Familiar Finale: Jayhawks end season with blowout loss to Oklahoma State

Oklahoma St quarterback Mason Rudolph (2) jumps over Kansas linebacker Osaze Ogbebor (31) and Oklahoma St tight end Sione Finefeuiaki for a touchdown during the third quarter of an NCAA college football game between Kansas and Oklahoma St in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017. Rudolph ran for 2 touchdowns in the 58-17 win over Kansas.

Stillwater, Okla. — A predominantly agonizing Kansas football season, so often defined by shortcomings or downright inept play, reached a fitting close Saturday afternoon at Boone Pickens Stadium.

No. 18 Oklahoma State, just like the 10 previous KU opponents, booted the Jayhawks off the field in defeat.

Also suitable for the circumstances, the eternal upbeat tone of third-year head coach David Beaty didn’t falter following a 58-17 drubbing. As so often has been the case after the 33 Kansas losses in his three seasons leading the program, Beaty refused to dive into any negative feelings following his team’s just completed 1-11 season.

Minutes after Kansas athletic director Sheahon Zenger, through a released statement, backed Beaty as the man to continue to lead the program’s unceasing rebuild, the Kansas coach balked when challenged to present one aspect of the year that he found disappointing.

“Man, I’m a super-positive guy. So I spend very little time thinking about things I don’t control. I spend — my wife probably would shoot me — but I’m just not very good with whining. I’m about fixing. … I’m a fixer and that’s probably not the best thing for me sometimes. But I don’t have time. My time is to move forward and I’m dealing with the next minute,” Beaty said. “There’s a lot of things that didn’t necessarily go our way, but my mind is figuring out how to fix it right now. Some of it is development. Some of it is recruiting. … And we’ve still got a great challenge, because kids are looking at certain things, right?”

Subsequent to KU’s sixth Big 12 loss of at least 29 points on the year, some Jayhawks who have endured the on-field mishaps presented more straightforward responses at the close of a 2017 campaign they expected to play out differently.

Starting left tackle Hakeem Adeniji pointed to “missed opportunities” and failing to get things done on offense, in wake of KU scoring 17 points against an OSU team that surrendered at least 39 each of the previous four weeks.

“There’s just points here and there through the season where we have a chance to turn things around and it just seems like something always went against you right when you needed it to go right,” Adeniji offered.

Case in point, when the perennial road underdogs desperately needed a positive opening to the third quarter, already trailing 34-10, the Jayhawks’ offense backfired instead. An already sputtering unit made matters worse with its lone turnover of the blowout, a Peyton Bender pass intercepted in KU territory on the third snap of the second half. The team’s unexpected starting quarterback — a knee injury sidelined Carter Stanley — targeted senior tight end Ben Johnson on the play, but Johnson had two defenders hot on his cleats, and linebacker Chad Whitener easily snagged the costly mistake with Johnson having no recourse.

“You always want to start fast out of a half, but just kind of unfortunate,” Bender said after completing 17 of 32 passes for 172 yards, with two touchdowns, caught by Evan Fairs and Steven Sims Jr., and the pick. “Tried to make a play on Ben before that, which would’ve been a big play, but just couldn’t connect on it. And then the play after that’s an interception. It’s a huge momentum swing right there that we can’t have happen if we want to get back into that game.”

Related document

Box score: Oklahoma State 58, Kansas 17 ( .PDF )

Appropriately enough, given how KU’s season played out, OSU buried the Big 12’s worst program on the very next snap. Senior Cowboys quarterback Mason Rudolph (31-for-43 passing, 438 yards, two TDs) tossed the ball skyward, putting it out in front of fellow senior James Washington, whose 12th TD reception of the season allowed OSU to go up 41-10 a minute into the second half.

Though Bender and KU’s offense added another TD later in the third quarter, when a 41-yard drive concluded with Sims fighting his way across the goal line on a two-yard screen play, OSU responded with an eight-play drive capped by Rudolph’s fourth total touchdown, pushing the heavy favorite’s cushion to 48-17. The Cowboys (9-3 overall, 6-3 Big 12) out-gained Kansas (1-11, 0-9) 661-241 in total yardage.

It took the reeling Jayhawks the entire first half to find any semblance of a rhythm, as they went three-and-out on five of their first six series, with Bender making his first start since the 21-yard shutout debacle at TCU, on Oct. 21. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Stanley had started the four games since, before KU went back to junior transfer Bender in the finale because Stanley’s knee was in bad enough shape to limit him as a threat.

Rudolph, who connected with receivers Washington, Dillon Stoner and Marcell Ateman enough — 16 receptions between them — for each to put up more than 100 yards, opened the game with a seven-play drive for 74 yards as the Cowboys asserted themselves early, with Rudolph keeping the ball on a goal-line run and beating an ill Dorance Armstrong Jr. to the edge for six points.

After back-to-back touchdown-less possessions, the Cowboys got back into the end zone early in the second quarter with a 12-yard rushing TD by Justice Hill, capping a quick, 75-yard drive that extended the lead to 17-3.

That seemed to rouse OSU from its first-quarter slumber. Once Kansas went three-and-out for the third time in its first four possessions, the Cowboys delivered a quick-strike response. On the second snap of the ensuing series, Rudolph connected with Stoner on an intermediate throw toward the left sideline. The 6-foot Stoner proceeded to burn DeAnte Ford in a 76-yard foot race to the end zone, setting the stage for the Cowboys’ rout with a 24-3 advantage.

Redshirt junior KU linebacker Joe Dineen, who along with sophomore cornerback Hasan Defense, posted a team-best nine total tackles, said if someone had told him before the season began it would play out this way, he would have called that person “a liar.”

“I wouldn’t go into this season expecting to have the record we had,” Dineen admitted, “but that’s the way it went. There’s nothing we can do about it right now. We’ve just got to get back, get ready to go and play ball.”

Added redshirt junior defensive tackle Daniel Wise: “I would’ve said the same thing. Obviously coming into the season nobody would think we’re going to lose. We go into each game, each day with a winning mentality. Obviously we didn’t have the outcome we wanted, but we’re going to keep fighting, keep moving forward.”

A lengthy offseason awaits the Jayhawks, now 3-33 in Beaty’s third season, with only one victory over a Big 12 or FBS opponent to show for their troubles.

Asked to assess the 2017 season minutes after it officially ended, Beaty replied: “The best way for me to say it is if you sit here in this chair and you don’t prepare yourself and expect to win every game, then why are you here? I truly expect to win every game we play in — every single one of them.”

KU’s coach went on to say the program’s players follow his prompts.

“They’re going to feed off what you see, what you feel and they’re very smart. They’re like dogs; they know. I mean, they know. If you don’t believe, they feel it and they see it,” Beaty said. “They know without a doubt that I expect to win every dad-gum game we play in. So winning is a premium in college football — there’s no doubt about it. There’s different situations out there and we are in the process of one.”

Beaty also stated his pride for KU’s coaching staff and the roster, while adding he is “so fired up” to be at Kansas moving forward, with “the people that run” the university.

“Because they have the best of the university in mind,” Beaty said, “and I love that. It’s a great time to be at KU.”


More news and notes from Kansas vs. Oklahoma State

Comments

Kevin Robert Fest

My Gid Beaty is delusional. Another year of this? He is in such denial he needs serious therapy.

8 months, 4 weeks ago

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Kevin Robert Fest

Hi may take your order?

Yes lll have another 1-11 season.

Would you like tears with that? ?

Sure.

The 1-11 also comes with a side of excuses.

Ok lll have some of those.

And for dessert?

The AD saying Beaty will be back in 2019

.....l feel sick already

8 months, 4 weeks ago

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Humpy Helsel

The absence of comments tells a good part of the story. Let's be honest. The fan base is completely demoralized. I have tried to stick by Coach Beaty because I don't believe we can repeat "hire and fire" every two or three years without continuing to lose credibility in the college football coaching world. Right now, the program would appear to be a coaching grave yard. If anyone can turn this around (Beaty or whomever) he will be quickly labeled a "hot commodity" in the world of college coaching and have the pick of opportunities. Zenger can't do anything except resign or be fired as his wagon is hitched to Beaty. Of course he is going to say nice things about his Coach. The Chancellor essentially made the final decision. Not Zenger. It would appear they are now going to try to rebuild this thing via fundraising and facilities development. Build new state of art facilities and use that to help attract better recruits. It is a gamble, but it has to be done anyway. But can you raise that kind of money on the backs of the current program which is arguably one of the very worst in any of the major conferences, and in quite a few of the smaller ones? If he can do it, Zenger may not go down as one of the better AD's we've ever had, but he will be touted as one hell of a fundraiser.

8 months, 4 weeks ago

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Greg Guillaume

Let's start anew. Scrap the air raid offense and go with a running attack such as Arny and Georgia Tech. I say this because it couldn't get any worse than what we're seeing now.

8 months, 4 weeks ago

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David Kemp

You still need to find 5 300lb guys who can block: we have none.

8 months, 4 weeks ago

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Edward Daub

One "Positive" Suggestion . When You Win the Coin Toss , Elect to Receive!

KU always "Defers" to the 2nd Half , and the Games are over by Half Time!

In Several Big 12 Games , the Opposition has struck quickly to put us down 0-7!

The Strategy of Taking the Ball First allows the Possibility of Getting a Lead!

8 months, 4 weeks ago

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Brett McCabe

The best visual representation of the Zenger/Beaty football program comes from the Baylor game. My wife and I decided to move over to the east side of the stadium and watch the game from a different perspective. After all, there were plenty of open seats to choose from.

As we are walking around the top of the North Bowl, I see a young dad with his son of 5 or 6 playing catch, in the stands, with not even a worry of an overthrow, a ricochet or a missed catch ever striking another fan. There was that much space around them. At a home football game, against a team that represented our best chance for victory for the rest of the year.

That image, as bad as it was, will get worse next year. I would anticipate a drop in season ticket sales of at least 25%. If they come up with some promotion to get the numbers up, and fake the attendance records, they'll still be shy 25% on revenue and the stadium will be at least 25% emptier than it was this year. In fact, I believe that most home games next year will be played in front of a crowd that would not fill Allen Fieldhouse - even if you bring the whole band.

Zenger's aristocratic opinion that the guys with the millions know more about football than us schlubs is unfortunate. I think that his arrogance drove the Weis hire and his arrogance drove the Beaty hire. Even if you are a fan of Zenger and Beaty, you must admit that both of those hires were unusual, and would not have been made by any other P5 AD in the country.

So, next year, His Majesty and the Court Clown will get to look out over an empty stadium over and over and over again. Because, the emperor has no clothes, but the people don't even care to watch anymore.

8 months, 4 weeks ago

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John Brazelton

When KU starts winning next season, some of you will be eating crow.

8 months, 4 weeks ago

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Humpy Helsel

John, I don't know what crow taste like, but if you are right, then serve it up. I'd love to chow down to it with some multiple wins.

8 months, 4 weeks ago

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Chris Condren

The KUAD has run the football program into the ground. It has made a bad decision at every juncture. The Fans know they have been had and that nothing has been done in the last tens yens to improve the situation. Can you imaging, TEN YEARS of bad decisions. Now the powers that be have hitched the wagon to a used car salesman who clearly does not possess the skills to be a success P5 football coach. The Decade of Despair continues.

8 months, 4 weeks ago

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David Kemp

Maybe the Lawrence businesses and government should chime in. They are losing a minimum of 2 million per game to the local economy and tax base.

8 months, 4 weeks ago

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Richard Duran

When the Big XII kicks us out because our football team is drawing 5000 a game our blue blood basketball program will find itself in the sunbelt or the mountain west. will it be the same when Boise St. comes to visit AFH? Or Troy? Louisiana Monroe?

8 months, 4 weeks ago

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Harlan Hobbs

One positive comment out of the whole bunch. Thanks, John, for trying to be upbeat despite the obvious weaknesses of the program.

Negativity reigns supreme, which I suppose is natural and certainly justified by the current state of things. However, I still believe that both Zenger and Beaty are quality individuals, so I will support the decisions of the new chancellor.

We've had one truly successful coach in the last 40 years, and he was fired because Lew Perkins didn't like him, and he reportedly mistreated a couple of players. However, he took a program that was in the dumps and took it to three consecutive wins in bowl games, concluding with the Orange Bowl in 2008.

8 months, 4 weeks ago

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