For the first time since April 2019, the spring football game was back for Kansas football on Saturday night under the lights at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. The Jayhawks blue team (offense) and white team (defense) went against each other with the defense coming out on top 74-42.
From the start, it was the defense that dominated the game as the defensive line kept putting pressure on the offensive line, making the quarterbacks uncomfortable in the pocket as a result. The secondary also did their job breaking up multiple passes down the field leading to fourth down stops which resulted in extra points for the blue team.
One player who played a big role for the defense was super-senior Nate Betts, who anchored the linebackers along with fellow super senior Kryon Johnson. He feels that the defense came with a lot of energy throughout the game and as a result led to big plays from all guys on the field.
“A lot of the good performance today was because we were turned up and we had a lot of energy,” Betts said. “The main thing was getting to the ball. We had five people to the ball every time they ran the ball so that gave us a lot of stops and we put pressure on the quarterback.”
Super-senior defensive lineman Sam Burt also played an important role for the defense. Burt felt the energy level was high and was happy how the spring game went overall.
“I thought we had a great day all around,” Burt said. “Guys came out flying with energy and I was super proud of this unit. It is what we have been practicing all spring and we really just showcased it tonight and I thought that was a real testament to these coaches that have led us through this spring and really taking us to the next level.”
As for the offense, execution was hard to come by in the first half with the defense making plays all around on the field. Whether it was interceptions, fumbles, or sacks, the offense never seemed to find a rhythm. The score heading into halftime was 51-14, defense.
Junior tight end Mason Fairchild gave a lot of credit to the defense for making big plays throughout, but also admitted that scoring was hard to come by throughout the first half.
“I think the defense came out and made a lot of plays in particular,” Fairchild said. “Ultimately what it came down to however was we were not really able to get anything going. The execution was lacking in the first half and they took advantage of that but I do think we came back stronger in the second half. You could see the improvement just from one half to another.”
With spring practice coming to a close, Kansas will take some time off during the end of school and will then come back shortly thereafter for the summer session which will lead into the fall.
The key now for the Jayhawks will be keeping their players focused and motivated as new head coach Lance Leipold will lead the Jayhawks in hopes to build off of momentum from the spring season.