One of Kansas coach David Beaty’s biggest disappointments from Saturday’s 37-21 loss to Ohio came early in the first quarter.
The Bobcats — and not the home Jayhawks — were the ones who were able to get off to a good start.
“They took the ball the length of the field and went and took that first drive for a touchdown. That’s obviously a key for all of us in college football, but for us, it’s a big focus, to get off the field defensively and be able to score on that first drive,” Beaty said Monday. “And we didn’t do either one of those things.”
KU never could get things turned early Saturday. After one quarter, the Jayhawks trailed 15-0 and were outgained 193 yards to 4.
“The start wasn’t great, and that’s something we really put a lot of emphasis on in practice is a fast start,” Beaty said. “We’ll be better there, and we’ll put a lot more focus on it than we did before to make sure our guys understand.”
After getting a second look at film, Beaty credited Ohio coach Frank Solich with a “really good game plan” while commenting that the Bobcats were a physical team.
Beaty says his team’s mistakes were not difficult to spot.
“You do not make it more than it is,” Beaty said. “We just go back to every single play and value that snap, because if we do, then collectively, we’ll be fine. But if we don’t, we’re just out there playing. We’ve got to be better than what we were the other day.”
Some of the most obvious errors came on special teams. In particular, LaQuvionte Gonzalez fumbled punts in both the second and third quarters.
“We were just so close to getting the momentum, then every time we get there, it was us. It was something self-inflicted that we control,” Beaty said. “And we talk about controlling the controllables. We’re going back to the basics of just controlling the controllables.”
Beaty, whose team opened as a 20-point underdog for its game at Memphis on Saturday, believes his team will be improved moving forward.
“Unfortunately, we came away with a loss instead of a victory, but we will learn a lot more from that than we did probably the alternative,” Beaty said. “For that, I am grateful.”