Key play: KU quarterback Montell Cozart floated a perfectly placed touch pass to Nick Harwell in the corner of the end zone, pushing the early lead to 17-0 after the extra point.
Key stat: KU’s 24 points in a quarter were the most since 2010.
Key play: Senior cornerback Dexter McDonald kept Southeast Missouri off the scoreboard, intercepting a pass in the end zone in the final minutes of the half.
Key stat: Cozart completed eight of 11 passes.
Key play: Senior receiver Tony Pierson hauled in a pass, spun off a defender and raced 67 yards for a touchdown.
Key stat: McDonald notched his second interception.
Key play: With the game still in doubt, Kansas recovered a late onside kick after Southeast Missouri State cut the lead to 34-28 in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
Key stat: KU rushed for 261 yards on 41 carries.
Reason to hope: Four words: Offensive coordinator John Reagan. For one night, Kansas’ new spread offense showed some real promise. Now what happens when the competition improves?
Reason to mope: KU officials announced the attendance as 36,574, the lowest for a season opener at Memorial Stadium since 2003 (27,775).
Looking ahead: The Jayhawks travel to face fellow basketball power Duke next Saturday.
Rustin Dodd, firstname.lastname@example.org
You can question the competition, but the Jayhawks’ offense finally looked like a respectable unit. Cozart displayed some impressive chemistry with Harwell
The Jayhawks held Southeast Missouri State without a first down for the entire first quarter. Senior linebacker Ben Heeney was active and dangerous in the middle of the field.
Sophomore kicker Matthew Wyman opened the scoring with a 43-yard field goal and had a 49-yard attempt blocked. It was a mild surprise: KU’s Charlie Weis had said that freshman John Duvic would handle field-goal duties.
After five straight losing seasons, you have to start somewhere. It wasn’t flawless, but the Jayhawks dominated at times. Something they really have not done over the past four seasons.