KU football avoids shutout, but gives up return game with Texas Tech, 41-14
A pair of touchdowns in the last minute of the fourth quarter against Texas Tech did little to improve the mood for Kanas head football coach Lance Leipold on Saturday.
With his Jayhawks coming off a week off, Leipold expected a more competitive game than what happened in a 41-14 home loss at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, in front of an announced crowd of 25. 106.
“It was disappointing,” said Leipold of his side who not only allowed 41 points but were shut out for the first 59 minutes as well.
The KU offense didn’t even reach the red zone until more than a minute remained in the fourth quarter and reinforcements were on the pitch. The first of two late-game drives, led by third-string running back Amauri Pesek-Hickson (five carries, 28 yards) and backup quarterback Miles Kendrick (4 assists on 7, 48 yards, two touchdowns) , helped the Jayhawks avoid a scoreless exit. Kendrick found Luke Grimm in the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown with just 56 seconds left for the first score of the day.
KU junior quarterback Jason Bean couldn’t replicate the highlights of previous games, either in the air or on the ground. Bean completed 11 of 21 passes, for 80 yards with one interception, and ran five times for 14 yards. KU’s offense totaled 273 yards in the shutout.
Leipold believed that the defensive looks Tech gave Bean led to some of the problems, and from what he saw from the sidelines it looked like the QB needed a little more patience and to see some games throughout.
“It was definitely not his best game,” said the coach. “We have to be better at the passing game in a holistic way. ”
With so many unproductive possessions, Leipold added, neither Bean nor the offense could ever gain consistency or confidence.
“It seems to be repeating itself,” Leipold said after KU (1-5 overall, 0-3 Big 12) lost their fifth straight game and again suffered an unbalanced loss in the Big 12.
The KU offense actually moved the chains a handful of times (five) in the third quarter after even making it felt like a chore in the second quarter. But the longest play of the third – a pass from Bean to Steven McBride – was only 15. Of the first three possessions of the second half, KU kicked twice and returned the ball over them. downs as Tech (5-2, 2-2), who finished with 438 offensive yards, maintained his dominance, increasing his lead to 38-0.
Much of Leipold’s disappointment, he later said, came from the score overall and what he saw as a crucial second quarter, which Tech won 17-0.
“A lot of different things have gone wrong there,” said Leipold.
What was a manageable seven-point hole after the first 15 minutes turned into a 24-0 deficit for the Jayhawks at halftime.
The Red Raiders, who beat KU 249-72 in total distance in the first two quarters, roamed the field for touchdowns on each of their last two practices of the second quarter.
The KU offensive, meanwhile, has not failed to keep pace. The Jayhawks had just one first goal throughout the second quarter, gaining just 20 total yards on 11 snaps.
KU Football vs. Texas Tech
Kansas Football vs. Texas Tech, October 16, 2021
Bean’s timing and pace was wrong throughout the first half, and he went 4-9 with an interception. Even so, the Tech defensive backs had a few chances to add to their take-away totals on those other incompleteness, and the Jayhawks were fortunate to have just one first-half turnaround.
Representing offense in KU’s post-game media session, running back Devin Neal (15 carries, 54 yards) said the Jayhawks just failed to execute.
“We trained for the next two weeks prepared. And we had a game plan, and we would have liked to have executed it a little better. But all we can really do is go overnight and keep improving, ”said Neal.
The Jayhawks’ only big play in the first half came in defense, with veteran security Kenny Logan Jr. reading a shot from deep down Colombi’s left sideline. Logan rushed for the interception near the KU 6-yard line and ran 22 yards in the other direction before being forced out of bounds.
But that was the only time in Tech’s first eight possessions that the Red Raiders failed to score.
Said Logan of the defense issues, “We just have to get the guys off the pitch. We need to make sure that we are performing at a high standard.
Choosing Logan alone wouldn’t turn the tide for KU. In fact, just three plays later, Bean returned the favor, throwing an interception on the first play of the second quarter – a third and 8 for the KU offense on his own 30-yard line. Bean’s pass sailed over him as he attempted to hit Lawrence Arnold for a first down. Dadrion Taylor-Demerson made the Jayhawks pay for the mistake by recovering the pass.
Defense helped the Jayhawks get through the tough start to the quarterback. Although the Red Raiders started the ensuing streak in more territory, at KU’s 41-yard line they couldn’t get a touchdown out of possession despite entering the red zone. Graduate transfer cornerback Jeremy Webb snapped a pass into the end zone to wrap up Tech’s drive, and the Jayhawks have avoided a two TD hole for now, as Jonathan Garibay kicked a 28 field goal. yards to do it 10-0 with 11:37 left in the first half.
KU’s offense didn’t seem so slow on its initial possession, scoring three first tries. Despite that, after hitting Tech’s 30-yard line, KU sent kicker Jacob Borcila for a 47-yard field goal try. What would prove to be the Jayhawks’ best chance to score in the entire first half sailed left.
The Red Raiders only passed twice in their first practice, but both were Colombi completions for 15 yards or more. Technical runs rocked KU’s defense for the remainder of the 10-game scoring campaign, capped by a fake transfer from Colombi that allowed the QB to sneak into the end zone without touching and set the stage for the easy victory for visitors on the road.
Junior linebacker Rich Miller, who led KU with seven total tackles, said the Jayhawks fight too often.
“As Coach Leipold always says, our margin for error is really small,” said Miller. “We just have to be able to come back from this. We couldn’t do it tonight.
KU is back home next week, when Oklahoma comes to Lawrence.
10:26 am – Henry Colombi 1 race. Jonathan Garibay kick. Drive in ten games for 75 yards, in 4:32. (TT 7, KU 0.)
11:37 – Garibay 28 field goal. Drive in seven parts for 31 yards, in 3:10. (TT 10, KU 0.)
5:30 p.m. – Erik Ezukanma 9 race. Garibay kick. Drive in ten games for 55 yards, in 4:50. (TT 17, KU 0.)
0:32 – Myles Price 7 does so. Garibay kick. Drive in seven parts for 64 yards, in 2h15. (TT 24, KU 0.)
6:52 – Donovan Smith 5 race. Garibay kick. Drive eleven plays for 92 yards, in 4:27. (TT 31, KU 0.)
2:02 am – Travis Koontz 2 pass from Colombi. Garibay kick. Drive five games for 57 yards, in 2h15. (TT 38, KU 0.)
6:29 – Garibay 48 field goal. Drive nine plays for 32 yards, in 5:09. (TT 41, KU 0.)
0:56 – Luke Grimm 14 passes from Miles Kendrick. Jacob Borcila kick. Drive in ten games for 75 yards, in 5:36. (TT 41, KU 7.)
0:14 – Lawrence Arnold 13 pass from Kendrick. Borcila’s kick. Drive five games for 35 yards, in 0:36. (TT 41, KU 14.)