Jayhawks Fall in Sunflower Showdown, 45-14
LAWRENCE, Kan. – A 28-point first quarter proved to be too big of a hole for the Jayhawks to climb out of as the Kansas football team fell to the Kansas State Wildcats, 45-14, Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
Kansas State (5-6, 2-6 Big 12) was led by quarterback Joe Hubener as he tossed for 133 yards and added 88 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. The KSU ground attack hit the Jayhawks for 226 yards and accounted for all five of its touchdowns.
The Jayhawks (0-12, 0-8 Big 12) were anchored by freshman quarterback Ryan Willis, who ended the season as Kansas’ all-time passing leader among freshmen with 1,719 yards. The Overland Park, Kan., product completed 19-of-35 pass attempts for 215 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
Leading the ground attack for Kansas was senior running back Taylor Cox, who rushed for 47 yards on 11 attempts, which included a 26-yard run that led to KU’s first touchdown. Two receivers topped the 50-yard mark in senior Tre’ Parmalee and freshman Steven Sims, Jr., who collected 50 and 58 yards, respectively.
On the defensive side of the ball, junior safety Fish Smithson recorded a team-leading 11 tackles, marking his sixth-straight outing with 10 or more stops. Linebacker Joe Dineen, Jr., added nine tackles to the defensive effort, including one for a loss.
The Wildcats got off to a quick start when they took advantage of a special teams miscue by the Jayhawks. After KU punter Matthew Wyman was unable to handle the snap, it took the Wildcats one play from scrimmage to tally the first sentiment of the game after running back Winston Dimel carried it in from 12 yards out.
Kansas responded less than two minutes later on their ensuing drive as Kansas Willis connected with Parmalee for an 11-yard gain. Two plays later, Cox ran for his longest rush of the season, a 26-yard gain to put the Jayhawks into Kansas State territory. Three plays later, Willis and Parmalee connected again, this time for a 27-yard touchdown strike across the middle to pull the Jayhawks level with the Wildcats four minutes into the game.
The reception marked the senior Parmalee’s fourth trip to the end zone on the year and gave Willis his eighth touchdown connection of his freshman campaign.
On the following Wildcat drive, Dimel again ripped the Jayhawks, first with a 44-yard reception that brought his team to the Kansas one-yard line, then by punching it in on the next play to put KSU back on top, 14-7.
This time Kansas was unable to match the Wildcat scoring drive when the special teams once again cost the Jayhawks. Wyman had his punt blocked by Sam Sizelove before Morgan Burns recovered the ball in the end zone to add to Kansas State’s lead, 21-7.
Kansas State built on its momentum from the two special teams plays in the first quarter as they went on to score another touchdown on a two-yard plunge from Hubener on a fourth-down try. Kansas’ defense quieted the Wildcat offense holding the visitors to one touchdown over the final 16-plus minutes of the first half.
The KU defense continued to slow the Wildcat offense into the second half, holding the visitors to a field goal on their first drive of the third period.
Midway through the third quarter, another promising Kansas drive ended short of the end zone. Following Willis’ longest completion of the year, a 53-yard hook up to Sims, Kansas couldn’t convert on a fourth-down attempt on the Wildcat nine-yard line and turned the ball over on downs for the third time in as many tries.
Six minutes into the fourth quarter, junior-transfer Bazie Bates recorded his first-career interception adding to an already impressive game with two tackles, one of which was for a loss, and a pass breakup.
The turnover sparked the Jayhawks’ longest scoring drive of the year, a 16-play, 93-yard march. With the help of a 21-yard Willis scramble, KU ended the drive with a 26-yard touchdown pass from the freshman quarterback to sophomore wide receiver Bobby Hartzog, Jr., the first of his career.
Kansas kept Kansas State from reaching the end zone two more times to close out the game, bringing the season to an end with a 45-14 loss to their in-state rival.
Kansas head coach David Beaty
Q. First portion of this game, special teams got some real trouble, and it was a tough start to this one being a special team?
COACH BEATY: It really was, it was two weeks in a row we didn’t start off very strong. One area we’ve been pretty good in is special teams throughout the year, to be honest with you. And that was something that hadn’t showed up, but it showed up today.
We said coming into this game, control the controllables. We talked about being the smartest team on the field. We had more penalties than they did. We had 6-for-50 (yards) and they had 1-for-5.
We talked about dominating special teams, we obviously didn’t do that. We also talked about turnover margin. That was a wash. It was 1-1. It’s one of those deals when you play a team like that they’re not going to beat themselves, so you certainly can’t yourself and expect to stay in the game.
Q. I know you can’t erase those, but with the football, your defense kind of stiffened up and did things especially in the second half to keep the margin?
COACH BEATY: Yeah, we did. I really thought our defensive staff did a really nice job of making some adjustments after the onslaught early. And that was something that I was proud of them for.
One of the other things that stood out to me, we talked in the huddle several times about getting the turnover in the fourth quarter. And we were able to get one. We continue to harp about, continue to play, continue to grow as a team. That’s a positive there. Those guys did some good things to try to make some adjustments.
Q. You talked about the seniors and what they meant to this season. What do you tell those guys after this one?
COACH BEATY: Well, you know, obviously we talked to them about what they meant to this program. We made sure that everyone in that locker room got to say good-bye properly tonight before they walked out of this room. That’s why I was late getting down here. Those guys mean the world to us, they helped us set a foundation, and they’re always going to be welcome here.
Q. You’re going to have plenty of time to discuss messages going forward. You had a bunch of first time players and freshmen, which kind of took some lumps, but had some things to build on. What kind of message do you give them heading into the off season?
COACH BEATY: We have to continue developing. We’ve got to continue recruiting. Continue to getting better in our craft, and we’ve got to learn a lot of lessons we had to go through this year, that we can’t afford to pop up here in the future.
We don’t have any excuse, being young is not an excuse. When we’re prepared for those things and we still allow them to happen, those are things you have to learn from.
Some people call it young, I call it just not paying close enough attention. We have to do a better job of paying close enough attention and executing and trusting what you have to do to execute.
Q. Did anything surprise you? This is your first go around as a head coach. What can you take out of this season personally?
COACH BEATY: I think if one thing surprised me, it was the work by the seniors to rally our core of young players, keeping them together, and keeping them fighting through the entire season.
We were going to face some tough times this year. We kind of knew that getting into it. Those guys did a really, really nice job of staying positive. And that’s not always the case when you take over a program. Sometimes they can hurt you. But they were nothing but help.
Coach Snyder and his group, they did a nice job tonight staying in contention for a bowl. I thought they ran the football really, really well. They obviously excelled in special teams. They created had some points for their team, that I thought really took some momentum away from the game early. A signature type win for him. I thought they did a nice job.
Special teams they kind of made that game go a little bit out of hand pretty early, because of some of the things that happened there.
He does a great job. I think I’ve said it before, how impressed I am with him and his teams, how well coached they are. We’ve got to be better coached than we are, and we’ve got to start playing better than what we showed tonight. But we’ll get better.
Q. Did you the special teams errors to start the game impact the game?
COACH BEATY: Yes, I think it absolutely affected you. Now, we had a lot of football left to go. When you’re a young football team you have to understand when something happens early, it can’t be something that leads to something else. You’ve got to be able to stop the bleeding right there. We had a lot of football left to go. That’s not an excuse, but realistically, did it? Absolutely. I think it played a big role in that game early.
Q. You talked about the foundation of the players, especially the seniors stepping up. Do you feel like you’ve set a foundation now to move forward from here?
COACH BEATY: Yeah, I think we have. I know there’s certainly a lot we’re going to learn from in this season. Our fans deserve better results than what we gave them this year. Our seniors deserve better results. Our team deserves better results than what we were able to give them this year.
We learned a lot and we’re going to continue to learn from this season. And we have to steps forward quickly here as we move through in my tenure here. We’ve got to get better than what we were.
We’ve got a lot of things that we can go to school on which will help us moving forward. Our seniors did a nice job of bringing a bunch of young guys together and keeping them playing. Seems like it’s an easy task at times and it was not. It was a hard deal, and they did a great job.
Q. You talked about it all year, forget the record, we’ve got another game. What is the psychology of going down in the record book? Do you worry about that and how do you handle in the next several months? COACH BEATY: I’m certainly not proud of it. It is — yes, it isn’t something you think about. But we don’t have time to dwell on it. It is what it is. We had our opportunities. We had 12 opportunities to go out there and put a team on the field that could win the game. We had plenty in that locker room to get it done. And for whatever reason we weren’t able to coach them good enough or maybe they weren’t able to play good enough. We’re going to keep working until we get it right.
Q. What is on your checklist as far as things to improve on?
COACH BEATY: You know, for me, when I came here, the way that we thought we could get better faster was through three areas, and we talked about it tonight and we talked about it every day.
We said if we could be the smartest team in the conference or hover in the top quarter of the conference by not giving our opponents yards or by going backwards. So being penalty free. We said if we did that, it would help us get better faster.
We said if we led the conference in turnover margin, it would help us get better a lot faster.
And then finally if we can dominate special teams, we would get better a lot faster. We actually did some of those things good at times. But I still believe those three areas are going to help us get moving forward quicker, if we continue to learn from the things that we went through.
We have to be better offensively. We’re going to have to continue to recruit, continue to develop and we’ve got to continue to develop our teams and what we think we can do with the guys that we have.
Getting better comes down to the same thing we talked about, being the smartest team, value in possession, and winning the hidden third of the games, which is special teams. They played a big role in tonight’s game. You take those two punts away, and really a couple of poor punts that happened after that, that right there had a huge impact on this football game. Huge. Not only did it have a huge impact on where they took possession and what happened with scores, but it affected us mentally. We can’t let it affect us, but you’re dealing with humans. So when you have that kind of an issue, it’s hard to deal with sometimes. We’ve got to prevent it.
We haven’t had a punt blocked all year. That’s disappointing at the end of the year with the punt being blocked in a game, as much time as we put into it. That might be one of the most disappointing things that I’ve experienced as a coach this year.
I know our staff feels the same way and the kids do, as well. I don’t think I saw that one coming.
Q. You were teaching and stressing those things, too, in terms of getting more consistency in the performances?
COACH BEATY: Absolutely, literally we talk about those things every day. As we’re teaching and as we’re going through practice, there’s a lot of charting that’s going on. There’s things that emphasize, basically, those points. And you’ve just got to keep doing it.
I think some of the things that you don’t think about that go into it, is we still have a bunch of guys trying to figure out what to do. Sometimes when you’re trying to figure out what to do, it’s hard to think past that. And sometimes that will affect you.
And we’ve got to be able to get to a point where we’re developed well enough where we can start figuring out how to do it and what our opponent is doing to us, so we can start thinking beyond just what am I go doing out here.
Q. How will this season and the results of this season motivate you?
COACH BEATY: Well, it will motivate me, obviously, because our university deserves better than a 0-12 record. So from that standpoint it’s embarrassing to me personally, and I think it’s embarrassing to KU, our university. They deserve better than that.
We’re going to work our tail off every day, knowing that they deserve better. And we can’t do much about what’s behind us, but we can certainly do something about what’s in front of us. And that motivation is plenty there. We have a lot to learn from.
Q. How did you leave the locker room as far as what is the lasting message for your team?
COACH BEATY: Well, I think the lasting message was basically based on our seniors and their leadership that they provided us throughout the season. It’s a difficult season when you go through a winless season. And there’s points in it where the team was kind of teetering one way or another. Our team never really did that. It was amazing. Our seniors did such a good job of managing it, that it never gotten remotely close to that point. I was absolutely amazed, to be honest with you. I’ve been a part of some tough seasons, and I’ve seen it teeter, and it takes some real leadership to get it done. I believe our seniors really did a nice be job. We’re going to miss those guys for their leadership as much as anything. That was big.
We wanted to make sure we paid tribute to those guys. And the other thing is that the way we can pay tribute to them, and we talked about this, is by improving and giving them something better to talk about at the water cooler or with the team that they’re playing with next.
They deserve better and we’re going to take those steps. I understand what happened this year. I know where our season is. But I’m not discouraged. I’m excited about moving forward. It’s going to be a great, great 2016. I’m fired up about it.
Q. You have had a few games with a fast start on defense and then things get out of hand, what do you think has caused that trend?
COACH BEATY: You know, you start getting into a point where you have to start thinking about that, what is causing that. And I don’t know that there’s really any excuse, to be honest with you. There’s a lot of people that talk about the youth that we have on our football team. But those youthful guys get spoken to just like the older guys do. They get told the same things. We’ve got to keep talking to them until they get it. Usually it’s a mistake here and a mistake there, and it’s not always the same guy.
Trying to be consistent across the board is crucial. We’re going to get these things done by developing the guys we currently have. And we’ve got to get out and recruit. We have to elevate the level of the talent we have in our program. It will help us in a lot of ways, we’ll have more talented player out there, but we’ll also have better competition within the ranks than we currently have, which will make those guys better. It will make those guys play better than what they’re playing right now. That’s where we’ve got to go.
Q. What is next for you and the program?
COACH BEATY: Tomorrow we’ll have a little banquet with our seniors, and we’ll let those guys kind of go off in the right way.
And then Monday I’ll meet with the team before I hit the road recruiting. And Coach (Je’Ney) Jackson will have them right after that. We go to work right now. I’m excited about that.
Q. Most players develop slowly over the course of four or five years, for some of the young players, how much better can you really get in one year?
COACH BEATY: Well, I think you know what, I don’t know that you can really worry too much about that. You’ve got to look at the fact that you’ve got to get a little better before you can get a lot better. That’s yet to be seen.
I know that there’s a lot of teams out there that do it. Coach Snyder is one of those guys that does it. I really think that there’s a lot of teams out there that play with guys that are not maybe as talented as some other teams, but they finally get it.
I think one thing that will help our team is when we are able to surround a couple of young players with a lot of older players. That’s easier to do that, when you have a guy that has 24, 48 games under his belt than it is nine or eight or seven guys out there that have played in six or seven games. Those guys are just trying to figure out what the heck they do. And they can’t help at all. But when you’ve got eight or nine guys out there that know what they’re doing, and you’ve got one guy that’s played six games, well now you’ve got some help over there.
Little things that the young guys, they just don’t trust it. They’re not going to show a different coverage sometimes when they’re young, because they’re worried about executing the base look. Those are some of the things that we went through this year. And it is what it is.
Those are things that I can’t deny, either. There’s a lot of youth and a lot of youthful mistakes. But you know me. We’re not going to make any excuses, just continue to move forward.
I am more sure than ever that we will get this thing done. I know that’s hard to believe and hard to swallow after a result like this against an opponent that have meant so much to the people of this state, particularly the Jayhawks, but we’ll continue working.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Kansas senior RB De’Andre Mann
On K-State’s early lead:
“Momentum is a big thing in football and in any sport. We just have to stop shooting ourselves in the foot. That’s pretty much what happened.”
On the K-State team:
“K-State is going to play hard all four quarters and they’re not going to beat themselves. You have to take the game from them. We didn’t do a good job with that.”
On his teammates:
“We didn’t win games but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I can honestly say this is more than just a football team, it’s a big brotherhood and I love all the guys.”
On the state of Kansas:
“I’m always going to be grateful for Kansas. The birth of my son was here. He was premature and they did a great job in Topeka so I’m always going to be grateful for Kansas, the state of Kansas and the University of Kansas. They did a great thing for me personally and for the team there’s a lot of young guys and they’re going to be good. Don’t count them out.”
On next season:
“I see that Ryan [Willis] is going to be a hell of a leader. He has a great arm. The coaches are amazing. I know they’re going to do a great job. Coach [Rob] Likens is a great coach, he’s a player’s coach and Kansas football has everything they need in a coaching staff with their great coaches.”
On the positive attitude of the team:
“It starts at the top with Coach Beaty. He always believes and he makes you want to believe. Even though we lost all of these games, every Monday we come back and the enthusiasm and energy will be up. You don’t even know we lost all of these games because the coaches do a great a job of letting us believe we can beat anybody.”
Kansas junior LB Marcquis Roberts
On his transition this year:
“I believe I started feeling more comfortable- more comfortable with the plays, with the system, with the coaches. It was a smooth transition but at the same time a rough transition. There were a lot of big learning curves because Big 12 football is a little different. Catching up to the speed and all of that I finally figured it out. Every conference is different. The SEC, the ACC, the Big 12, Big Ten, all of them have totally different makeups.”
On his first rivalry game against K-State:
“I love it. It was fun. It didn’t go the way we wanted it to and it burns me up inside right now. My last rival was purple so every time I see purple I get fire in my eyes.”
On his message to his teammates:
“For me, my message for the guys coming back is that we will not have another season like this. We will not go 0-12. We will work harder than any other team. Coach Beaty will say the same message. It’s time to work. We dug ourselves into a hole this game. We dug ourselves into a hole in a lot of games and that’s not acceptable.”
On next season:
“We have a lot of young kids and it’s great for them to get a lot of experience. We have a lot of young kids playing and we had some flashes of playing good team football it just didn’t come together like we wanted to. I feel good about next year.”
On Kansas defense:
“I feel like we can be one of the best defenses in the country. Things like that don’t happen every day. We have the players, we have the coaches, we just have to put it all together.
On his feelings for football:
“I love this game. There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing than playing this game with the players that I am now. It’s just an awesome feeling to go out there every Saturday. It’s always fun.”
On his relationship with the offensive linemen:
“Me and offensive linemen aren’t the best of friends during games but I always show them love after the game because I know those guys work their tails off every day but don’t get any of the glory. I like to ruffle their feathers and get them going. It’s fun, it’s always fun.”
Kansas senior DE TJ Semke
On his play today:
“I thought I played pretty well, all things considered. Ben (Goodman) went down and got a little hurt. I went in there and did what I’m supposed to do. I tried to make a few plays. I got to go in there and get my head banged around a little bit in my last game.”
On the start of the game:
“It’s frustrating, wanting to get a fast start. Most of the things we did, we did to ourselves. Instead of giving teams opportunities, we’re just doing it to ourselves, which is the most frustrating thing.”
On the defense settling in the second half:
“Yeah, they (K-State) ran a different offense from what we’ve seen this year, so it takes a little bit to get them figured out. Once you get the rhythm of it, we started playing ball.”
On going winless as a senior:
“It’s definitely not the way you want to go out as a senior, with the record the way it is. I’ve learned so much this season, more than I ever have. I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
On what he is telling the underclassmen:
“I just tell the young kids one thing: that this goes really fast. Enjoy every little time you have, whether it’s in the weight room, whether you’re running and about to throw up, just embrace it and enjoy it because sooner or later you’ll be wishing you were on your knees gasping for air again.”
Kansas junior S Fish Smithson
On missing last week’s game:
“It was very tough. I give full credit to our medical staff, to Dr. Murphy (Grant), for giving me the treatment and directing me through the exercises I needed to get back on the field.”
On once again registering double-digit tackles:
“Same old, same old. Just trying to get out there and help my team. Coach (David) Beaty put me in the position to make those plays and I try to make them.”
On the first quarter:
“It was really deflating. They got a lot of big plays, especially on special teams. Once you get momentum in football it’s hard to stop, but as a defense we’ve got to stop it.”
On what it takes for the defense to hang in ballgames:
“We’ve just got to get three-and-outs. You can stop drives on third downs and teams start to drive on us when they make their third downs. We’ve just got to get off the field when it counts.”
On how he will remember this season:
“I will remember the guys. If you come out to practice you will notice that we have a lot of energy. You wouldn’t know (our record) by the way we practice or the way we play because we’re going to give it everything.”
On who motivates the players to bring high energy:
“Our coaches do a great job preparing us every week no matter what happened the previous week. The senior leadership does a great job keeping the younger guys in it.
On his individual season:
“I think that I did alright. There are still a lot of things in my game I can improve. When I watch film I still see missed tackles and missed coverage. I still have a lot I want to do leadership-wise. I’ve still got a lot to work on.”
Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder
On how special getting a win against Kansas is:
“It means an awful lot, I have been on the other end of it, and so you don’t like that. I appreciate all the people in the state of Kansas. Everybody has a side and it means a lot to so many people. It means a lot to KU people just like it means a lot to Kansas State people, so therefore that makes it very meaningful to me for that reason, because our people care so much.
On if the win was satisfying to him:
“Well I think the first half was satisfying, can’t say the same for the second half. I’m glad we won, we played well enough to do so, that was a plus.”
On the significance of getting to a fast start:
“That’s always significant, but it’s been awhile. We got off to good starts against Oklahoma State and TCU but we didn’t put two halves back-to-back and to beat a good football team, you have to do that.”
On the identity of the team:
“Well, we are a team that’s hasn’t put two halves together yet. We need to start being consistent and finish, we haven’t done that. Now we have played so well at times and that’s a plus, but just being able to do it over and over again, snap after snap, is important to be a good football team.”
On the adjustment the defense made after allowing first touchdown:
“Well I think it was because they didn’t throw that same route again that scored on us, that’s probably the biggest thing. Again, If you don’t play well at all your not a good team. If you play well some of the time you’re an average team and if you play well all the time you’re a good team. We need to be a good team and we’re capable of being a good team and that’s what I take away from this ball game. We need to put it all together half after half, play after play.”
Kansas State sophomore LB Elijah Lee
On KSU’s improvement in the last two games:
“We are making a lot of improvement. We came out and made a big statement in the first two quarters (today), and then we just need to work to put the other quarters together.”
What next weeks West Virginia game means:
“We have to go out and play tough, there are no regrets and there are no mistakes. You have to go out and get it.”
Kansas State senior DB Morgan Burns
On his interception:
“It felt good, with it being a rivalry game and all, and with me being a Kansas kid it was fun getting an interception. I was excited.”
On how big were the two special teams plays:
“I think that really sparked the whole team and sparked both sides of the ball offensively and defensively. I’m glad coach (Bill) Snyder and coach Sean Snyder do a really good job emphasizing special teams because they can really change the course of the game and I think it set the tempo for the rest of the game.”
Kansas State junior QB Joe Hubener
On scoring first in the game:
“It was huge. It was a big goal of ours to get off to the right start offensively and put some points on the board early and hold them off the rest of the game.”
On winning the Sunflower Showdown:
“It is huge, being a Kansas kid, this is the game you always look forward to. This is the game you want to win more than any other game, and seeing the governor in the locker room presenting the Governor’s cup, that’s huge it’s a good feeling for me personally and I think for the rest of the team as well.”
On doing nothing fancy on offense just running the ball:
“That’s about what it was, we didn’t try and do too much for the most part, we tried to just take what they were giving us and people executed well. Our offensive line did a great job blocking up front creating some good holes to run through.”
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