Most but not all KU football numbers bad in 2017
You hang around a sports department office long enough and you’re bound to hear some interesting numbers and not all of them have dollar signs in front of them.
Some of the more compelling statistics produced by the Kansas football team during a 1-11 2017 campaign:
Scott Chasen pointed out on the KU Sports Hour that Khalil Herbert rushed for five more yards (291) against West Virginia than any teammate gained for the entire season. Taylor Martin rushed for 286 yards.
Bobby Nightengale noted that Kansas finished 130th (last) with an opponent punt-return average of 18.3 yards.
True freshman Earl Bostick, who started the season at offensive tackle and converted to tight end, had as many catches as Alabama transfer Daylon Charlot, who started the season at receiver and converted to safety.
Charlot caught one pass for no gain. This was one example of hype for which coaches can’t be blamed. The coaches consistently threw water on the media’s excitement, but we didn’t listen.
Bostick made his first and only catch a memorable one. Bostick’s 8-yard touchdown reception from Carter Stanley cut Texas’ lead to two touchdowns early in the second quarter.
Four schools surrendered more than the 296.8 passing yards per game allowed by KU and one school might come as a surprise: 130 - UConn (333.9); 129 - Kansas State (310.3); 128 - Louisiana-Monroe (308.5), Texas State (297.3).
Stanley had a hand in K-State’s ranking by throwing for 418 yards against the Wildcats.
Another indictment of the KU secondary: Tied for 123rd with four interceptions. KU ranks 128th with a -1.42 turnover margin and 126th with a 28.86-percent success rate on third down. Opponents were successful on 40.11 percent of their third-down plays.
KU averaged 3.1 yards per rush and 5.91 yards per pass attempt. Opponents averaged 4.2 yards per rush and 9.32 yards per pass.
The longest stretch of offensive ineptitude didn’t come in a 38-9 loss to Baylor, which lost its other 11 games, rather in a nine-and-a-half quarter streak that started midway through the third quarter of the 65-19 loss to Texas Tech and dragged on in back-to-back shutouts against Iowa State and TCU. The Jayhawks were outscored 118-0. They gained 129 yards in nine quarters.
On the positive side, Kansas ranked 15th in the nation with 7.42 tackles for loss per game.
Gabriel Rui was responsible for the team’s biggest area of improvement. He made 17 of 20 field goals and nailed a career-high 50-yard kick, one of 10 field goals of 40 or more yards.