Although Kansas football kept itselves competitive with Coastal Carolina for three quarters, The Jayhawks came up short in a 49-22 loss to No. 17 Chanticleers Friday.
Kansas football coach Lance Leipold voiced concerns after last week’s win about both the run and pass game, and it appeared that Kansas took his asks to heart.
After starting rather slowly in its first game against South Dakota, Kansas came out of the tunnel with an increased sense of urgency that ultimately translated to a 46-yard field goal on the team’s first drive.
However, landing points on the board did not happen easily. On the fifth play of the opening drive, redshirt junior quarterback Jason Bean fumbled the football after a 22-yard rush, luckily though, sophomore tight end Mason Fairchild recovered it.
But the defense is another story as the Chanticleers marched the field and sophomore quarterback Grayson McCall connected with senior wide receiver Jaivon Heileigh on a 33-yard slant route over the middle of the field. Heileigh registered 122 yards on the evening after earning 133 receiving yards last week against The Citadel.
Throughout the first quarter, the Jayhawks and Chanticleers went back and forth and for Kansas’ sake, it was able to capitalize with a touchdown of its own following the Coastal Carolina score. A near seven-minute possession highlighted the first half as freshman running back and Lawrence native, Devin Neal found the end zone for the first time in a Kansas jersey.
Unfortunately, the extra point was batted away by the Coastal defense, leaving the score at 9-7.
During the second quarter, Coastal Carolina outplayed Kansas in every aspect of the contest. In terms of scoring, the Chanticleers outscored the Jayhawks 21-6 on two rushing touchdowns and a blocked punt resulting in an additional six points.
Kansas' special teams struggled and led to another touchdown from the Chanticleers.
Trailing by 19 points and in need of a response -- Bean answered. With just over a minute and change on the game clock, Bean found a hole and ran right through it -- finding the endzone on a 34-yard run.
Coming out of the locker room to start the second half, Bean continued to showcase his ability to be mobile in the pocket. As the defense collapsed, the Mansfield, Texas native took the run game, capping off the Jayhawks’ first drive of the half with a 46-yard touchdown run.
For fans at Brooks Stadium, it got quiet, as Kansas was now just trailing by six points, 28-22.
But in familiar fashion, Coastal Carolina responded with 21 unanswered points led by junior running back Reese White who rushed for three touchdowns on 102 yards.
On the bright side, Bean concluded with 189 passing yards and a remarkable 102 rushing yards with two touchdowns.
Kansas returns home next Saturday, September 18 for its first conference matchup against the Baylor Bears.