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2019 Season

Kansas Football: Jayhawks Didn’t Win, But Still Showed Some Fire

The Jayhawks were ultimately unable to contain the Sooners, but there are still some reasons for optimism.

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Getty Images - Jamie Squire

The Jayhawks were not expected to be competitive in this game. Coming off of a horrific loss at TCU, there were questions about every aspect of this team. Khalil Herbert is redshirting and transferring. Dom Williams is also redshirting. Dru Prox is injured. But instead of folding, Kansas come out tough, took an early lead, and then shot themselves in the foot.

The best drive for the Jayhawks came on their second of the day. They started on their own 2, and quickly got two false start penalties. From there, the Jayhawks had a 9 play drive capped off by a 22-yard touchdown pass to Daylon Charlot.

Pooka Williams once again broke out against the Sooners, running for 137 yards on 23 carries. Carter Stanley had the best individual passing performance, throwing for 230 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Stephon Robinson Jr. caught 5 passes for 131 yards and 2 touchdowns. 

Pooka Williams once again broke out against the Sooners, running for 137 yards on 23 carries. Carter Stanley had the best individual passing performance, throwing for 230 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Stephon Robinson Jr. caught 5 passes for 131 yards and 2 touchdowns. 

Without Dru Prox, the defense still managed to get a few big plays. Azur Kamara had a huge sack. Najee Stevens-McKenzie had a big interception, and was getting pressure all day long. And then the defense did this:

In all, there was a lot of good things to build on. But clock management was an issue at the end of the first half. During the drive that ended in a punt on 4th and goal, the Jayhawks called two timeouts that ended up giving Oklahoma plenty of time for another scoring drive. But the offensive play calling was much better than in previous weeks. 

Things To Work On

Mix It Up More – This game still saw too much running up the gut and off-tackle. The difference here versus last week against TCU is twofold. First, the offensive line was blocking better. Second, the Oklahoma defensive line isn’t nearly as strong as the TCU one was. Ultimately, the Sooners were able to figure it out and slow down the offense enough. The coaches need to mix it up more to keep the defense off balance.

Get Healthy – Despite the pressure, Kansas wasn’t able to hold up against a talented Oklahoma offense. The return of Dru Prox will work wonders on the ability of this team to shut down some of what the opponent wants to do. Against Oklahoma, it probably wouldn’t have mattered much, but it can make the difference against teams like Iowa State or Texas Tech.

Remaining Thoughts

The Roller Coaster Is Just Beginning – Believe it or not, this is actually a good thing. After the TCU game, there was a real chance that this team was going to be demolished in every game the rest of the year. Instead, we saw enough progress that there is at least hope that this will be close. There will still be plenty of downs, but there will be some ups to celebrate in between.

Enjoy The Show – The ESPN+ series Miles To Go has done a great job peeking behind the scenes. Even after the loss last week, the show was entertaining. But regardless of what happens the rest of the year, this team is going to give us something worth watching.

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