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The Day After: Overwhelmed by Oklahoma

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Oklahoma wide receiver Durron Neal (5) pulls in a touchdown catch before Kansas safety Michael Glatczak (39) during the first quarter Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015 at Memorial Stadium.

Oklahoma wide receiver Durron Neal (5) pulls in a touchdown catch before Kansas safety Michael Glatczak (39) during the first quarter Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

It was another rough day for the overmatched Kansas football team, which was drubbed, on Homecoming weekend no less, 62-7 by an Oklahoma team that probably could have scored a lot more.

OU's Baker Mayfield and Sterling Shepard did all kinds of damage through the air and the three-headed monster of Samaje Perine, Joe Mixon and Alex Ross bullied the Jayhawks on the ground.

Saturday's 52-point spread was the second worst of the season, trailing only Baylor's 66-7 beating earlier this year.

Quick takeaway

At this point, we're kind of facing the old it-is-what-it-is deal with this football team. The Jayhawks are overmatched every week and despite preparing hard and playing to the final whistle, there really isn't much you can point to that, if done right or better, would make that much of a difference. Of course this team still wants to get a win this season. And, yeah, three of KU's final four opponents combine to be four games under .500. So maybe there is an outside shot at finding a little hope. But I wouldn't bet on it. This season has taken on the feel of one that KU will close out with the goal being to get as many young guys as much positive experience as they can get so there's at least some reason for optimism heading into 2016.

Three reasons to smile

1 – Matthew Wyman continues to make a difference in the punting game and appears to have solved KU's issues there. Beaty said the kicking game was one of the few highlights from Saturday and Wyman's 42.8-yard average, with two downed inside the OU 20, has definitely made a noticeable difference for this team. If nothing else, it's at least forcing KU opponents to have to put together longer drives to pile up the points.

Members of the Kansas defense including Kansas defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. (46) bring down Oklahoma wide receiver Durron Neal (5) during the second quarter Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015 at Memorial Stadium.

Members of the Kansas defense including Kansas defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. (46) bring down Oklahoma wide receiver Durron Neal (5) during the second quarter Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

2 – It doesn't matter much on the scoreboard or in the stats, but it's pretty impressive to watch these guys never get down. Now, I'm not saying that the Jayhawks enjoy these beatings, but you really don't see guys hanging their heads or sulking on the sideline any longer. They stay up and they keep playing. That's not easy. And they should be applauded for that if nothing else.

Kansas University students Donte Walters, Kansas City, Kan. freshman, left, and Donovan Miller, Minneapolis, Minn. sophomore, sing the Alma Mater prior to kickoff on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas University students Donte Walters, Kansas City, Kan. freshman, left, and Donovan Miller, Minneapolis, Minn. sophomore, sing the Alma Mater prior to kickoff on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

3 – Let's be honest. It was Halloween and I was surprised there were as many people there as there were. With that in mind, KU made sure everyone got out of there in plenty of time to get ready for Halloween and trick-or-treating. Can you imagine the conflict if this game had gone down to the wire?

Three reasons to sigh

1 – Oklahoma was not forced to punt one time during Saturday's victory over Kansas, and the defense that, just a couple of weeks ago appeared to be making significant strides, struggled big-time against a pretty dominant offense.

With the game well out of hand Kansas head coach David Beaty looks at the video board during the fourth quarter, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015 at Memorial Stadium.

With the game well out of hand Kansas head coach David Beaty looks at the video board during the fourth quarter, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

2 – In-game coaching issues still seem to be popping up at a regular rate. Whether you're talking about strange timeouts, slow adjustments or general uncertainty, it still seems that this group of players and coaches working together for the first time are figuring things out on the fly a little bit. That's to be expected in the first year of a new coaching regime, but it makes for a few head scratchers.

Kansas running back Taylor Cox (36) and his blocker tight end Ben Johnson (84) are stopped by a wall of Oklahoma defenders on a run during the third quarter, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas running back Taylor Cox (36) and his blocker tight end Ben Johnson (84) are stopped by a wall of Oklahoma defenders on a run during the third quarter, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

3 – KU's running game continues to struggle big time. In this one, Kansas managed just 35 yards on 36 carries. Seniors De'Andre Mann and Taylor Cox run hard when they get the ball and usually gain every yard available. That's the problem. There just isn't much there. Instead of getting better, it seems to be getting worse. But KU has faced two of the Big 12's best defenses during the past couple of weeks. So maybe there's hope that the tough sledding the Jayhawks have experienced in the past couple of weeks will lighten up in the final month of the season.

One for the road

KU's 55-point loss to the Sooners on Saturday:

• Dropped KU's all-time record to 579-606-58.

• Prolonged a streak of 21-straight losses to ranked opponents and extended a streak of 10-consecutive losses to a top-25 opponent in Memorial Stadium.

• Featured Kansas starting five true freshman on offense against the Sooners. The total number of freshmen who started offensively can be increased to six with the addition of red-shirt frosh Jacob Bragg.

• Pushed OU's all-time edge in the series to 73-27-6 and 35-15-4 in Lawrence. In the Big 12 Conference era, the Sooners hold a 21-1 advantage (6-1 in Lawrence). KU’s two Big 12 wins over OU came in 1996 and 1997, the first two years of the league. OU is now 6-0 on the road against the Jayhawks under Bob Stoops.

Next up

Kansas heads south to Austin, Texas, to take on 3-5 Texas at 7 p.m. Saturday. After back-to-back wins over OU and K-State seemed to right the ship, the Longhorns were blanked by Iowa State on Saturday, 24-0, in Ames, Iowa.

Comments

Ashwin Rao 6 years, 8 months ago

I think at this point in time, it is not necessary to point out the "all-time record" and "streak" etc. Until we start winning, these are just to be glossed over (at least I am not keeping track of that).

I agree with the assessment that the worst is behind us, and now, at least we have some chance to win. I do hope that, with the experience gained, and some fire in their bellies, they will win at least one of the remaining games.

Dale Rogers 6 years, 8 months ago

Smile reason #2 is what keeps me watching every game I can. I like the attitude and the effort. I'm 1700 miles from Lawrence but, fortunately, almost every game is televised here and those that are not are usually on espn3. Keep on trying, guys. Our day is coming.

Brett McCabe 6 years, 8 months ago

Matt, I'll admit that I was not as focused during this game as usual because I spent a good amount of time trying to pi** off all the Sooner fans surrounding me with witty quips (known on this board as "trolling"), but I did not notice the issues on game management as much as in the past.

I know that we went for the quick-kick late, but I kind of figured that this was simply a way of getting some experience for Willis, rather than going for it in a low-percentage situation. (He did an excellent job, by the way).

I'd be interested to know the other areas of game management that you noticed?

Matt Tait 6 years, 8 months ago

It's mostly the fourth-down thing still. I noticed at least twice a lot of uncertainty from Beaty on the sideline and an inability to pull the trigger on whether to go for it or not. At least one of those times he called a late timeout.

Beaty's learning too, so it's not a colossal failure but I think things should be crisper in that department on game days, mostly because indecision like that can eat into a team's confidence.

It definitely wasn't as bad this game, but I think the fact that we're still seeing it 8 weeks into the season is worth noting.

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