They say sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before you can start the climb back up. Despite the 41-38 loss to South Dakota State, the University of Kansas Jayhawks can take a lot of positives away from their loss.
The KU offense performed much better than it has in the past thanks to Coach Beaty’s new Air Raid approach.The Jayhawks didn’t play as fast paced as they wanted to, but it was a really good start. The offense had 576 total yards, the most points in a game since October 2011, and four scoring drives in four minutes or less. Junior running back Ke’aun Kinner made his first appearance at Memorial Stadium. He ran for 157 yards and two touchdowns.
From day one of spring practices, KU has emphasized effort, enthusiasm, giving everything you’ve got and playing fast. Even though he didn’t play in the game, offensive coordinator, Rob Likens (who hasn’t been an offensive coordinator since 2009), did a great job-especially when the Jayhawks were down 31-7 with over 12 minutes to play in the first half.The Jayhawks ran ninety plays, fifty of which were runs and the other forty were passing plays.
There were, unfortunately, plenty of negative things that occurred during the game. The Jayhawks were penalized 75 yards and had two turnovers. South Dakota didn’t have any. The defense looked small in the front, middle and back. The Jayhawks defense needs to work on depth or I expect many offenses will put up big numbers against them.
On Saturday, the Jayhawks face the Memphis Tigers who beat Missouri State last Saturday 63-7. On Sunday, Memphis started out as a nine point favorite over KU, but that quickly jumped to as high as 12 points. Being the underdogs may be the case for the Jayhawks all season, but this isn’t going to stop Beaty from being proud of his team for the things they accomplish each game. KU will improve this season and never forget, a team with zero expectations can be a very dangerous opponent.