Here are grades for all three Kansas units, a highlight from Saturday’s 31-13 loss against Oklahoma State and a look ahead to next week’s game against Iowa State.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Beating the blitz: After being shut out for the first 45 minutes, KU finally found some success when it went back to quarterback Carter Stanley in the fourth quarter.
One of Stanley’s best throws came on a fourth-and-8 on the Jayhawks’ last drive, as he countered Oklahoma State’s blitz with an accurate pass to Quan Hampton in the back of the end zone for a nine-yard score.
It was Hampton’s first reception of the season.
Offense: F. A disappointing effort all around. From running Les Miles’ inflexible toss sweep on two crucial third downs early to the weird benching of Stanley for Les’ son Manny (for a quarter), there were some strange decisions throughout. Add in three interceptions and the inability to establish a running game, and KU’s offense put its defense in horrible scenarios time and time again. The Jayhawks also had five three-and-outs, with their only real success coming in the fourth quarter with the outcome already decided.
Defense: B-: KU’s defense held up — for the most part — against one of the Big 12’s top offenses. The Jayhawks forced a pair of first-half punts and never allowed the dangerous Chuba Hubbard to break free, as the back’s longest run was 18 yards. Oklahoma State still managed a healthy 6.9 yards per play and was able to hit a couple deep passes for touchdowns, but this still was a definite step forward for a KU football defense that has been gashed in recent games.
Special teams: D. Liam Jones missed a first quarter field goal try, though it was a long attempt at 42 yards. Kyle Thompson had a couple poor punts early — including one that went just 13 yards — but also boomed three over 50 and finished with a 43-yard average. Overall, though, special teams didn’t play a huge role in KU’s loss.
KU will play a road game against Iowa State at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 23 at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa. The game will be televised on Fox Sports KC.