Peyton Bender a little better than so-so so far

Kansas quarterback Peyton Bender (7) is driven to the turf by Ohio linebacker Dylan Conner (35) and Ohio linebacker Quentin Poling (32) during the third quarter on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio.

Kansas quarterback Peyton Bender (7) is driven to the turf by Ohio linebacker Dylan Conner (35) and Ohio linebacker Quentin Poling (32) during the third quarter on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio. by Nick Krug

Any time a team loses football games by significant margins human nature dictates that most of the time analyzing the outcome focuses on what factors contributed to the loss.

In the case of Peyton Bender, it’s easy to pinpoint the negatives. First, he throws too many interceptions, five in three games to be exact. Second, he does a poor job of recognizing blitzes, a weakness that contributes to him being sacked too many times, eight to be exact.

But head coach David Beaty isn’t just being nice when he follows up talking about those deficiencies by saying that Bender is “doing some really good things.” He’s right about that.

Bender has shown toughness in making throws while taking hits. He’s also zipped a number of passes into small windows and as offensive coordinator Doug Meacham pointed out, when Bender doesn’t miss by a mile, he’s an accurate thrower.

The fact Bender hits so many receivers every game suggests that he does a nice job of going through his progressions and finding the right target.

He seems to be developing nice chemistry with Evan Fairs, a 6-foot-3, 195-pound sophomore who knows how to attack the ball. Keep an eye on Fairs. He's a keeper and so is Chase Harrell.

Let's look at Bender's numbers, before doing so, I’ll issue a qualifier by saying that I agree with Vin Scully, the friendly retired Dodgers broadcaster, who once said: “Statistics are used much like a drunk uses a lamppost: for support, not illumination.”

Here goes: Kansas ranks 12th in the nation in passing yardage with 343.3 yards per game. The rest of the numbers are less impressive and more illuminating. Bender completes 58.2 percent of his passes and he has one more touchdown pass (six) than his interception total.

Bender's not the problem, but can develop into part of the solution.

So far, not great, but not so bad either.

Comments

Joe Ross

...statistics will confess to anything if you torture them long enough.

1 month ago

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David Kemp

Yeah unfortunately statistics are misleading when gathered to make games look closer than their real blowout.

1 month ago

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Chris DeWeese

The good news is Peyton Bender is a top 10 QB in the nation (no. 9) as far as passing yards go. He's just behind Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson, at least for now.

1 month ago

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David A. Smith

Tom's point is the same one that I've been making: we all know the negative stats. But, his YPG is the highest we've had in 8 years. And, the guy has done it with poor protection much of the time and with very limited experience here.

1 month ago

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Lance Cheney

He could help his cause by getting rid of the football sooner.

1 month ago

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Mike Nicco

When is somebody, besides certain posters, going to call out the elephant in the room? We made excuses all last season for the defense. We even blamed the offense and special teams for the poor defense. The offense and special teams are improved. Is it too simplistic to think if the defense played like last year we would have more wins, or at least competitive showings?

1 month ago

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Tom Keegan

That's true, but I don't see the defense playing like last year. Secondary result of poor recruiting. Plenty of guys, but are any of them Big 12-caliber defensive backs other than Mike Lee?

1 month ago

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Bville Hawk

And Mark Twain said "statistics are like ladies of the night, once you get them down you can do anything you want with them."

1 month ago

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Bob Bailey

It isn't their ability that is the problem. Grossly inadequate Defensive Scheme, with damn poor instruction as to what they are doing out there! If you pay attention, no one is 'covering' anyone! The DC Bowen has not had anyone covered in 7 or 8 yrs, and he doesn't know the difference. We give them 6 - 12 yards on EVERY formation. When they gang tackle, they get pushed back another 4 - 6 or more yards. Our D Line is probably doing as well as they can. No one teaches tackling, coverage, and the Scheme is horrendous. There will Never be any Defense till we get a more than competent DC.

1 month ago

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John Brazelton

Bowen coaches Safeties and coordinates the defense with other defensive coaches. Other coaches coach the defensive line, linebackers and defensive backs. The KU defense simply not a one-coach problem. We simply have no quality depth or experience at DB. And our defensive line is, so far, not during the same job as last year. We've got one linebacker who is working wonders, but needs to stay fresh to play the 4th quarter, which means pulling him out of series earlier in the game.

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