Cyclones Run Past Jayhawks, 38-13

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AMES, Iowa – Kansas football dropped its fourth-straight contest in 2015, 38-13, behind 175 rushing yards from Iowa State freshman running back Mike Warren. The Cyclones in total ran to 243 yards and three touchdowns as Saturday afternoon at Jack Trice Stadium.
Junior quarterback Montell Cozart led Kansas (0-4, 0-1 Big 12) with 150 yards in the air on a 15-of-21 effort, including a 47-yard touchdown strike to senior Tre’ Parmalee. Parmalee paced KU with a career-high five catches for 81 yards against a Cyclone (2-2, 1-0 Big 12) team that held the Jayhawks to their lowest single-game total yardage effort in 2015 with 288 yards of offense.
Junior safety Fish Smithson helped Kansas to force Iowa State to five three-and-outs on the day with a game, and career-high 13 tackles, while junior linebacker Marcquis Roberts added a defensive touchdown on an 83-yard pick six in the third quarter.
ISU quarterback Sam B. Richardson connected on 27 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns, while Warren posted two scores on the ground in a 175-yard effort.
Until the waning minutes of the second quarter, both squads lived and died by their defense. Kansas marched 41-yards down the field on its opening drive where the Cyclones tightened up and held the Jayhawks to a field goal attempt, which was unsuccessful. Iowa State, in turn, took the ball and strung together a 64-yard drive of its own that ended with it too missing field goal.
Thirteen minutes and six seconds ticked off the clock until the game’s first points were scored, with the Cyclones taking the early 3-0 lead by way of a 34-yard strike from kicker Cole Netten. The Jayhawk defense took that as a moral victory with senior safety Michael Glatczak coming up huge with an open-field tackle on third down to force the field goal attempt. 
The momentum by the walk-on Glatczak sparked a defense that had been in a lull and proceeded to hold Iowa State to back-to-back three-and-outs, more than half the team’s total through the first three games (3).
The energy was short lived as Richardson took the ball into his own hands and escorted the Cyclones down the field on their final two drives of the half, scoring two-straight touchdowns for the 17-0 lead.
The Cyclones tacked on another seven after Warren rushed up the gut for 62 yards on the lone play of the drive to build a 24-0 lead. Kansas returned to find the end zone with 5:26 to play in the third quarter scoring its first points of the game. On the first play of the drive, Cozart connected with Parmalee for 47 yards and the first receiving score of his career, but a missed extra point by junior kicker Nick Bartolotta left the Jayhawks with just six points, 24-6.
Iowa State answered on the ensuing drive to garner a 25-point lead, 31-6, before KU looked back to its defense for another spark. On second and six, junior cornerback Chevy Graham recorded the first sack of his career for a loss of 12 yards to set up a third and long for the Cyclones. Knowing it’s a passing situation, Roberts sat in the middle of the field and intercepted the first pass of his career, returning it 83 yards for the touchdown that pulled Kansas within 18 points, 31-13.
The pick six by Roberts was the first defensive touchdown since safety Cassius Sendish returned a fumble for 63 yards and a score at Oklahoma in 2014. It was also the first interception for a touchdown since JaCorey Shepherd against TCU in 2013.
ISU, however, overshadowed that spark provided by Graham and Roberts with a 74-yard scoring drive capped off by Warren’s second touchdown of the game for the final tilt, 38-13. In the process, Warren set the Iowa State record for most rushing yards in a game by a freshman with 175 yards.
The Jayhawks couldn’t muster any points in the final minutes of the game and fell for the fourth-straight time to ISU in Ames, 38-13.
Kansas returns home to the confines of Memorial Stadium to open a two-game homestand beginning, Saturday, Oct. 10, when the Jayhawks play host to No. 5 Baylor. Kickoff for the contest is slated for 11 a.m., and can be seen on Fox Sports 1.

On back-up quarterback Ryan Willis:
“We put him in the first half. We had some things designed to go ahead and put him in the game, which I think paid some dividends for us, as he did get inserted toward the end of the game. So he had some game experience and that was by design. We wanted to get him in that third series and let him play the entire drive and get him some real-world experience. That’s the only way you learn. Get in there and play. I think it helped him a little bit. He extended some drives, some pretty nice throws on that last drive. He’s the next man up and his turn came so we’ll see where we go from there.”

On how to get the run game going:
“I think it’s a combination of things. It’s not just the O-line up front. It’s our guys in the running game, it’s our guys on the perimeter blocking well and making sure they’re doing a good job, because it takes all 10 of those guys, in addition to the carrier to get it done. The other thing that would help us is if we’re able to complete those intermediate passes. That loosens defenses up and doesn’t allow them to pack the boxes so tight.”

On the struggle with the run game:
“Everybody that you play against, you look at what people have done successfully against them. Obviously the previous opponent ran the ball pretty good on us, so it wasn’t surprising to me that coach ran the football at us, plus coach likes to run the ball, and I know that. Really the answer is very simple. We have to do a great job of playing technique. We need to play assignment-sound, and then we have to get bigger and stronger so that we don’t get moved quite as much.”

On how much a missed field goal changes the game:
“When you block a field goal or miss a field goal it always gives the other team momentum back so it really didn’t effect us on defense, but it got the crowd back into it so that’s where it hurt us”

On the body language on the sideline:
“I feel like we have a great group of guys and a great coaching staff that’s really energetic. Yes, we’ve lost games, but we’ve also seen the positives in what we’re doing and we always try to stay positive. We also did have a pick six and another interception so we just got to keep building on those turnovers that we get but also minimizing those big chunks of plays on our running game and stuff like that.”  The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.