Kansas football failed to respond to Duke’s second-half dominance as it defeated the Jayhawks 52-33 in Durham, North Carolina Saturday.
An opening drive interception from Duke graduate quarterback Gunnar Holmberg set up the Jayhawks with great field position, as redshirt freshman cornerback Ra’Mello Dotson returned the football within the red zone. However, an offensive clipping penalty along with several short gains left KU with no other option than to kick a field goal -- and even then, Kansas failed to convert.
When Duke regained control moments later, it was only a matter of minutes before it tallied the game’s first points. Senior running back Mataeo Durant, who experts raved about, delivered with a quick 57-yard gut-punching touchdown.
But KU didn’t disappear. Resiliency highlighted the Jayhawks’ next drive and eventually its second quarter surge. Redshirt sophomore kicker Jacob Borcila redeemed himself with a career-long 50-yard field goal after missing a 37-yarder earlier in the contest.
The Jayhawks went on to score 21 second quarter points, spotlighted by a 36-yard touchdown run by redshirt sophomore wide receiver Torry Locklin. Locklin made his presence felt earlier in the quarter too, on a 20-yard touchdown reception -- his first career catch.
Saturday marked the first game since Nov. 17, 2012 that a Jayhawk has scored both a rushing and receiving touchdown in the same game, according to Kansas Athletics.
Lawrence’s freshman running back Devin Neal also got in on the action with a one-yard touchdown run right before the end of the half. Neal recorded 107 rushing yards on the evening. He looks to receive more playing time in the future following former Jayhawk Velton Gardner’s announcement to enter the NCAA transfer portal Tuesday.
Similar to Kansas’ high-powered quarter, Duke replicated it in the third. Twenty-one unanswered points navigated the Blue Devils to a sizable lead, especially since the Jayhawks only registered three. Holmberg frequently marched the field and ran in two touchdowns by himself too.
On the offensive side of the football for Kansas, transfer junior quarterback Jason Bean was pretty much silenced in the third, throwing one of two interceptions on the afternoon. However, Bean concluded for 323 passing yards on 19 completions and two touchdowns.
Defense controlled the action for both sides in the fourth quarter as scoring was limited. Although Bean connected with super-senior wide receiver Kwamie Lassiter II on a 61-yard touchdown throw, KU was unable to convert the two-point conversion.
Junior linebacker Rich Miller and junior safety Kenny Logan Jr. led the defense with a combined 25 tackles, including a forced fumble from Logan. Thus, Logan’s afternoon was cut short in the fourth after a targeting call led to a forced disqualification.
The Jayhawks drop to 1-3 on the year as they gear up for a full-conference slate next week.
Kansas travels north to Ames, Iowa and Jack Trice Stadium next Saturday for a bout with No. 14 Iowa State.