Saturday, October 20, 2018

New lows: Jayhawks deal with disgust, frustration in 48-16 loss at Texas Tech

Texas Tech's Jah'Shawn Johnson (7) tackles Kansas' Pooka Williams Jr. (1) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, in Lubbock, Texas.

Texas Tech's Jah'Shawn Johnson (7) tackles Kansas' Pooka Williams Jr. (1) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, in Lubbock, Texas.


Lubbock, Texas — At various stages of the fourth quarter during another Kansas football loss, some heads on the Jayhawks’ east sideline hung low.

A few Jayhawks, with their hands on their hips, watched in disbelief. Others stared defiantly into the late afternoon sun, doing their best to stomach the final minutes of a 48-16 defeat at the hands of Texas Tech.

All of the looks were suitable for a day on which the KU defense gave the ball to the offense 10 or fewer yards away from the end zone twice and the Jayhawks still finished their trip to Jones AT& T Stadium with only three points off their three total takeaways.

The Jayhawks’ offense, led by head coach David Beaty instead of fired offensive coordinator Doug Meacham for the first time this season, went kaput out of the gate, in front of a crowd of 54,402.

KU freshman cornerback Corione Harris delivered the game’s first big play, stripping Red Raiders senior receiver Zach Austin as he tried to extend for extra yardage after a catch. When the ball came loose, junior Hasan Defense easily snagged it, setting the KU offense up with a two-yard field.

An illegal formation penalty on KU negated what would have been a pass interference call on starting quarterback Peyton Bender’s third-and-goal throw to senior Jeremiah Booker in the back, left corner of the end zone. With offsetting penalties calling for a replay of the down from the 1-yard line, Bender handed the ball off to Khalil Herbert (eight carries, 42 yards), only to see the junior running back stymied in the backfield by Dakota Allen for a two-yard loss.

KU settled for a 20-yard Gabriel Rui field goal to tie the game at 3 apiece, instead of truly capitalizing on the takeaway with a touchdown.

“Honestly, it pisses me off,” senior receiver Steven Sims Jr. told the Journal-World. “I don’t know what else to say. That’s just frustrating. We’re on the 2-yard line, we’ve got to lock in. We’ve got to get two yards, things like that. It’s just frustrating. But we can’t hold our heads on that. We’ve got to keep pushing forward and keep playing, because there’s more time in the game. We can’t hang our heads.”

A Joe Dineen fumble recovery in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, with KU already facing a 34-9 deficit, didn’t even amount to some morale-boosting points for the Jayhawks’ offense.

Dineen secured a fumbled exchange by quarterback Alan Bowman at Tech’s 10-yard line. But after Bender hit Daylon Charlot for a five-yard gain on 1st and goal, Douglas Coleman picked Bender’s next throw off in the end zone.

Unlike what transpired after KU’s defensive takeaways, however, the Red Raiders turned their good fortunes into an 80-yard TD drive that buried the Jayhawks, 41-9, with 9:38 remaining.

Just how improbable is it for an offense to get three measly points on two extremely short fields?

“I’m not sure how to answer that question,” Beaty replied during his postgame press conference, after Tech’s offense outgained his, 553-308, in yardage. “I know you expect to win and get in the end zone down there. The 10-yard line, your odds of getting in there, you have to feel pretty good about it, right? That's just on us as a group. We've got to convert and get in the end zone. They had a kid (Coleman) drop and make a really nice play. They were in a coverage that we've seen them be in. We’ve just got to read it better.”

Bender, who took every snap for KU (2-5 overall, 0-4 Big 12), finished with an 18-for-41 passing day, with 221 yards, two touchdowns and an interception after a lethargic start.

He addressed the feeling that accompanied the empty short fields off turnovers.

“It’s definitely a situation you want to take advantage of. We’ve talked about how we haven’t taken advantage of the turnover opportunities,” Bender added, in reference to ongoing conversations the past several weeks “It’s something you’ve just got to work at. When you get down there and the field’s a lot shorter and everything’s condensed it’s tough to get those few yards. You’ve just got to focus a little bit more. I threw a pick right to the guy. Wrong read. Should’ve thrown it underneath. So just more focus, and it’s repetitive, but we’ve just got to execute better.”

The Red Raiders (5-2, 3-1) didn’t really begin to create separation with their offense until late in the second quarter, when they added 14 points in the final 4:26 before halftime.

But the KU offense only covered more than 19 yards of turf on one of its eight possessions before intermission.

On KU’s first offensive series, when Beaty made his 2018 debut as the team’s offensive coordinator, a seven-yard Pooka Williams rush to open the drive was followed by four pass attempts, only the first of them completed (a 13-yard reception for Stephon Robinson) by senior quarterback Bender.

In-Bender’s-face pressure from Tech forced a couple of incompletions, one of which could have been picked off had Sims not briefly become a defensive back, keeping the Red Raiders from intercepting the hurried throw.

The Jayhawks’ second series only lasted five plays when Bender overthrew an open Sims deep down the left sideline on 3rd and long.

“I think I was just off a little bit for whatever reason,” Bender said of his first-half issues, which began with him misfiring on six of his first eight attempts. “I’m not exactly sure. Didn’t really play well the first half on my part. Early on I had that deep ball to Steven down the left side, just kind of overthrew him — if we connect on that we would’ve scored. Missed Mavin (Saunders) over the middle on another one that would’ve been a big play.”

What had all the makings of a productive offensive series to open the second quarter blew up inside the Red Raiders’ 5-yard line when freshman back Williams (16 rushes, 70 yards), whose multiple gains helped put KU in position to score, fumbled the ball as John Bonney hit him, allowing Allen to recover and resulting in the Jayhawks’ fourth lost fumble of the season.

The giveaway didn’t directly lead to Red Raiders points, as KU’s defense responded with a three-and-out, but the blown chance certainly seemed to carry a cumulative effect for the Jayhawks in their fourth consecutive loss, the 14th straight Big 12 setback for fourth-year head coach Beaty, whose overall record dropped to 5-38 overall and 1-30 against conference competition.

“Disappointing,” Bender went on, regarding the offense’s inability to compete in the first half. “We drove it down, fumbled down there near the goal line. I think if we have those three plays (the aforementioned deep pass for Sims and pass to Saunders), and then punch it in when we kick the field goal (off the turnover), I mean, we get off to a fast start and I think we’re rolling. After that I think we just had a hard time executing and I think I just attribute it to some missed throws and just not putting the ball where it needs to be and just not executing properly.”

The half concluded in perfectly miserable fashion, too. After Hasan Defense picked off a deep Bowman pass, giving him and the unit KU’s second takeaway of the game, the junior defensive back returned his pick 37 yards, giving KU’s offense one last shot at Tech’s 41-yard line with 10 seconds left until intermission.

“Took a quick look up at that clock and it was like, 10, 15 seconds or something. I just tried to get us close to field goal range. If I couldn’t get it I was going to throw it back to somebody so we could get it as a team,” Defense explained of the sequence. “Hopefully something lucky will happen.”

Instead, at Tech’s 41-yard line with 10 seconds left before halftime, Bender threw an incompletion to Khalil Herbert and Williams ran for eight yards to close the second quarter.

“We're disappointed,” Beaty said of the offensive output or lack there of, “because with didn't do enough to help us win. Obviously talking to our players after that, we had a firm understanding of what we were doing. I think everybody felt comfortable there. They were engaged the entire time. It was just a matter of connecting on some of those throws early in the game that were contested, heavy box stuff that we see on tape. We’ve just got to put the ball on that guy, give him the chance, because those turn into big plays.”

Though the third quarter concluded with KU’s first touchdown of the road loss, a 30-yard gem of a connection between Bender and Sims on fourth-and-7, the possessions that preceded it went three-and-out when the Jayhawks needed at least a semblance of something positive offensively in order actually challenge the Red Raiders.

Beaty had a hard time getting over the muddied offensive start and, of course, lack of points off takeaways.

“You score on that first drive, you score on the one we turn it over, might be a different game. Might be a different game. But you don't get to go back, right? You have to go convert on them,” Beaty said. “One of the stats that I'm most disappointed in today is that we got three turnovers from our defense and we were able to get three points out of it.”

While KU’s offense faltered, Tech eventually found a rhythm in Bowman’s return. The true freshman went 34 of 46 through the air for 408 yards and three touchdowns, with the one interception. He often feasted by finding too-tall receivers for KU’s secondary to cover, such as 6-foot-5 Antoine Wesley (nine catches, 155 yards, TD) and 6-6 T.J. Vasher (five catches, 79 yards, TD).

“They did their job offensively,” Beaty said of the Red Raiders. “We didn't do the job there. That falls on me.”

KU returns to Lawrence next week to face TCU (3-4, 1-3).


Marc Frey 1 year, 3 months ago

I am so tired of this. Same results, same press quotes for 8 years.

Len Shaffer 1 year, 3 months ago

You said it, Marc. But hey, at least Beaty got rid of that horrible play-caller Meacham, right? Made a huge difference, didn't it?

Dane Pratt 1 year, 3 months ago

In hindsight, may have been better to reassign Meacham instead of firing him.

Layne Pierce 1 year, 3 months ago

What has Beatty got against Carter Stanley, let's face it. Bender gives us less of a chance to win. We need a qb who can run, he is actually more accurate than Bender, which means we have more 3rd down completions, and we keep the ball away more from monster offenses.

Fire the Offensive coordinator, don't play other qbs when it is obviousl. Why is Stanley not playing. A few games ago, he looked great, and Beatty did not even want to give him credit for it.

Let's get this over with, and move on.


David Kemp 1 year, 3 months ago

Irregardless, tech has a true fr qb who made us laughable with 408 yards

Micky Baker 1 year, 3 months ago

That's what you said before WVU, and he didn't against WVU.

Michael Maris 1 year, 3 months ago

Steven Sims expressed how the team feels. And, if AD Long can't sense the players frustrations, then Girod hired the wrong individual for the AD job. So many young innovative coaches in the P5 Conference's, it's not even funny. Yet, Kansas has struck out again (in their quest for a HC). Watching a 3-3 Purdue team knock off the #2 team in the nation. And, here we fans are having to put up with the crap we're seeing week in and week out. UCF Head Coach might like a chance to stick it to Castiglione for allowing Stoops to fire him (instead of his younger brother a few years ago). So, Kingsbury rearend was on the hotseat at the beginning of the season. But, he went and hired David Gibbs to turn around their defense. Now, Kingsbury team is setting pretty dang good position in the conference. Beaty fired Meacham to secure his seat for the rest of the season (for what purpose?). This program is NOT improving, and is a damn disgrace.

Dale Kroening 1 year, 3 months ago

I've kept quiet about Beaty until now , but he's got to go . He's had his chance . This team is digressing instead of improving and this QB carousel is ridiculous . Its time to clean house . Same crap every game .

Len Shaffer 1 year, 3 months ago

I'm waiting, Beaty supporters. Common, let's hear your excuses this time. We're all haters, right? Keegan is just doing hatchet jobs on Beaty, right? Where are you ...

Len Shaffer 1 year, 3 months ago

BTW, one of my favorite moments came with something like 8:50 to go in the second quarter, when KU had a fourth and 8 at the TT 39. KU was going to go for it but then waited until the play clock had almost expired and called timeout, and then punted. How many freakin' times have we seen that? Is it truly IMPOSSIBLE for Beaty to make a decision like that without calling timeout?????

But that's not the part that really galled me. It's that Beaty was standing next to the referee waiting to call the timeout until the clock had ticked down to almost nothing -- in other words, he was acting like he was about to kick the game-winning field goal and wanted the clock to be as low as possible so the other team couldn't come back. Of course KU happened to be behind at the time and, like I said, this was IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SECOND QUARTER!!! I remember Beaty doing something similar a couple of years ago, and I posted something about it then but no one responded. It's one of the most bizarre, inexplicable things I've ever seen. If Beaty did decide that it was truly impossible for him to make a decision whether to go for it or punt without using a timeout, then why on earth wouldn't he call the timeout IMMEDIATELY?!?!?!? Why would he act like there are only a few seconds left in the game and stand next to the ref waiting to call timeout? I would LOVE to get an explanation from someone -- Bueller? Bueller? Anyone?

Sorry for the long rant, but I just can't help myself. Being a terrible coach is bad enough, but doing things that make absolutely no sense whatsoever puts Beaty in a truly special category.

Steve Corder 1 year, 3 months ago

No need to apologize, Len. You're spot-on.

Bill Kackley 1 year, 3 months ago

My point on Keagan wasn't that he was wrong just that you don't have to beat a dead horse to death. Beaty is a terrible game coach who favors a terrible game qb.

Jeff Coffman 1 year, 3 months ago

What do you mean...he is still the coach. Beaty has been a "dead horse" for over a year now and we keep beating him; hoping that he'll get up and run.

Bill Kackley 1 year, 3 months ago

Maybe eshould have cheated like it looks like basketball has been doing. If Self or any of his coaches are guilty, they need to be fired immediately.

Brad Avery 1 year, 3 months ago

I clicked in this morning to see if David had been advised to look for alternative employment opportunities, only to be disappointed again. Even the previous AD had the fortitude to get rid of Charlie Weis after it was more than apparent that ship was sinking. Beaty's ship is comfortably resting on the bottom, and for the immediate future, I don't care who coaches the team, as long as it is not Beaty.

Andy Godwin 1 year, 3 months ago

The two things that needed to improve dramatically this year for KU to have success on offense, was the offensive line and the QB. Obviously that has not happened. This is Beaty’s last year. Whether he is fired on Monday or the end of the season will make little difference regarding wins and losses this season.

Kevin Robert Fest 1 year, 3 months ago

I'm so glad we picked up that new offensive coordinator, our offense really looked crisp and other than Williams the Jayhawks didn't have anything really going on offense, I know he fumbled at the goal line but most of the time you saw receivers running the wrong route, not on the same page with Bender, some of them were running the routes Bender threw the ball their heads weren't even turned in the right direction. They weren't looking for the ball. How many times are our receivers going to run a 5 yd pattern when its 3rd and 8. Madening. Our corners and safeties are struggling, how many times can you see a wide open receiver on 3rd down. Another week, same problems. Lee's targeting was tough. But not the reason for the blowout. Beaty is a joke. I don't think firing him at this point would do any good, every game from here on is going to probably be a blowout, so if there is an interm coach or coach clueless what's the difference?

Steve Corder 1 year, 3 months ago

.....the difference? You don't have to watch, read nor listen to that which is the reason for the sorry state of KU football.

Jerry Walker 1 year, 3 months ago

Stayed in bed all morning just to pass the time

There's something wrong here, there can be no denying

One of us is changing

Or maybe we just stopped trying

And it's too late, baby, now it's too late

Though we really did try to make it

Something inside has died

And I can't hide and I just can't fake it

Maybe Carole King should have been named the new AD?

Chandler Accipiter 1 year, 3 months ago

Whenever any team calls a time out before punting, it will now and forever be known as a "Beaty." That will be a fitting tribute to his legacy.

Brett Hathaway 1 year, 3 months ago

I read a post saying Beaty mentioned he needs more time, another couple years, to turn this program around.. WTF man? And its going to be difficult to win games with our offense when the defense is giving up 40+ points a game. My head is spinning….

David Kemp 1 year, 3 months ago

Yes but let’s be honest defense has produced 21 turnovers in 7 games vs 9 all last season. Offense has completely botched everything the defense has given it. I would say defense has played well enough to give us an opportunity in the first half’s but offense is so bad that second half is meaningless. I do believe defense gets demoralized by second half and it shows.

Brett Hathaway 1 year, 3 months ago

Good point, second half our offense seems to wake up, and the defense seems out of steam. Demoralized is a good term for it. I feel for these guys, Dineen is an animal. I'm going to the KState game and hopefully its a showdown! Hoping its snowy (doubtful) and cold as hell!!

Jeff Coffman 1 year, 3 months ago

Beaty has routinely thought he could do the role of every assistant or position coach better than that individual. Every time he blamed the issues on that coach, fired them and took over those responsibilities, every time it has worked out worse.

Town Thomas 1 year, 3 months ago

As an alumnus, I have stopped taking any phone calls from Lawrence KS for fundraising. I believe I am not alone.

Dane Pratt 1 year, 3 months ago

Hope you're alone. Really bad idea and extremely poor reasoning to punish an entire university over the failings of the football team. Get a grip.

Randy Bombardier 1 year, 3 months ago

I am going to keep supporting this team regardless of what the administration decides to do. Change will probably come but until then I support Kansas football.

Brandel Chamb 1 year, 3 months ago

Keep checking this morning to see if any firings have occurred. Disappointed once again.

Brett Hathaway 1 year, 3 months ago

Hahahahahaaaa!! Aint gonna happen compadre...

Andy Tweedy 1 year, 3 months ago

I think you're right, and I'm really not sure firing anybody any sooner would really accomplish much. The most wanted coaches aren't going to come here just cuz we talk to them earlier, so what's the hurry?

Jeremy Wilhm 1 year, 3 months ago

I am convinced that Beaty won’t be fired until the end of the season because Long is going to clean house completely. If Beaty is fired early and the interim coach happens to win a couple of games (at K-State and maybe Iowa State) then it would be difficult not to make the interim coach the new head coach.

Unfortunately, this means that Bowen is gone too. I hope he lands on his feet somewhere.

Michael Maris 1 year, 3 months ago

Bowen should be offered the Jayhawks Analyst Radio job. I realize that a blowout game doesn't give the radio personalities a lot of good stuff to talk about. But, I listened to the radio broadcast late in the game. And, the 2 guys were just chatting about random stuff (like the Orange Bowl game against Penn. St., etc....). Perhaps, Bowen can give better detail about the previous plays much better than what I heard yesterday.

Aaron Paisley 1 year, 3 months ago

Bowen is a terrible coordinator. This is only the second time he's made the defense look good during the entirety of his multiple tenures as DC at KU. The only other time he made the defense look good was when he had Dave Campo mentoring him when Weis was here.

Mike Bennett 1 year, 3 months ago

He needs to clean house, but he can do that regardless of whether he fires Beaty. I was really hoping to wake up today and find out he had been fired.

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