Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Postgame: Special Teams Play Cost Kansas Jayhawks Dearly


The Kansas Jayhawks fell 34-19 to the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday in Lawrence, Kansas.

THE GAME WAS OVER WHEN: Oklahoma scored 15 points in less than 4 minutes in the second quarter, coming from 13 points behind. With just over 7 minutes to go in the first half, the Sooners finished off a 6-play 55-yard drive with a touchdown pass.

On the ensuing drive, the Jayhawks went backwards 11 yards in 3 plays and punted. The punt was blocked and Trevor Pardula kicked the ball out of the end zone for a safety. After Kansas kicked the ball off after the safety, Oklahoma torched Kansas for a 49-yard touchdown on a pass from wide receiver, Lacoltan Bester, on an end around, wide out pass.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: JaCorey Shepherd picked off his third interception on the year and played tough defense all day long. He also returned 3 kickoffs for 70 yards.

FUN STAT: Kansas had just 16 yards passing. Yes, 16!

THREE POSITIVES

  1. The running game looked as good as it has all season for most of the afternoon. The Sooners defensive line is depleted and a bit undersized and the Jayhawks took full advantage by gaining 185 yards in 39 carries. James Sims carried the ball 23 times for 129 yards, and two touchdowns. Darrian Miller had 9 rushes for 67 yards.
  2. Kansas scored 2 touchdowns in the 15:11 of the game and led the Sooners 13-0. It was the first time the Jayhawks led in a game against the Sooners since 2001.
  3. The play of defensive back JaCorey Shepherd.

 

THREE WORRIES

  1. The special teams were absolutely awful in this game. They had 2 missed extra points, one of which was blocked and returned the length of the field for 2 points by the Sooners. Oklahoma also blocked a punt for a safety. If you are not counting, that’s 6 points the special teams were directly responsible for. Punter Trevor Pardula entered the game second in the nation in average per punt. On this day, he booted the ball 8 times for a paltry average of just 29.6 yards.
  2. The rush defense stopped the Sooners early but could not maintain that success for very long. Oklahoma ended up tallying 235 yards on 45 carries. Damien Williams led the Sooners with 15 caries and 56 yards. The Jayhawks missed injured linebacker Ben Heeney.
  3. The passing attack was pretty much non existent. Quarterback Jake Heaps was 5-13 for 16 yards. Yep, 16 yards. It was absolutely embarrassing.

 

The list of worries could go on for a long time but this is a brief summary of the game. Suffice it to say that after the first 15:11, in was not a pretty football game for the Jayhawks.

UP NEXT

Kansas will host the high powered Baylor Bears at 7:00 CT. The game will be on ESPNU.

 

 

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