Ohio defeats Kansas, 42-30

  • 11 a.m., Sept. 16, 2017
  • Athens, Ohio,

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Beat Goes On: Kansas’ road losing streak continues in loss at Ohio

Kansas quarterback Peyton Bender (7) is driven to the turf by Ohio linebacker Dylan Conner (35) and Ohio linebacker Quentin Poling (32) during the third quarter on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio.

Kansas quarterback Peyton Bender (7) is driven to the turf by Ohio linebacker Dylan Conner (35) and Ohio linebacker Quentin Poling (32) during the third quarter on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio.


Athens, Ohio — Different venue. Same old ghost.

During the course of the past eight seasons, the Kansas football team’s personal road losing streak phantasm accrued enough frequent flyer points to make the trip outside of Big 12 country, all the way to Ohio’s Peden Stadium, where the Jayhawks lost their nonconference finale Saturday, 42-30.

As unforgiving as ever, the specter haunted present Jayhawks just like their predecessors, sometimes even finding new, inventive ways to extend the run of losses in opposing stadiums to 42 in a row.

KU’s defenders couldn’t unnerve an Ohio offensive attack known for its rushing prowess, in the Mid-American Conference facility manned by former Nebraska head coach Frank Solich. And an announced crowd of 22,056 saw the Bobcats (2-1) turn prolific through the air, as well.

Ohio averaged 9.0 yards per play in the first quarter, mixing in its effective run game equally with passing calls — no doubt inspired by the way Central Michigan exposed KU’s secondary the week prior. The 10-rush, 10-throw balance fed an 11-0 Bobcats lead, one that quickly expanded to 18 seven seconds into the second quarter, when QB Nathan Rourke hit tight end Troy Mangen for a 10-yard TD.

“The thing that sticks out to me the most is we’ve got to do a much better job of limiting big plays in the passing game,” KU head coach David Beaty said after Ohio quarterbacks Rourke and Quinton Maxwell combined to complete 16 of 22 throws for 254 yards, with three touchdowns and one interception in a typically rush-first offense. “We’ve got some young safeties back there that are playing and they’ve just got to grow up fast. They’ve got to grow up fast and we’ve got to find some guys that can help us back there to try and stabilize that.”

Even after falling face-first into an 18-point hole, the Kansas secondary looked poised to make up for its flaws early in the third quarter. With KU (1-2) down 25-14, sophomore safety Mike Lee delivered the KU defense’s first interception of the season, in the end zone, stealing a Maxwell throw.

One play later, Kansas junior quarterback Peyton Bender looked for junior wideout Steven Sims Jr., back playing at full speed in Week 3. Bender’s throw ventured a step behind the team’s top receiver, though, and when Sims only could get one hand on the pass, it deflected into the hands of cornerback Jalen Fox.

“It was a little bit behind me,” Sims said after making six catches for 60 yards, “but it touched my hand, so I’ve got to catch it.”

Like his target, Bender took the blame for what proved to be KU’s only turnover in the loss.

“Tipped balls get intercepted,” Bender said following his fifth of the season, on a day he went 30-for-47 through the air, for 343 yards and two touchdowns, caught by Chase Harrell and Jeremiah Booker.

Although a holding penalty on Fox’s interception return backed up Ohio to KU’s 32-yard line to open the next series, the Bobcats were in the end zone again four carries later, extending the lead at the time to 32-14, with the help of the powerful legs of A.J. Ouellette (10 rushes for 102 yards).

“We came out and wanted to cut the deficit to one possession and that’s huge by the defense, getting that interception,” Bender said of Lee’s timely takeaway. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t connect. But it ended up swinging the game. Definitely one we wish we had back.”

Sims, too, characterized the dueling picks as deflating.

“I feel like that drive right there, that was a big turning point in the game,” Sims said. “We really needed points that drive. And an interception caused by me, a tipped pass, that was a bad play by myself.”

Lee, who also made nine tackles and broke up another throw, said he barely had time to catch his breath before he was back on the field.

“It was so fast,” Lee said. “Our offense threw the pick so fast, I was like, ‘Dang! I just caught a pick and we just turned the ball over again?’ I was still tired a little.”

When KU’s offense got the ball back, Bender took two sacks — of the five total inflicted by Ohio — on one series. Ohio built on that momentum with a 12-play, 84-yard scoring drive full of Dorian Brown runs that ate up the majority of the third-quarter clock before Rourke hit Andrew Meyer for another Ohio TD.

By the end of yet another road defeat, KU’s offense at least kept up with its opponent this time. Sophomore Khalil Herbert carried the ball 19 times for 137 yards and two scores, helping KU finish with the slightest, 451-450 advantage in total yardage at Ohio.

It was the Bobcats’ 7.0 yards-per-snap average on offense and 15.9 per reception that troubled the Jayhawks most.

“The defense was in the right position to make plays and stuff like that,” Lee offered. “There were just missed tackles that were going on. So really we just have to work on tackling and we’ll be OK with it.”

And as for his evaluation of KU defensive backs as a group?

“Umm … Well, we’re a young secondary,” Lee said. “So that’s what it is. They were covering and we were getting beat. So, really, we’ve just got to work on that.”

The labor continues for Kansas next weekend, when West Virginia visits Memorial Stadium.

— See what people were saying about the game during's live coverage.

More news and notes from Kansas vs. Ohio


Bill McGovern 4 years, 9 months ago

I want to give Beaty a few more years but at this rate you have to ask yourself if the program will go anywhere. If not we need to make major changes, as in firing Zenger and getting an AD who makes smart hires. We are getting trounced by MAC schools... come conference games we are going to look like a complete joke, even more of a joke than right now. People thinking we stand a chance against Baylor just because they are having an off year is laughable, though Texas had an off year last season so who knows? I think we win no more games this year and go 1-11 or 2-10 next year. This is pathetic! It's depressing to look back at the 07-08 team and see how far the program has fallen since their success. Lew Perkins was a little dirty but he made smart hires, Gill is the exception. The new chancellor needs to take a good hard look at the football program and make some big changes or we will continue to be a big joke.

Brett McCabe 4 years, 9 months ago

Zinger must be fired soon, so we can clear the deck.

Here's a question to KU fans: if the Spurs come calling and Bill answers, would you want Zenger to hire your next bball coach?

Adam Engelbrecht 4 years, 9 months ago

No, but I also don't really think it'd be hard to get a great coach to step in for basketball. Football is a very different story.

Jeff Kilgore 4 years, 9 months ago

Sadly, we just don't have much of a defense, even if we have a few stellar players. SE Mo scored in the 20s on us and at that rate, we won't hold anyone under 30 all year and will typically give up 40-60. This is no way to find ourselves in the B1G or PAC-12, which I assume could be on the horizon if we can field at the least, a competitive team.

Bill McGovern 4 years, 9 months ago

I miss being excited for football. It has been ten long years. TEN. LONG. YEARS.

Steve Jacob 4 years, 9 months ago

Beaty is gone. We have Baylor at home, and that is about the only possible win I see.

Joe Ross 4 years, 9 months ago

Beaty MUST stay.

Zenger can't be allowed to hire another coach and he himself must stay.

Building the stadium is now Zengers baby.

Brett McCabe 4 years, 9 months ago

Wrong. Right. Wrong.

If Zenger can't be trusted to hire a coach, why stay with the one he hired?

Zenger has to go.

David Kemp 4 years, 9 months ago

"We've got to do a better job of limiting big pass plays" Duh! I've heard this for 3 weeks now. What are you going to do given that the players you have is what you have. They are not going to get dramatically better this season!

Barry Weiss 4 years, 9 months ago

just once I'd like to hear Beatty take some of the blame. He never does, unless I missed it. I just see this program going backward and it already was pathetic. I am on board with the new AD idea and let him bring in a new HC. Beatty's has had time to recruit and do some things that should show some improvement. We don't have 10 years to let this keep going on.

John Fitzgerald 4 years, 9 months ago

It doesn't matter if we get rid of Zenger, Beaty, and/or Bowen we will still suck. It's a hopeless cause at this point. I am curious who fed the players enough bullschit that made them think they could make a bowl game?

Brett McCabe 4 years, 9 months ago

John, many, many years ago, I sat in the stands and watched us lose to Kent. I went home so mad that I thought we should just shelve the entire program.

Since that time, we've been able to have some intermittent successes, intermingled with a lot of losing.

We do need to go into a solid five-year plan, with a proven, competent coach. Ideally, someone who has been through a rebuilding program before. Someone who has done it and proven themselves.

To rebuild our program, we hired a coach who was fired by a nationally branded football powerhouse and a coach with a losing record. If you look at Mason, you had a coach who had proven he could win. If you look at Mangino, you have someone who went through a rebuild, and worked at a high level at OU. Those are the types of credentials we have to hire.

We have made two brain-dead hires in a row. And that's why we are where we are. Some posters on this site think that the guy who hired them should stay because he has a contract. To me, this is where the rubber meets the road. If you are serious, then get serious. Do what has to be done and do it right now. Every week you waste moves you another week backwards.

David Kemp 4 years, 9 months ago

Our cut block fiasco is all over yahoo next to a befuddled picture of Beatty talking to his headset. OMG

Bryce Landon 4 years, 9 months ago

I didn't watch or hear the game live; I was at work and missed it. And it's a good thing. I went to to see what you're talking about, and all I could say was, "WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!?!?!?!"

David Kemp 4 years, 9 months ago

Yeah would have been better had the defensive line not jumped over the blocks

David Kemp 4 years, 9 months ago

This play will get replay after replay on espn for all the wrong reasons

Brett McCabe 4 years, 9 months ago

To Keegan's credit, I think that the video shows what happens when you have a light line.

At the same time, Keegan's emphasis on age might misplace our focus. Is Yenser a good coach?

Tom Gillaspie 4 years, 9 months ago

Sure miss those good ole days of being mediocre. Time to clean house and start over with someone who knows how to recruit and build a program. Beatty, obviously, has no clue. I had hopes he could at least show some improvement at this stage. It's a real bummer, man.

Richard Quinlan 4 years, 9 months ago

Stick a fork in it , it wont get any better. Zenger and Beatty should be gone now !

Bryce Landon 4 years, 9 months ago

Not only are we not relevant in the nation or in the conference, we're not even relevant in our own state. I would venture so far as to say that Wichita State football is more relevant than Kansas football - and Wichita State hasn't had a football team in over three decades.

Brian Leslie 4 years, 9 months ago

Zenger clearly has to go. I'm OK with the new AD sticking with Beaty for a year while he figures out the job, connects with the donor base and gets a plan for stadium expansion, and not incidentally scouts coaching candidates over an entire season. Give some tough public quotes of "we need to be x number of games better" (I'd say 5 wins for the 4th year is fair). Beaty being granted 4 seasons will seem like a fair shake to the media; there won't be national articles about KU's quick trigger like we had with Gill and Weis.. Bowen also clearly has to go. Maybe we can get a coach who pulls a Huggins and spends the season recruiting in ways that would be against the rules if he were an active coach. Les Miles, anyone?

If Zenger has tied himself to the stadium expansion to the extent that plans can't be revealed unless he is in place, then he needs to be fired immediately. Maybe this is why the expansion plans were punted into October -- we needed to see if Zenger was even going to be around in October.

Max Ledom 4 years, 9 months ago

Guys, Beaty needs more time. That's obviously clear. If we keep firing coaches every 3 years we will progress nowhere. Stop thinking we will make a Harbaugh or Saban type hire cause we won't. We will get guys like Beaty. And Beaty is the best of those guys. He can't fix this in 3 years. But he's working to. We need patience and he needs time. It's unfair the way we have treated him. Listen, he's disappointed this season, sure. But he is the right guy. We know that. Unlike Gill and Weis. Hang tough guys. Beaty needs us.

Al Martin 4 years, 9 months ago

Really? We know that? By observing a team that in Beatty's third year is not mid-major competitive? That's how we know he's the right guy?

Look, I think he has to stay until we at least have a full roster of players, if for no other reason than the next guy needs to not be saddled with that. He was dealt a pretty crappy hand in that regard. That's probably through five years. But I don't know that he's the right guy in any way, shape, or form. For one thing, in a coach's third year, I'd expect the offensive line to look at least slightly organized.

Bryan Schmiedeler 4 years, 9 months ago

What upsets me the most was the player's comment that "we have to get better at tackling." What? Tackling is fundamental in football. If the staff is not teaching tackling well, we are in deep trouble.

David Kelley-Wood 4 years, 9 months ago

Correction: "The Beat Down Goes On..."

Actually, I'm encouraged. No, not by the football program. But, we're only 10 days away from the 8th Creditors' Meeting of the MtGox Bankruptcy Court in Tokyo, and there's a whiff of hopefulness in the air!

Doug Cramer 4 years, 9 months ago

Beaty will be fine if he is allowed to fire Bowen.

Keep Beaty and Meachem, and get a defensive coordinator thats knows what he's doing.

John Brazelton 4 years, 9 months ago

I want all you posters to look at your comments. If you were a 4 or 5-star recruit or even a highly ranked 3-star, why would you want to come to KU and play football. Or even a more-qualified Assistant or Head Coach. I'm surprised that Armstrong or Mike Lee isn't getting hammered by this crowd. How about at least standing up for the players!!!

Thomas Green 4 years, 9 months ago

I realize this is an incredible and absolute pipe dream, but I bet Art Briles would actually take the job.

Seriously though, I do not see how Bowen can remain in his current role. He needs to be at least demoted to a position coach. This team needs to have at least a competent DC. Whether there is such an individual who would take the job, I have no idea, especially at this late date.

As for Zenger, if the remainder of this season goes the way it seems destined...he has to be fired. There simply has to be a marked improvement in year three to justify keeping him. I'm not holding my breath!

Doug Cramer 4 years, 9 months ago

You are 100% correct about Bowen.

Dude has been living off of his hometown forgivness dam near his entire career.

If Beaty knows what's good for him, he would get him out immediately.

Bryce Landon 4 years, 9 months ago

No. Absolutely no to Art Briles. He is way too radioactive to be allowed to coach college football ever again.

Chris DeWeese 4 years, 9 months ago

I agree. It's time to say goodbye to Clint Bowen.

David A. Smith 4 years, 9 months ago

Progress was made in a few areas today. We had a running back have a good game. We had much more pressure on the opponents quarterback today. We.had an int today. Yet again, Bender threw for about 350 yards. They are not where they need to be, but they played better than last week.

5 d-backs we're replaced, we have one returning QB that had playing time at KU. Our star receiver and starting running back we're gone last week, and Martin was still gone this week. We're still 10 players shy of a full load.

Please don't pretend that it's just a matter of firing coaches or the AD. No magic bullet is to be found. We have to play the hand we have..and that includes the coaches and AD. Zenger is a facility guy. We need him to bring it home. And Beaty needs a fair shot.

David Kemp 4 years, 9 months ago

None of your statements excuse the line play. And we were never in this game. Coaches don't know how to Taylor the game to our players instead of making them play their game.. this is why Snyder is successful.

David A. Smith 4 years, 9 months ago

You are right, and I'm with you. But, there's alot to consider....both in our approach to the product and the continued employment of the AD and coaches.

Ben Kane 4 years, 9 months ago

getting kind of old being the laughing stock of NCAA football every year. I don't think getting rid of Zenger is going to change that.

Steve Johnson 4 years, 9 months ago

Lets hope they get knocked down to High School level. It will be embarrassing when they lose to both LHS and Free State in the same season. Might be best if they can play the JV squad. Countdown to Basketball has started, cant get here fast enough

Bob Bailey 4 years, 9 months ago

The single Offense mistake was that Bender held the ball too long and got way too many sacs.

John Kelley 4 years, 9 months ago

At this point 2007 12-1 seems like a dream.

Tony Bandle 4 years, 9 months ago

Well, everyone, at least you all can take heart in the fact that, as bad as we looked, Ole Mizzou looked 10 times worse!

What is at stake here is more than just winning football games or even being competitive. It is the very relevance of the University of Kansas on the future National Collegiate Sports Scene!!!

Power League Re-Alignment is coming, We all know this is inevitable. And as great as the KU BBall program is, it won't be enough if it has to stand alone under the microscope of final evaluation for qualification.


Austin Lopez 4 years, 9 months ago

What the Big12 needs to do is add 2 more teams, add USF and Houston and the whole power league re-alignment to some degree makes the Big 12 safe.

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