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Jayhawk report Jayhawk report: Kansas 13, Louisiana Tech 10

  • Published Saturday, Sep. 21, 2013, at 7:36 p.m.

First quarter

Key play: Louisiana Tech’s Hunter Lee hauled in an 8-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Higgins, giving the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead with 6 seconds left in the quarter.

Key stat: Kansas fell behind in the first quarter for the third straight week.

Second quarter

Key play: KU QB Jake Heaps overthrew receiver Christian Matthews in the back of the end zone. The blown scoring opportunity was complete when the Jayhawks missed a field goal.

Key stat: KU went zero for two on fourth-down attempts.

Third quarter

Key play: With KU pinned deep, punter Trevor Pardula flipped field position, blasting a 78-yard punt to the Louisiana Tech 7-yard line.

Key stat: KU’s three third-quarter drives ended in punts.

Fourth quarter

Key play: Before Matthew Wyman’s game-winning field goal, KU got much-needed momentum from a fumble by Louisiana Tech QB Ryan Higgins. Instead of going down 17-3, KU drove the other way and tied the game 10-10.

Key stat: Charlie Weis topped an FBS team for the first time at KU.

Report card

Offense: D. Jake Heaps finished 28 of 46 for 279 yards, but the offensive line was dominated up front. As a result, the normally potent running game suffered. KU has to improve on offense as it enters the Big 12.

Defense: B. The Jayhawks came up with two huge turnovers in the fourth quarter. There was some good fortune involved, but Ben Heeney (10 tackles) and Victor Simmons (10 tackles and a sack) were solid again.

Special teams: A. Pardula, who had a 78-yard punt, is a one-man punting show. And Wyman shook off an early miss from 28 yards.

Coaching: C. KU matched its 2012 victory total and snapped a long skid against FBS teams. Next up: Break a 21-game Big 12 losing streak.

Player of the game: KU kicker Matthew Wyman. After walking on last spring, Wyman had a moment that every kicker dreams of: nailing a 52-yard game-winning field goal as time expired.

Reason to hope: The KU defense is playing like a unit from the Mark Mangino era, physical and holding teams to 13.3 points per game.

Reason to mope: It’s hard to get too excited about a win over a Louisiana Tech program that is 1-3 and going through its first year with coach Skip Holtz.

Looking ahead: KU heads into a bye week before returning to Memorial Stadium to play host to Texas Tech in its Big 12 opener on Oct. 5.

Pardula’s day

After shanking his first punt of the second half, KU punter Trevor Pardula wanted to make amends. He did that and more. Pardula, a junior-college transfer, averaged 57.6 yards on five punts, including a booming 78-yarder in the third quarter.

“It really felt good,” Pardula said. “When you hit one, especially those ones when you get a hold of it, it doesn’t feel like you’re even kicking anything, it just pops off so quick.”

On a day when the KU offense was struggling, Pardula helped keep field position in the Jayhawks’ favor. After his 78-yarder to the Louisiana Tech 7, he added a 65-yard punt that was downed at the 3.

“Pardula did a great job of controlling field position in the game,” KU coach Charlie Weis said. “He flipped the field multiple times for us, and that was big. Obviously, our specialists came up huge for us.”

•  Sophomore receiver Tre’ Parmalee, who was set to make his first start of the season, missed Saturday after having an appendectomy.… Sophomore Dylan Admire started in place of Pat Lewandowski at center, while senior Riley Spencer made his first start at right tackle.… Junior running back Tony Pierson finished with a career-high nine catches for 82 yards. Those numbers included a crucial 29-yard reception on KU’s game-winning drive.

Rustin Dodd

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