Kansas football dropped its fifth-straight game of the season in the Sunflower Showdown against Kansas State, as the Jayhawks fell 55-14 to the Wildcats Saturday.
This defeat marks Kansas’ 12th-straight loss to Kansas State. Wildcats sophomore wide receiver Phillip Brooks stole the show with four punt returns for 189 yards and two touchdowns. On the defensive side for Kansas, senior outside linebacker Kyron Johnson led the way with six total tackles, including two tackles for loss and one sack.
Offensively, freshman quarterback Jalon Daniels was back in action off injury and started the game under center for Kansas. Daniels finished the game 22-for-39 with 207 passing yards and an interception. He also rushed for 27 yards and two touchdowns.
On the first drive of the game, Daniels nearly threw an interception, but it was overturned after official review. The drive eventually ended in a three-and-out.
The scoring started, though, when Kansas was forced to punt inside its own 10-yard line. Brooks returned the punt 55 yards for a touchdown to go up 7-0.
Daniels got the ball back and immediately got first down yardage thanks to a pass interference call on the Wildcats. Daniels showed his potential on the drive, running for two crucial first down conversions on third and fourth down. However, the 13-play, 53-yard drive ultimately ended in a missed field goal attempt by Kansas.
Early in the second quarter, Brooks ran back another punt for big yardage, setting up K-State inside the Kansas 20-yard line. The Jayhawk defense came up big and held the Wildcats to just a field goal. With six minutes to go in the second quarter, Kansas once again limited K-State to a field goal, as the Wildcats extended the lead to 13-0.
On Kansas’ next offensive possession, Daniels made a poor read on a wide receiver screen to senior wideout Andrew Parchment. The ball found its way into the hands of junior cornerback Justin Gardner, who returned it for a pick-six to give K-State a 20-0 lead.
Daniels quickly responded to the mishap with a nine-play, 75-yard drive that was capped off by his own 8-yard touchdown run.
To close out the first half, the Jayhawks had two more special teams mishaps. Firstly, senior wide receiver Kwamie Lassiter II muffed a punt and K-State recovered, giving the Wildcats great field position once more. K-State capitalized with a 16-yard touchdown pass to go up 27-7 with 52 seconds remaining in the half.
And the Wildcats weren’t done yet. With just six seconds on the clock, Kansas was forced to punt and gave up yet another punt return for a touchdown by Brooks, this time for 52 yards. Kansas went into halftime down 34-7, and only 13 of those points were scored by the K-State offense.
K-State came out of the break strong and moved right down the field. The drive was capped off by a 1-yard touchdown run by freshman running back Deuce Vaughn to give K-State a 41-7 lead.
With eight minutes to go in the third quarter, K-State continued to pour it on, putting together a solid seven-play, 71-yard touchdown drive. Offensively, Kansas could not get much going in the quarter and failed to score.
On the Wildcats' next drive, K-State scored again on a 13-yard touchdown pass to go up 55-7.
Later, Kansas found the end zone in the fourth quarter. After a forced fumble and recovery by Kansas inside the K-State 15-yard line, Daniels punched in a 4-yard touchdown run to make the score 55-14.
Next up for Kansas will be a home game against Iowa State on Saturday, Oct. 31. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m.