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Coastal Carolina defeats Kansas, 49-22

  • 6:30 p.m., Sept. 10, 2021
  • Brooks Stadium, Conway, S.C. ,

Friday, September 10, 2021

Jayhawks can’t keep up wtih No. 17 Chanticleers at Coastal Carolina

Kansas quarterback Jason Bean (17) carries the football as Coastal Carolina safety Enock Makonzo (43) chases during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Conway, S.C., Friday, Sept. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

Kansas quarterback Jason Bean (17) carries the football as Coastal Carolina safety Enock Makonzo (43) chases during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Conway, S.C., Friday, Sept. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

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Conway, S.C. — Quarterback Jason Bean flashed again for the Kansas football team Friday night at Brooks Stadium, but his scrambling ability and speed in the open field weren’t nearly enough for the Jayhawks to keep up with No. 17 Coastal Carolina.

The first Power Five team ever to play at CCU, KU dropped its road opener, 49-22, in front of 17,697 fans — the largest crowd ever at the 20,000-seat venue.

The game, head coach Lance Leipold’s first defeat at KU, appeared far from over in the third quarter, with KU down six, but Coastal’s spread option attack got on track on CCU’s second series of the second half. Reese White (102 rushing yards) took an option pitch 19 yards for a TD to finish off a 75-yard scoring drive and put the Jayhawks in a 35-22 hole.

The visiting Jayhawks (1-1) looked poised for an answer, but a possession that included a 39-yard bomb from Bean to Trevor Wilson on 3rd and long culminated with no points. CCU (2-0) blocked a 56-yard field goal try by Jacob Borcila, but an offside penalty negated it.

That made it an enticing 4th-and-1 for the KU offense. But Velton Gardner (31 yards, eight carries) dropped a quick swing pass from Bean, and the Jayhawks gave the ball to CCU via a turnover on downs.

Coastal, en route to improving to 3-0 versus KU over the past three seasons, made sure not to waste that gift, and quarterback Grayson McCall (17-for-21 passing, 245 yards, two TDs) led the offense to a 12-play TD drive that concluded in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, all but ending KU’s upset bid and making it a 42-22 game.

After the loss, Leipold said the dropped pass on 4th down likely was the turning point in the midst of a tight game.

“That’s a tough swing,” he said. “You’ve got a chance for it to be a 1st down. I wouldn’t say they were on their heels (defensively), but at least (offensively) we were having success.”

Coastal racked up 460 yards of offense, averaged 7.5 yards per play and converted eight of their nine 3rd downs.

“When your’e that experienced and you’re clicking,” Leipold said of CCU, “there’s just so many things they can dial up off the run game and then complimenting it with the play-action off of it. Then they go in at halftime and add a few more wrinkles. It makes it tough.”

The KU defense gave the team a boost to open the second half, with a three-and-out made possible by super-senior defensive end Kyron Johnson dissecting an option play with precision and wrapping up McCall for a loss.

The offense didn’t let the team down either. It only took three snaps for the Jayhawks to make it a one-score game again. An 18-yard run from Gardner on second down was just the appetizer. On the next play, Bean sprinted out of the backfield and down the left sideline 46 yards for his second rushing TD of the nonconference primetime show. Borcila's extra point cut the CCU lead to 28-22 less than four minutes into the third quarter.

Bean said the team showed some fight in the third, as the Jayhawks tried to avoid flying back to Kansas late Friday night with a loss.

“We stayed in it. We made the plays when we needed to, and I think there were a couple of plays we wish we had back,” Bean said.

Just before halftime, the Chants had an opportunity to add to their lead, but they hurt themselves with a holding penalty. And when KU’s defense secured a three-and-out as a result, Leipold called a timeout with 38 seconds left so the Jayhawks would have a little bit of time on their final series before intermission. But after a quick pass to Luke Grimm for 8 yards, the Jayhawks couldn’t get deep enough into CCU territory to try a long field goal and Bean was under too much pressure on 4th-and-2 to muster a hail Mary.

Bean — who rushed for 102 yards and threw for 189, going 12-for-23 through the air — made sure late in the second quarter the Jayhawks didn’t head to the locker room at halftime on the wrong end of a blowout. The junior QB’s first highlight run of the night went 34 yards for a touchdown, setting up a 28-15 score at intermission.

The Chanticleers led by as many as 19 in the first half, securing that cushion by capitalizing on an aggressive fourth-down try by Leipold and the Jayhawks. After a review negated what was initially ruled a third-down conversion by Bean on a run. 

On fourth-and-inches, Coastal stopped true freshman running back Devin Neal (11 carries, 40 yards) before he could pick up a 1st down. Less than two minutes later, the Chants had traveled the 35 yards they needed for a 28-9 lead, capped by a 2-yard run by White.

The CCU offense spent most of the first half eating up yardage — except for its third possession, when senior defensive end Malcolm Lee forced a fumble and Johnson recovered it for KU’s first takeaway of the season.

The Jayhawks trailed 14-10 early in the second quarter before disaster struck on special teams. Alex Spillum not only blocked Reis Vernon’s punt on a play that began on KU’s own 19-yard line, Spillum also secured the live ball in the end zone as the Chants went up 21-9.

Although Leipold said he didn’t see live what led to the blocked punt, he said the buildup before the play didn’t help.

“We were trying to milk some more clock — that’ll be on me. Then we go on the field, huddle, and then they lined up in something we had to check out of,” Leipold said. “Then we’re pressed for time and everything and we get the delay, and then we come back (for the snap) and we’re really on our heels.”

Despite coming in as heavy underdogs against the Sun Belt Conference’s nationally recognized program, the Jayhawks struck first on the road. After receiving the opening kickoff, KU went up 3-0 with a 46-yard Borcila field goal. 

And when Coastal responded with a quick TD drive to take its first lead, the Jayhawks proved they didn’t travel to South Carolina to get steamrolled.

With a 35-yard connection from Bean to Grimm on 3rd-and-long from near midfield and an unsportsmanlike penalty on CCU on an earlier 3rd down keying the drive, the Jayhawks went back up, 9-7, on Neal’s first career touchdown run. 

An early harbinger of special teams issues to come, CCU blocked Borcila’s ensuing extra point, giving the Chants an added jolt entering their second offensive series, which also covered 75 yards and ended with a TD.

“Our margin for error’s very small right now,” Leipold said immediately following the loss. “I think that’s pretty evident. I thought we played hard. I thought we played hard for 60 minutes. We had some moments we were knocking on the door, but just couldn’t quite get over the hump and some of those things.”

The Jayhawks will return to Lawrence next week for their first Saturday game of the year — and their Big 12 opener — against Baylor, on Sept. 18.

SCORING BY QUARTERS

FIRST QUARTER

10:07 — Jacob Borcila 46 field goal. Eight-play drive for 36 yards, in 4:45. (KU 3, CCU 0.)

8:13 — Jaivon Hellish 33 pass from Grayson McCall. Massimo Biscardi kick. Five-play drive for 75 yards, in 1:54. (CCU 7, KU 3.)

1:40 — Devin Neal 2 run. Borcila kick blocked. Eleven-play drive for 66 yards, in 6:25. (KU 9, CCU 7.)

SECOND QUARTER

11:02 — McCall 2 run. Biscardi kick. Twelve-play drive for 75 yards, in 3:58. (CCU 14, KU 9.)

8:23 — Alex Spillum recovered block punt. Biscardi kick. (CCU 21, KU 9.)

2:36 — Reese White 2 run. Biscardi kick. Four-play drive for 35 yards, in 1:48. (CCU 28, KU 9.)

1:36 — Jason Bean 34 run. Bean pass failed. (CCU 28, KU 15.)

THIRD QUARTER

11:36 — Bean 46 run. Borcila kick. Three-play drive for 65 yards, in 1:16. (CCU 28, KU 22.)

8:37 — White 19 run. Biscardi kick. Seven-play drive for 75 yards, in 2:59. (CCU 35, KU 22.)

FOURTH QUARTER

14:11 — White 3 run. Biscardi kick. Twelve-play drive for 72 yards, in 5:13. (CCU 42, KU 22.)

4:49 — Kameron Brown 11 pass from McCall. Biscardi kick. Ten-play drive for 83 yards, in 6:32. (CCU 49, KU 22.)

Comments

Brett McCabe 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Very solid performance by the Hawks. Kick the FG and you beat the spread, so I count it. There was a lot to like in this performance, and it’s easy to see how this team can improve as the year progresses. RCJHK!

Dirk Medema 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Actually had several opps to kick field goals, but went for it. It's an attacking mentality that I'm okay with (TD's generally needed to win games, not FG's) as long as it doesn't become demoralizing for the players.

Layne Pierce 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Amazingly for once we agree, Brett.

There was actually some improvement from first week, but our weakness (6) sacks, remains the offensive line. The last sack made Cabledue look incredibly bad. He was beaten by a superior athlete, but we can't be that bad.

Kicking game was a disaster, but hopefully it will get back on track.

This game showed that our strength and speed are still not quite there. But fundamentally we are strangely much improved.

Danies came in and tried to do too much, which when you are number 2 , is to be expected, but Bean has been a very pleasant surprise. If we could run the ball at all, we would start to be dangerous.

RCJH

Dirk Medema 2 weeks, 2 days ago

The players will continue to get stronger in particular, and faster to some extent, as they get older. Not unreasonable comparison when going against a team with so many returning players and super seniors. I believe we had one of the youngest teams in all of football last year, and probably close again this year.

Rodney Crain 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Offense - B missed some blocks badly, played well against a good defense

Defense - D, did we play 11 guys all the time?

Special Teams - F

Overall - I saw some good things, hope Bean is ok. Where were our defense backs? Special Teams - yikes. All in all it was entertaining. Looking forward to Coach L take aways!

David Kelley-Wood 2 weeks, 2 days ago

This performance exceeded my expectations despite just playing to the spread. Scoring 22 (which could easily have been a bit more (Brett's point) against CCU is a big improvement over 14 versus South Dakota. And, the defense didn't really regress. They just ran up against a much more potent offense than last week's. And, I'm going to assume that special teams won't duplicate today's debacle any time soon.

Andy Godwin 2 weeks, 2 days ago

At times there was a gleamed of hope, but there is a reason the people who set the spread for Vegas get paid a lot. The spread opened at 27; the difference in the game. The offensive line is still a major issue: 6 sacks and 15 pressures will not cut it. The starting tailback needs to run north and south, not east and west. And KU must find a middle linebacker who can tackle ball carriers going backwards and the defensive line needs to pressure the opposing QB, to give the young defensive backs a chance. Bean played very well but took too many direct hits. I predicted before the first game that Bean would start the season, but that he might not finish and if the offensive line continues to provide a direct path to the QB, KU might be going deep into the bench. Unfortunately it is not likely to get that much easier when Big 12 plays starts. As with Weis, Beaty, and Miles, KU fans will need to remain patient and give Leipold and his staff some time to recruit and develop. Maybe KU football will be relevant when the Big 12 actually has 12 teams. It is not clear if KU will win another game this season, but I will be watching and hoping the team remains healthy and continues to improve on both sides of the ball. It was exciting when KU got within 6 in the 3rd quarter, but the better team dashes any hope of an upset. Maybe next week. Time to fill Memorial Stadium, even during the rebuild. Rock Chalk.

Brian Wilson 2 weeks, 2 days ago

IMO, KU Football will be relevant by season's end. The Hawks were in the game but it is hard to make adjustments when your team is still learning the book. We have very little experience running our system and I am guessing that a bunch of the offense and defense are not even installed yet. By end of season the team will have the basics of the system down and things are only going to tighten up. Then...wait til next year! Boy howdy I like the way Bean plays. IMO, he is only going to get better.

Dale Rogers 2 weeks, 2 days ago

I also am encouraged but wonder what was with Bean's throws. Last week he threw ropes. This week it was soft rainbows. Is that an attempt at improving long-range (relatively) accuracy? The receivers were having to wait on the ball, allowing the defense to close the gaps. Just wondering.

Dirk Medema 2 weeks, 2 days ago

A thumbs up to Brett’s comment. It was encouraging at times. A 19 point swing in the kicking game doesn’t help.

It would be nice to get past the cliches. “We made the plays when we needed to” except that we didn’t. They did consistently and we didn’t. This game is exactly what Coach said he didn’t want occasionally spectacular vs. consistently good.

I also wonder how many teams have ever won when only completing 50% of their passes?

Dale Rogers 2 weeks, 2 days ago

I didn't expect consistently good. That would be miraculous given the short time these coaches have had with these players. I did expect to see an increase in competitiveness, and I believe overall I saw more competitiveness than I expected in game two, against #17, at their place. I was somewhat stunned when the first quarter ended and we were leading. On the other hand, that fact caused me to harbor hope that we might actually upset this team. Obviously there was a big letdown in that department but I am very pleased with the progress, the competitiveness, the attitude of playing hard to the last snap, and the growing skill I saw on this team. We have a long way to go, yet, but this, to me, is a significant step forward. Keep making positive steps and I will be a happy fan. At the end of the season we would probably look much better if we didn't have to play the third toughest schedule in the country. I like what I've seen so far and am hopeful this is just the beginning.

Brett McCabe 2 weeks, 2 days ago

“ occasionally spectacular vs. consistently good.”. That’s probably the best summary of the game overall.

I’ll admit that I’m drinking the Leipold Kool Aid right now, but this is actually the thing that encourages me. Consistency, execution, etc. are the things that can be improved with practice, coaching and effort.

Bean, for instance, looks spectacular at times. He may be the most athletic quarterback in the conference. To Dale’s point, it looked like Bean swung all the way from throwing like Elway to throwing like me. The hope is that he will find some middle ground there, that his reads will get better, that his confidence and mastery of the offense will grow. If those things happen, we would have the one thing that every team wants, a dangerous quarterback who can hurt you in many ways.

As the old cliche goes, the most important game of the season is the next one on the schedule. Let’s hope we come into that game with visible improvement in some of the critical areas that failed us last night.

Jim Stauffer 2 weeks, 2 days ago

I will wait to judge our performance and evaluate player potential until we have had all three of the things our opponents have had. A full season of play and a full Spring Practice and a full Fall Practice. By then we should be sufficiently consistent to expect to perform to the level of our talent.

Dale Rogers 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Well stated. And something it it far too easy to forget.

Rodney Crain 2 weeks, 2 days ago

So Jim, look forward to hearing from you in a year?

Michael Leiker 2 weeks, 2 days ago

I agree Jim, he’s had them really for what, 5 weeks? Pretty impressive given the time they’ve had

Eliott Reeder 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Typo in your headline, Benton. Hawks look much improved to me! Love the direction we’re heading in.

Michael Maris 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Jayhawks win the 1st Quarter 9-7

Chanticleers win 2nd Quarter 21-6 (failed attempted2 PAT)

3rd Quarter is a tie @ 7-7

Chanticleers win 4th Quarter 14-0

A lot more experienced (tenured program) depth on Chanticleers sideline vs. Kansas sideline.

Give the Jayhawks football program that same amount of years with Leipold coaching staff, then Jayhawk Nation will be a LOT happier......

Robert Brock 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Velton, Velton, Velton...how do you drop THAT pass?

Barry Weiss 2 weeks, 2 days ago

despite the loss, I could see good improvement on how we do the little things, we look much more organized.

Brad Watson 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Very impressed with our coach.....things are looking up...this team will be much better by seasons end...we will win some conference games this year....I love the toughness that he is instilling in this young offense...it will be fun to watch this team improve ...we need to sign this coach to a lifetime contract...he is that good!!!

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