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Saturday, August 31, 2019

Quick recap: KU football defeats Indiana State to begin Les Miles era

Kansas head coach Les Miles talks to assistant coaches through the radio Saturday at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium Saturday afternoon at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium on Aug. 31, 2019.

Kansas head coach Les Miles talks to assistant coaches through the radio Saturday at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium Saturday afternoon at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium on Aug. 31, 2019.

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It wasn’t always pretty, but the Les Miles era got off on the right foot.

After surrendering a late lead, the Kansas football team got the last laugh by scoring on its final drive to secure a 24-17 win over Indiana State Saturday afternoon at the David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.

Redshirt senior quarterback Carter Stanley and senior receiver Daylon Charlot linked up for 22-yard touchdown connection with 2:20 left in the contest. The Jayhawks then converted on a two-point try via a double reverse pass from Andrew Parchment to Jack Luavasa.

The score and two-point trickery were both necessary after a fumble recovery gave the Sycamores a 17-16 lead with 4:24 left in the game. Yet, given the fact the Jayhawks lost twice to an FCS foe under the previous head coach, Saturday’s showing was at least a step in the right direction.

Stanley, who earned the start, played the entire game under center even though Miles hinted that he might shuffle his signal callers. Stanley went 20-for-29 through the air for 241 yards and two touchdowns.

The running game was a focal point of KU’s offense, even without sophomore running back Pooka Williams Jr. Senior Khalil Herbert had a 33-yard run on the team’s first offensive play of the game, finishing with 88 yards on 17 carries.

Kansas’ defense, which is replacing a ton of production along the front seven, made enough plays to contain Indiana State’s offense. Senior defensive end Darius Moragne was effective, recording a sack and a quarterback hurry to go along with his seven tackles on the day.

The performance was not completely mistake-free, of course. KU’s defense was called for a delay of game at one point in the first half. On a punt return, Hasan Defense was hit with an unsportsmanlike penalty that ruined one of Kansas’ drives before it even started.

Still, given the fact the Jayhawks haven’t won more than three games in a season since 2009, this program should appreciate any victory. The Les Miles era, unlike the David Beaty tenure before him, at least started off in the win column.

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

• The game turned when: While the game ultimately was close down the stretch, this sequence proved to be crucial in the second half.

Entering the season opener, much was rightfully made about the Sycamores’ ability to take care of the rock. In 2018, Indiana State ranked No. 1 in the FCS in fewest turnovers. ISU threw just three interceptions all season.

But the momentum swung in the second half when Indiana State quarterback Ryan Boyle threw his second interception of the afternoon. Trailing 10-3 after a sluggish first half by both squads, Indiana State appeared poised to score and put pressure on the Jayhawks in their first game in the Les Miles era.

With pressure on first down, Boyle fired a pass toward the end zone. Kansas senior safety Jeremiah McCullough picked the pass off to spoil a promising drive. The Jayhawks proceeded to march down the field and add to their lead.

None by We Good?

• Offensive highlight: KU’s first offensive score of the 2019 season created some much-needed breathing room against a FCS foe. And it was done by an unlikely suspect.

Kansas senior tight end James Sosinski recorded his first-career touchdown, hauling in a 10-yard reception from quarterback Carter Stanley. After a lengthy review, which was checking for offensive pass interference, the play ultimately stood.

It allowed Sosinski, who previously was a member of the Kansas men’s basketball team, to accomplish a rare feat. Sosinski has now both scored in a college football game as well as a NCAA Final Four game in the men’s basketball tournament.

None by We Good?

It served as the first offensive score under Miles, who has a history of using tight ends.

• Defensive highlight: One of KU’s biggest highlights came on the defensive end early in the first half. And, of course, it was made by the veteran Kansas secondary.

The Jayhawks, who averaged 2.25 turnovers forced per game last season, scored the first points of the Les Miles era via a takeaway. On Indiana State’s first offensive drive, senior cornerback Hasan Defense took advantage of an errant pass by quarterback Ryan Boyle.

Defense was off to the races after an interception on 2nd-and-3, bursting down the sideline for a 57-yard interception return. Defense now has 192 career interception return yards, which ranks second in program history.

None by Kansas Football

It was a fitting outcome following a strong showing in the turnover department last season. In 2018, the Jayhawks were tied for the eighth-best mark in all of FBS in that category and led all Big 12 teams with 27 turnovers gained.

• Up next: Kansas will play host to Coastal Carolina at 6 p.m. Saturday.

SCORING SUMMARY

FIRST QUARTER

8:41 — Hasan Defense 57 interception return. Liam Jones kick. (KU 7, ISU 0.)

SECOND QUARTER

6:17 — Liam Jones 36 field goal. Nine-play drive for 55 yards, in 3:09. (KU 10, ISU 0.)

0:01 — Jerry Nunez 20 field goal. Nine-play drive for 60 yards, in 1:46. (KU 10, ISU 3.)

THIRD QUARTER

8:40 — James Sosinski 10 pass from Carter Stanley. Jones kick failed. Seven-play drive for 87 yards, in 3:05. (KU 16, ISU 3.)

FOURTH QUARTER

10:52 — Dante Jones II 26 pass from Ryan Boyle. Nunez kick. Fourteen-play drive for 77 yards, in 6:08. (KU 16, ISU 10.)

4:24 — Inoke Moala fumble recovery in the end zone. Nunez kick. (ISU 17, KU 16.)

2:20 — Daylon Charlot 22 pass from Stanley. Jack Luavasa pass from Andrew Parchment. Eight-play drive for 75 yards, in 2:04. (KU 24, ISU 17.)

Comments

2 weeks, 5 days ago

"5-6 wins this yr" 🤣👌 ill have what yall r smokin

Jeff Coffman 2 weeks, 4 days ago

Next week Should be a win.

Boston College on the road, will be a test.

3 First year head coaches with their teams at home this year, including one that won 20-13 against James Madison. Iowa State won against UNI in 3OT at home. Let's hope that the trend goes upward.

Ryan Shelton 2 weeks, 5 days ago

We would have lost that game last year. The difference was coaching. We didn't have the head-scratching timeouts or delays of game from late plays coming in. Furthermore, there was a calm on that last drive that we just didn't see last year. Part of that was Carter Stanley being the competitor we know he is, but that calm resonated from Coach Miles and was good to see. It was like he wasn't worried. On a different note, Parchment is a beast! He and Charlot make a pretty good WR duo. I can't wait to see what our offense looks like next when we get Pooka back now.

Richard Hernandez 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Yep.we would have lost that game last year and the year before that! But not this year! It's early but a win is always a good way to start!

Barry Weiss 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Nice to start off with a win, especially so since there are not projected to be a lot of those this year. Having Pooka back should be a big boost next week. Iowa State needed OT to win, so maybe that could be a conference win.

Doug Wallace 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Yeah definitely in this case a win is a win!I agree with previous coaches this would have been a loss!

RCJH!Its a small but yet big step due to what has happened in the past!Glad we start of with a win!

Brian Skelly 2 weeks, 5 days ago

We're still clearly talent deficient, but I'll parrot the sentiment that the last few years we would have lost this game. Im not overly impressed with our offense or defense though. And this was a mid-tier FCS team to boot.
It was heartening to see that Stanley looked good on deeper balls and seam routes. Our offensive line does not look good at all. No where to run for our RBs. I dont think I saw more than one or two "holes" held up by our line all game. I think we're going to have to settle for being more competitive. Wins are going to be hard to come by.

Dale Rogers 2 weeks, 5 days ago

While ISU is FCS, I would not describe them as "mid-tier." They are pre-season #16 in FCS, favored to be at or near the top of the Missouri Valley Conference, and return most of their offense from the team that won it's last 5 games last season. They're a really good FCS team. I'm not saying they'd do well in the Big 12, just that they are not a pushover. I remember at least two national pundits saying that ISU might just upset us. And then there are the Vegas odds, starting out at favoring us by just 3.5 and later by 6. I heard today the game time odds were us by 4.5.

Lucas Town 2 weeks, 5 days ago

The offense needs more. Scored 17 points against an descent FCS team. I agree that there are still deficiencies in the roster. 1-0 is nice!

Dane Pratt 2 weeks, 5 days ago

We've lost to three FCS opponents this decade so I'll take the win ANYWAY we can get it.

Mallory Briggans 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Coach Beatty was overheard sayin after he found out Les Miles won his fisrt game......

Awwww ,,,,,that aint nothing ......i won 6 times as many games as he has at Kansas

so dont get excited .....he will never be the coach i was ......i guarantee it !!!!.....

Joe Ross 2 weeks, 5 days ago

So even though this outcome is understandable, it is nevertheless disappointing. How can that be? Every scenario from Kansas barely eeking out a win to a blowout of Indiana State could have been reasonably argued going into the game; a spectrum of outcomes could have been imagined. But Kansas ended up on the low side of it in terms of performance and production against a team that we could have carved up and probably should have given the FCS status of the opponent. Nevertheless, we will be satisfied for now that we got the W and that the result of the game turned out in our favor rather than something on the order of Nicholls State last year. Sometimes you need to play against other teams to know where you really are and identify areas of improvement, and this is true especially when you have a lot of new pieces at critical positions. But the coaches have some work ahead of them obviously. A lot of it. Pooka's return will help a lot, but the rest of the team has areas which need to be addressed, not the least of which is the protection of the QB and the importance of first and second down production to set up makeable third down situations.

Kansas needs to establish both an identity and a rhythm next week versus Coastal Carolina. Every game is necessary to move toward improvement.

Brett McCabe 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Joe, good overall statement on this game.

Carter Stanley - whew, - that is going to be a major, major limitation if we can’t identify a better option behind center. Mr. Parchment saved our bacon several times and was easily the Offensive Player of the Game. Here’s hoping the QB position is an open competition this week.

The defense actually played very well against an all-conference QB, talented RB and well-tuned offense. Two BIG Int’s, no offensive touchdowns in the first half and some big plays when we really needed it.

The offense was, well, awful. As teams realize we don’t have the arm strength to throw long or to throw with pace on medium-routes, they’ll choke the passing game right out existence.

Awful clock management on the last drive. Two snaps with 20+ seconds left on the play clock, leaving lots of time on the clock for an ISU counter-punch.

It’s a win. I’ll take it. We need major improvement before next Saturday.

Steven Haag 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Good news is...we can compete with FCS competition. Bad news.....we can’t compete with FBS competition. @Brett, coach Miles said Carter was the man behind center moving forward. The realists are excited about coach Miles and Co, but it is going to take time AND we must recruit. I really would like to hear from those saying 5 or 6 wins this year. Do you still feel that way?

Dane Pratt 2 weeks, 4 days ago

Today's performance projected through the next 11 games means we will end the season at 2-10. Let's see if we are playing better in November than in August.

Jeff Coffman 2 weeks, 4 days ago

Does that factor in West Virginia with their brand new coach winning 20-13 against James Madison and we play them at home? Does it include the 3OT win at home by Iowa State over Northern Iowa who we play at home?

We should get next week and by then we should be ready for Boston College, let's play the games.

Jeff Coffman 2 weeks, 4 days ago

The Jayhawks won...that is excellent news. Our coach knows how to make a steady delivery at the end of games. We have a long way to go, but they say that teams improve the most between week 1 and week 2...I see some real opportunities to improve, but I'm guessing our coach knows more than I do of what needs to change.

There were a lot of teams that lost unexpectantly...Tennessee, Ole Miss, likely Missouri and Auburn, just to list 4 of them. However, someone like West Virginia that won 20-13 against James Madison...we play at home.

A win is key and we will be getting better.

Titus Canby 2 weeks, 4 days ago

Overall thoughts:

There is no q-u-i-t in Jayhawks. After the disastrous first 11 minutes of the 4th quarter, these guys could have given up. But they didn't. That last offensive drive was a beauty. And the defense held up their end with the 4-and-out.

Memorial Stadium is the most beautiful setting in college football.

Parchment is a beast. Charlot isn't far behind. I don't remember one dropped pass all day.

Stanley really did not look bad. Except... he had two passes that should have been intercepted. One went right through the defender's hands. The other, the defender tipped to our receiver.

What happened to this offensive line that's reported to be the strength of our team? It opened one or two holes all day, and that was it. Who's the player who said it was going to be a cakewalk?

Replay is a momentum killer. What were they trying to find on Sosinki's touchdown? I didn't see any interference. And WHY didn't they call a horse-collar on the defender tacking Sosinki in the end zone? That was obvious. They looked at it for about 10 minutes and didn't see that?

Overall, except for the receivers and the last drive, we looked horrible. But compared to the previous regime, we won. Yep, we're undefeated!

Dirk Medema 2 weeks, 4 days ago

Interesting that almost 70% completions and no INTs is horrible and needs to be replaced. I didn’t get to see the game but it would seem that QB is not a major problem.

From those that did get to see the game, how much was ISU committed to stopping the run? We’ve been saying for ages that was our strength but really didn’t get big production from it on almost 50/50 play calling. Makes me wonder if ISU picked their poison and it showed.

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