It took 665 days, but the losing streak is over. The Jayhawks beat Rhode Island 55-6 at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, snapping a 15-game losing streak.
The victory over the Rams was the first career victory for KU coach David Beaty, after the Jayhawks finished winless in 2015. KU had not won since beating Iowa State on November 8, 2014.
KU’s offense performed as well as it ever has in the David Beaty era. The Jayhawks had 570 total yards, 399 coming through the air.
Despite the stellar play of both competitors, the murky quarterback battle between junior Montell Cozart and sophomore Ryan Willis failed to clear up. The tandem traded off offensive series and touchdown throws as they gained an early 13-0 lead.
Cozart got the starting nod and proceeded to take more of the snaps as the game progressed, completing 18 of 25 for 199 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.
Willis only had nine passing attempts, but he completed seven of them for 144 yards and two touchdown passes. Nearly half of those yards came on a screen pass to Steven Sims Jr. in the third, where the sophomore receiver took the ball 71 yards for a touchdown.
Sims Jr. finished with five receptions for 124 yards. Texas A&M junior transfer LaQuvionte Gonzalez, who followed Beaty to Kansas a year ago, added 78 yards on seven receptions and a touchdown in the first quarter.
Senior running back Ke’aun Kinner started out slow but worked his way up to 69 yards on seven carries and a touchdown run. The Jayhawks combined for 160 yards and two touchdowns on only 27 carries. Sophomore Taylor Martin added six rushes for 33 yards and a score.
On the other side of the ball, the Jayhawk defense kept Rhode Island’s passing attack in check. Rams sophomore quarterback Wesley McKoy did his work on the ground, running for 56 yards on 10 carries while throwing a paltry 6-for-23 for 49 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Freshman running back Sean Anderson added 59 yards on 16 carries.
Kansas will look to build on their success when they face Ohio on Sept. 10 at 1:30 p.m at Memorial Stadium. The Bobcats lost their first game of the season in a 56-54 loss to Texas State on Saturday.