NCAA Football: Kansas at Baylor

Sep 26, 2020; Waco, Texas, USA; Kansas Jayhawks running back Velton Gardner (0) is tackled by the Baylor Bears defense during the first half at McLane Stadium.

Kansas football fell to the Baylor Bears 47-14 on the road Saturday night, dropping its second-straight game to open the season. True freshman Jalon Daniels was given the start at quarterback for the Jayhawks, but couldn’t muster much success under center. 

Daniels' night was highlighted by many highs and lows as he finished 19-for-33 for 159 passing yards. He also had 23 rushing yards. 

On the first drive, Daniels was hammered by Baylor defenders. But he still managed to move the ball downfield, including a 23-yard pass to senior wide receiver Stephon Robinson. Two plays later, junior running back Pooka Williams Jr. escaped for a 21-yard touchdown run, putting Kansas up 7-0.

After the Jayhawks forced a three-and-out on defense, Daniels and the offense were back on the field and were faced with a crucial 4th-and-1 play. However, the Jayhawks came up short, turning the ball over to Baylor. 

Taking over possession, the Bears quickly marched down the field, and a 1-yard touchdown run by senior running back Trestan Ebner tied the game at 7-7.

Later, Baylor was threatening to take the lead in the second quarter after moving the ball from their own 10-yard line into Kansas territory. Senior quarterback Charlie Brewer was shaken up following a crucial 4th-and-short conversion, and was taken out for a few plays.

When Brewer re-entered the game, he threw an incomplete pass on third down, forcing Baylor to settle for a field goal to go up 10-7. 

Daniels was unable to respond, and gave the ball right back to Baylor after a three-and-out. The Bears once again drove down the field, and Brewer found Ebner for a 18-yard touchdown pass to put Baylor up 17-7 with 4:13 remaining in the first half. 

Neither side was able to score before halftime, even when Kansas football coach Les Miles decided to go for it on 4th-and-11 instead of kicking a 50-plus-yard field goal attempt. Daniels was sacked on the play, turning the ball over to Baylor as the clock ran out for halftime. 

Heading into the break, Kansas amassed 146 total yards compared to Baylor’s 197. Kansas was also only 1-for-6 on third down conversions in the first half.

Baylor started the second half with a bang as Ebner returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. Daniels was then faced with another third down and was sacked for a big loss, forcing Kansas to give the ball right back to Baylor. 

The Bears offense stayed hot, adding a 7-yard touchdown on a run from senior running back John Lovett to make it 31 unanswered points for Baylor. In the fourth quarter, Baylor was threatening to score once again, but the Bears took a delay of game penalty to pin the Jayhawks up against their goal line. Two players later, the Bears sacked Daniels for a safety.

On the following kickoff, Ebner ran back another kick for a touchdown to give Baylor a 40-7 lead. 

Daniels was able to lead a solid 12-play, 66-yard drive to give Kansas its second score of the game. This marked the first time since 2014 that Kansas has scored in double figures against Baylor. 

Baylor closed out the game with another touchdown to go up 47-14.

“I told (the team) that right now, you’re going to deal with an ugly feeling in the pit of your stomach,” Miles said. “But they are going to have an opportunity to change that” 

Next up for Kansas will be a home game against No. 15 Oklahoma State next Saturday. A select number of fans — approximately 10,000 — will be allowed in David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m.

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