Kansas falls to Central Michigan, 45-27

September 10, 2016: during the game between the Kansas Jayhawks and the Ohio Bobcats played at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, KS. (Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

Courtesy: KU Athletics

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas football fell behind by 18 points in the first half to Central Michigan on Saturday at Memorial Stadium, and was unable to overcome the deficit, ultimately falling 45-27. Three second-half touchdowns, two of which came from freshman running back Dom Williams, wouldn’t be enough as the Jayhawks were outgained by the Chippewas, 590-470, with the Jayhawk defense giving up 467 yards and five touchdowns in the air.

Kansas (1-1) opened the second half with an energy that was missing in the first half, completing a 75-yard drive in four plays, capped by a 33-yard touchdown, KU’s first of the day, on a reverse from junior wide receiver Ryan Schadler to cut the CMU (2-0) lead to 24-13.

Junior running back Deron Thompson started the drive with gains of 13 and 7 yards on the ground before junior quarterback Peyton Bender completed a 22-yard pass to junior wide receiver Jeremiah Booker, moving the Jayhawks into Central Michigan territory at the 33-yard line.

After the touchdown from Schadler, the Kansas defense held Central Michigan to its third three-and-out of the game and took possession of the ball on its own 34 following a 44-yard punt by the Chippewas.

Kansas cut the lead to four with an eight-play, 66-yard drive capped with a one-yard run by Williams. Kansas benefitted from a pass interference call on the drive and Bender picked up 50 yards through the air on three completions, including a 17-yard catch by sophomore wide receiver Evan Fairs on second-and-14 the play prior to the touchdown.

The 14 unanswered points by the Jayhawks to open the half were all but wiped out after Central Michigan scored a touchdown with 5:48 remaining in the third quarter, then followed with an 11-play, 73-yard drive with 13:29 remaining in the game to take a 38-20 lead.

The Jayhawks got back on the board with another touchdown run from Williams, but a 75-yard touchdown pass by Central Michigan on its first play following the KU score set the final tally for the game.

Kansas was the first to score in the game thanks to a 23-yard field goal by senior kicker Gabriel Rui, but struggled to get things going in the first half, with Central Michigan outgaining KU 267-129 in the first 30 minutes.

Following KU’s field goal with 13 minutes remaining in the first quarter, Central Michigan scored 10 unanswered points to take a 10-3 lead.

Central Michigan moved into the red zone after the KU field goal with a 29-yard completion, but with the Chippewas threatening to score on second-and-seven, junior defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr., came up with a big stop behind the line of scrimmage to slow the visitors’ momentum and eventually force a 27-yard field goal.

A Kansas three-and-out that ended with an interception thrown by Bender quickly gave Central Michigan the ball back after the field goal, and the Chippewas drove 49 yards in four plays, capped with a 14-yard catch, to take the lead.

Another three-and-out from KU gave Central Michigan the ball back, but the Jayhawk defense was able to come up with a stop, highlighted by a big pass breakup by sophomore cornerback Hasan Defense on third-and-10, forcing the Chippewas to punt.

KU started the ensuing drive backed up to its own end zone after a booming 57-yard punt rolled out of bounds on the one. The Jayhawks gave themselves breathing room with gains of three, six and four yards, but an eight-yard loss on a sack on first-and-10 pushed the Jayhawks back and they were forced to punt on third-and-11.

Senior Cole Moos booted a 50-yard punt and the Jayhawks took advantage of a CMU miscue, as sophomore wide receiver Chase Harrell recovered a ball that was touched on the roll by the Chippewas, giving KU the ball on the Central Michigan 37-yard line.

Bender completed three passes on the drive and Williams added seven yards on the ground, but the Jayhawks were held to another field goal to bring the score within four, 10-6.

Central Michigan answered the KU field goal with two touchdown drives of 83 and 90 yards, respectively, to close the first half with an 18-point lead.

Bender finished the game completing 32-of-62 passes for 323 yards and also had two interceptions. His 62 attempts were the most in a game in Kansas history, topping 58 by David Jaynes in 1973. Bender spread his completions out to four receivers, with senior tight end Ben Johnson leading with seven catches. Freshman wide receiver Quan Hampton caught six passes for a career-best 67 yards receiving.

Williams led the Jayhawks’ running game with 64 yards on 18 attempts and also picked up 42 yards on five catches, while Thompson picked up a career-high 48 yards on the ground with 10 rushes, averaging 4.8 yards per attempt.

Redshirt junior linebacker Joe Dineen Jr., led the Jayhawks for the second-straight game with 12 tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss, after tallying 15 in the season opener. Senior cornerback Derrick Neal recorded a career-high nine tackles to aid the Kansas defense.

The Jayhawks travel to Athens, Ohio for their first road game of 2017, facing Ohio on Saturday, September 16. The game will be available to stream through ESPN3 and will be broadcast on the Jayhawk Radio Network.

QUOTES
Kansas Head Coach David Beaty

Q. You said you knew Central Michigan was going to get better from where they were last week. Looked like they made a tremendous jump along the offensive line with their quarterback.
DAVID BEATY: I thought he played really well. I think up front they did a nice job. They had a new center in there. I think they moved one of their guards over because they had a guy get hurt last week.

You know what, you got to take your hat off. (John) Bonamego had them ready. He did a nice job with the game plan. (Shane) Morris kid did a nice job of completing balls when they needed to. They protected him really well. We didn’t have any pass-rush to speak of for most of the day.

We had a rough outing on defense tonight. We really didn’t do a whole, whole lot better offensively by getting into the end zone when we needed to.

I think we played a lot better on special teams, but we just didn’t play good enough in any phase to get it done today, and they certainly did. Came on the road, had to recover from an outing last week I know they weren’t happy about. They did a better job than we did. We got to coach them better. I got to lead them better. All of our guys got to work harder to get better.

Q. Didn’t have a lot going in the first half. A couple scores right away in the second half. What did you do to grab some momentum at that point, and then the difficulties carrying over much further?
DAVID BEATY: Well, the thing is as you go back and look at it, early in the game, they did a nice job, don’t get me wrong, but a lot of things that were problems were self-inflicted. You got guys fitting in the wrong spot and the ball always finds that. When you got two guys in the gap, one gap is exposed, the ball will find it. It found it a lot today.

When you have a guy not communicating in coverage, we are not passing off on man coverage routes in the right way, man, the ball is going to find you, and it did. I thought they had a good game plan coming in. Wasn’t that they were doing anything special. We knew what they were doing. I thought we had some momentum going there.

Not being able to stop them there after we scored those two quick touchdowns was a big deal. Pass interference called in the end zone was a big play, a big play right there. We didn’t answer the bell offensively after that. That’s something we got to do as a team.

We got to be better collectively. That will help us go a long ways. We got a lot of football left. That’s the second game. We’re going to get ourselves ready to go for Ohio.

Q. Looked like you were a little thin at wide receiver today. Did that have an impact on getting stuff going offensively?
DAVID BEATY: No, I don’t think so. We tried to get a couple guys ready. We tried to get Steven (Sims) ready. Tried to get Kerr Johnson ready. Steven went out there first few plays. He just couldn’t do it. I’ll take my hat off to Steven. He’s a tough sucker. He just couldn’t go. Went out there and returned a punt for us, played a few plays. Just wasn’t fair to put him out there. Kerr just wasn’t quite ready, so he was unavailable.

I thought those other guys had the ability to do the things we needed to do to move the football. We did it on occasion. Peyton (Bender) could have played a lot better game with his accuracy. I thought he needed to do a little bit better job of pulling the ball down at times, taking off and becoming a runner. It would have helped us a little bit with that game.

Q. You have a game in seven days. When you have a performance like this, do you want to get right back out there?
DAVID BEATY: Oh, yeah. You absolutely do. Like I said, we got a lot of football left. I still like our team. I think unfortunately you got to learn lessons when you win and lose. We learned a tough one today. You don’t live on perception. You live on reality. We’re just not there yet. We got a long ways to go. I know these guys. They’re going to fight, they’ll come back ready to work tomorrow. We’ll improve, and we’ll be ready to go when we head to Ohio next week.

DAVID BEATY: First of all, just give credit to Central Michigan, Coach Bonamego and his staff did a really nice job. I thought they did a really good job offensively. They did not play like that last week.

I knew coming into this game that he is way too good of a football coach for his team not to play better. They certainly did that. I thought defensively they played pretty good. They had a good plan coming in.

They did some things that I thought helped them early in the game, I thought we adjusted there late. It helped us. But I don’t think we did enough to be able to get over the hump.

There were some times where I thought we had a little momentum going and we just couldn’t sustain it. We got to be able to be better collectively. We certainly didn’t play great collectively tonight.

When the offense needed the defense, we weren’t there. When the defense needed the offense, we just weren’t there today. W’vee got to get better in that area.

There’s a lot of things we’ve got to do to get better. We understand that. We’ll come back ready to go tomorrow. That’s one thing I do know. I believe in our staff, I believe in our kids, I believe in our team. Much like them, I think we’ve got a chance to get a lot better between now and next week. We have no choice. There’s a game coming up next week against a really good opponent. We’re going to their place. We’ll have them ready to go.

Q. How disappointed were you in the effectiveness of the passing game, especially considering where you were a week ago?
DAVID BEATY: Well, I mean, there were times when we were doing some decent things, then just not being able to be consistent was probably the biggest thing.

I thought we made a couple of really, really rough throws early in the game there that went into turnovers. We’ve got to take care of the ball. We can’t be throwing the ball to the other team. We had one that the went right down the middle of the field. We’ve just got to be smarter than that.

That’s something I expect out of Peyton. He’s a really good player, a smart guy. He made a mistake there, he’ll learn from it. We just can’t put it in jeopardy like that.

I thought we did some decent things throughout the game. We just weren’t able to sustain it early in the game. One of my biggest issues was kicking that field goal down there early. There was no need for that. We were down there on the two-yard line, one-yard line, we had two downs left in our mind. We wind up jumping off-sides down there. You can’t do that. Good teams don’t do that. That was a big deal.

I thought there were some good things in the passing game. But wasn’t until later in the game that I thought we started really effectively running the ball well. That was good to see as we started picking it up, but not enough to get in the end zone.

Q. A lot of their receivers seemed like they were really open. Is that communication issues? Speed issues?
DAVID BEATY: From the other team?

Q. Yes.
DAVID BEATY: Listen, a couple of them are just busted coverages. Not good communication back there. There was a huge play down there when they wound up throwing that quarter route on their sideline fairly early in the game. That was a big play, a big play. Then we give up another long play down the sideline right before half on a little hitch-and-go. We just weren’t disciplined with our eyes.

We knew what they could do, and we just didn’t do a good job of it. I don’t think we did a good job of communicating the back end. When you don’t do that, you’re in two different coverages, the ball is going to find you, especially when you’re playing a guy like Shane Morris. I thought he played really well. He did a good job.

We made it awfully easy on him at times. I don’t think we did a very good job handling those twist routes down by the goal line. Seems like they were making those throws fairly easy. We weren’t jumping through those pick plays down there. Their credit, they didn’t pick us. They played the way they were supposed to and executed. We didn’t get coverage on it.

I didn’t think we were competitive knocking the ball down very much. That’s disappointing. You better be competing for the ball. We need to be competing. It needs to be contested catches. It didn’t happen like that today. We’ve got to figure that out quick or it’s going to be a long year. That can’t happen again. That was uncharacteristic of us. We usually play pretty good back there. We didn’t play very good back there today.

Q. Did the O-line struggle with pass protection a little bit today?
DAVID BEATY: There were times they did. But if you look at it, some of it had to do with how long we were holding the ball. Those guys, they were in a drop-eight situation a few times. Not a lot of open windows back there. Just got to pull it down and run it sometimes in those situations.

Everybody is accounted for, except for the quarterback. He can’t just stand there and hold it forever. He’s going to have to understand he’s going to get his five and live with that.

I thought we put him in a little bit of a bad position there by holding it so long because our reads shouldn’t be taking that long unless people are getting held up.

But you know what, I thought they came back. We threw it 62 times. That’s a lot of times to throw the football, a lot. We’ve got to get more balance there. I think they were 34-32, something like that. We’ve got to certainly be more balanced than that. We don’t want to throw the ball that much.

Q. There were some drops, but was accuracy Peyton’s biggest issue?
DAVID BEATY: Inconsistency and accuracy. There are times he made some good throws. I thought our guys made some great catches at times. It was a little tough. They got pressure on him. Once again, a lot of times it was late. It wasn’t, like, early. He wasn’t getting, like, hit early. He was holding it, holding it. We just got to do a better job of knowing they’re dropping eight. You can take off running, get us five yards, like Shane Morris did a couple times today. I thought he did a nice job of it.

Q. Last drive before the half, the turnover, another score before the half. How disappointing is that sequence?
DAVID BEATY: That killed us. That was a big, big deal. You know, the thing is, you come out at halftime and you get some momentum like that, then you don’t think at all that you’re going to go in and give up that touchdown right there. That was very disappointing. We can’t do that defensively. There can’t be mix-ups in those situations.

And we got to get off the field on third down. I don’t know how they were on third down, but they had to be stinking great pause we didn’t get them off very much. That’s disappointing.

I’ll have to look at the tape to be sure what happened. But, you know, I just don’t think we played very good up front either. That’s another thing. Didn’t get much pass-rush. He had a lot of time to throw. Credit those guys, they did a good job. Last week I didn’t think they did a great job in pass protection. They certainly made some strides. I don’t know maybe if they did some things different or what, but it didn’t look like it. I think they just played better.

That’s no surprise because Bonamego does a good job.

Q. How big of a back breaker was the fourth quarter touchdown?
DAVID BEATY: It was a big deal. They were all big. Things happened early on. The false start down there early, I mean, that killed us. Personal foul where we had them about to get off the field, we almost had a guy ejected there. Those are things we just can’t do. That killed us. I mean, so many self-inflicted things you’d like to see yourself get better at. You know, we just didn’t. We didn’t do it for whatever reason.

I’ll tell you this. I know that our guys, as I watch them and look at them in the huddle, the frustration level from them was not one where they’re going to make mistakes because of that. That was good to see. I want to give them credit there. They kept fighting and they kept going. They tried to play smart and not do stupid stuff by trying to hit people late.

I thought we had a late hit, Mike, I thought it was a little close down there. But, hey, I don’t fault him when he’s playing hard, as long as it’s close and you don’t just do something dumb.

What’s most disappointing to me is where we cut it down to four, I believe it was, and then we just couldn’t get them off the field there. That was probably as big a back breaker as anything. Then we weren’t able to go answer the bell offensively and get it back.

We just didn’t play good collectively today. But like I said, there’s a lot of football left. We’ll be ready to go next week. Not a very good game by us today.

Q. Dom Williams, second college game. What are you seeing out of him?
DAVID BEATY: There’s a reason we played him a lot today. We weren’t sure we were going to have him. We thought he was going to be unavailable because he had a rough go at it in practice this week on a couple things. But he’s a tough sucker because I wasn’t sure he was going to be available. He did some nice things today. He did. He can get a lot better at some things, as well, but I like him as a back.

Q. Can you talk about what happened to Sims the second half?
DAVID BEATY: We tried to get Sims going, but he couldn’t push off. Obviously, there’s some things that went on with him injury-wise, we just couldn’t get him off. I thought our medical staff did a terrific job. I mean, they worked their tails off all week to try to get it right.

He tried, to his credit. When you’re missing a dynamic guy like that, makes it a little bit difficult. But, hey, we’ve got other guys that can do it. We certainly know Chase can. We’ve got to be more consistent with guys, as well.

Quan Hampton did some good things, a young guy out there, but he’s got to take care of the ball. Can’t turn it over. We got lucky on that one. Just got to do a better job of taking care of the football. That’s been a theme. We haven’t been able to master that one yet. It’s a shame because I can’t tell you how many things we do when it comes to ball security. I mean, it’s about half our practice. So we’ve got to do a better job of taking care of it. We can’t throw it to them. We have to get more turnovers. We didn’t do that today either.

Q. Did you contemplate at any point late in the game going to a second-string quarterback?
DAVID BEATY: No, we didn’t talk about it. We didn’t talk about that at all. You know, we wound up moving the ball down there late. Ended up going down there and getting another touchdown. We felt pretty good about going down there again and getting in there again, but we just stalled.

The amazing thing, if there’s any silver lining for me, it’s that we went for it about four or five times at fourth down today. I think we might have been four out of five or something like that on long sticks, which is good to see, really good to see. I’d like to see us do it on third down, not get to fourth. The analytics we use is something that’s paying off for us.

Thanks, y’all.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

Redshirt Junior LB Joe Dineen Jr.
On the early loss at home:
“It’s disappointing for sure but we can’t dwell on it. We have to come back tomorrow and flush it. That one is over and there is nothing else we can do. We just need to move on, that is all we can do.”

On the touchdowns before the end of the half by Central Michigan:
“We knew we had a whole half to come out and play, but that one hurt. We really wanted to keep them out in that situation but we didn’t. At the beginning of the second half we came out ready to go and then we hit another rough patch. But credit to those guys. The (Central Michigan) quarterback (Shane Morris) came out and slung that thing and there wasn’t much we could do about it.”

On bouncing back from a second-game loss:
“I feel like my job next week is to keep everyone motivated. We have a long season ahead of us and we have a lot to improve on. But this isn’t going to be the end of it, so my job is to keep everyone motivated and headed in the right direction.”

Sophomore S Mike Lee
On if there were things the Central Michigan offense did that Kansas was not prepared for:
“We just missed assignments mostly, which is our fault. We need to work on that and get better from that.”
On the Chippewas’ touchdowns at the end of the first half:
“They scored on the same play so that was our defensive backs’ fault. We just need to get better at that.”

Junior DT Daniel Wise
On what Central Michigan did to frustrate the Kansas defense:
“They came out and punched us in the mouth early. We just couldn’t recover.”
On the momentum coming out of the locker room after halftime:
“The offense put some points on the board and the defense went three-and-out. We thought we had their number, but obviously there are things we can work on.”

Junior QB Peyton Bender 
On learning the process through first two games:
“Definitely, like I said, it’s a long season (and) you’re going to have your ups and downs. But it’s just not dwelling on the downs and making sure we can learn from this and get better next week.”

On the team’s inconsistency and accuracy factor: 
“I think a lot of it has to do with rhythm. Just getting in a flow as a unit, not getting negative yardage, not taking penalties. We just have to do a little better on the mental side of the game, knowing our job and executing a little better.”

On halftime momentum:
“We got pretty fired up at halftime, we knew we were going to have to have a big third quarter to come back and get ourselves back into the ballgame. We came out and we were enthusiastic. We had some momentum, we made routine plays back-to-back which led to scoring drives.”

On his connection with WR Quan Hampton:
“He’s just is a great route runner, he really understands how to set up the defender to get open and it’s nice. I know I can rely on him, I know what he’s doing. He’s just a great player, (he’s) really explosive.”

On evaluating Kansas’ first half of play today:
“I’ve got to play better. I turned the ball over twice, which you can’t do. That first interception was terrible, I can’t do that, just have to eat it. I got pressured off the left edge, sometimes you just have to throw it in the dirt, but I’ve got play better. I have to be more accurate. In the first half I thought we just had some missed opportunities. Like I said, if we make the most of those opportunities, who knows? We left 21 to 28 points on the scoreboard that we should have had.”

Junior WR Ryan Schadler
On being comfortable in his role:
“Yeah; my freshman year, that’s what my job was essentially, besides a few carries a game as running back, but I’m comfortable there. We have a lot of guys who can do that, so that’s awesome. We have a lot of weapons. I enjoy it. I like getting in space there and getting the yards that I can.”

On QB Peyton Bender:
“He’s a competitor, he wants to win. I don’t have to say a whole lot to get him up but he knows we’ve got his back. He knows that, so like I told him, just be competitive and be confident. Be our leader, because we need the quarterback to be our leader. He’s fine; we all have to do our job each play.”

On second-and-goal from the one-yard line and the penalty:
“Penalties and turnovers are the two things that are going to hurt your team and that’s one thing—I give credit to Central Michigan. They didn’t do a whole lot of that, didn’t turn it over, didn’t create a lot of penalties. That’s one thing we’ve got to continue to do is clean up our offense and not have self-inflicted wounds. That hurts.”

On how Central Michigan competed and the team’s mindset going into today’s game:
“We knew they were a good team. It doesn’t shock me how hard they competed, (because of) the conference they compete in. They compete, they’re well coached; special teams, offensively, defensively. We went in obviously thinking we’re going to win, but we didn’t ever doubt them.”

Central Michigan head coach John Bonamego
Opening Statement:
“We have a lot of resiliency, poise and it’s a big improvement from the week before. We still have a lot of work to do and some things we need to clean up on both sides of the ball game. But the effort was there, the belief was there and the culture was there.” 

On Kansas’ Sophomore S Mike Lee and Freshman WR Quan Hampton
“I was really impressed with number 11 and number 6. The wide receiver made some big plays for them in pertinent situations.”

On QB Peyton Bender
“I think their quarterback hung in there, but we got to him a few times. I don’t know how many times we sacked him but we hit him a bunch and he stood in there.”

On Kansas’ team and staff:
“I think the Kansas players and the Kansas staff deserve credit. Their kids definitely fought through the whole game.”

On CMU’s game plan and coaching against KU’s David Beaty:  
I think we had a good game plan paying against them. I think our kids made some plays but shoot, their offense made some plays too. It’s a talented team, they’ve got some playmakers over there. I really happen to think a lot of Coach Beaty. I really respect him personally. From where this program was when he took it on to where it is now, he’s really done a great job and should be commended for that.”

Senior QB Shane Morris 
On the team’s confidence coming into the game:
“We felt pretty confident coming into this week with our game plan. We felt we could attack Kansas in ways that we showed today. Our receivers made great plays out there and so did our linemen. They blocked great all day long and then we just started clicking. It’s a beautiful thing in football when you execute what you practiced all week.”

On sense of urgency after KU cut lead to four points:
“Yeah, we make it a point to beat the teams we should beat. We thought Kansas was a team we should beat and them being a Power 5 team was something we circled a little more. And since we aren’t a Power 5 team, we wanted to come out there and not necessarily shock everyone, but a lot of people didn’t think we were going to win. We came out there and us beating a Power 5 team and handily beating a Power 5 team says a lot about our resilience to keep coming back on offense. Our defense did a great job all week and especially last week with six interceptions. When you’re winning in all three phases of the game on special teams, offense and defense, it’s awesome.”

On confidence despite injuries:
“We kind of have a ‘next man up’ mentality. When Tyler (Conklin) went down in camp, it was next man up. (Logan) Hessbrook had to stand up and move up the chart and that’s the same kind of thing that’s going on right now. We have a lot of athletes at the receiver position who can make plays. Obviously Mark (Chapman) had a great day today and we have a lot of younger guys who need to step up now and understand their position.”

On receivers having a great game:
“Yeah, Hessbrook had a great game as well. So when you have three, four receivers having great games like that, you can’t double cover a guy and bracket a guy. When you’ve got three guys who are really good and are making plays for you, it makes everything a lot easier in the passing game.”

On the last time he had a passing game like this:
“(It was) Probably in high school. It’s a very emotional win for me with where I came from and everything that’s happened in college for me. These guys trust me to be their quarterback and Coach trusts me, so it means a lot to me to go out there and get a great win.”

On the team’s confidence heading into next week’s game at Syracuse:
“We’re going to look at it the same as last week. So win or lose, we have to stay back and stay humble. That’s how it’s going to be all season. We will celebrate a little bit, but we’ll be back in the film room soon to look at Syracuse.”

On the 75-yd pass at the end:
“I think that’s the best play in football. I just have to throw a little bubble up there and he (WR Mark Chapman) does the rest. He made a great play and I thought he was going to get tackled by the sideline but he made an unbelievable play.”

Senior WR Mark Chapman
On if the CMU team made a statement with this win:
“I think we made a statement for sure. It’s really a testament to our team and the way we believe in each other. We honestly came in expecting to win. Last week wasn’t our best performance, but we came in fully expecting and prepared to win. Like Shane said, it was a beautiful thing to see guys working hard.”

On senior QB Shane Morris’ play today:
“I have nothing but faith in Shane and as soon as he stepped on campus, I knew he was a baller. We both went to a quarterback camp back in the day so I already knew he had a rocket for an arm. It was nice to see him play (well) and come into his own. He was playing with swagger, making plays and directing the offense. We all just had to be in the right spot so he’d throw us the ball. I’m proud of him.”

On what this win means:
“I think it says we’re not messing around. It was a statement game for sure and it’s a testament to how hard we work and how we believe in each other no matter what. We’ve just got to keep going one week at a time. I’m proud of everyone in this program and I’m excited.”

Senior DB Josh Cox
On facing KU’s offense:
“First, the defense was really prepared. I feel like I was supposed to have a good game since I put in so many hours in the film room day in and day out. I definitely think our team is priding itself on film study. We have a lot of athletes and we know we have to be able to take it to the film room.”

On beating a Big 12 Conference team on the road:
“We go week-by-week looking at each team. We put in a lot of effort (in) on the practice field and I feel like last week we realized we need to step it up in practice and it showed today.”
On preparing for Kansas QB Peyton Bender:
“Anytime we face a quarterback who slings it all over the yard, the coaches are on us all week. Coach (Archie) Collins always says ‘pressure busts pipes’; we brought pressure today and it paid off.”
On the game plan for defending Kansas junior WR Steven Sims Jr:
“I mainly study route concepts and he happened to be where the ball would go. I prepared myself and the defense prepared itself, so anybody in that position would have had the same outcome.”

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