David Beaty’s first game as the head coach of the Jayhawks was mixed with disappointment and hope. Junior quarterback Montell Cozart finished the game 25 for 38 with 291 yards in the air, accumulating one touchdown and an interception. Add that to his 94 yards on the ground and you have something for coach David Beaty to smile about.
The Jayhawks went down early, going into halftime down by 17 with not a lot of hope in sight, but Kansas started the second half scoring 14 unanswered points. KU and SDSU battled in the second half, but the Jayhawks just could not keep up. With big performances from South Dakota State quarterback Zach Lujan, wide receiver Jake Wieneke, and running backs Isaac Wallace and Mengarelli, the Jackrabbits managed to hold off KU by three points and secure a huge win over a Division I opponent.
Although KU lost the first game of the 2015 season to an FCS school, there are still some positives in sight. With Cozart having a huge game in the air and on the ground, he was able to spread the love around to his teammates. He completed at least one pass to 10 different players on Saturday, and that’s something we have not seen from Kansas quarterbacks in recent past.
Cozart was not the only bright spot on KU’s offense. Ke’aun Kinner has proven so far that he was the major pick up at the running back position the KU needed. Kinner finished the game with 157 yards on 27 carries with two touchdowns.
Senior wide receiver Tre Parmalee also proven that he could be a key asset this season. Parmalee ended up with 3 receptions for 82 yards and 1 touchdown. In just one game he has already surpassed the amount of yards he had last season, which was just 4 receptions for 21 yards.
Sure, there were a lot of positives to look at in Saturday’s game against the Jackrabbits, but the game still ended on a fumbled snap between Cozart and the center and a loss to another team from a smaller division. The defense also allowed for SDSU to put up 41 points and 463 yards of total offense. SDSU wide receiver Jake Wieneke had 8 receptions for 160 yards and two scores. Although KU did find a way to slow down the sophomore wide receiver in the second half. If KU expects to win a single game, they have to tighten up on defense to give Montell Cozart and the offense a chance to rest.
KU has a lot to fix in just one week before the Memphis game at home in which KU enters as a pretty large underdog. Saturday might have been the only game in which someone would think that KU could win, but this team showed a lot of resiliency and that could go a long way in a game of football.
Kansas will host the Memphis Tigers this Saturday at 6 p.m. local time.