Courtesy: KU Athletics
AMES, Iowa – Kansas football was plagued by miscues on a rainy day at Iowa State’s Jack Trice Stadium, where the Jayhawks fell to the Cyclones 45-0 on Saturday. The Jayhawks fell in an early hole due to two first quarter turnovers, and were never able to recover despite a strong defensive effort.
Kansas (1-5, 0-3 Big 12) held Iowa State (4-2, 2-1 Big 12) to just 136 yards of offense in the first half, which marked the lowest first-half total by a Big 12 opponent in the David Beaty era, but a series of mistakes started multiple Iowa State drives in Kansas territory.
The errors came early for Kansas after the Jayhawk defense forced an Iowa State punt on the home team’s first drive. Junior Steven Sims Jr., mishandled the Cyclone punt and ISU fell on the ball at the KU 46-yard line, just 2:34 into the first quarter.
The Kansas defense was able to recover and hold the Cyclones to a three-and-out, but the Jayhawks’ first offensive play following Iowa State’s second punt of the day turned into Kansas’ second turnover of the game. Junior quarterback Peyton Bender found an open man down field, but the ball hit freshman wide receiver Quan Hampton‘s hands and was tipped to Iowa State defensive back Kamari Cotton-Moya for an interception. Cotton-Moya returned the pick 23 yards to give Iowa State the ball at the KU 8-yard line.
Iowa State took just 44 seconds to capitalize on the short yardage, with running back David Montgomery taking a four-yard run into the end zone for the touchdown on the drive’s second play.
Kansas’ defense continued to shine in the stormy conditions, forcing two-straight three-and-outs, but the Jayhawk offense struggled to get anything going with punts on three-straight drives.
Iowa State went up 14-0 after returning the Jayhawks’ third punt of the game 68 yards for a touchdown with 1:30 remaining in the first quarter.
Having extended the lead to 17-0 with a 26-yard field goal with 5:56 remaining in the first half, Iowa State took advantage of yet another short-yardage situation. A bad snap on a Kansas punt forced senior Cole Moos to fall on the ball on the KU 23-yard line.
The Cyclones ran three plays in 33 seconds to score their third touchdown of the game, a one-yard rush from Montgomery to take a 24-0 into the half.
Kansas received to open the second half, but couldn’t find a spark at the intermission and were held to a three-and-out to start the third quarter. The Jayhawk defense continued to do its part by holding Iowa State to zero yards on its first drive of the half to force a punt.
A dropped snap on a punt on Kansas’ next drive, that resulted in a punt of negative-two yards, put Iowa State in Kansas territory to open its drive once again, and again the Cyclones took advantage of the field position. Iowa State started its drive on the 27-yard line, and after four plays Montgomery had his third rushing touchdown of the game and the Cyclones held a 31-0 lead.
Iowa State would go on to score two more touchdowns, and the Kansas offense was held to just 106 yards of total offense, its lowest total since 2014 against Oklahoma when it was held to 103 yards. Junior running back Taylor Martin was Kansas’ offensive leader, with 17 rushing attempts in the game for 53 yards.
Kansas’ defense forced seven Iowa State three-and-outs, its highest total in 2017, led by linebacker Joe Dineen Jr., who posted 16 tackles, tying a career-high. The Jayhawks recorded nine tackles for loss, including sacks by junior defensive tackley Daniel Wise and sophomore defensive end Isaiah Bean.
Kansas continues Big 12 play on October 21 against TCU in Fort Worth, Texas. The Jayhawks and Horned Frogs will square-off inside TCU’s Amon G. Carter Stadium. Kickoff time and television coverage has not yet been announced.
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