Deja vu: Kansas rotates quarterbacks in 65-19 loss against Texas Tech

Texas Tech defensive lineman Nick McCann (98) gives a slap to Kansas quarterback Peyton Bender (7) after a pass during the first quarter on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017 at Memorial Stadium.

Here we go again.

The Kansas football program is back to using two quarterbacks and claiming neither as the clear-cut starter in the wake of a 65-19 loss to Texas Tech.

A mid-game shift away from the norm at QB provided KU with little more than a different personnel look Saturday at Memorial Stadium, in front of an announced crowd of 21,050.

Backup Carter Stanley, after showing some promise in the first half in spot relief of Peyton Bender, became the Jayhawks’ new No. 1 QB for the second half. The lineup change didn’t come close to propelling KU out of yet another massive hole, though.

The hope, head coach David Beaty said following KU’s lowest offensive outputs of the season — both on the scoreboard and in total yardage, with 368 — was that redshirt sophomore Stanley could invigorate the offense enough to climb out of a 35-10 halftime hole.

“Peyton looked like he was struggling a little bit with his command,” Beaty said, “and Carter looked like when he was in there he made a couple decent throws, and we felt like he gave us the best chance at that point.”

Although Stanley (11-for-19 passing, 110 yards, one interception, no touchdowns) directed KU to back-to-back scoring drives to open the third quarter, cutting Tech’s lead to 16 at one point, three of the next four Kansas possessions fell flat, culminating with giveaways.

On Stanley’s fifth completion of the third quarter, Tech sophomore nickelback Justus Parker ripped the ball away from KU sophomore wideout Chase Harrell and proceeded to run 20 yards to the end zone for a defensive touchdown.

When Kansas got the ball right back, after picking up a pair of first downs, Parker struck again with an interception of another Stanley throw.

It took all of two plays for Tech quarterback Nic Shimonek (19-for-24, 233 yards, two touchdowns, one interception) to capitalize with the Red Raiders’ seventh of eighth offensive scores, a 40-yard deep ball for Keke Coutee (eight catches, 87 yards).

The afternoon tasted mostly bitter for Stanley after playing far more than he had since starting the final three games of his redshirt freshman season, in 2016.

“I was super-excited. I was told in the locker room at halftime that I was going to get my shot,” Stanley said. “And we came out that first drive, we got a field goal — that was unfortunate. Would’ve loved to have six points right there. Second possession we come right back, score a touchdown. We were getting rolling. And then that next one was where they get that fumble for a touchdown, so that was unfortunate.”

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Once again, turnovers plagued KU. Although sophomore safety Mike Lee made his second interception of the season against Texas Tech (4-1 overall, 1-1 Big 12) and junior defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. tackled running back Desmond Nisby while ripping the ball away for a forced fumble and recovery in the third quarter, the KU offense lost possession four times, bringing the team’s season total to 13 giveaways.

Stanley, who said he is “100 percent” recovered from a break in his right hand, lost a fumble in the second half. Earlier, Bender made a bad read on a short pass over the middle, allowing linebacker Dakota Allen to easily pluck it out of the air.

“Every time we would kind of swing that momentum,” Beaty said, “something would happen that would take it away from us, and that's the mark of a good team, you know, when you can maintain it, or you take it back,” he added of how the Red Raiders ran away with the victory.

“They came up here, and they played a great game, put a bunch of yards up (603 total; 313 rushing, Tech’s most since 2012), a lot of points, did a pretty good job defensively, and I take my hat off to them,” Beaty said. “They deserved what they got. They came up here and outplayed us, and they beat us. They out-coached us, they outplayed us, the whole shebang.”

A mostly fruitless first half of offense put KU in a 28-point hole by the second quarter. Although the Jayhawks averaged 4.7 yards per snap — 41 of their 183 yards came on a Bender pass to Steven Sims Jr. (five receptions, 102 yards) in the final minute before intermission — no drive in the first 30 minutes of game play lasted longer than six plays.

KU’s Air Raid often looked feeble. After contributing five catches and 55 yards, fifth-year senior tight end Ben Johnson gave his theory on the off-putting results.

“It’s execution, you know. We really haven’t been able to execute offensively and I feel like we haven’t played a smooth offensive game this year yet,” Johnson said. “So it’s frustrating and I feel like there’s a lot we could show the fans and everybody, like how (coordinator Doug) Meacham’s offense actually runs and how smooth it actually operates.”

Bender completed 12 of 24 passes for 146 yards, before getting benched for the remainder of the blowout. He rarely looked like he was in a flow, as Kansas inserted Stanley for numerous early snaps.

Related document

Box score: Texas Tech 65, Kansas 19 ( .PDF )

In a first half with scarce memorable plays for the offense, Stanley completed two of three passes for nine yards and also rushed three times for 19 yards. Meanwhile, sophomore running back Khalil Herbert only carried the ball five times for a net total of one yard.

“You know, honestly, I don't think we played as good at the quarterback position today as we have maybe over the past few days,” Beaty responded, when asked what led to the lack of offensive rhythm in the first half. “We weren't quite as accurate, timing wasn't quite as good. I don't know what caused that. We'll have to look at the film and see it, but quarterback play is so important to the efficiency of your offense. Those guys (Bender and Stanley) are, they've shown that they're very capable of doing it, so we will get back to the drawing board tomorrow and get them back on track as we go to this next one.”

Before things fell apart, the plan was to feature Bender and mix in Stanley.

“I thought it was fine,” Bender said of a two-QB approach. “It was kind of the game plan we went in with. We thought we could get Carter in there in some good formations that gave him a chance to succeed, and we practiced it so I was ready for it. I had my mind ready for it.”

After a pair of goal-line passes to close the second quarter fell incomplete for Bender, though, he spent the remainder of KU’s fourth consecutive loss watching from the sideline.

“I was ready to go back in but that’s not my call,” Bender said. “The coaches are going to do what they think is best for the team and today that was going with Carter. I’m not discouraged by it. I think maybe it’ll make me work a little bit harder this week to make sure I can put myself in the best position to succeed.”

At this point at least, no one knows who will start at QB for Kansas (1-4, 0-2) next week, when the Jayhawks travel to Iowa State.

Said Beaty: “We’ll have to watch the tape. I mean, it’s going to be a competition, so we’ll see.”

Bender said he had “no clue” which quarterback will start at ISU (3-2, 1-1), which upset Oklahoma on the road Saturday.

“Haven’t discussed it with the coaches at all,” Bender shared, immediately following the loss, “but I’m just going to keep doing the same things I’ve been doing all year this week in practice.”

Added Stanley: “I don’t think it’s going to change anything for me or Peyton. I think we bring it every week in practice. I think we have to bounce back for sure, so it might be amplified, but I think we just have to do our normal thing and bring it everyday in practice.”

— See what people were saying about the game during KUsports.com's live coverage.


More news and notes from Kansas vs. Texas Tech

Comments

Jeff Coffman

I assume they fired Bowen before the game, since the defense didn't know what they were doing all game.

2 months, 1 week ago

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Clarence Haynes

Defense came out flat, exacerbated by two iffy fourth down conversion attempts! That set the tone for the rout!

2 months, 1 week ago

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Jerry Walker

They're only iffy if your team is not desperate. We gambled and lost and the rout was on 65-19.

Instead, if we'd gambled and won, the outcome was probably a 50-30 loss.

Not much difference.

2 months, 1 week ago

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Doug Cramer

Why is Bowen still our D.C. ?

2 months, 1 week ago

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Jerry Walker

Two weeks to prepare and Tech gashed and plundered our defense. Bowen's performance is unacceptable - proving that nice guys finish last.

Just ask Mangino.

2 months, 1 week ago

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Dennis Mahorney

David Beaty "They came up here, and they played a great game, put a bunch of yards up (603 total; 313 rushing, Tech’s most since 2012), a lot of points, did a pretty good job defensively, and I take my hat off to them,” He should be bald as often as he "takes his hat off" to other teams....

2 months, 1 week ago

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David Kemp

Yeah every team we play is prepared, we are not!

2 months, 1 week ago

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Jerry Walker

Makes you wonder if that's what Beaty says to Bowen in the postgame analysis?

2 months, 1 week ago

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Larry Jackson

Bullheaded Beaty has the program in the exact situation as last season. Not only bench Bender ship him out to Miami like his look alike Heaps. Coach, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". Continue on your bullhead course, your best option will be Lamar HS in Arlington, TX.

2 months, 1 week ago

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Doug Cramer

I love KU football, but if I was a stud in high school choosing an FBS school to play at right now, it would not be for David Beaty.

From here on out, Bender will have that worry on his shoulders of getting yanked if something doesn't go right.

No leadership from Beaty. Stick with Bender. He is a proven QB with proven success.

2 months, 1 week ago

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Alex Fletcher

what exactly has Bender proven? Carter on the other hand has had 3 starts. One was a close game to Iowa St, the second was the Texas win, and the last time he started was the best we've played Kstate in years. In my opinion Carter should be the starter

2 months, 1 week ago

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John Fitzgerald

I like Beaty, but after a performance like that I'm curious if his bags are already packed.

2 months, 1 week ago

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Bryan Mohr

Well, his bags will be packed with lots of cash. Beaty's original buyout was 2 years' salary (which was something like $1.6 million). Some wise guy bumped up Beaty's buyout at the end of last year to $3 million because Zenger "admitted he knew that the original contract was 'something we would need to adjust once the program showed its momentum.'" Can you believe that... "momentum"? And Zenger got an increased buyout this year to $1.4 million. Zenger and Beaty have golden parachutes thanks to the buddy system (BGL being Zenger's, Zenger being Beaty's). If both those guys get canned there's no need to feel sorry for them. A lot of people that work their butts off day-in, day-out, for decades, won't retire with that kind of money. Think about that. Beaty will get paid $6.2 million for 3 year's of work (800k 1st year salary, 800k 2nd year salary, $1.6m this year's salary, $3m buyout) for going 3-33 (1-26 Big12). It's time to feel sorry for the fans, the student body, and the players... not Beaty or Zenger.

2 months, 1 week ago

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Austin Lopez

Anybody wanna see Mr. starks in at QB????

2 months, 1 week ago

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David Kemp

What do we have to lose, but the offense needs to be geared for what he can do as opposed to making him fit our system

2 months, 1 week ago

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Gerry Butler

I sure the hell do for sure Austin. I know I'm far from the only one too. For these people that think Bender is the starter - -give me some of what the hell your smoking. The guy is a interception looking for a place to happen.- People say he is a proven QB -proven of what? The guy is like a sloth in the backfield - -couldn't move if there was a millon dollars in front of him - -solid concrete around his feet. - -His decision making is pathetic again a interception looking for a place to happen. - -Barely completing 56% of his passes. - -Are you serious? - At least Carter has mobility to extend. - -So if these two aren't the answer - then hell yes next man up. - -I wanna see Starks - -all we heard when he landed was THIS is the guy we have been after to run this offense - a true dual threat QB , and then whoopee doo - -Bender comes and it's like Starks went to a nursing home. - -he sure the hell can't do any worse - Bender - - - -IS NOT THE ANSWER

2 months, 1 week ago

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Austin Lopez

I think Mr Starks would be perfect for the read option....

2 months, 1 week ago

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Gerry Butler

He was brought in as a true dual option QB so he would be perfect

2 months, 1 week ago

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David Kemp

Yes and slow down the offense. The faster we go t he more mistakes we make. And also put in Charlot, Baldwin anybody we haven’t tried because what we are doing ain’t workin

2 months, 1 week ago

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Jack Brooks

The personnel on the field won’t matter as long as we have incompetent coaches. Bowen needs to be let go. Immediately.

2 months, 1 week ago

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Chris DeWeese

At this point I don't even care much anymore. Keep Beaty for the foreseeable future, but I still think it's time to change our defensive coordinator. At least do that. I think we are still in search of our identity. The musical chairs with our QBs hasn't worked. Not sure what makes the coaches think it'll work again. It's as if the coaches are trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Good coaches build their approach around what they have, they adapt. Our coaches seem lost, as do the players. I think they should have built on the momentum that Carter Stanley achieved at the end of last season by making him the clear cut starter. What do I know?

2 months, 1 week ago

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David Kemp

Agree 100%. We are trying to take the players we have and play schemes they are not comfortable playing with. Take what you have and adapt your game not theirs!

2 months, 1 week ago

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Humpy Helsel

I think we've heard this record before. The A-side and the B-side. The outcomes. The coaches and player's comments, the QB changes, the "fire him, or him, or how about firing him over there. The "we need to fire him and hire him." The blame game. No need to have us blog. Just slide in the blog posts of the last 5 years. The all fit and will work for just fine. But whatever we do, let's never suggest we can't really recruit the level of players required because we have fired a string of coaches so quickly we can't overcome the Catch-22 we are trapped in, and because high end recruits see Jayhawk fans fail to show up and many of those that do leave at half-time.

2 months, 1 week ago

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Robert Brock

The University of Kansas needs to either invest - bigly- in football or simply stop playing football and join the Big East.

2 months, 1 week ago

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John Fitzgerald

I feel bad for Beaty. He obviously works his tail off and deserves to win. But I think he's in over his head. And that's not his fault, that's Zengers. He should have found a seasoned guy that has had head coaching experience. Whether he had that option or not is unknown to me. Should we fire the AD, though? I don't know. Should we fire the coach? I don't know either. My fear is if we do who would replace them? I can't imagine any coach that would take this career crippling job. Is it unrealistic for KU to bunch up a wad of money and knock on Art Briles' door? Is that even logical? Hell, I don't know anymore. One thing is for certain though, I will be supporting the Jayhawks for the rest of my life regardless of how crappy they are. That much they can count on.

2 months, 1 week ago

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Matthew Pierce

In some cases, having two quarterbacks vying for starting position is a great thing. That's if you have two really good quarterbacks who both are on about the same level of talent. But at KU, it appears that there's a two quarterback system because both QB's suck equally as bad, and the coaches can't really determine who sucks the least. It's awful to say. I hope KU can put a better product on the football field soon, but I don't know if that can happen until Beaty and his cronies are gone.

2 months, 1 week ago

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Matthew Pierce

I long for the day that the Jayhawks have just as much pride in their football program as they do in their basketball program. I mean, I hope to see the fans, the university administration, everyone taking pride in that football program. The Jayhawks have proven before that they can be a force to be reckoned with, and they can do it again. I hope the '07 season wasn't just a flash in the pan, but a promise of how good KU football can be every single season, if only every one involved from the University President all the way down to the janitors will invest all their mind and spirit into the program. It won't happen overnight, but it can happen in the near future if everyone starts today. Maybe it starts by getting rid of Beaty and his assistants, and bringing in coaches who have the belief, the drive and the determination that being anything other than the Big 12 champion every year is unacceptable.

2 months, 1 week ago

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