Jayhawks defeat Jackrabbits in football season opener
- Sep. 1, 2012
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Kansas fans wanted to see fireworks from Dayne Crist on Saturday, and they got them. On Kansas’ first play of the game, Crist commanded a double play-action pass and launched a 43-yard pass to senior Kale Pick to set the Jayhawks up on the South Dakota State 32-yard line.
Like a firework, Crist entered the game with a lot of smoke, flashed pretty colors and quickly faded into the night as the run-game took over. Charlie Weis alternated the use of his running backs for his first career win as a Jayhawk.
Both sophomore Tony Pierson and junior Taylor Cox recorded more than 100 yards and at least a touchdown in Kansas 31-17 victory over South Dakota State University.
After Crist’s trickery to open up the game, the highly touted quarterback had issues connecting with his receivers.
“I’m very disappointed in how I played,” Crist said. “I left a ton of throws out on the field.”
Crist failed on connections to starting receivers D.J. Beshears five times, and Daymond Patterson three times. Beshears and Patterson ended up combining for nine catches and 71 yards. Both receivers were top targets for former Kansas quarterback Jordan Webb, and were thought to be key weapons for Crist.
“He was a little rusty,” Weis said. “He went all last year without playing a game. Some of it is his fault, some of it is other guys fault.”
Crist did set off a few more fireworks. A two-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end Mike Ragone — the first of his collegiate career — was the decisive score of the game. . Yet on the day, Crist was 17-36 with one interception and only 169 yards passing.
Weis and Crist chalked it up to getting a little too excited and not staying within Crist’s limits. Both said it would be corrected, and in the meantime, Crist was thankful for his running backs getting the job done.
“All the running backs in conjunction with the offensive line really carried the day,” Crist said. “They got us through some lulls in the game.”
That’s not to say that the offense didn’t get anything right.
On one of Kansas’ more impressive drives,Crist threw a seven-yard pass to Beshears for a first down. Next handed off to Pierson who avoided a defender, cut to the right sideline and turned up field and sprinted 47-yards to the end zone.
“I give credit to the offensive line, receivers and tight ends,” Pierson said. “They just opened up the holes for me to get to the secondary, make a move, and go for a touchdown.”
Earlier last week, Crist said that if calling for a run on every down to secure a win was needed, he would be fine handing the ball off. It didn’t quite come to that on Saturday, but when Big 12 play rolls around, 17 completions on 36 attempts won’t cut it.
— Edited by Hannah Wise