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Sophomore running back Pooka Williams Jr. celebrates after a play against Coastal Carolina. The Jayhawks fell to the Chanticleers 12-7 Saturday, Sept. 7.

Following its 12-7 loss to Coastal Carolina on Saturday, Kansas will gear up for a quick turnaround and head to Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, for a meeting with Boston College. With the recent upset hanging over their heads, the Jayhawks’ next focus will be on matching the physicality of the Eagles Friday night. As Boston College has jump-started its 2019 campaign to a 2-0 record, head coach Les Miles is confident in his team to bounce back nicely. 

“We have to make sure to match their intensity and play physical football ourselves,” Miles said. “We have some advantages, and we will like to play on the advantage side of things.” 

The Eagles are no slouch when it comes to their ability of out-muscling opponents. In the first two games, Boston College has averaged 40 points a game and seemingly favors the run a bit more than the passing game. Part of this decision comes down to the sheer size of the running back position. Leading the team with 167 yards on 40 carries and three touchdowns, junior running back AJ Dillon has the build of most linebackers.

Standing 6 feet and a staggering 250 lbs., Dillon is one of two halfbacks with substantial bulk. Sophomore running back David Bailey weighs in at 240 lbs. and is listed at 6-foot-1. Bailey was able to lead the team in rushing in the Eagles’ 45-13 win over Richmond on Saturday. In all, Boston College is racking up an average of 251.5 yards on the ground through its first two games. 

For Kansas, its defense surrendered 172 rushing yards to the Chanticleers on Saturday. With the large chunks of yards the Jayhawks gave up, Coastal Carolina managed to dominate the time of possession and control the clock for the better part of the second half. However, two days removed from the brutal blow, the Kansas seniors feel the team morale is still high. 

“Yesterday was the last day we thought about it,” senior quarterback Carter Stanley said on the loss to Coastal Carolina. “We reviewed it. Went over the positives. Definitely went over the negatives, and we flushed it. Now we’re on to B.C. [Boston College].”    

Although his performance wasn’t the best of his career on Saturday, going 13-19 for 107 yards and two interceptions, he feels reassured in his abilities to lead the offense this season.

“It means a lot to me. It’s comforting for sure,” Stanley said on Miles’ sticking with him as quarterback. “I personally feel like I am still the starting quarterback of this team and the guys still support me 100%.”  

Anytime a loss of this magnitude occurs early in the season, it can certainly cause speculation about the team's progress. In the case of the Jayhawks, it can be easy to assume the worst for the remaining games on the schedule based on past seasons. A loss to a lower-tier opponent doesn’t bode well when playing in a high-powered conference like the Big 12. But senior offensive lineman Hakeem Adeniji feels the voices in the locker room have kept the team positive.  

“As captains of the team, me, Bryce [Torneden] and Carter [Stanley] carry that role,” Adeniji said on being a leader. “Just telling the team that we still got to push on and what we still want to do is ahead of us. It’s a tough loss that you hate to see, but on the bright side, we can learn from it and we have another opportunity on Friday.” 

Marching into the third week of the season, Kansas will embark on its toughest test of the year thus far. It will be the first ever meeting between the two schools and a win would be the first against an ACC opponent since 2010 (Georgia Tech). Kickoff is slated for 6:30 p.m.