University of Kansas

Jayhawk report: No. 12 Baylor 60, Kansas 14

Kansas coach Clint Bowen shouts to his players Saturday in the 60-14 loss to No. 12 Baylor.
Kansas coach Clint Bowen shouts to his players Saturday in the 60-14 loss to No. 12 Baylor. AP

First quarter

Key play: Early in the first quarter, Baylor receiver Corey Coleman hauled in a short pass, made KU safety Cassius Sendish whiff, and then sprinted 72 yards for a 7-0 lead.

Key stat: Baylor had 191 total yards.

Second quarter

Key play: On fourth-and-goal from the 1, the Kansas defense put 10 men on the field as Baylor punched in a touchdown to push the score to 36-7 with 3:28 left in the half.

Key stat: KU lost three fumbles.

Third quarter

Key play: Baylor poured it on with a 49-yard touchdown pass from Bryce Petty to Corey Coleman with 10:26 left in the third quarter.

Key stat: Kansas had 11 rushing yards in three quarters.

Fourth quarter

Key play: Baylor ran clock for most of the quarter, but added one final touchdown run from backup quarterback Seth Russell with 13:56 left.

Key stat: Baylor rushed for 326 yards.

Report card

Offense: D. After an early moment of hope — quarterback Michael Cummings hit Nick Harwell on a 28-yard touchdown strike — the Jayhawks’ offense went dark. The first-half turnovers (three fumbles) were crippling. So was the running game, which produced 0 total yards in the first half.

Defense: D. The defense was put in many precarious situations, but still managed to hold Baylor to field goals on four possessions during the first half. In the end, though, Baylor had too much firepower. The Bears could have put up 700 yards and 70 points, if they were motivated.

Special teams: C. There were no major coverage breakdowns in the return game, so that was a net positive. Punter Trevor Pardula averaged 44.4 yards on five punts. JaCorey Shepherd had a 27-yard kickoff return.

Coaching: C. The Jayhawks were outmanned, but for the first time since Clint Bowen took over, the Jayhawks made some costly mental mistakes. Too many penalties. Too many fumbles. That resulted in KU’s 28th straight road loss.

Player of the game: Baylor running back Devin Chafin. Chafin averaged eight yards per carry while finishing with two touchdowns. He led a rushing-attack-by-committee that racked up 326 yards on the ground.

Reason to hope: What could be the Jayhawks’ last winnable game — Iowa State at home — is finally up next on the schedule.

Reason to mope: Yes, the schedule. After facing Iowa State at home, Kansas will finish with TCU at home and road trips to Oklahoma and Kansas State.

Looking ahead: Former Kansas coach Mark Mangino makes his return to Lawrence as Iowa State’s offensive coordinator. The Jayhawks will play host to Iowa State at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Notes

Injury updates – Kansas suffered two serious injury scares. Freshman defensive back Derrick Neal and senior defensive lineman Keon Stowers were both carted off and taken to a nearby hospital for further tests during the first half. Both players were communicating with medical personnel and had mobility, KU officials said.

The Jayhawks lost Neal midway through the first quarter. On the ensuing kick after the Jayhawks’ first touchdown, Neal’s body went limp after putting a hit on return man Devin Chafin. Neal stayed down for close to three minutes, while KU’s training staff inspected Neal and a cart was summoned. Eventually, Neal was able to stand up under his own power and leave for the hospital.

In the second quarter, Stowers was also taken off after attempting to make a tackle.

“Both of those guys are getting checked out,” KU coach Clint Bowen said. “We have a great medical staff. It’s hard; it brings back the reality of football sometimes that injuries do happen. And those are our teammates and kids that we care a ton about.”

Offense, too – Senior linebacker Ben Heeney had his first career rushing attempt during a short-yardage situation early in the second half. The Jayhawks faced a fourth-and-2 on the first possession after halftime. Heeney, a former standout running back at Hutchinson High School, made one man miss, but couldn’t make the first down.

“Ben kind of sparked the interest when he had the interception in the (Texas Tech) game and he ran like a mad bull,” Bowen said. “So we were struggling to find a short-yardage back to stick it up there on and third-and-1, and obviously if you’re going to put the ball in someone’s hand that has a pretty good intention to get things done, Ben Heeney’s a pretty good candidate.”

Rustin Dodd

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