AMES, Iowa — Under Turner Gill, the Kansas football team is 0-7 in road games, losing each contest by an average of 31.3 points.
But if there was one game that looked like it could go KU's way, it was last year's 28-16 loss to Iowa State in Trice Stadium.
The Jayhawks, playing with backup quarterback Quinn Mecham, took a 9-7 lead to halftime. In a precursor of things to come this season, KU was not the same team in the third quarter, as the Cyclones scored 21 points and put up 218 yards to take control.
Still, as KU prepares to face an Iowa State team surging after a 41-7 victory over Texas Tech in Lubbock last weekend, the Jayhawks can draw on what happened last season for inspiration.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
"We had a good rhythm going," KU center Jeremiah Hatch said. "It seemed like every play we were running worked. Of course that gives you an advantage as far as confidence, knowing that it can be done."
To salvage any morsel of hope for the rest of this season, the Jayhawks (2-6, 0-5 Big 12) will have to do more than simply play well for one half against the Cyclones (4-4, 1-4). The problem is, KU has shown no spark on the road this season other than a strong offensive first half at Georgia Tech.
KU has lost by road margins of 42, 42 and 43 points, and players and coaches had trouble this week explaining why there's such a big difference away from home.
"It's not passion," KU cornerback Isiah Barfield said. "We have the same passion home and away. In order to be a successful football team, you have to win home and away."
Hatch said that some of the young players might have been wide-eyed during their first road games.
"As far as the veterans and the middle-aged guys, it shouldn't be any," Hatch said.