For most of the season, Kansas coach David Beaty has taken pride in his team’s discipline.
The Jayhawks had the fewest penalty yards in the Big 12 heading into last week, a fact that made Saturday’s 48-21 loss to West Virginia all the more disappointing.
KU was flagged nine times for 104 yards — its highest total in five seasons — with Beaty knowing his team will have to be better in Saturday’s 11 a.m. home game against Iowa State.
“We had to go figure out what caused some of those things,” Beaty said. “And as you look at it, a lot of it that goes down really comes down to focusing on what your job is and not focusing on things that don’t matter.”
The problems started with the game’s first play. On the opening kickoff — a touchback, no less — KU freshman Mike Lee received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
“Your job is to go play as hard as and you can then get off the field or go get back in the huddle,” Beaty said. “So that takes care of a lot of it there.”
KU defensive lineman Daniel Wise also was ejected after a personal-foul penalty in the second half, with officials ruling that he had thrown a punch. That appears to have not been the case, as the Big 12 alerted Beaty earlier in the week that Wise would not face further suspension for his role in the incident.
Wise admitted to Beaty that he and a West Virginia player pushed each other.
“If there was something that I was really disappointed in the other night, it was the fact that we had a couple of personal fouls that, whether they were really warranted or not, I don’t care,” Beaty said. “We were close enough that we put ourselves in position to be judged. We’ve got to learn from that.”
The mental mistakes only added to a season where KU has been hampered by self-inflicted errors. The Jayhawks are last in the nation in both turnovers (29) and turnover margin (negative-15).
Beaty is determined to fix the penalty issue quickly.
“We addressed all of that with our team, just the chippery stuff that was going on that we haven’t seen since we’ve been here,” Beaty said. “Those types of things are just sources of frustration that they just simply can’t happen. We don’t allow those to happen.
“It’s just not part of what we do.”
Stanley to start — Redshirt freshman Carter Stanley will get his first career start against Iowa State on Saturday, Beaty announced during a Friday radio interview. Stanley completed 9 of 11 passes for 127 yards with two touchdowns and an interception during the second half of last week’s game against West Virginia.
“I know he’s fired up and ready to go,” Beaty said, “but the rest of those guys have got to be prepared, because they’re only one play away.”
KU starter Montell Cozart left last week’s game with a concussion, though he returned to practice earlier in the week.
Jesse Newell: @jessenewell
Iowa State at Kansas
- When: 11 a.m. Saturday
- Where: Memorial Stadium, Lawrence
- Records: ISU 1-8, 06 Big 12; KU 1-8, 0-6
- Radio: KFH, 1240-AM, 98.7-FM
- TV: FSKC
Other story lines
1. Shuffle continues: KU will be starting its third different quarterback this season when redshirt freshman Carter Stanley gets the nod. Though he doesn’t possess tremendous arm strength, Stanley made good decisions against West Virginia last week and has been described as a “gamer” by KU coach David Beaty.
2. Break the streak? The Jayhawks have lost 18 straight Big 12 games, a streak that extends back more than two calendar years. The good news? KU’s last conference win came against Iowa State, the team that will be coming to Lawrence on Saturday.
3. Look for 30: Since 1990, when KU and Iowa State have met, the team scoring at least 30 points has never lost. KU is 14-0-1 when hitting that threshold, while Iowa State is 6-0-1.