Kansas football vs. South Dakota: Jayhawks win 17-14 in first game of Lance Leipold era

Jordan Guskey
Topeka Capital-Journal
Jayhawaks coach Lance Leipold coachs his team from the sidelines during the first half of Friday's game against South Dakota.

Kansas' 2021 regular season opened Friday at home against South Dakota. 

Behind starting quarterback Jason Bean, a redshirt junior and transfer from North Texas, the Jayhawks looked to capture the first win of first-year head coach Lance Leipold's tenure with the program. And they were also going after their first win since the 2019 season, too, after going winless during the COVID-19-affected 2020 campaign.

►RELATED:University of Kansas football releases depth chart ahead of Jayhawks' 2021 season opener

►RELATED:3 takeaways from Hawk Talk with Kansas football coach Lance Leipold on Aug. 31

How did Bean looked in his first appearance with Kansas? What sort of effect did the new coordinators have on how the Jayhawks played offensively and defensively? Was there the type of crowd Leipold and company were looking for?

Here are the updates from David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. 

Kansas football fans storm the field after beating South Dakota

When your head coach's first game results in the program's first win in more than a year, it's cause for celebration.

FINAL: Kansas 17, South Dakota 14

Kansas earned a 17-14 win against South Dakota, scoring a late touchdown to take the lead for good. Starting quarterback Jason Bean threw two touchdown passes, both to Lawrence Arnold, to help deliver the victory. The Jayhawks also had a field goal.

South Dakota found the end zone on two long touchdown runs at different points in the game, and even led late. The Coyotes were just unable to hold off their hosts.

Kansas leads again

On a drive that at times look as if it wouldn't end in points, and instead a Kansas defeat, the Jayhawks were able to take the lead again. Jason Bean found Lawrence Arnold for a 16-yard touchdown pass, and the ensuing extra point gave the Jayhawks a 17-14 lead with 1:12 left in the game.

South Dakota takes the lead

After stopping Kansas on a fourth-down attempt near midfield, South Dakota didn't waste much time driving the ball down for a score. A 25-yard touchdown run capped off the drive and an extra point gave the Coyotes a 14-10 lead with 5:16 left in the game.

South Dakota ties it, but doesn't

South Dakota seemed to tie the score on a field goal attempt, but a timeout it took itself took those points off of the board. And then, when it decided to go for it on fourth and short just outside of the red zone, it didn't convert. So, Kansas kept the 10-7 lead midway through the fourth quarter.

Stats: Kansas leads 10-7 after three quarters

Kansas unable to take advantage of a great kickoff return

Kenny Logan Jr. returned a kickoff 83 yards to give his team quality field position at the South Dakota 13 yard line. However, the drive ended with no points. Kansas went for it on fourth and short late in the third quarter inside the Coyotes' 10 yard line and didn't get it.

South Dakota ends Kansas' shutout with a touchdown run

Shomari Lawrence scored on a 29-yard run for the Coyotes with 3:33 left in the third quarter, and after an extra point only trailed 10-7. The drive lasted 3:23 and went 75 yards on nine plays. That 29-yard scamper is South Dakota's longest play from scrimmage and it's longer than any Kansas play as well.

Kansas takes 10-0 lead midway through third quarter

The Jayhawks drove the ball well in their first opportunity of the second half, taking 6:10 off the clock on a 13-play drive. On the drive they collected four first downs, which is exactly as many as they had through the first two quarters. Kansas nearly had another touchdown pass from Bean, but settled for a 30-yard field goal by Jacob Borcila to take a 10-0 lead with 6:58 left in the third quarter.

Halftime stats: Kansas 7, South Dakota 0

Kansas scores first touchdown of the Lance Leipold era

Jason Bean found Lawrence Arnold for an eight-yard touchdown pass with 0:29 left in the second quarter to take the lead against South Dakota, and score the first touchdown of the Lance Leipold era. An extra point made it 7-0. The drive went 37 yards on seven plays and took 3:18 off the clock. Bean is now 7-for-10 passing with 59 yards through the air to go with 44 yards on the ground as well.

Tale of two lines for Kansas so far

Kansas' defensive line has consistently gotten pressure, whether it's been on pass plays or running plays for South Dakota. However, the Jayhawks haven't been able to be as impactful with their offensive line so far. Kansas is averaging two yards per carry with 16 attempts with 3:45 left in the second quarter and it still tied 0-0. And 30 of the 32 yards the Jayhawks have gained on the ground have come from quarterback Jason Bean, who has seven attempts on the ground.

Jayhawks' young secondary is getting its chances to make plays early

They haven't been perfect, but the underclassmen who Kansas is relying on in its secondary have been doing pretty well. Just now, freshman safety O.J. Burroughs made a great play to break up a pass and force another punt by South Dakota. With 8:27 left in the second quarter, there's still no score and each team has gained more yards on the ground than they have through the air.

Kansas' offense finally gets a first down, but the drive ends with a punt

On a Jason Bean eight-yard run, the Jayhawks earned a first down for the first time. It came less than a minute into the second quarter, but didn't provide the momentum necessary for Kansas to keep the drive going much longer. Again, Kansas punted.

Kansas, South Dakota tied 0-0 at the end of the first quarter

Neither Kansas nor South Dakota were able to score in the first 15 minutes of action. The Jayhawks are still looking for a first down while the Coyotes have four. Kansas has 18 yards of total offense to South Dakota's 67. Kyron Johnson had a sack for Kansas that forced a fumble on a South Dakota third-down play to end the quarter.

South Dakota misses a 46-yard field goal

South Dakota nearly had the game's first points, but a field goal from 46 yards out missed. The Coyotes are moving the ball much better so far with 3:18 left in the first quarter. Four first downs for South Dakota to Kansas' zero.

Kansas potentially loses defensive lineman Sam Burt to injury

After a third down stop midway through the first quarter that led to a South Dakota punt, Kansas' Sam Burt remained down on the field with an apparent injury. He'd later walk off under his own power but left to head toward the locker room. The issue looks like it's something with his right arm.

Jayhawks' defense earns its first stop of the year on its opening drive

South Dakota drove into Kansas territory, thanks in large part to a screen pass on third and long that gained 21 yards. But the Jayhawks held strong on a Coyotes fourth-down attempt — stopped a quarterback run — to get their team the ball back.

Jayhawks go three-and-out on their first drive on offense

Kansas couldn't gain a first down on its opening drive, with it stalling after a solid first-down run by Velton Gardner. Jason Bean's first pass attempt of the season was an incomplete pass.

The scene right before kickoff

Coin toss

South Dakota won the toss and chose to defer.

Kansas' captains are?

Quarterback Miles Kendrick, wide receiver Kwami Lassiter II and defensive linemen Kyron Johnson and Sam Burt are the Jayhawks' captains.

Pre-game injury news for Kansas

Running back Daniel Hishaw Jr. is out for the season. Wide receiver Kevin Terry is out for a while. Running back Amauri Pesek-Hickson is week-to-week.

Pesek-Hickson is currently listed as the No. 2 running back behind Velton Gardner, which could mean Devin Neal becomes more of a feature in the offense than he would have been otherwise. Hishaw was the second-leading rusher for the Jayhawks last season. And Terry transferred in from Texas Tech.

Jordan Guskey covers University of Kansas Athletics at The Topeka Capital-Journal. Contact him at jmguskey@gannett.com or on Twitter at @JordanGuskey.