Statistical review: Where KU football ranked among FBS programs in 47 categories

Kansas head coach David Beaty watches a West Virginia score during the first quarter on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas head coach David Beaty watches a West Virginia score during the first quarter on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

As David Beaty heads into his fourth season in charge of the University of Kansas football program, the Jayhawks remain a long way from proving they can compete with the rest of the Big 12 or FBS teams in general.

The NCAA’s official website tracks team statistics for 47 categories. In 2017, Beaty’s third year at KU, the Jayhawks ranked 100th or worse among 129 FBS programs on more than half of the lists — 26 altogether.

Over the next several off-season months Beaty and his staff will have no shortage of areas to address as they attempt to put a more competitive product on the field in 2018.

The list of KU’s faults is long. But there were a few things the Jayhawks actually did well while finishing 1-11 overall and 0-9 in the Big 12. One of the most stunning developments this past season was the red zone success of the Kansas offense. Coordinator Doug Meacham’s group ranked 9th nationally in red zone scoring percentage, with a 93.8% success rate. Kansas made 32 trips to the red zone and came away with eight rushing touchdowns, 10 passing TDs and 12 field goals.

The problem, of course, was how seldom the Jayhawks put themselves in position to score. Their 32 visits to an opponent’s 20-yard line tied for 10th-fewest among FBS teams, because the offense rarely whipped up enough successful plays to constitute a meaningful drive.

Defensively, KU stood out with its ability to make stops behind the line of scrimmage. Coordinator Clint Bowen’s bunch ranked 15th nationally, with 7.4 tackles for loss per game (89 total). Obviously that success wasn’t nearly enough to offset the Jayhawks’ numerous defensive inefficiencies.

Ultimately, KU’s countless issues all over the field meant the Big 12’s worst team ranked tied for 124th in the most important category of them all, winning percentage (.083). Kansas was one of five teams to finish 1-11, along with Baylor, Rice, Charlotte and Oregon State. Only UTEP went winless this past fall.

Below is a recap of where Kansas ranked in every team stat tracked on the NCAA’s website for the 2017 season.

OFFENSE

Kansas wide receiver Steven Sims Jr. (11) pulls in a deep touchdown catch during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas wide receiver Steven Sims Jr. (11) pulls in a deep touchdown catch during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

Passing offense: 68th, 226.4 yards per game

Rushing offense: 124th, 102.6 yards per game

Total offense: 117th, 329 yards per game

Scoring offense: 119th, 18.7 points per game

3rd down conversions: 124th, 28.9%

4th down conversions: Tied-60th, 54.2% (13 of 24)

Completion percentage: 108th, 54.1% (249 of 460)

1st downs: 123rd, 194 (66 rushing, 113 passing, 15 via penalty)

Fumbles lost: Tied-76th, 9

Passes had intercepted: Tied-120th, 17 (Peyton Bender, 10; Carter Stanley, 7)

Passing yards per completion: 118th, 10.91 yards (Stanley, 10.97; Bender, 10.87)

Red zone offense: 9th, 93.8% scoring percentage (32 red zone trips, 8 rushing TDs, 10 passing TDs, 12 FGs)

Sacks allowed: Tied-90th, 2.42 opponent sacks per game

Tackles for loss allowed: 123rd, 7.67 opponent TFLs per game (lost 31.75 yards per game)

Passing efficiency: 118th, 106.4 passing efficiency (Bender 108.48; Stanley 104.47)

Turnovers lost: Tied-115th, 26 (9 fumbles lost, 17 passes intercepted)

DEFENSE

Kansas cornerback Hasan Defense (13) is pushed aside by Oklahoma tight end Grant Calcaterra (80) as Oklahoma running back Trey Sermon (4) dives into the end zone for a touchdown during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas cornerback Hasan Defense (13) is pushed aside by Oklahoma tight end Grant Calcaterra (80) as Oklahoma running back Trey Sermon (4) dives into the end zone for a touchdown during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

Passing yards allowed: 125th, 296.8 yards per game

Rushing yards allowed: 72nd, 171.6 yards per game

Total defense: 117th, 468.3 yards allowed per game

Scoring defense: 128th, 43.4 points per game

Opponent 3rd down conversions: Tied-78th, 40.1%

Opponent 4th down conversions: 104th, 61.9% (13 of 21)

Defensive touchdowns: N/A (one of 50 programs to not score a defensive TD)

Opponent 1st downs: Tied-75th, 265 (106 rushing, 141 passing, 18 via penalty)

Fumbles recovered: Tied-108th, 5

Passes intercepted: Tied-124th, 4 (382 opponent pass attempts)

Red zone defense: 117th, 89.8% opponent scoring percentage (59 red zone trips, 27 rushing TDs, 16 passing TDs, 10 FGs)

Opponent passing efficiency: 128th, 172.36

Sacks: Tied-89th, 1.83 per game (22 total)

Tackles for loss: 15th, 7.4 per game (89 total)

Turnovers gained: Tied-126th, 9 (5 fumble recoveries, 4 interceptions)

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kansas State kickoff returner D.J. Reed (2) escapes several Kansas special teams players during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas State kickoff returner D.J. Reed (2) escapes several Kansas special teams players during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

Blocked kicks: Tied-67th, 1

Blocked kicks allowed: Tied-1st with 25 other teams, 0

Blocked punts: Tied-19th with 39 other teams, 1

Blocked punts allowed: Tied-1st with 69 other teams, 0 (most 87 punts)

Kickoff return defense: 109th, 23.72 yards per opponent return (29 returns, 688 yards, 1 TD, 17 touchbacks)

Kickoff returns: 79th, 20.49 yards per return (51 returns, 1,045 yards, 0 TDs)

Net punting: 121st, 34.57 net yards per punt (87 punts, 3,434 yards, 366 return yards, 3 touchbacks)

Punt return defense: 129th, 18.3 yards per return (20 returns, 366 yards, 2 TDs)

Punt returns: 84th, 6.23 yards per return (13 returns, 81 yards, 0 TDs)

MISCELLANEOUS

Central Michigan defensive back Tyjuan Swain rips the ball away from Kansas receiver Quan Hampton for an interception on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Central Michigan defensive back Tyjuan Swain rips the ball away from Kansas receiver Quan Hampton for an interception on Saturday at Memorial Stadium. by Mike Yoder

Fewest penalties: Tied-33rd, 66

Fewest penalties per game: 47th, 5.5 per game

Fewest penalty yards: 31st, 553

Fewest penalty yards per game: 40th, 46.08

Time of possession: 113th, 27:31

Turnover margin: 127th, -1.42 per game (-17 on the season — 9 gained, 26 lost)

Winning percentage: Tied-124th, .083

Comments

Suzi Marshall

Yikes. These are the metrics that earned a 4th year! Similar metrics last year earned a big raise.

Ths actions by the KU Athletic Depatment to reward this kind of performance make it abundantly clear football is a low priority, regardless of the department rhetoric.

1 month ago

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Kevin Robert Fest

The difference is that he beat Texas didn't matter what the stats were.

1 month ago

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Joe Norgay

This is what happens when a dumpster fire is raging out of control. It really isn't fair to Beaty, his staff, and his players that he wasn't fired last year. Beaty is in the corner getting his brains beat out and Girod is the ref who won't call the fight by firing Zenger and eventually Beaty.

1 month ago

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Mike Hart

Hey Joe... why don't you keep commenting on every KU football article using the same "dumpster fire" analogy. It's not getting old... seriously.

1 month ago

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Lawrence McGlinn

Maybe Zenger and Beaty don't realize it is like golf, lower numbers are better...! Hey, no kicks blocked, tied for 1st!

1 month ago

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Andy Godwin

It is like a car wreck, when one slows down to see what happened. Read the article fully knowing the data would be poor. I need to learn to just move on. Looking forward to next season of hope and hype.

1 month ago

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Kevin Robert Fest

Yes hopefully the stats will be a little better next year lol.

1 month ago

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Richard Duran

Hey at least our punt return average is positive this year!

1 month ago

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John Fitzgerald

I’m predicting 0-12 for next year because 1.) they can’t do any worse and 2.) anything more will be a surprise.

1 month ago

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Robert Brock

Zenger is proud of his football accomplishments.

1 month ago

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John Brazelton

This season depends upon the offensive line achieving Big 12 quality play giving whichever QB is chosen to start time to throw and running backs holes to run thru. Our special teams need to be able to cover kick-offs and punts much better than last season. This season our defensive backs will have more talent and more experience than in 2017. Wins will come if our seniors and juniors are tired of losing.

1 month ago

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['']

Dumpster fire football at its best. Imagine if teams like Oklahoma State didn't pull their starters in the 4th quarter. Lots of KU's points came in garbage time. What a disgrace.

Another stat: dead last in Power 5 home attendance. Hope the Mountain West will take us in 2022.

1 month ago

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Tim Orel

Wouldn't it be a crime if KU's consecutive conference winning streak in BB is stopped because KU got forced out of the Big 12 (and KU is one of the original schools in the conference). I wouldn't put it past some of the AD's at the other school who are getting fed up with KU winning it every year. At least in football, there's usually different teams on top.

1 month ago

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['']

The Bad News Bears of college football. Season highlight reel is played with laughtracks. People expecting improvement with this coaching staff? Look up the definition of insanity. You think this D-coordinator has ever or will ever have a total defense in the top 110 when he just had 3 all-conference players to work with?

1 month ago

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Mike Hart

Daniel Wise was the only first team All conference Big 12 defensive player in 2017. Nice try though...

1 month ago

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['']

Dineen was 2nd team All American by SI & Dorance was preseason Big 12 DPOY & still finished 2nd team all conference. Most FBS D-coordinators could find a way to translate that into a top-75 defense. Not ours. Nice try Beaty.

1 month ago

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Jeff Coffman

Mike you keep doing this. The poster clearly said three all conference players, and you react with "first" team all conference. You infer the person is stating incorrect facts with responding to a different statement.

1 month ago

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Tom Horner

When I watch games of some of the top ten schools I notice one peculiar thing; the bands. The bands from these schools show that there is a major commitment on the part of the school to all phases of the spectacle that is a football. The Rose Bowl parade featured bands from the two schools that numbered over 400 members. Everywhere there is evidence that the various universities really have an overall interest in their program. Other than a few major donors giving to improve the facilities, I see no obvious evidence of Kansas University giving any effort to improve the football program. Attract the students to the games, do some promotional events i.e band day, get a band that can put on a show and maybe the success of the football team will follow.

1 month ago

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Mike Hart

Right... the success of the band will inspire the football team and lead them to greener pastures... smh

1 month ago

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Dirk Medema

The ST line play was also among the best though the net results were not good.

A good sign was the penalty yards. It shows they were disciplined which is foundational to being a good team.

1 month ago

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Andy Tweedy

I wish I'd skipped this article

1 month ago

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Jim Stauffer

This many comments indicates there is still fan interest in FB at KU. We win the non-con and attendance improvement will make the conference season much more fun.

1 month ago

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Jeff Coffman

Which non-conference game do you anticipate winning next year and why?

1 month ago

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Bryson Stricker

I'd confidently say that talent-wise, we will have far more talent than CMU & Nicholls St. Rutgers has had some decent signings and I'd say we are even with them. The difference here being that Rutgers has a more experienced and game savvy HC and runs a scheme his team can run.

Our HC is still learning on the job and hasn't officially announced he is changing his scheme therefore we are lead to believe we are going to run the Fail Raid again and have no offensive production. I firmly believe we can win all 3 non-con from a talent standpoint, just hopefully we have the right gameplan that we can execute.

1 month ago

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John Fitzgerald

Really? That's your argument? 23 comments on a KU Sports blog site and your sold that Beaty still generates interest for football? The interest is there because it was there before Beaty and Zenger got here. It's the KU loyals that have hope something will eventually change and they...we are the ones that continue to comment.

1 month ago

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Bryson Stricker

One stat I'm surprised you didn't add Benton, was yards per point and yards per touchdown. At one point, KU was at like 157 yards per touchdown meaning we literally drove down and back 57 yards before we scored.

That is one of the most pertinent stats that falls under the radar and only high level analytical minds pay attention to it. It basically shows how effective a team is at finishing a drive and how well their defense and ST are setting them up for success.

1 month ago

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Titus Canby

As I recall, one year Turner Gill proudly quoted that we led the nation in total punting yards.

1 month ago

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