Here are grades for all three Kansas units, a highlight from Saturday’s 41-14 loss to Texas Tech and a look ahead to Oklahoma.
Play of the game
Kenny stands out: Safety Kenny Logan continues to make plays for a struggling KU defense, as he broke well on a Henry Colombi pass for an interception late in the first quarter. A nice runback also gave him a chance to show off some of the moves he displays often as KU’s primary kick returner.
— Kansas Football (@KU_Football) October 16, 2021
The Jayhawks just don’t have much going right on defense except for Logan, though; the pick was KU football’s only defensive stop against Texas Tech before the game’s final minute.
Offense: F. Is Jason Bean the long-term answer at quarterback for KU? It’s a question that must at least be considered behind the scenes by the Jayhawks’ coaches after another rough outing on his part. Bean couldn’t take advantage of decent pass blocking as KU mustered just 80 passing yards on his 21 attempts. He added another interception as well, and Big 12 defenses seem to be content keeping him in the pocket at this point while trying to make him prove he can win with his arm. Though KU’s run blocking had been on a good trajectory lately, this game appeared to be a side-step at best. The Jayhawks’ 14 points were definitely misleading, as both came in garbage time during the game’s final minute.
Defense: F. To put it bluntly, what ails KU’s defense no longer appears readily fixable in-season. The Jayhawks need more development time and some talent infusion, along with an offseason to become more comfortable with defensive coordinator Brian Borland’s schemes. Having said all that ... this was a worse effort even given those low expectations. Texas Tech has a good offense, but going TD, INT, FG, TD, TD, TD, TD, FG on its first eight drives was just another exhibit of Big 12 offenses facing almost no resistance against KU’s defense. If you squint super-hard, there appeared to be some progress from linebacker Gavin Potter, who was more decisive on some run plays while registering his first solo tackle-for-loss of the season.
Special teams: D. KU’s special teams weren’t good against Texas Tech, but they also basically played no part in the final result. After a great start this season, Reis Vernon has struggled lately, with a long of 37 (and average of 32) on his four punts Saturday. Jacob Borcila missed his only field goal try from 47 in the first quarter, but kicks that long aren’t considered gimmes at any level of football. Tabor Allen remains a bright spot at kickoff specialist while reducing opponent kickoff return attempts.
KU will play host to Oklahoma at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23 at Booth Memorial Stadium in Lawrence. The game will be televised on ESPN.