David Beaty expected much cleaner on-field product for KU's season debut

Kansas head coach David Beaty watches the action during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017 at Memorial Stadium.

In general, upbeat Kansas football coach David Beaty is happy to see his Jayhawks notch a mark in the victory column in any fashion. Still, following KU’s season-opening win against overmatched FCS visitor Southeast Missouri State, Beaty pinpointed numerous areas in need of improvement.

Following the third victory of his time as Kansas coach, Beaty said he expected to put a much more crisp product on display for the fans who showed up at Memorial Stadium to support the long-struggling program and its lasting example that things can get better, the 2008 Orange Bowl champion Jayhawks.

“A lot of self-inflicted things that I think if we can get them shored up, which I know we can, we've got a chance to be a decent football team, but those things can't show up,” Beaty began. “We talked about playing a clean game before we started. Several penalties, several of the big variety that is something that we can't have. Those are all mental mistakes that we can prevent, and then turning the football over, we can't do that. We can't throw it to the other team.”

On the penalty front, officials flagged KU (1-0) five times for 49 yards. Starting left tackle Hakeem Adeniji was called for holding on a rushing play in the red zone late in the second quarter and picked up another red-zone infraction on a pass in the third quarter — though KU scored a touchdown to close each of those drives.

Shortly after halftime, receiver Jeremiah Booker was flagged for pass interference, and in the fourth quarter Ryan Schadler was, as well.

One of the most annoying miscues in Beaty’s mind, though, came to open the third quarter, when a holding call negated freshman Quan Hampton’s kickoff return and forced Kansas to open the series at its own 10-yard line.

The third-year KU coach hoped a masterfully quick scoring drive to shut down the second quarter would give his team momentum to really put on an offensive show in the final 30 minutes of action.

“Well, I thought it would, and then we came out in the second half and we had a dag-gum penalty on the kickoff return and put us inside the 10, then we get another holding call or a pass interference call. Those are just things that just to so disappointing, because you get off that goal line, and it would have been nice to see if (quarterback Peyton Bender) could have stayed on that roll there, right.”

In his Kansas debut, the team’s new starting QB completed 23 of 37 throws (62.2 percent), was only sacked once and racked up four touchdowns and 364 yards. But Bender wasn’t overly pleased with his production, mostly because his stat line included a pair of interceptions, one in each half.

“You know, I’m confident in my ability to get the job done. I didn’t come in thinking I was going to throw for four touchdowns or five touchdowns. I just wanted to come in and do my job and do what the coaches wanted me to do. But, to be honest, I think I can play a lot better,” Bender said. “We left a ton out on the table tonight. You’ve got to attribute a lot of that to SEMO. They played their tails off. But we have a lot to improve on as an offense.”

After the Jayhawks jumped out to a 14-0 lead, they punted three times before they scored again, and one drive never started because Tyler Patrick fumbled a punt return while giving Steven Sims Jr. (three returns, 24 yards) a breather.

“I felt like left a lot out there as an offense,” Sims said. “We kind of stalled a little bit too much. But we’ve just got to go back to work Monday and get right.”

While Beaty knows Bender wishes he could take back those two passes that were picked, he trusts his quarterback will learn from those miscues. The head coach felt more discouraged by his Jayhawks’ inability to maintain a high level of competency versus SEMO.

“I do believe that they probably out-energied us as we went down the stretch there, and that's something that we control,” Beaty said. “We've got to get better in that area.”

Junior defensive tackle and captain Daniel Wise, credited with three tackles for loss, a sack and two QB hurries in the victory, said coaches tend to notice such trends from the sidelines even when players fail to pick up on them in the heat of competition.

“I think he’s right on that,” Wise said. “We got up a little bit (on the scoreboard), got a little bit too happy and had to lock back in.”

Next up for Kansas is a 3 p.m. Saturday non-conference meeting with Central Michigan (1-0), which opened its season with a 30-27 overtime victory against Rhode Island. Las Vegas considers the Jayhawks a three- to four-point favorite at home.

Not much action for Charlot

Former Alabama transfer Daylon Charlot played sparingly in his KU debut, as coaches had indicated was possible ahead of time, due to a lack of consistent production and availability in the preseason.

A four-star prospect in Patterson, La., not that long ago, Charlot entered in certain packages but didn’t record a reception off the bench.

“We've got a bunch of guys now, and every one of them probably could be the starter,” Beaty said of KU’s receiving corps. “I mean, we're about three deep at every spot.”

New position for freshman big man

The No. 68 jersey and his spot as a backup offensive tackle disappeared for KU true freshman Earl Bostick Jr., in KU’s opener. Beaty said afterward Bostick, listed at 6-foot-6, 270 pounds, had been moved to tight end. The Barnwell, S.C., native played, too, wearing No. 87.

Fish back with Washington

A day after being cut from Washington’s 53-man roster, former KU safety Fish Smithson, according to The Washington Post, is expected to be signed to the team’s practice squad.


More news and notes from Kansas vs. SEMO


Comments

Jim Stauffer

What is the world are they thinking. Bostick a man among men is moving to TE so he can block from that position and be targeted for 2 or 3 passes per game.
Hey Coach, we need someone who can create a hole for a RB.

2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Joe Ross

After reading the title of this article, Im filled with the sense that Beaty has the right perspective on his teams performance.

And its true. We have to improve.

2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Bryce Landon

Yes we do. Central Michigan will be tougher than SEMO. David Lawrence said it best on the radio broadcast, that CMU game is a must-win.

2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Chris DeWeese

Coach Beaty's comments were a good combination of rah rah and constructive criticism. I agree there were some good things in this game, but I saw far more opportunities for growth. It was good to get this game under the belts of our new players and new starters. It definitely revealed our weeknesses, especially when you consider the level of competition that's coming. I'm sure Beaty and Co will help these guys get incrementally better as the season goes on.

2 months, 2 weeks ago

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John Fitzgerald

After I graded all the positions in the previous post I thought that I may have been a little harsh. But it's good to know Beaty was also a little displeased with the product on the field and knows improvements need to be made immediately. Also note it took CMU three OT's to beat URI, a team we beat 55-6 with Montell Cozart. So needless to say it shouldn't be a problem beating CMU.

2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Lawrence McGlinn

This past week they played USC tough for 3 quarters. No gimme.

2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Tom Keegan

Actually, that was Western Michigan that played USC tough. Central Michigan was taken into triple OT by Rhode Island. A year ago, Central Michigan won in Stillwater, but had four-year starter at QB. One slight edge for CMU is that it played Thursday and therefore has two extra days to heal/prepare.

2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Lawrence McGlinn

Oops...thanks for the correction. I should be able to get directional schools straight! Still not feeling overly confident.

2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Austin Lopez

Kansas has to win this game, period! We need better production from our ground game, thats one thing Kansas has always had through this struggle the last 10 years, a solid running game that created big plays! Now that it seems we have a solid QB we need our RBs to step up and create those big plays.

2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Randy Bombardier

I thought we did some nice things. Noticable improvement from last year regardless of competition. Execution was pretty good which was sadly lacking last year. We will be okay. The mental mistakes will become less frequent. The running game will gel. Bender will get better. Would rather he not get tentative.

2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Garry Wright

We didn't score as much as I had anticipated, but the 2nd and 4th quarters kind of hurt us with our mistakes. Overall I'm pleased. We won. The game wasn't ever really in doubt. The mistakes we made can be overcome. Our guys have a real game under their belt now. Bender did a good job and he has a real game under his belt. I believe we'll be just fine against Central Michigan, if we get things tuned up a little better and I think we will. I'm still saying that we will surprise some this year. We are moving in the right direction and that's what is important at this point.

2 months, 2 weeks ago

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