Saturday started off really positively for the Jayhawks; their defense looked better and even forced some turnovers while their offense had positive drives down the field. The score at half was 24-13, but the Jayhawks had a big second half against South Dakota State the week before, so there was no ruling them out. Memphis had other ideas. The Tigers scored 24 points in the third quarter and the Jayhawks lost 55-23. The Jayhawks played much better and will take a lot from the game.
The Jayhawks offense carried them as much as they could. There were times when the offense looked really good. On one of the early drives in the game, the Jayhawks went five plays for 73 yards over a 1:25 span. On this drive, Montell Cozart passed for 19 yards, rushed for 20 and Ke’aun Kinner ran for 29 yards and scored a touchdown.
Cozart did not look as good as he did against South Dakota State. He only completed 13 of 28 passes for 118 yards and only had 18 rushing yards, unlike last week when he finished with 94 rushing yards. Coach Beaty said that Cozart will remain a starter for now, but needs to come out to every practice and prove himself. Beaty also said that “he is a little bit more of an accurate quarterback then I think he showed tonight. I think he’ll comeback and rebuild from that. But there are a few nice reads he made, just missed them by a little bit.” Ke’aun Kinner was once again the highlight of the Jayhawks. He carried the ball 16 times for 113 yards and a touchdown.
The Jayhawks defense looked inexperienced and overmatched during the second half of the game on Saturday. KU let Memphis quarterback, Paxton Lynch, go 22 for 25 with 354 yards and two touchdowns.
There are many improvements KU needs to work on. First, is red zone defense. So far this season, they have surrendered points on 12 out of 12 red zone opportunities. Second, the Jayhawks need to work on yards per play-this season they have given up 7.38 yards per play. They also need more out of their pass rush and to cause less defensive penalties, as they have extended opponent’s drives. The most positive part of the defense last Saturday was that they forced three turnovers, though the offense only got three points out of them.
The Jayhawks are going into a much needed bye week this weekend. Coach Beaty is really excited to be able to work with the guys another week before their next game. The Jayhawks will take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights September 26th at 11 a.m. This is the first time the Jayhawks will ever face the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers is having some major issues off of the field, and it may affect them on the 26th. One of the most recent arrests on the team came this week for their team captain and best wide receiver, Leonte Carroo. He slammed a girl to the ground outside of the football facility after their loss last Saturday night. This could help the Jayhawks tremendously.