Key play: Texas Tech looked to be on its first touchdown drive when Kansas’ defense held them to a field goal. This came on a red zone sack on third down by Joe Dineen Jr., holding the Red Raiders out of the end zone early.
Key stat: DeAndre Mann was the leading ball carrier for the Jayhawks. He had three carries for 55 yards.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Kansas City Star
Key play: Patrick Mahomes hit Reginald Davis in stride from 45 yards, making it 20-0 at halftime.
Key stat: Mahomes threw for 201 yards in the second quarter opening up the Texas Tech offense to pull ahead.
Key play: Ryan Willis connected with Darious Crawley for a ten yard touchdown pass. Crawley broke a few tackles and stretched for the end zone. This put Kansas back in the game.
Key stat: 17 points. The Red Raiders held a 17 point advantage coming out of the quarter, but watched it wither away.
Key play: Jah'Shawn Johnson’s 27 yard interception return set the tone for the rest of the game. The Jayhawks had a chance to drive down and score, but this completely stopped the team’s momentum in their tracks.
Key stat: Deandre Washington gained 90 more yards on the ground to ice the win for the Red Raiders. He was the leading rusher on the day with 160 yards.
Freshman Ryan Willis, the Bishop Miege graduate, showed some real promise and confidence. Other than one bad interception he managed the game well and found his open recievers, who also impressed most of the day. He looks to be a confident thrower who could lead the Jayhawks for years to come. There are still many questions for the entire group for a young bunch they might be able to put up points in the future.
Holding the Texas Tech offense down is not an easy task. For Jayhawks it came from great pressure up front despite putting some new guys into the mix. They finished the day with five sacks and pressured Patrick Mahomes many times. They also had an interception and a fumble recovery so the defense showed some signs of life.
Beaty was extremely disappointed after the game knowing his team left 10 points out there due to the kicking game. Going 0-for-3 on field goals is always going to hurt when you look at the stat sheet. Still, the Jayhawks might have found an answer at punter with Matthew Wyman. He’s been the kicker so his strong leg might make him the best bet for them moving forward.
After going into halftime 20-0, David Beaty and his staff came out and made some major adjustments to get Kansas back into the game. Not only did the defense step up but the emergence of Willis made for a more positive outcome after it looked like it was headed down a similar path of a blowout. It will be interesting to see if Beaty can keep his team competitive especially with a brutal stretch of the Big 12 schedule coming up.
Player of the game: Fish Smithson. An interception and a fumble recovery that almost resulted in a touchdown showed why Smithson is a veteran the Jayhawks rely on heavily. If Kansas will continue to stay in games Smithson will be a big reason. He tackles well and makes plays in the secondary.
Reason to hope: Kansas quarterback Ryan Willis continues to make improvements week to week. The true freshman showed why Kansas fans should be excited about the future. If you can keep Willis protected with the offensive line, then he might have a successful year and career.
Reason to mope: The Jayhawks schedule does not let up. Three of the next five games are against Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and TCU, all top 25 teams this season. If the Jayhawks want to show real improvement, they will need another performance like Saturday’s in order to find some wins late in the schedule.
Looking ahead: Kansas goes on the road to Oklahoma State next week. The Jayhawks will try to break a 32-game road losing streak when they travel to Stillwater. The game starts at 2:30 p.m.