Kansas football report

11/30/2013 5:43 PM

11/30/2013 5:44 PM

First quarter

Key play:

Quarterback Montell Cozart went the wrong way on a third-and-5 after the Jayhawks had moved into Kansas State territory for the first time. He was pulled in favor of Jake Heaps on the next series.

Key stat:

The Jayhawks could do little with Wildcats running back John Hubert all day and that was evident from the first quarter, when he collected 65 of his 220 rushing yards.

Second quarter

Key play:

Heaps’ dart to Jimmay Mundine on fourth-and-2 went for an 11-yard score for Kansas’ lone touchdown of the game.

Key stat:

After some early struggles, Heaps warmed up to complete eight of 14 in the quarter and get the offense moving.

Third quarter

Key play:

Officially, it went as a Heaps’ interception, but Mundine’s mishandling of a pass over the middle, which would have set up Kansas near midfield, turned into a Dante Barnett interception.

Key stat:

Kansas committed four turnovers on four possessions, two in the third quarter and two in the fourth.

Fourth quarter

Key play:

None for Kansas. The turnovers piled up until the total reached six. Cozart returned to the game and couldn’t spark the offense.

Key stat:

The Wildcats held the ball for more than 11 minutes of the quarter, preventing any kind of momentum play from Kansas.

Player of the game:

Despite surrendering a big game to John Hubert, the Kansas defense held up well. Linebacker Michael Reynolds recorded a sack and 3 1/2 tackles for loss on a day when the Jayhawks came up with three sacks and 12 tackles for loss.

Reason to hope:

Eight seniors started for the Jayhawks, only two on defense.

Reason to mope:

Besides a fifth straight season in last place, Kansas will be overhauling a unit that took a step back this season: the offensive line. Three seniors started Saturday. The Jayhawks have to get better here to have a chance at improvement in 2014.

Looking ahead: W

ith Tim Grunhard stepping down, we know Kansas will be operating with a new offensive line coach, and it’s been widely speculated that Weis will hire Rice offensive coordinator John Reagan to take over the offense. Weis wouldn’t speculate on other coaching change possibilities. Also limbering up for spring practice is T.J. Millweard, a quarterback who has transferred from UCLA. Millweard is the third QB to find Lawrence after starting elsewhere, following Dayne Crist from Notre Dame and Heaps from Brigham Young. Who knows how things shake up in the spring with Heaps and Cozart set to return?

| Blair Kerkhoff, bkerkhoff@kcstar.com Report card
F Offense Total yards: 223; turnovers: six. Bad day, bad season.
B Defense The Jayhawks blew coverages on Jake Waters’ first two touchdown passes, one a Tim Tebow-like jump pass, but the unit settled down and performed well.
B Special teams Punter Trevor Pardula warmed up after a slow start. Ron Doherty made his only field goal attempt, and the kickoff coverage team produced a fumble recovery. KU kept the Wildcats from big kickoff and punt returns.
C Coaching Coaches can’t do much about turnovers once the game starts. And despite all the mistakes, Kansas was more competitive against the Wildcats than in recent years.

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