University of Kansas

Game report: Baylor 49, Kansas 7

Kansas quarterback Ryan Willis had a tough day against Baylor on Saturday.
Kansas quarterback Ryan Willis had a tough day against Baylor on Saturday. The Associated Press

First quarter

The key: Kansas quarterback Ryan Willis couldn’t get enough arm strength on a tough pass from one hash to the opposite sideline, as Baylor’s Ryan Reid stepped in front of Kansas’ Steven Sims and returned the interception 64 yards for a touchdown. The pick-six made it 14-0 Bears midway through the first quarter, and the rout was on from there.

Second quarter

The key: Kansas was out of it anyway, but the game became more embarrassing when center KU Joe Gibson started a snap, stopped, then half-snapped it for a fumble that Baylor recovered inside the Jayhawks’ 5. Baylor’s Shock Linwood scored a 4-yard touchdown on the next play, putting KU in a five-touchdown hole.

Third quarter

The key: Kansas quarterback Carter Stanley’s first drive was a successful one, as he led the team 68 yards, capped by a Khalil Herbert 2-yard touchdown run. Sims had the big play, reversing field for a 34-yard catch and run over the middle.

Fourth quarter

The key: Baylor’s backups continued to frustrate the Kansas offense, as the Jayhawks managed just 20 fourth-quarter yards and threw an interception.

THE GRADES

Offense

F

Woof. Ryan Willis had his worst game of the season, KU’s offensive line struggled against Baylor’s front four, and the Jayhawks failed to establish a steady running game. Add on five turnovers, and this grade is the easiest of the bunch.

Defense

D

The Kansas defense was unable to build upon last week’s strong effort against TCU. The Jayhawks were driven off the ball in the running game, had too many missed tackles and also failed to force turnovers when the game was within reach.

Special teams

C+

Not much to report here. Cole Moos had a nice day with punts of 82 and 73 yards with the wind at his back. Kansas did have a miscue on one of its punt returns, as LaQuvionte Gonzalez was nearly injured after getting blindsided by a teammate who couldn’t hold his ground while blocking.

Coaching

F

Halfway through the season, Kansas’ biggest issue is poor decisions from its quarterbacks. At least part of that blame has to fall with coach David Beaty, who took over as his team’s quarterbacks coach in the offseason with the specific purpose of improving that position. You also can mark this down as another game where KU failed to bring its own energy in a game away from Memorial Stadium.

TAKEAWAYS

Player of the game: Kansas punter Cole Moos averaged 50.4 yards on eight punts, which included the two that went 70-plus.

Reason to hope: The Jayhawks play much better at home, and that’s where they’ll have a chance for their next victory.

Reason to mope: A week after showing signs of progress offensively, KU’s offensive line was overwhelmed and its quarterbacks regressed.

Looking ahead: The Jayhawks will play host to Oklahoma State at 11 a.m. next Saturday.

Jesse Newell: 816-234-4759, @jessenewell

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