No. 12 Baylor Upends Kansas, 60-14
WACO, Texas – Ball security proved to be the difference maker Saturday afternoon at McLane Stadium, as the Kansas football team dropped its fifth-straight game, falling victim to the No. 12-ranked Baylor Bears, 60-14.
The Jayhawks (2-6, 0-5 Big 12) fumbled the ball five times and turned it over three times in the first half, helping Baylor (7-1, 4-1 Big 12) eclipse the 60-point mark for the fourth time this season.
Junior quarterback Michael Cummings connected on 21-of-30 pass attempts for 288 yards to tie his career-high in passing yards set three weeks ago against Oklahoma State (Oct. 11). Freshman running back Corey Avery caught four of those for a career-high 92 yards, while senior wide receiver Nick Harwell hauled in five receptions for 79 yards and two touchdowns.
That was the second multi-touchdown performance of the season for Harwell, as he snagged two touchdown passes in the season opener against Southeast Missouri State. Those two scores also marked the first time that a Kansas receiver had two or more multi-touchdown games in a season since Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier accomplished the same feat in 2009.
BU quarterback Bryce petty threw for 277 yards and three touchdowns, while wide receiver Corey Coleman finished the game with three receptions for 167 yards and two of those touchdowns.
Defensively for Kansas, senior linebacker Ben Heeney paced the Jayhawk defense with his 17th-career game with 10 or more tackles, finishing the game with 10 stops. Sophomore safety Fish Smithson wasn’t far behind with a career-high nine stops against the Bears.
The Kansas defense kept the high potent Bears’ offensive attack at bay on their opening possession, holding Baylor to just its second three-and-out on its first drive of the 2014 season. However, it only took BU one play and 11 seconds on its second possession to advance 72 yards for the game’s first score when Petty connected with Coleman for the 7-0 lead.
Baylor tacked on another quick six points, after a botched exchange from freshman center Joe Gibson to Cummings set up another scoring drive from the KU 18-yard line. It only took four plays, capped off by a one-yard touchdown run by BU running back Devin Chafin, to extend the Bears’ lead, 13-0, which would stand after a missed extra point by kicker Chris Callahan.
A 13-0 deficit didn’t faze Kansas midway through the first quarter as newly appointed Co-Offensive Coordinator Eric Kiesau huddled the troops on the Baylor 23-yard line to lay out the offensive approach for the Jayhawks’ next possession. The calming presence worked with KU driving 77 yards to cut into the BU lead, 13-7.
Cummings hit Avery on a blitz read for a 36-yard reception to advance Kansas across mid-field for the first time on the day. The aerial attack continued on the drive with a 28-yard touchdown pass to Harwell to give Kansas its first points on the day. That was the first catch and score by the wide out since his two-touchdown showing against Southeast Missouri State in the season opener.
After Harwell’s touchdown, Baylor received the ensuing kickoff and never looked back, scoring 26-unanswered points to close out the first half and dig a 32-point deficit for the Jayhawks, 39-7. The Kansas defense, trying to make up for the lackluster of an offensive presence in the first half, did its best to keep the Bears off the scoreboard, allowing just four touchdowns on eight BU scoring drives, including holding Baylor to three field goals on six trips inside the red zone.
The Bears kept the momentum until late in the third quarter, when KU broke a 34:40 scoring drought from the first quarter with its second touchdown on the day.
Faced with a second and long situation, Cummings hit Avery on another blitz read for career-best 49 yards to the Baylor three yard line. On the next play, Cummings handed the ball back to Avery for a quick two yards, before hitting Harwell in the corner of the endzone for his second score of the game and his second multi-touchdown performance of the season.
However, the hole Baylor dug the Jayhawks into was far too great, as KU dropped its sixth game of the season and its fifth-straight to the Bears, 60-14.
Kansas returns home to Memorial Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 8, as the Jayhawks play host to Iowa State for their second-to-last home game of the season. KU will make its fourth appearance on FSN in 2014, with kickoff slated for 2:30 p.m.
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