Beshears Enjoys Career Day as Jayhawks Outlast Northern Illinois
Sept. 11, 2011
The Jayhawks’ offense soared in a 45-42 shootout-victory over the Northern Illinois Huskies, and junior wide receiver/kick returner D.J. Beshears was a big part of it.
Trailing by four points in the final seconds of the game, sophomore quarterback Jordan Webb’s found Beshears for the game-winner on a slant route from the six-yard line.
Beshears had a standout performance with seven receptions for 70 yards and two scores – all career highs and also racked up 197 yards in kickoff returns. Kansas’ final drive was set up by a 51-yard return by Beshears, while he also capped the final drive with his seventh reception.
The game-winning offensive play was one Beshears and Webb have prepared for numerous times. However, in practice Webb has never had to throw to Beshears because his first two reads are usually open.
“It’s always open in practice so we never need the third read,” said Beshears. “But I’m glad we hit it today.”
Beshears was not alone, over 48,000 fans roared with relief when he got up in the end zone holding the football. The tension was immense as the Jayhawks faced a fourth-down for the second time during their final drive; this time needing to score from the Huskies’ six-yard line to avoid defeat.
Even with Beshears’ usually calm demeanor, his quick breath and constant smiles showed reporters that he was still amped up from his game clincher even during the post-game conference.
“He has been doing this all off-season so I’m not surprised,” said Webb, referring to BeShears’ performance. “He has the play-making ability that we need on offense.”
The Jayhawks were able to go blow-for-blow with the Huskies coming up with some crucial plays through the air. The ground game was also effective as Kansas accumulated 253 yards rushing. Beshears added one run for 18 yards; he finished the contest with a career high 285 all-purpose yards.
Junior wide receiver Kale Pick is very familiar with the competitive nature of his teammate even when it is not a passing play. While Beshears had four more receptions than Pick, the two pass catchers will look over the game-film to compare who had the best blocking.
“D.J. (BeShears) and I are competitors so we try and get as many knock-down blocks as we can,” said Pick through a proud smile.
Tracking their blocking stats each week, the two receivers will try to one-up each other all year in assisting their fellow Jayhawks. Between catching the first and the last touchdowns of the contest, Beshears blocking stats will most likely be the only conversation carried over into next week’s contest at Georgia Tech.