55-19 defeat Thursday night at Jones AT & T Stadium.

Even though the Jayhawks’ defensive unit forced the underdogs into having some second-half hope in their Big 12 opener, the typical result assured KU of its 40th-consecutive loss away from Lawrence.

Kansas, believe it or not, even cut the Red Raiders’ lead to nine in the third quarter, before an unexpected Tech gunslinger stepped in relief to finish off the visitors.

“I was disappointed that it did and it turned so quickly,” KU head coach David Beaty said after the loss. “Those dudes can score quick.”

A great start to the third quarter, gave KU an unexpected opportunity to make the game interesting, a scenario that hardly seemed plausible in the opening minutes, when junior Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes II had his team up 14 points with 9:55 to play in the first quarter.

Down 28-9 at the break, a Jayhawks rally even seemed unlikely early in the third quarter, which opened with three consecutive incomplete passes by sophomore quarterback Ryan Willis, followed by a punt. However, Texas Tech junior Cameron Batson muffed Cole Moos’ 36-yard punt and KU’s Michael Zunica emerged from a pile of players on the turf with the loose ball.

The play seemed to reignite the Jayhawks, even though Willis, who actually had outplayed starting quarterback Montell Cozart in the first half, suffered a minor injury setback and had to sit out the drive. Cozart, who completed only four of his 13 throws in the first two quarters, for 36 yards, stepped in and orchestrated a timely scoring drive. He connected with LaQuvionte Gonzalez for a key 15-yard third-down conversion and followed it up by leading Steven Sims Jr. to the end zone sideline for an 11-yard touchdown. Quite suddenly KU only trailed 28-16.

Next, KU’s defense delivered a rare three-and-out. Derrick Neal and Bazie Bates IV broke up a Mahomes pass, Marcquis Roberts and Fish Smithson brought down Devin Lauderdale for a loss on a pass and then Cameron Rosser chased Mahomes 21 yards into the backfield for a massive sack.

Willis returned for the ensuing Kansas drive, and with the help of a 20-yard reception by tight end Ben Johnson, got KU close enough for Matt Wyman to kick a 35-yard field goal and get the Jayhawks as close as 28-19.

Normalcy soon returned for the beleaguered program, though, even as Mahomes left the game early. After the versatile QB took off for a 32-yard rushing gain, Smithson and Isaiah Bean hit Mahomes (27-for-34, 277 yards, four touchdowns, one interception) and the quarterback nailed the turf hard enough to injure him.

Backup junior quarterback Nic Shimonek replaced Mahomes late in the third quarter, and proceeded to close out the third quarter with back-to-back touchdown drives.

By the end of the night, the second-stringer’s numbers looked as good as those of the ballyhooed starter. The Red Raiders ran away from the typically overmatched Jayhawks as Shimonek went 15-for-21 through the air for 275 yards and four touchdowns.

“He did a good job,” Beaty said of the fill-in QB, adding it didn’t surprise him. “I will say this, when you’re a backup you’ve got to be ready to go.”

Mahomes and the Red Raiders wasted no time affirming their position as the superior Air Raid offense and appeared to immediately diminish the chances for any drama in the nationally televised game. Tech (3-1 overall, 1-0 Big 12) won the coin toss before kickoff, elected to receive and went 75 yards for a touchdown, in five plays. A minute and 42 seconds into the game, KU already trailed, once Jonathan Giles caught a pass from Mahomes and easily beat KU safety Bazie Bates IV in a foot race to the end zone.

Fourth-year junior Cozart got the start at quarterback for the Jayhawks (1-3, 0-1) and opened the night with the first of seven three-and-outs for the Kansas offense. Eight Texas Tech plays later, Kansas trailed by two touchdowns, when Mahomes found Baston for the second of his four first-half touchdown throws.

“Early in the game,” senior KU safety Smithson said, “we just gave up some quick passes and kind of lost focus.”

Still, the KU defense proved temporarily capable of recovering from a dreadful start, keeping Tech out of the end zone on four straight possessions. Smithson came away with an interception on a deep jump ball to end one series. Then, in the opening minute of the second quarter, Red Raiders punter Erik Baughman mishandled a snap in the end zone and Keith Loneker Jr. made sure to take him to the turf for a safety, giving Kansas its first score of the game.

Said Beaty: “I thought our defense really settled in and did some really good things.”

Tech’s offense got back on track in the second quarter with the aid of a KU penalty. Anthony Olobia was flagged for targeting Mahomes. The defensive end hit the QB in the head as Armstrong brought him to the turf for what would’ve been a sack and a loss of eight yards on second-and-seven. Instead, Texas Tech picked up a first down via penalty and went on to score its first touchdown since the opening minutes of the first quarter. Mahomes finished the first half 24 of 31 through the air, for 272 yards, four touchdowns and an interception.

KU’s offense finally reached the end zone with 5:12 left in the first half, as Willis found freshman receiver Chase Harrell for an 18-yard touchdown that capped a 75-yard drive.

Ultimately, though, Kansas ended far too many possessions with punts (10) and simply couldn’t manufacture as many explosive plays as Texas Tech.

“They are probably one of the best offenses in college football, I think,” Beaty said. “We’ve got to work our way there.”

— See what people were saying about KU's matchup against Texas Tech during KUsports.com’s live coverage.


More news and notes from the loss against Texas Tech


Comments

Jim Stauffer 9 months, 3 weeks ago

It is obvious we don't have the experienced personnel that Tech does, but it is equally obvious we don't have anyone who can teach this offense like they have also.

I am not convinced at this stage Beaty can ever make this offense look like that one we saw last night.

John Fitzgerald 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Painful to watch, just like every other game. I did see some good things, but I also saw a lot of things that just made me cringe. I want to believe Beaty every time he talks because he's so dang passionate, but I just don't understand the QB situation. Imagine if we had started Willis all year and given him the opportunity to grow? Is he punishing him because of the wrist injury? Does he not like Willis? He obviously knows something we don't. One thing I notice when Willis is out there is after a play that doesn't go his way or it was a close play he shows a lot of emotion. I love that. It shows me the kid is a fighter and we need that in a QB. Ether way, my belief in Beaty is slowly dissipating. I badly want him to succeed and while the defense has much improved, the offense has gotten worse under his command. This program can't afford to get worse. Something needs to change.

Also, I want to mention that the Big 12 deciding not to expand concerns me. And it's not because I think more teams will benefit KU. I think it can go both ways. But what concerns me is the indecisiveness which could ultimately lead to the conference disbanding. If this happens, KU is not in a good place. I honestly think we would stand a chance of not making it into a Power conference. Football brings in the most revenue and at this point our football program is more of a burden. Our basketball program can't and will not carry this school, we NEED a successful football program. Not just for the future of the program, but for the future of the school.

Bryce Landon 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Where did you see that the Big 12 voted against expansion?

Marius Rowlanski 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Five years ago we could have added Memphis and Louisville plus a lot of other teams were interested. We can still get Memphis but without Louisville, it's just not nearly as attractive. Maybe Cincinnati/Memphis but please not another team from Texas.

I haven't seen or read anything saying that the Big 12 has decided against expansion. If that really is the case then it's time to start looking for a soft landing somewhere else.

Edward Daub 9 months, 3 weeks ago

We all figured that once Tech scored over 40 the game was over, 41-19 at the end of the third quarter.

The late, great "Dandy Don" Meredith would have sung "Turn out the Lights, the Party's over"!

It is ironic that Don Meredith and Eddie LeBaron (1962 Cowboys) were the most famous rotating QB's. Tom Landry tried alternating them on each snap!

However, I agree the KU Rotation at QB has not and will not work!

The FS1 Color Man (P.P?) made several astute observations , in spite of his nasal voice.

Armen Kurdian 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I think we're being a little too hard on the team. Yes, there were mistakes, but not nearly as egregious as a couple of weeks ago, and no turnovers until late in the game. Defense played with conviction, few missed tackles. Yes, some blown assignments, and TT burned us on some blitzes. The game was competitive through most of the 3rd quarter on the home field of a strong team.

I do agree that HCDB needs to pick a QB and stick w/him. Got it, Willis got hurt, MC comes back in. But pick one and stick w/him.

Glen Miller 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Why we continue to trot Cozart out there at QB is beyond me. He's proven for 3 consecutive years that he is not a Division 1 QB. Good kid, freakish athlete...... shouldn't be our starting QB or even the backup in my estimation. Neither of these guys can get any kind of rhythm going with this silly rotation BS anyways. It's time for Beaty to stop being such a control freak and listen to his assistants. You can't blame anyone but him for our shortcomings at this time. Last night on the broadcast, more than once, the announcers noted that he has control of it all....... and I believe it is to our detriment. I like the guy, but why have assistants if you aren't going to use them.

Bob Bailey 9 months, 3 weeks ago

It was poor defense, maybe except for the defensive line; almost non-existent offense; and NO Defensive Scheme that makes sense. And no chance to correct next year!

Marius Rowlanski 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Okay, there's pretty much no way to make a solid case for the defense but after Texas Tech's first two possessions, I saw some pretty good play until the fourth quarter where our lack of scholarship players hurt us.

I thought there were signs of improvement, baby steps but at least in the right direction.

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