The tone for this game was set early. The Kansas Jayhawks got the ball first. They managed just 9 yards on three plays and punted the ball away. Kansas State then drove methodically down the field, scoring a touchdown after a 10-play, 88-yard drive.
The next Jayhawk drive stalled out in the redzone. The field goal that Liam Jones kicked was the only points scored by Kansas until a garbage time score at the end of the game.
Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson outgained and outscored the Jayhawks single-handedly. His 129 yards passing and 127 yards rushing were more than the 241 total yards the Kansas offense gained.
There weren’t a lot of positives to take away from this game. Not a single
player really stood out in a good way. The closest thing to it was Kyron Johnson’s
ability to get into the backfield and meet the runner multiple times. However,
he wasn’t able to get the runner on the ground, and each of those plays turned
into big gains.
The final score of 38-10 doesn’t tell just how lopsided this game was. The
only thing that kept it even that close was the slew of penalties committed by
the Wildcats. That isn’t really something that you can count in the positive
column for Kansas.
Talent Disparity – Kansas has been very effective the last few weeks, but that was against beat up or ineffective opponents. Kansas State clearly has a lot of talent, especially on the lines. Brent Dearmon and D.J. Eliot have definitely been an improvement over prior coaching staffs. But they still have to deal with the overall lack of talent from prior recruiting classes. That isn’t a slight on the players that are there, who are playing their tails off. But the overall level of athleticism just isn’t there.
Build For The Future – The goal of making a bowl is all but impossible. While there is still a decent amount for this team to play for, they need to spend the bye week installing the system of the future. That includes balancing the need to be competitive to help with recruiting and getting a head start on developing guys that will play big roles next year.
Lots of Progress – Even in the loss, there were signs of progress. There were multiple things that the defense did well. It’s just that they were so bad at one particular thing that the rest didn’t really matter. And it isn’t likely that the Jayhawks will face another team that is so dominant on both lines.