Kansas Football loses sixth-straight conference game in 2012
- Nov. 4, 2012
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WACO, TEXAS —It would be one thing if Kansas lost a well-fought game, or if the Jayhawks had simply been overpowered. It’s quite another to lose the game in preparation, but that’s what happened in the Jayhawks’ 41-14 loss to the Baylor Bears on Saturday.
In the week leading up the game, some Kansas players decided to take it easy in practice.
“There were some things that showed in practice this week that we weren’t necessarily executing to our full ability,” said senior left tackle Tanner Hawkinson. “It showed up during the game. It just shows you have to go out and take each practice 100 percent.”
Hawkinson said Kansas wasn’t getting off of its combo blocks up front, and blockers were missing assignments all during the practice week. It certainly didn’t help Kansas when the trend carried over to Saturday.
That’s particularly important as Baylor won by playing the game everyone assumed it would, even the Jayhawks.
“Everything they did is exactly what we expected,” Senior defensive lineman Josh Williams said. “An offense like that you’ve got to do everything you can to hold them to a minimum.”
Kansas allowed the Bears to create time and space for their star wide receiver Terrance Williams to make catches. The Jayhawks gave up 137-yards and a touchdown on 11 receptions to the Big 12’s leading receiver.
“He has good speed and they have a great scheme around him,” Senior cornerback Greg Brown said, who was tasked with covering Williams. “They know what kind of coverage they have and bring it to his advantage.”
The one time Brown had Williams beat, he intercepted the ball near the goal line. But the play was called back on an offsides penalty that was called on the Kansas.
The next play, Baylor went right back to Williams on the same route. This time he had no trouble beating a fatigued Brown to the back of the end zone to put the Bears up 7-0.
The Baylor passing game backed up the Kansas defense enough to open up the run game, where the Bears gained over 300 rushing yards. It marked the first game this season Baylor exceeded 300 yards rushing.
Brown said whenever Kansas outnumbered Baylor in the box, the Bears picked it up and were able to convert.
When the pass wasn’t available and the run wasn’t an option, it was up to Senior quarterback Nick Florence to get moving. Florence scrambled 10 times, picking up 32 rushing yards.
But it was the big plays the Jayhawks’ defense gave up that disturbed Kansas coach Charlie Weis the most. Four Baylor receivers had catches for 32 yards or longer. Even with Baylor dominating most of the game, Kansas was only down 20-14 at halftime and was starting to find its groove on offense.
“Some of the things we had designed to go early in the game were extending our offensive players to their limits,” Weis said. “We had to pull it back in. What we wanted to try to do is be wide open in the game to put us in a position to score more points.”
The Jayhawks were still in the game until the Bears delivered the knockout blow in the third quarter.
Kansas was stopped on fourth down, and on the ensuing drive, Baylor went 55 yards to the end zone to go up 27-14. The Jayhawks had the perfect play to get back in the game, but quarterback Michael Cumming’s pass bounced off the hands of an outstretched Chris Omigie, and into the body of a falling Joe Williams. Weis did say it was Cumming’s best pass of the game, but Williams cradled the interception at the 5-yard line for Baylor, killing the Jayhawks momentum.
“It almost was like after that play to Omigie you could feel the wind go out of the sails,” Weis said.
The boat stopped moving with 26 minutes to play.
The plan was straightforward for this game: Baylor would try to score a bevy of points, and Kansas would try to match them. A lull in practice after a heartbreaking loss to Texas did not help the Jayhawks exceed their season average of 17-points a game.
“Going into this game we thought we were going to have to score more,” Weis said. “If you think you’re going to play a game with them and win it 21-17, the only two times this year they’ve scored 21 points is when they’ve turned it over a whole bunch.”
Blake is a senior from Chicago, Ill., studying journalism on the news and information track. Read more from Blake Schuster.