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FINAL: KU's offense struggles in 23-14 loss to Rice

An impressive effort by the Kansas football defense wasn't enough to overcome incompetent offense, as Rice rallied in the fourth quarter for a 23-14 victory over KU in Houston.

The game-changing play came with 8:43 left in the fourth quarter, as Rice kicker Chris Boswell blasted a 56-yard field goal to turn a 14-13 deficit into a 16-14 Owls lead.

Following a KU three-and-out, Rice added a 50-yard TD drive, capped by an eight-yard rushing touchdown by Charles Ross.

Though he was indecisive most of the night, KU quarterback Jake Heaps didn't get much help from the players he was throwing to, either. The junior finished 13-for-28 for 157 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.

Tony Pierson led KU's offense with four catches for 95 yards with a touchdown, but he had just five total touches. James Sims added 20 carries for 117 yards, though 21 of those yards came on the game's final play with Rice in prevent defense.

Overall, KU's offense averaged just 4.2 yards per play and 2.9 yards per rush.

The Jayhawks (1-1) will play host to Louisiana Tech at 11 a.m. on Sept. 21.


First Quarter

6:40 — Michael Kutzler 51 interception return. Chris Boswell kick. The Kansas defense forced Rice to punt on its first offensive possession and the offense responded with back-to-back first downs on its first drive. But on a third-and-long, Jake Heaps was intercepted when Kutzler batted the ball into the air to himself and raced to the end zone untouched. (RICE 7, KU 0).

Second Quarter

9:20 — Tony Pierson 77 pass from Jake Heaps. Matthew Wyman kick. After a sluggish first quarter, the KU offense picked up a huge momentum play on a third-down completion from Heaps to Pierson. Pierson caught the pass about 15 yards from the line of scrimmage, absorbed a hit, spun out of it and then raced away from the rest of the Rice defense. Rice also was flagged for roughing the passer on the play that capped a five-play, 91-yard drive that took 1:48. (RICE 7, KU 7).

6:04 — Chris Boswell 40 field goal. Rice answered KU's scoring drive with a 52-yard, eight-play drive that reached the edge of the KU red zone but stalled when KU defensive end Michael Reynolds sacked McHargue on third-and-10, forcing the Owls to send Boswell on for the three-pointer. (RICE 10, KU 7).

0:09 — Chris Boswell 28 field goal. KU came up with another defensive stand inside of three minutes left in the first half, but gave possession right back on the first play of the next drive when Jake Heaps was intercepted trying to find Justin McCay deep down the KU sideline. Twelve plays, 71 yards and 2:36 later, Rice added to its lead with the chip shot field goal just before halftime. (RICE 13, KU 7).

Third Quarter

1:01 — Jake Heaps 1 run. Wyman kick. Isaiah Johnson's first career interception and 31-yard return set the Jayhawks' offense up with a first-and-10 at the Rice 16 yard line and, four plays later, Heaps rammed it in behind his offensive line to give Kansas its first lead. Even this was not easy for KU, which went 16 yards in four plays and 1:42, but a huge conversion on third-and-12 from Heaps to Tre' Parmalee set up the score. Heaps did a magnificent job of hanging in the pocket long enough to make the throw and Parmalee flashed some nifty moves to get to the one. (KU 14, RICE 13).

Fourth Quarter

8:05 — Chris Boswell 56 field goal. The Jayhawks' defense once again held up, despite Rice starting this drive at midfield, but the Owls' biggest weapon came through with the 12th field goal of his career from 50 yards or longer to put the home team back in front after a six-play, 12-yard drive that took 2:28. (RICE 16, KU 14).

3:28 — Charles Ross 8 run. Boswell kick. The Kansas defense came up with big-time stops throughout the night, but late in the game it was a three-and-out by Rice's defense that set up the game's biggest score. With back-up quarterback Driphus Jackson running the offense, Rice marched 50 yards in six plays and 3:09 to jump out to a two-score lead. (RICE 23, KU 14).

Live game updates

  • You sir are an idiot

  • Yes; we realize. And I'm serious when I ask how we justify keeping Weis at the end of this season after Turner has the better record.

  • plus 1

  • a "little" disappointing???????

  • I'm not "giving up" on Weis, but tonight wasn't his best night. He needs to quit trying to be cute at the worst time and come up with a quicker passing game and put the ball in Pierson's hands more.

  • I was kidding man. I was doggin Gill again.

  • The receiving core is a major problem.

  • Ad hominem joke about the coach is about you hating the coach.

  • F it.... as long as we can keep our head in this season...we'll pull some upsets... a lil disappointing that we didn't play Rice as close as we did last year, for sure

  • No, Wisconsin has a great coach in Gary Anderson. Somebody who KU should have considered hiring.

  • I'm done we need to sack up on offense. Good night.

  • Question is will thses people at KU sports staff ask questions. That is solid questions about all things...Lets see leaving out thousands from the TV deal, blackouts, and why the hell Z got an extension. BUt you can probably count them out. Too busy KA!

  • There's potential on this offense, which the most frustrating part.

  • Gill also had a lot more big losses than Charlie Weis has had through 15 games. They were worse losses under Gill after 24 games.

  • LMAO


  • It's a joke...lighten up. Hey, at least we have an improved defense.

  • Ah yeah! Bull wrastling!

  • Play calling gets kinda limited when receivers are allergic to catching the ball.

  • Im praising his improved defense, not the offense.

  • Hopefully we'll do better against Louisiana Tech

  • If you want to take Gill to Wisconsin I'm sure he's available.

  • I don't get why you're still here if you think nothing will help this team. Why are you even here if that's what you think?

  • GD MFN Tight ends.. thats our problem

  • Time to find a coach that isn't living off a reputation from years ago as an assistant. Sadly we could have had Charlie Strong, how is that working for Louisville?

  • Heaps wasn't great tonight, but Heaps is not THE problem and Cummings isn't the answer. There's room for improvement all over, but easily poor catching and poor playcalling stand out.

  • With the exception of the sacks. He's gotta feel that in the pocket.

  • To many runs up the middle, too many dropped passes. Come back strong Hawks!

  • A lot

  • love the improved defense but can't do it alone... will the offense show some heart?

  • Now people are bashing Charlie Weis? Unreal, you guys realize Turner Gill had a better record (in term of wins, and quality of wins) than Charlie Weis through his first 15 games, right?

  • Post game will be a masterful spin job. Can't wait to hear.

  • So now your true colors come out. Why do you have to add an ad hominem attack? All it shows is you're a drunk.

  • Yep it's still a pile of crap.

  • I'm not a big Heaps supporter yet, but a majority of tonight's problems lie solely on the hands of the receivers...

  • We didn't try to get him involved enough. Don't recall the big touchdown by Pierson?

  • Nothing's gonna help this team, lol.

  • I disagree. I like Zenger. I think he's done a good job thus far. Are we not more competitive in every sport than prior to his arrival?

  • Cummings should replace Heaps... he at least got our boys fired up last year. With Cummings taking the snaps we competed with Texas, Texas Tech and Okie State.

  • No he doesn't. I'll tell you what though, if you hate this so much, don't watch. You don't have to. there isn't a gun to your head. You're not helping.

    Or better yet, go try out if you think you're so bad.

  • "Have you seen that pile of crap out there?"

  • I think he passed Sayers on that run.

  • What a disaster

  • Slightly classy. Sims gets to add to his total.

  • Zenger needs to get out and hell let him retire in a nice press box at the love boat there in mancrappy. I still and always will believe he is a mole.

  • 00:00 left in Final
    Rice 23
    Kansas 14

    Rice finishes off the victory.

  • Really man? Show some honesty!

  • Didn't see any plays that mirrored Tavon Austin

  • Heaps=Crist

  • Can'e believe an experienced QB takes so many sacks. This whole thing is depressing.

    Take a knee.

  • a diet would help too

  • Heaps certainly didn't help when he just stood around and did nothing. He did exactly what Dayne Crist used to do. He's overthinking things way too much.

  • How many dropped balls did we have tonight??

  • Heaps watched too much of Crist

  • I don't.. I love football. I love it so damn much. But I am so freaking sick and tired of being the damn laughing stock of the Big 12 in this ONE sport.

  • Weis needs to hire an OC and let someone else take that load of his back.

  • Heaps one last time holding it too long

  • Oh my, I'm actually laughing aloud now...

  • Terrible

  • Drop dead.

  • Sims did have 90 yards against a stacked line, but I would venture to say that Sims did a poor job tonight of exploiting the holes up front. He is still our #1 option, but I think this was a very poor showing for him

  • 'Night, everyone.

  • Wish we would just scuttle the f-ball program and be a b-ball only school.

  • Receivers look horrible, which makes the QB look horrible. Play calling is stupid. Weis is his own OC.

  • So, anyone think Coleman is our deep threat now??

  • No go to on offense. Mundane stunk and play calling stunk

  • Weiss should know that using junked QB's in the NFL doesn't work. It doesn't work at this level either.

  • Receiving corps is an abomination tonight.

  • The pick 6 was tipped.

  • It may be too soon to say "here we go again" but I'm starting to feel that way. I don't think Heaps was the problem. The rest of the offense really made it difficult for him to make the difference. The pick 6 was on him though.

  • Yay yay yay yay.another offense with NO leader and no identity

  • FBall season only lasts one more week. After that, I've got better things to do with my time than watch a sub 500 team.

  • I figured we'd be better. Asking too much apparently

  • We'll fire Weis after next year and he'll hobble off into sunset with his cool $12.5M.

  • Turner Gill is getting Liberty on track, by the way. His guys looked pretty good today.

  • You judge a player based on game performance. Mundine is awful.

  • He had 90 yards against a stacked line most of the night.

  • Weak...just a weak team.

  • LOL @ the people who bought into Charlie Weis and his "offense"

  • They just aren't very good, sadly

  • what the actual hell? i'm sick of Kansas always losing.

  • Nope...glad I didn't waste the gas.

  • I agree 100%. I'm totally unimpressed by Weis' coaching in this game.

  • I'll be using mine in a bit and won't be able to send it to you... but they're on sale

  • I agree....Defense held up for the most part. The offense stunk up the field.

  • I meant 10 more weeks of this b.s.

  • Mundine needs to be demoted. Give us a guy that can make a catch!

  • I'm watching it at home on TV.

  • So tired of bad football

  • Jayhawk 2181, may I please borrow your blender?

  • Is there an obvious reason why the O line couldn't block tonight... no room for sims and little time for heaps?

  • Sims wasn't good at all. I would've preferred to see Bourbon and Miller more in the 4th quarter

  • Not that long, actually. Practice starts in 13 days.

  • At the rate Texas is going, we might be a good matchup

  • This team and Weis better have a strong answer next week, or this thing might sour quick. I don't dispute that we've improved in many places on the field, but there's a lot of frustrated optimism right now.

  • Fire our AD...lets start there first. When BB season starts and the blackouts in KS are profound maybe these LJW reporters will be asking non cupcake questions regarding the TV deal. They have been pretty much mute on the subject. Will one LJW reporter step up for crying out loud.

  • Disappointed by the offense. I don't really understand why we are so ineffective with the football... We couldn't run for 10 yards in 3 plays to save our life tonight.

  • Hats off to Campo - Bowen.. great D game. Weis......

  • and bolsters Rice's chances!

  • Can't use the Turner Gill excuse any longer. This is on HCCW.