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Sunday, November 19, 2017

KU’s offense once again falls flat in loss to Oklahoma

Kansas quarterback Carter Stanley (9) throws a deep pass before being hit by Oklahoma defensive tackle Du'Vonta Lampkin (57) during the second quarter on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas quarterback Carter Stanley (9) throws a deep pass before being hit by Oklahoma defensive tackle Du'Vonta Lampkin (57) during the second quarter on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 at Memorial Stadium.

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The No. 3-ranked Oklahoma Sooners are known for their highly effective offense and a tough-to-defend quarterback in Baker Mayfield, who just might win the Heisman Trophy, in spite of his combustible personality.

OU’s football team, at least this season, is not known for its defense. Nonetheless, Kansas failed to score a touchdown in its 2017 Memorial Stadium finale, a 41-3 defeat.

An Oklahoma defense that entered the weekend giving up 27.4 points and 414.2 yards per game, only allowed KU to finish a possession on the right side of midfield on four of 15 drives.

The Sooners (10-1 overall, 8-0 Big 12) hadn’t held a Big 12 team below 20 points before visiting Lawrence, and gave up 41 at Baylor in September. But OU limited tottering Kansas (1-10, 0-8) to 155 yards of total offense, and forced seven three-and-outs, as the Jayhawks went without a touchdown for the fourth time in the past six weeks.

“We just didn’t make plays in the passing game,” KU head coach David Beaty said. “I thought Carter (Stanley) made a terrific play down the middle of the field and we just didn’t come up with a catch. And then there was one down the sideline that Carter made a terrific throw and we just didn’t come up with the catch. We’ve got to become that team that makes plays and right now we just don’t have guys making plays for us consistently.”

Indeed, Stanley, threw for just 123 yards — a career low for a game in which he started — after completing 19 of his 33 throws, with one interception against an Oklahoma program that has out-scored Kansas 203-20 in the last four meetings.

In the category of so-called chunk yardage, defined as plays of 15 or more yards on passes and 10 or more rushing, KU’s offense registered just one in 61 plays — a third-quarter 34-yard pass from Stanley to Steven Sims Jr. The second-longest passing play was a 13-yard reception by tight end Ben Johnson in the first quarter.

“They do a good job of disguising their coverage,” Stanley said of the Sooners. “Most of the time we were able to see what they were in, definitely, but I think they play hard and they’re just a good team.”

On rushing plays, KU averaged only 1.2 yards per carry. Sophomore Khalil Herbert led the team with 38 rushing yards on 13 attempts. Both Herbert, who left the game early in the fourth quarter with an injury, and Dom Williams had a team-best eight-yard rush in the third quarter.

“We’ve got to find a rhythm. I thought we ran the ball inconsistently a little bit,” Beaty said. “When it mattered (the Sooners) were able to tighten it up.”

Offensive woes notwithstanding, KU only trailed 14-3 as late as the final minutes of the second quarter, because the home team’s defensive players forced OU to punt on five of its first seven possessions.

The Jayhawks even were in position to cut into Oklahoma’s lead prior to halftime, or at the very least run out the clock and enter the third quarter trailing by 11.

With 1:39 left in the second quarter, a Kansas drive that began in OU territory, at the 47-yard line, actually went backward, as Du’Vonta Lampkin brought Stanley down for a five-yard loss on first down, and two ensuing pass attempts for Herbert and Johnson fell incomplete.

Kansas punted from its own 48-yard line and the Sooners responded with a 40-second TD drive to take a 21-3 lead into the locker room.

“Defense killed it. I thought our defense was awesome,” Stanley said. “They had a great game plan, they executed it well. I think us as an offense not being able to get that first down around midfield and getting points or at least running the clock out, that hurt our team overall. They were able to go down and get that touchdown to make it 21-3. I think defense played great and there were times when obviously we could’ve helped them.”

Beaty, too, said KU’s defense put the team, which has lost 10 straight, in a position to make it a competitive game. The offense failed to lift its play to that level. The Jayhawks’ 155 yards were the third-fewest this season, beating out 21 yards at TCU and 106 at Iowa State, both shutouts.

“We didn't finish the game good enough,” Beaty said. “That score is not good enough. Those guys are mad. They're upset. I'm mad. I'm upset, because I just know we're a better football team than what that score shows. It bothers me. It bothers them. I think we're a better football team than that, and we've got to go back to work (Sunday) and make sure that doesn't happen again next week because we've got a great opportunity again next week in Stillwater.”

Beaty, now 3-32 as head coach, concludes his third season at Kansas Saturday at Oklahoma State (8-3, 5-3). The Big 12 announced the game will kickoff at 11 a.m. at Boone Pickens Stadium and air on FOX Sports 1.


More news and notes from Kansas vs. Oklahoma

Comments

Marc Frey 1 year, 11 months ago

Lack of talent plus no depth plus injuries plus no development of players equals Kansas Football.

David Kemp 1 year, 11 months ago

I fully agree with continuing to try to find a qb. As of now we have two flops and it’s time to ratchet up the offense. Very few of the eleven are salvageable. MayBe Herbert, one or two lineman and the receivers either improve or find bench space.

Robert Brock 1 year, 11 months ago

Hey, KU rolled up three points on the Sooners. Shouldn’t Zenger and Beaty get contract extensions and pay raises?

Lloyd Kinnison 1 year, 11 months ago

“We just didn’t make plays, this is the same response for year three. Coach B go to the theater department and ask for a new line. This one has no meaning to it. I suggest no W for the game then no salary for the week, “we didn’t t make plays”. Only applies to the coaching staff. Not the players.

Steve Corder 1 year, 11 months ago

Good news, the football season will soon be in the rear view mirror.

Jim Stauffer 1 year, 11 months ago

It is obvious QB is our problem. Why have we not tried to play Starks. I understand the answer would be he does not have command of the offense. Duh! You think the guys we have played have command of the offense. Bender shakes in his boots as soon as the ball is snapped. Carter has the guts for the job but simply cannot make decisions quickly enough to offset a weak arm. What has really been surprising about Carter is he cannot decide to run when the opportunity is there. He hesitates and then gets nothing. I think a coach worth his salt would find a half dozen plays Starks could run and use his athleticism to at least move the chains from time to time. We have been told so many times this kid or that kid is not ready. Then they are forced to play due to injury and play just as well as the kid in front of them. What is it about this staff that prevents them from giving all the kids a shot?

Andy Tweedy 1 year, 11 months ago

Another fall pretty much come and gone...so sad!

John Fitzgerald 1 year, 11 months ago

The two most important units in football are the Offensive Line and the Defensive Line. If you can win the battle of the trenches, then it builds a solid base for everything else to fall in place. We should at the very least have 5 Junior O-Linemen playing this year, and 5 Sophomores to back them up. Needless to say that has not been the case.

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