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Saturday, September 15, 2018

Jayhawks pummel Rutgers, 55-14

Kansas safety Bryce Torneden (1) runs in a touchdown after intercepting a Rutgers pass during the first quarter on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas safety Bryce Torneden (1) runs in a touchdown after intercepting a Rutgers pass during the first quarter on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.

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For the first time since 2011, members of the Kansas football team can say they’ve won back-to-back games.

The Jayhawks followed their road losing streak-killing victory at Central Michigan by closing nonconference play with a 55-14 home drubbing of Rutgers on Saturday.

Although Peyton Bender started at quarterback, Miles Kendrick (6-for-11 passing, 66 yards, one touchdown throw and one rushing TD), subbed in on multiple possessions in the first half and replaced Bender (8-for-12 passing, 73 yards) in the second half.

Neither QB, though, needed to do much for the offense, as the Jayhawks rushed for 400 yards in a rout.

Here’s a quick look back at some of the action:

• The game turned when: The Jayhawks, just like they did at Central Michigan a week earlier, made takeaways look easy.

It all began on Rutgers’ second possession of the game, when KU junior safety Bryce Torneden picked off an ill-advised Artur Sitkowski pass and promptly took off in the opposite direction for a 39-yard touchdown return.

By the end of the first quarter, KU’s defense already has three takeaways.

Then, a minute into the second, safety Mike Lee came through with the Jayhawks’ second pick-six, taking another Sitkowski misfire 31 yards for a TD.

Lee’s score put KU ahead 24-7, and by halftime the Jayhawks led 31-14, a margin padded greatly by four first-half takeaways — Willie McCaleb and Torneden recovered RU fumbles.

• Offensive highlight: It didn’t even result in a score, but freshman running back Pooka Williams, playing inside David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium for the first time, gave the fans quite a show on one play in particular.

After breaking a run outside and down the left sideline, the freshman tried to jump completely over a defender, and nearly pulled it off.

Isaiah Wharton realized an airborne Williams’ intentions just in time to shove him out of bounds. The leap ended with Williams losing the ball but it, too, fell out of play, resulting in a 25-yard run and jump.

None by Pooka.gif

With the help of a 56-yard rushing TD to open the fourth quarter, the freshman from Louisiana finished with 158 yards on the ground.

• Defensive highlight: With so many key plays made by the takeaway-happy defense, it was difficult for just one to stand out.

However, the determination by Lee on his interception return set it apart.

Lee could have just plowed ahead after securing the pick, but he saw an opening and decided to break back across the field and see what he could make happen. He followed his fellow defenders and made some cutbacks that gave the already confident Jayhawks even more juice.

• Key stat: Kansas (2-1) finished the victory with six takeaways.

The turnovers fueled what proved to be a relatively easy home win, which aren’t exactly a regular occurrence for the program.

• Up next: The Jayhawks open Big 12 play at Baylor next week.

SCORING PLAYS

FIRST QUARTER

11:22 — Gabriel Rui 49 field goal. Six-play drive for 41 yards, in 1:57. (KU 3, RU 0.)

10:30 — Bryce Torneden 39 interception return. Rui kick. (KU 10, RU 0.)

9:06 — Deonte Roberts 64 return of blocked field goal. (KU 10, RU 7.)

4:46 — Jeremiah Booker 6 pass from Miles Kendrick. Rui kick. Ten-play drive for 75 yards, in 4:20. (KU 17, RU 7.)

SECOND QUARTER

14:10 — Mike Lee 33 interception return. Rui kick. (KU 24, RU 7.)

3:07 — Jonathan Hilliman 2 run. Justin Davidovicz kick. Nine-play drive for 86 yards, in 2:58. (KU 24, RU 14.)

2:29 — Khalil Herbert 59 run. Rui kick. Two-play drive for 75 yards, in 0:38. (KU 31, RU 14.)

THIRD QUARTER

6:08 — Kendrick 8 run. Rui kick. Five-play drive for 25 yards, in 1:34. (KU 38, RU 14.)

3:38 — Rui 34 field goal. Five-play drive for 19 yards, in 1:21. (KU 41, RU 14.)

FOURTH QUARTER

14:51 — Pooka Williams 52 run. Liam Jones kick. Five-play drive for 66 yards, in 2:09. (KU 48, RU 14.)

9:28 — Deron Thompson 55 run. Jones kick. Six-play drive for 82 yards, in 2:59. (KU 55, RU 14.)

Comments

Randy Bombardier 1 week, 3 days ago

Not sure why Dom Williams is getting more carries than Herbert.

Great unexpected performance. Offense starting gel. Defense flying to ball. Cautiously optimistic.

Blake Phillips 1 week, 3 days ago

If Beaty wins 2 big 12 games and at least is competing against the powerhouses..... probably should give him one last year to show what he can do with his guys.

Dale Rogers 1 week, 3 days ago

Where are all the Beaty haters? Surely someone out there thinks with a different coach this would have been a 72-0 blowout, right? Let's start with Keegan.

Duane S Boor 1 week, 3 days ago

We still lost to a mid teen ranked FCS Team Nicholls State, never should have happened to a P5 conference team. IMO the verdict is still undecided on the wins over CMU and Rutgers. The litmus test is next weekend against Baylor do we get blown out, do we compete, do we compete and win? All these past two weeks have done is just turned down the heat on Beaty's seat. There is wayyyy too much football left in the year to be making any judgement calls about this coaching staff. I remember Terry Allen being able to get talent but couldn't coach that talent against stronger teams. With that said...great game and win for the boys in blue.....RCJH!

Dale Rogers 1 week, 3 days ago

Actually, I agree with you, Duane. My comment was merely to note the relative silence of the Beaty haters. But, it's only a very short time since end of the game....

Dirk Medema 1 week, 3 days ago

Terry Allen was not getting P5 talent, and there have been articles about him not even recruiting that talent because he said we weren't capable of getting them. He was a good lower division coach that didn't even try to be an elite coach recruiting elite players. I'm recalling Lockett or Sprouls or one of those purple kitties in particular that wanted to be a Jayhawk and he refused. Don't rewrite history to serve your purpose.

The verdict is still out on this season, but it is very definitely in on the multiple people who said Coach Beaty didn't even deserve a chance this year.

Aaron Paisley 1 week, 3 days ago

There's still a lot of work to do on offense. KU left a lot of points out there on the field today. Each of the blocked FG's should've ended up as KU touchdowns so a 69-7 final score would've happened with a better team.

I think it should be clear to everyone that progress has been made, especially on defense and that Pooka Williams is a game changer, but let's not pretend like the QB play was anything to write home about.

CMU and Rutgers are both really bad teams and KU hasn't blown out bad teams in awhile, but Baylor is a big step up next week on both sides of the ball compared to anything KU has seen so far.

I don't think it's unrealistic at this point for KU to win a couple of Big 12 games, but David Beaty still has plenty of work to do to save his job for next season.

Dale Rogers 1 week, 3 days ago

I agree with you, too. I didn't mean to imply I now anoint Beaty as the answer for the future, simply trying to imply that having good players makes a difference. I wonder how the Nicholls game might have changed with Pooka in the game. Probably not a win but....

I do, however, think Beaty needs this year to show the fruition (or not) of all he has done. And then there's next season when all our seniors are gone...

Dirk Medema 1 week, 3 days ago

The Nichols game changes if Sims can hold on to a perfectly thrown TD pass.

Newell had a well thought out and written article about some of the game mismanagement that unfortunately still plagues Coach Beaty and staff. It is worth recognizing that Coach Beaty is still growing into a Head Coach. He clearly wasn't prepared to be when he started, but it is unlikely that anyone that was prepared was going to come here for the $800k he accepted and an entire staff budget smaller than some coordinators make by themselves. While Beaty, Bowen and Perry have all been here for 4 years, most of the staff is still new - individually and collectively, so it would seem reasonable that there are still some growing pains.

To their credit, they did recognize the talent of the team, and have retooled the offense to capitalize on the RB's. That's a huge change for Coach Meachem in particular.

Joe Ross 1 week, 3 days ago

RE: "Beaty still has plenty of work to do to save his job for next season."

Yes, indeed. That's the take home message. There has been improvement enough to not get creamed by cupcakes anymore, evidently; but that is a different matter entirely than being competitive in Big 12 games.

I've been watching the Baylor game this afternoon, and don't look now, but Baylor has never been more beatable in the Beaty era than they are this year.

Gerry Butler 1 week, 3 days ago

Oh be careful , watch out their lurking in the bushes. Just wait at the 1st sign of trouble - man they gonna be all over it. They just in hiding right now.

Jeff Coffman 1 week, 3 days ago

You mean losing to a FCS team 2 out of 4 years? Please remember that Coach Beaty set the win total at 6 wins last year and only won 1...this year I hope you expect to win 6 again, if not he has even lowered your standards.

Randy Bombardier 1 week, 3 days ago

Dale, there are not a lot of Beaty haters, just disillusioned fans who have been pretty patient I think. They've been waiting for a win like today for a long long time. Why don't you just shut your mouth and let us all enjoy the victory.

Dirk Medema 1 week, 3 days ago

There most definitely have been haters. Disillusioned is accurate, but doesn't change the hate also.

Steven Haag 1 week, 3 days ago

Aaron, I agree. We definitely look better and I think we are better, but lots of work to do on offense. Over half the Big XII teams have good run defenses. When we can’t pile up 300+ yards on offense, can we protect the quarterback. Secondly, can the quarterback throw an accurate pass. If the answer is no, we won’t win unless we continue to get 6 takeaways per game. With that said, GREAT win. They are getting some confidence and I am very cautiously optimistic that we are headed in the right direction. If we want to start securing some recruits for next year, Long needs to make a decision on Beaty in the next two to three weeks, IMO.

Gerry Butler 1 week, 3 days ago

I'm also in the cautiously optimistic area. - - -Defense has for sure improved - - to a point anyways. Haven't really had the stiffest competition but not matter 9 take aways ALL of last year already 13 this year back to back 6 take aways. Next week will be the challenge. - -Baylor really good speed will be tested for sure - -good receivers although today lot of drops. - I think the question is for them loos like their QB'S aren't quite as good as in the past. Agree again you can look forward to Big 12 teams loading the box on defense - they gonna force KU to throw the ball. - -Can our QB'S do that with any kind of consistency? - -Can the O-Line hold up protect against big 12 defense's - we shall see

Brett Hathaway 1 week, 3 days ago

Baylor is def beatable.. I thought Iowa St and Texas could possible be wins, but not after their numbers yesterday. Whew boy! Its going to be very scrappy from here on out, hoping we can get 3 more wins someway, somehow.. Whatcha thinking?

Kevin Robert Fest 1 week, 3 days ago

Can't expect every team to have that many turnovers every game like CMU and Rutgers but KU defense got them and turned them into points and helped the offense do the same. If KU can run the ball and qbs can manage the game and keep games close, that's all one can hope for coming into Big 12 play. Watch the height of your horse Dale, Beaty is not Saban just yet after these 2 wins. Still conference play to go and hopefully not too many blow outs. I'd feel pretty good if we were still in most games in the 4th qtr, win or lose. Being competitive at this point is progress. If Pooka can maintain this in conference play Hull should be given his name in the ring of honor lol. What a steal he could be. Hopefully more LA kids see Lee, Pooka, Harris playing early at KU.

Dirk Medema 1 week, 3 days ago

Speaking of heights, were you on top of the pile saying Beaty shouldn't even have been given a chance this year? That it was all a waste?

Kevin Robert Fest 1 week, 3 days ago

We will see when conference play starts Dale, he was well below average against Nich St and in the 1st half against Central Michigan, I'm not gonna coronate him after a game and a half. We LOST to Nich St remember and they got creamed against Tulane and needed the 2nd half to pull away from a bad CMICH team. The last 3 years speak for themselves, so a game and a half does not a season make. Conference play is the test. We shall see. Personally l still don't think he is head coach material moving forward. Nice game today but time to move out of the kiddie pool and into the deep end. Wow he now has 5 wins. Breakout the extention.

Micky Baker 1 week, 3 days ago

Not unexpected, but moving the goal posts 20 yards further down the field and asking for a 65 yard fg now, instead of just a 45 yard fg.

Tracey Graham 1 week, 3 days ago

Kansas has had 12 takeaways and ZERO giveaways in these two wins. That's crazy.

Dirk Medema 1 week, 3 days ago

I'm guessing we're leading the nation now. I think we were top ten going into this game.

For all the blems, there have been a number of championship teams that have won with mediocre O and great D. Not as much at the collegiate level, but winning nonetheless.

Credit to the coaches for emphasizing it over the past off-season, not that we want to do anything crazy like give credit to coaches, but these are still mostly the same players from last year.

Aaron Paisley 1 week, 3 days ago

Defense wins championships at all levels, even college. Alabama's current dynasty is because of their defense.

A great offense can win a team a lot of games, but at the end of the day, it'll will be a great defensive team winning a championship than not winning one.

Dale Rogers 1 week, 3 days ago

Don't we technically have one turnover, a recovered "fumble" that the replays showed more likely was an incomplete pass even though the official review held up the call as a fumble and recovery? Still, the turnover ratio has been much, much, much better than recent seasons. So far... and I do understand that is not likely to hold up as well in Big12 play. But it's much better than even the non-conference games in recent seasons. And that makes for a little hope that there will be a Big12 win or two coming up for us.

Dane Pratt 1 week, 3 days ago

Seems like the blocked kick should be a turnover.

Chandler Accipiter 1 week, 3 days ago

For the record: when you count the Texas game along with the last two weeks, Beaty is 3-0 as a head coach when KU gets 6 turnovers.

Brad Watson 1 week, 3 days ago

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!....FANTASTIC....THAT BALL HAWK DEFENSE!!!!!!!...Another great Saturday night ahead!

Bryson Stricker 1 week, 3 days ago

Well luckily today put an end to the “I don’t see 2 wins crowd”.

Looking forward to the I don’t see three crowd to be gone as well.

See you guys next season!

Kevin Robert Fest 1 week, 3 days ago

When do we get to look forward to l don't see Bryson anymore.

John Myers 1 week, 3 days ago

FWIW I’d way rather have you leave than Bryson.

Kevin Robert Fest 1 week, 3 days ago

Lol who asked you anyway John. Oh that's right...No one I'll be here more now that l know you are such a fan

Dale Rogers 1 week, 3 days ago

A quote from an nj.com article ...

"he Scarlet Knights came to Kansas and got run out of the building by the team that was supposed to be -- emphasis on supposed to be -- the worst Power 5 team in the country. I think, after the Jayhawks' 55-14 victory, we clearly know which program has earned that title now. "

The article...

https://www.nj.com/rutgersfootball/index.ssf/2018/09/rutgers-kansas_politis_5_observations.html

Dane Pratt 1 week, 3 days ago

If it makes them feel any better we are still the worst P5 team this decade.

Brian Wilson 1 week, 3 days ago

Before the season I predicted 4. After the Nichols loss I was ready to give up. Now, Beatty has me on the bubble again. Great job and good game KU!! RCJHKU keep up the good work!

Randy Bombardier 1 week, 3 days ago

Anything is possible but i hope that this is finally the year where after conference play starts we show resilience and can bounce back after a loss. Every game will be tough. Who's going to be tougher? We did not play perfect football today but we played well. If we play tough, are sound then we will win some games. Now is the time to be United as fans. The future is not in our hands. Let's leave it there.

Brad Watson 1 week, 3 days ago

My opinion of Coach is changing for the better....I have been pretty tough on him....hanging 55 on anyone is amazing stuff.....keep BALL HAWKIN' and who knows what this team can do....looking forward to next week!

Len Shaffer 1 week, 3 days ago

A couple of thoughts that I haven't seen from others:

  1. With all the well-deserved attention the defense has been receiving for causing so many turnovers, the offense also deserves a tremendous amount of credit for not turning the ball over. Even though the offense has looked shaky at times, not turning the ball over has been a tremendous improvement from recent years.

  2. One of the things that I love about watching Pooka run is that he's so good at turning a potential loss of yardage into a short gain. I think those types of runs are almost as important as the breakout runs.

Len Shaffer 1 week, 3 days ago

Oh, and one more thing: I predicated a 24-21 KU victory, and I will gladly accept a mea culpa for being wrong on this one. I also didn't expect KU to win more than one game all season after they lost to Nicholls, so I'm thrilled to be wrong on that as well. Now let's hope the 'Hawks can really shame me by having a solid Big XII season.

Lawrence McGlinn 1 week, 3 days ago

I have said that I think Beaty is incompetent, but I have never hated the man. I have plenty of things to do, so I would not comment here if I did not love KU sports. This is a strange situation because no one, at any FBS school, has gotten a 4th year after three like he had, at least not in the last 30 years. I checked. We also know that he loaded up on upperclassmen this year, so it is all new territory, and I still don't think it is sustainable. But it is nice to see the Jayhawks win a couple in convincing fashion. I would like nothing better than to see us win some games in the Big 12 and have Beaty as our coach for the next 20 years. But I still don't think that will happen. I predicted two wins before the season, and now I would guess we win one Big 12 game, so three. It would be a great story, though, if Beaty and company could get back to respectability after an historically bad three-year stretch. It's heart vs head at this point.

Dale Rogers 1 week, 3 days ago

Several here have mentioned they are not "haters" of Beaty. In reflection on my original post, my choice of terms was not good. My intent was to refer to those who have repeatedly called for him to be fired. I apologize for the use of a term that conveyed a different message than I intended.

Jeff Coffman 1 week, 3 days ago

I've said all along if he doesn't go 3-0 in the Preseason he should be fired. If you think I have changed my mind, you are incorrect. He should be terminated. Remember even as such he has yet to earn one incentive in an incentive laden contract.

He set the bar at 6 wins last year, please don't lower it this year.

Mike Hart 1 week, 2 days ago

Ok... so coming off the high and momentum of 2 consecutive wins... not to mention the end of the 9 year, 46 game losing streak: Your recommendation is that he be fired now for not starting 3-0. Right, that's just the kind of boost this program needs right now. Comical...

Randy Bombardier 1 week, 3 days ago

Thanks Dale. Sorry I said shut your mouth. My panties were in a wad.😁

Brad Watson 1 week, 3 days ago

See you all in Waco...just got my tics!...Unwatchable for many years...now...not only watchable...I'm headed to Waco!

Jim Keen 1 week, 3 days ago

Would love to be in WACO. We WILL be in Morgantown on Oct 6th. RCJH!

Richie Wilson 1 week, 3 days ago

Buy one get one free tickets and still only 28,000, this fan base is jaded.

Kevin Robert Fest 1 week, 3 days ago

After the last 3 years, you think one win over CMU was supposed to bring out the masses?

David Kemp 1 week, 2 days ago

2 things will jump this crowd up substantially. 1) a win at Baylor 2) another big game by Pooka

David Kemp 1 week, 2 days ago

Pooka success translates into crowd favorite and growing fan base.

Randy Bombardier 1 week, 2 days ago

Don't forget Herbert. What a deadly tandem. Herbert and Pooka at the same time. Also looking for big game for Sims. He's been too quiet.

Jack Hoff 1 week, 2 days ago

I think this Baylor game really could be looked at as the opportunity for KU to really turn the corner with this program. A win on the road to a conference opponent I think would reduce the skepticism so many still have and would really bring out the fans for their next home game. A big home crowd, a great atmosphere and who knows what can happen from there. I think this is a make or break moment for this team. A win Saturday and could see them gaining the momentum to start winning games they may have no business winning. Lets hope for the best rockchalk!!

Kevin Robert Fest 1 week, 2 days ago

Here's the thing. Beat the teams your supposed to beat. They should have beaten NichSt. At this point Baylor can be a team we should beat. They are very young and have a lot of inexperience players. If we beat them the players keep the momentum going, if not then we know where the team stands. Beat Baylor and then maybe #7 #8 teams in conference and hope for a miracle against Ok, TCU etc.

Good wins last 2 games but, Cmich and Rutgers are somehow worse than us. Big game this weekend to see where we really stand.

Freddie Garza 1 week, 1 day ago

We've got a 2 game winning streak going, quick, somebody call Bill Belichick or Jim Harbaugh to see if they want Beaty's job!

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