COMMENTARY

Blair Kerkhoff | Better isn't good enough for KU

Updated: 2012-09-15T22:10:51Z

By BLAIR KERKHOFF

The Kansas City Star

Kansas poured plenty into Saturday’s 20-6 loss to TCU, so much so it makes you wonder if they omitted too much during last week’s loss to Rice.

TCU coach Gary Patterson said he saw things from Kansas that weren’t on game film from the first two weeks, and the Horned Frogs were surprised by some formations and routes. A wholesale surprise for this game seemed logical when the schedule opened with South Dakota State and Rice.

But now the Jayhawks have nothing to show from either game, and Saturday’s loss may sting more because of the opportunity.

A combination of heady KU defense and sloppy TCU ball-handling led to four Horned Frogs fumbles, all deep in Kansas territory: a bad snap from the 9, a sack and fumble from the 23, a Casey Pachall strip and fumble through the end zone and a final fumble at the 7. Plus a missed 27-yard field goal.

Teams that make that many mistakes usually don’t win. TCU did because the Jayhawks aren’t good enough to take advantage.

Quarterback Dayne Crist played his best game in a Kansas uniform with 303 passing yards. But the offense couldn’t reach the end zone. And for the second straight game, Crist accounted for a costly turnover at the game’s end: a fumble at the TCU 1 that ended KU’s deepest drive.

KU ran the ball well early, but may have gone away from the running game too soon after halftime. The defense gave up 480 yards but holding TCU to 20 is a good day.

Kansas was competitive and opportunistic but at this stage of the Charlie Weis tenure that’s not good enough to beat a good opponent.

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/BlairKerkhoff.

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