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Statistical review: Where KU football ranked among FBS programs in 47 categories

Kansas head coach David Beaty watches a West Virginia score during the first quarter on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas head coach David Beaty watches a West Virginia score during the first quarter on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

As David Beaty heads into his fourth season in charge of the University of Kansas football program, the Jayhawks remain a long way from proving they can compete with the rest of the Big 12 or FBS teams in general.

The NCAA’s official website tracks team statistics for 47 categories. In 2017, Beaty’s third year at KU, the Jayhawks ranked 100th or worse among 129 FBS programs on more than half of the lists — 26 altogether.

Over the next several off-season months Beaty and his staff will have no shortage of areas to address as they attempt to put a more competitive product on the field in 2018.

The list of KU’s faults is long. But there were a few things the Jayhawks actually did well while finishing 1-11 overall and 0-9 in the Big 12. One of the most stunning developments this past season was the red zone success of the Kansas offense. Coordinator Doug Meacham’s group ranked 9th nationally in red zone scoring percentage, with a 93.8% success rate. Kansas made 32 trips to the red zone and came away with eight rushing touchdowns, 10 passing TDs and 12 field goals.

The problem, of course, was how seldom the Jayhawks put themselves in position to score. Their 32 visits to an opponent’s 20-yard line tied for 10th-fewest among FBS teams, because the offense rarely whipped up enough successful plays to constitute a meaningful drive.

Defensively, KU stood out with its ability to make stops behind the line of scrimmage. Coordinator Clint Bowen’s bunch ranked 15th nationally, with 7.4 tackles for loss per game (89 total). Obviously that success wasn’t nearly enough to offset the Jayhawks’ numerous defensive inefficiencies.

Ultimately, KU’s countless issues all over the field meant the Big 12’s worst team ranked tied for 124th in the most important category of them all, winning percentage (.083). Kansas was one of five teams to finish 1-11, along with Baylor, Rice, Charlotte and Oregon State. Only UTEP went winless this past fall.

Below is a recap of where Kansas ranked in every team stat tracked on the NCAA’s website for the 2017 season.

OFFENSE

Kansas wide receiver Steven Sims Jr. (11) pulls in a deep touchdown catch during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas wide receiver Steven Sims Jr. (11) pulls in a deep touchdown catch during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

Passing offense: 68th, 226.4 yards per game

Rushing offense: 124th, 102.6 yards per game

Total offense: 117th, 329 yards per game

Scoring offense: 119th, 18.7 points per game

3rd down conversions: 124th, 28.9%

4th down conversions: Tied-60th, 54.2% (13 of 24)

Completion percentage: 108th, 54.1% (249 of 460)

1st downs: 123rd, 194 (66 rushing, 113 passing, 15 via penalty)

Fumbles lost: Tied-76th, 9

Passes had intercepted: Tied-120th, 17 (Peyton Bender, 10; Carter Stanley, 7)

Passing yards per completion: 118th, 10.91 yards (Stanley, 10.97; Bender, 10.87)

Red zone offense: 9th, 93.8% scoring percentage (32 red zone trips, 8 rushing TDs, 10 passing TDs, 12 FGs)

Sacks allowed: Tied-90th, 2.42 opponent sacks per game

Tackles for loss allowed: 123rd, 7.67 opponent TFLs per game (lost 31.75 yards per game)

Passing efficiency: 118th, 106.4 passing efficiency (Bender 108.48; Stanley 104.47)

Turnovers lost: Tied-115th, 26 (9 fumbles lost, 17 passes intercepted)

DEFENSE

Kansas cornerback Hasan Defense (13) is pushed aside by Oklahoma tight end Grant Calcaterra (80) as Oklahoma running back Trey Sermon (4) dives into the end zone for a touchdown during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas cornerback Hasan Defense (13) is pushed aside by Oklahoma tight end Grant Calcaterra (80) as Oklahoma running back Trey Sermon (4) dives into the end zone for a touchdown during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

Passing yards allowed: 125th, 296.8 yards per game

Rushing yards allowed: 72nd, 171.6 yards per game

Total defense: 117th, 468.3 yards allowed per game

Scoring defense: 128th, 43.4 points per game

Opponent 3rd down conversions: Tied-78th, 40.1%

Opponent 4th down conversions: 104th, 61.9% (13 of 21)

Defensive touchdowns: N/A (one of 50 programs to not score a defensive TD)

Opponent 1st downs: Tied-75th, 265 (106 rushing, 141 passing, 18 via penalty)

Fumbles recovered: Tied-108th, 5

Passes intercepted: Tied-124th, 4 (382 opponent pass attempts)

Red zone defense: 117th, 89.8% opponent scoring percentage (59 red zone trips, 27 rushing TDs, 16 passing TDs, 10 FGs)

Opponent passing efficiency: 128th, 172.36

Sacks: Tied-89th, 1.83 per game (22 total)

Tackles for loss: 15th, 7.4 per game (89 total)

Turnovers gained: Tied-126th, 9 (5 fumble recoveries, 4 interceptions)

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kansas State kickoff returner D.J. Reed (2) escapes several Kansas special teams players during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas State kickoff returner D.J. Reed (2) escapes several Kansas special teams players during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

Blocked kicks: Tied-67th, 1

Blocked kicks allowed: Tied-1st with 25 other teams, 0

Blocked punts: Tied-19th with 39 other teams, 1

Blocked punts allowed: Tied-1st with 69 other teams, 0 (most 87 punts)

Kickoff return defense: 109th, 23.72 yards per opponent return (29 returns, 688 yards, 1 TD, 17 touchbacks)

Kickoff returns: 79th, 20.49 yards per return (51 returns, 1,045 yards, 0 TDs)

Net punting: 121st, 34.57 net yards per punt (87 punts, 3,434 yards, 366 return yards, 3 touchbacks)

Punt return defense: 129th, 18.3 yards per return (20 returns, 366 yards, 2 TDs)

Punt returns: 84th, 6.23 yards per return (13 returns, 81 yards, 0 TDs)

MISCELLANEOUS

Central Michigan defensive back Tyjuan Swain rips the ball away from Kansas receiver Quan Hampton for an interception on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Central Michigan defensive back Tyjuan Swain rips the ball away from Kansas receiver Quan Hampton for an interception on Saturday at Memorial Stadium. by Mike Yoder

Fewest penalties: Tied-33rd, 66

Fewest penalties per game: 47th, 5.5 per game

Fewest penalty yards: 31st, 553

Fewest penalty yards per game: 40th, 46.08

Time of possession: 113th, 27:31

Turnover margin: 127th, -1.42 per game (-17 on the season — 9 gained, 26 lost)

Winning percentage: Tied-124th, .083

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