Jayhawks air it out in 55-6 win over Rhode Island
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Head coach and offensive play caller David Beaty orchestrated an offensive output scoring the most points by a Kansas football team since 2007 in his first win as a collegiate head coach during KU’s 55-6 win over Rhode Island Saturday evening inside Memorial Stadium.
As a whole, the Jayhawks tossed six touchdown passes, the most since 2007, the year the team won the Orange Bowl. Redshirt junior quarterback Montell Cozart earned the start and completed 18-of-25 passes for 199 yards and three touchdowns. Sophomore signal caller Ryan Willis relieved Cozart on the third offensive series and completed 7-of-9 attempts for 144 yards and two scores.
Six Jayhawks set career-highs in either passing or receiving as KU threw for 399 yards in the contest: Cozart – touchdown passes (3); LaQuvionte Gonzalez – receptions (7) and yards (78); Steven Sims Jr., – yards (124) and touchdowns (2); Chase Harrell – receptions (2), yards (51) and touchdowns (1); and tight end Ben Johnson also grabbed his first-career touchdown, which opened the scoring for the Jayhawks.
Redshirt freshman Carter Stanley earned the first snaps of his career and completed 3-of-4 passes for 56 yards and a score, the first time Kansas had three quarterbacks throw a touchdown in the same game since prior to the 2006 season.
Kansas also managed to be productive on the ground, as senior running back Ke’aun Kinner bolstered the rushing attack with 69 yards on seven totes along with a score. Sophomore running back Taylor Martin also added a touchdown on six carries for 33 yards as six total KU rushers combined for 171 yards.
As good as the offense was, it was the third phase of the game that got the Jayhawks going early. The special teams unit Beaty placed so much emphasis on improving in 2016 came through on its first opportunity after a three-and-out on KU’s first possession, recovering a fumbled punt return 14 yards from the Rhode Island end zone.
After the turnover Cozart delivered a goal-line lob to Johnson for KU’s first points of the year.
The defense chipped in next. On Rhode Island’s ensuing possession, senior defensive end Damani Mosby forced a fumble around midfield, giving the Jayhawks two fumble recoveries on consecutive possessions.
Willis handled the snaps on KU’s third drive and after just three plays threw an 18-yard pass to Gonzalez, who brought down a 50-50 ball in the back corner of the end zone, extending KU’s lead by 13 points.
On the Jayhawks’ next drive KU’s play callers dialed up deep balls for Sims on back-to-back plays. Sims dropped the first in the end zone – the first play of the second quarter – but was true on the second, putting six more points on the board for Kansas, which extended its lead to 20-0.
Rhode Island advanced its way into KU territory for the first time in the second quarter on what became its only scoring drive of the game. A 23-yard touchdown toss cut KU’s lead down to 14, at 20-6, with sophomore defensive tackle Daniel Wise blocking the PAT.
Kansas responded after the Rams’ score with an eight play, 77-yard drive to push the lead to 27-6 after Martin plunged into the end zone for the first score of his career.
The Jayhawk defense came through once again swarming to the ball on their next possession. Senior safety Bazie Bates IV tipped an errant Rhode Island pass to himself for an interception.
After the pick, the Jayhawks gashed URI for gains of 15, 20 and 17 yards to move the ball down to the nine-yard line, but couldn’t convert points from the turnover, missing a 31-yard field goal before going into the half up, 27-6.
After a Rams punt on the opening series of the second half, KU posted a 10-play, 67-yard drive pushing the lead out to 28 points, 34-6. Cozart capped the scoring drive throwing his career-high-tying third touchdown pass of the night, this time a 20-yarder to sophomore wide receiver Tyler Patrick.
KU put its 41st point on the board after Sims blazed past the Rhode Island secondary on a 71-yard touchdown pass late in the third quarter. The catch-and-run for six was Sims’ second score of the contest, the most TD receptions in a game by a Jayhawk since 2014.
Kinner put Kansas on the board again with an 11-yard touchdown run, pushing KU’s lead out 48-6.
Kansas crossed the 50-point mark with 5:57 to play in the game as redshirt freshman Carter Stanley completed a 13-yard touch pass to Harrell over man coverage in the end zone.
The Jayhawks went on to win by a final score of 55-6.
Kansas won its 11th season-opening contest in the last 14 years and will continue its non-conference slate when it welcomes the Ohio Bobcats to Memorial Stadium for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff on Sept. 11. That game will be televised on Fox Sports Net, but single game and multi-game flex pack ticket deals are available.
Season tickets for the six-game home schedule are now on sale for as low as $115. The Family Season Ticket Plan, which includes two youth and two adult general admission tickets, is $400.
Kansas Athletics is offering a new Pick 2 Flex Pack ticket package for Jayhawk football games for the 2016 season. As part of the Pick 2 Flex Pack ticket option, fans can choose any two of KU’s six home games, with Pick 2 Flex Pack plans ranging in price from $105-$120.
For additional information regarding Kansas football tickets contact the Kansas Sales Team by calling 800-34-HAWKS or in-person at the Allen Fieldhouse ticket office. Tickets can also be purchased via KUTickets.com.
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Kansas head coach David Beaty
COACH BEATY: Congratulations to all the Jayhawk fans out there. You know, it’s hard to win a college football game. I don’t care who you’re playing. I take my hat off to Coach Flemming and what they’re trying to build there. We’re in the same spot; we really are. He’s fighting with a different type of tool than what we have here. So, I know they’re going to get there. He’s a quality and class man. And I know they’re going to get there.
THE MODERATOR: I didn’t have my ear against the floor with a glass or anything, but you could hear the kids downstairs coming into the locker room. Can you describe the feel these guys had coming in with smiles on their faces, finally?
COACH BEATY: Yeah, it was great to see it and they’ve been through a lot. And we’ve asked them to do a lot. And they’ve done everything we’ve asked them to do. When you put yourself through the things that they put themselves through, just like all the other student athletes do throughout the country, you’ve got to feel some success.
It’s a first step, and it’s our first win. And you know, in my time here, but man there’s been so many victories that we’ve shared leading up to this. It’s just the first time it came to fruition on the score board.
THE MODERATOR: What are some things you take away from this? I want to ask you about the offense, first off. Obviously played a bunch of quarterbacks, but the two that played primarily, Montell (Cozart) and Ryan Willis both played awfully well in leading your offense.
COACH BEATY: Yeah, I think they did. It just solidified for us what we saw through fall camp. I think I said it publicly that both of those guys played really well in our system. What we do, there’s a lot of freedom to really kind of go with what they see. And I thought those guys had good eyes.
Carter (Stanley) played well when we got in there. He came in and did exactly what we told him to do, which is great. But, you know, I take my hat off to the defense. They created turnovers for us. Joe DeForest did a great job on special teams. They created a turnover early that made a big difference in the ball game.
You know, but there’s a lot of things that we can go to school on. Substitution errors, that’s not acceptable. We’ve got to get that cleared up. That’s on us as coaches. We get that cleared up going into next week.
You hate seeing those things in the first ball game because they’re preventable. But they happen all the time, and they’re preventable. And so that’s the only thing I come away with that I’m disappointed in.
THE MODERATOR: You told us that we’d see a lot of new faces. You got a chance to play a bunch of true freshmen. How big is that for you?
COACH BEATY: I think it’s big. There’s no substitute for experience. I look up out there and I see Bryce Torneden playing a bunch. I see Kyle Mayberry playing a bunch out there late. I see Isaiah rushing off the edge and being hard to tackle and hard to block and guys getting some pass rush on those guys for us.
Seeing all the guys play, the young guys, it’s good to see that happen. You know, something that I thought was really good was seeing Steven Sims actually use the speed he has. We knew he had that. Just seeing him turn that third gear on was pretty slick.
THE MODERATOR: It’s always back to work really quick. Do you allow yourself to celebrate at all?
COACH BEATY: Oh, absolutely. We’re going to celebrate. Winning a college football game is tough. It’s difficult. It doesn’t matter who we are. We’re not going to let anybody steal our joy. And we won, and we’re going to enjoy that, but we get back to work for a really good Ohio football team coming in there next week.
COACH BEATY: Rock chalk! You dang right I’m happy. Getting the win is a neat deal. And I’m happiest, probably for our players. Those guys, they deserve that. They’ve been through a lot. We’ve asked them to do a lot. And man, that’s good for them to experience that success.
Really, really cool experience in the locker room. And to see them have the heart they had for Shanda (Hayden) and Cole down there was pretty cool. That was pretty dang neat.
Q. Why didn’t they douse you tonight?
COACH BEATY: They know better. We expect to win around here. We have to learn how to do that. And tonight, probably the thing we learned the most is how to play with a lead.
We learned a lot of things that we haven’t had before. To play with a lead and play with those situations and be able to play situational football when you’re in that situation. That sounds easy, but, you know, there was some missed cues late that are — you know, those are disappointing, because we talk about those things, and we hit those things.
To have a ball, you know, fumbled on the punt at the very end there. That should never happen. That should have been a Peter call, and we’ve got to communicate better. The kid will get better because they learn from it.
We haven’t been in those situations yet. So there’s a lot of things that we can learn from this game.
Q. How did you feel the quarterbacks handled the game?
COACH BEATY: They knew what was going on when they went into the game, so they were prepared for it. I do think that it helped us, because we had an advantage, and I wasn’t going to give it back, and the kids didn’t want to give it back.
If it wasn’t evident tonight, they’re very different types of quarterbacks. That was something that we wanted to keep. I thought they handled the rotation very well. And they were for one another. That was the thing I wanted to see the most, to see how close and tight knit that room was. And man, it was really cool to see Ryan root for Montell when he went in there first. And to see Montell do the same thing for Ryan. Watching those guys smile on that sideline was a lot of fun.
Q. What kind of a springboard does a season-opening win provide?
COACH BEATY: It’s huge. You know, we always say this in this room here, a great start makes for a great finish. You’ve got to get started somewhere. And starting off with a win, half the teams in the country won’t do that and half the teams will. That makes the next week, you know, more challenging and difficult.
I think the challenge for us now is that we can learn — you learn a lot of stuff when you don’t come out victorious. And there’s a lot of things that tend to get covered up when you wind up winning, and we’ve got to challenge ourselves to make sure we — we’ve got a lot of things that we can get better at. We’re nowhere near where we need to be, and we know that.
But I was pleased with what they did tonight. I’m sure I’m going to look at the tape. It’s never has good as you think it is or as bad as you think it is.
Q. Talk about the receivers about six touchdown passes and versatility at receiver.
COACH BEATY: We have good players, and I look at the huddle, and I look at the guys in the second group, and I’m like, Okay. That’s what depth looks like. And there’s three or four more over there, that if they would have been able to get in the game, I’m like, Okay. All right. You know?
And you know, not just there, but up front. I mean, we’ve got two really young, baby tackles that played in there today that are very talented guys. I’ll be interested to see how they played on tape. Watching Brad move over to center was good to see. We had guys moving around all over the place.
That true freshman, (Hakeem) Adeniji, played right tackle and left tackle tonight. I’ve enjoyed watching that guy develop. And I’ll tell you this, I didn’t feel his size being a problem at all. We’ll see. I’m sure he’s got lots of stuff he can get better at. But I like that kid and not just because he’s from Garland.
Q. Where do you see the rotation going from here as far as next week?
COACH BEATY: We’ll go back and we’ll look at the tape and we’ll see who handled the minute details the best. Both of them performed at a very high level, you know? And it’s one of the deals where we still have competition going.
We’re trying to win the Big 12, and for us to be able to do that, we’ve got to take one game at a time. And right now, until one guy completely separates himself, you know, we’ll continue to rotate quarterbacks if we need to. You know?
Q. How long would you be able to wait? Could it be an all-season thing, if it played out that way?
COACH BEATY: I don’t know, to be honest with you. We’re not trying to look that far down the road. I know this: The majority of the teams in the Big 12 last year needed a second quarterback.
And right now, just seeing those guys play tonight, there’s — you know, all three of those guys handled the procedure really, really well. And you know, we’ve got a long way to go. We didn’t have a lot of pressure on us tonight, so it will be interesting to see how they handle pressure and blitz. We didn’t see a lot of that tonight.
Q. Right there at the end of the first half, back-to-back time-outs followed by a penalty that made the field goal attempt tougher?
COACH BEATY: The teaching lesson is just attention to detail with everybody within our program. I’m talking about coaches, players, myself. We’re all accountable for that. You know? That’s a coach’s nightmare. When I look up out there and we’ve got 12 guys coming out of the time-out, I’m sure our fans were extremely upset, and I was, too. That can’t happen. That is inexcusable. And we have a plan in place, and the plan failed us, and we’ve got to go back and really work at those details and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
I would rather it happen in a win than a loss, but we already know that. We already know how it works, and that’s what’s disappointing to me. We did do a lot of things that the plan did work, that handled certain situations. So, you’ve got to take it a little bit with a grain of salt as you go, but you’ve got to go with it.
Q. Do they have expectations now that they’re going to be a lot better than they were last year? Do you feel they were able to prove that a little bit tonight?
COACH BEATY: I do. I know the look in the eye of those guys on the side over there. I just saw how our guys looked at the offensive line tonight and how the offensive linemen looked in the huddle. That was a really big difference for me.
The other thing is they didn’t get in our red zone any. They scored on one, they were outside the red zone. They were 0 of 0 in red zone attempts, and we were 6 of 8. That was something we put a lot of stress on. Third down, we were 6 of 11 and they were 4 for 15. That was a major area we had to improve on from last year. That’s a nice start. We should have been better than that on offense, but we weren’t. It was good to see our new punters come in and do a good job of flipping the field for us. You know, total offense, I thought we did a pretty decent job and we had high expectations to put a lot of offense up. The two turnovers, both could have been prevented.
Q. Does it make it easier to rotate quarterbacks because of the offensive system?
COACH BEATY: Primarily. The system is taught the same. Late in the game there, you know, I’m so happy for Carter Stanley. You’ve heard me talk about this guy. I love this guy. He is gamer. He’s got an intensity about him. I love watching him go down there and score. If we get heavy boxes and you’re going to heavy box and blitz us, our offense says to do certain things. He just was doing what our offense says to do. We had a long talk about being situationally aware. Because we’ve been in that situation before, too. I’m disappointed in that, but as a coach, he’s a young quarter back and I’ve got to teach him. But I’m still happy for him because his training took over. Heavy box, press man, let’s go. And that’s what he did. He executed and chase did a great job getting his touch down.
Q. What did you think of the fans rushing the field?
COACH BEATY: I didn’t know what to think of it, Jesse, when I first saw them, because I wasn’t sure where they were going, but man, it made my heart proud to see where they went. They didn’t go over to the goal posts. We got to have higher standards here. Would never rush that court at Allen Fieldhouse. Other places do that but we don’t. We don’t need to do that here. We need to do exactly what they did. Our students were phenomenal tonight. I mean, we felt them. We saw them. Our crowd was outstanding.
And you know what? It’s a lot of fun for them when they get to see some things that are positive going on out there. As much as I’m happy for our kids, I’m happy for our fans. They deserve it. They’ve been through a lot.
Q. Coach, after so much adversity last year, what’s this mean to you? Just winning a football game?
COACH BEATY: I’ve never been through what we went through last year. That’s hard. That’s very — personally, it’s difficult. I got emotional with those guys. It’s just hard. So, obviously, I’m overjoyed for them. Sorry. We don’t want to wait. We want to win. But I was proud of those guys. And you know, for me, more than anything, we can’t make too much of it. It’s just one game. I know that you can’t argue and you can’t throw away the fact of what we had coming into this game. And I get that. But, you know, there’s going to be a lot made about the situation from people, and hey, we don’t listen to the noise. We just try to focus on getting better ourself. And we will.
We’ve good a really good football team coming in here next week and we got to get ready. He is one of my coaching heroes, and I’m about to coach against him. I never thought I would be coaching against Frank Solich, to be honest with you. We’ve got to get ourselves ready to go because they win and they win a lot. So we better get ready to go. And our guys understand that.
Q. A punt in our offensive possession? Punt on fourth and one to keep the drive alive. Did everybody loosen up after the key plays?
COACH BEATY: I think so. I think that jump started us. That turnover on a punt was a big, big play. Our guys did a good job of being down there and they were there to pounce on the fumble when it took place.
I said a long time ago, there’s a lot more games lost than won. The mistake we made late really kind of nullified the mistake that they made early, and we can’t have that happen. We’re better than that. I know Coach Fleming feels the same way. We’re better than that. We just didn’t do a good job there. And I know they’ll get better moving on, too.
Q. How have you seen Ryan and Montell and their relationship grow?
COACH BEATY: You know that whole room is great. That room is outstanding. We’re not going to make it about Ryan and Montell because it’s not. It’s about Ryan, Montell, Carter, Keaton (Perry). It’s about Tyriek (Starks). Those guys are very close knit, and they know if you’re going to play in this offense with us, you’ve got to be for one another. And I watch for anything that tells me something different. If you’re not, you don’t have to leave, you just can’t stay here. You’re not going to be with us. You’ve got to be for one another.
Every one of them are going to get their opportunity. And they know when their time comes, it’s going to be a by-product of their hard work.
It was good to see Ryan handle himself so well, because he did not know until this afternoon that he was not starting. And it was just another learning piece for him as well as Montell. I mean I saw Montell just — his eyes welled up when he looked over at Ryan. You know, and both those guys kind of hugged and shared some pleasantries, but it was good to see those guys be for one another.
Q. When did Montell find out?
COACH BEATY: The same time, right there at the same time. We just told them both to be ready. Thanks guys. Appreciate y’all.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Kansas redshirt junior quarterback Montell Cozart
On the outcome of the game:
“Definitely, props to Rhode Island and their staff. Those guys did some great things. We trust our coaching and we know that when we go out there everything will fall into place. We just had to play the game and make routine plays.”
On alternating at quarterback with Ryan Willis.
“It was great. Coach Beaty and the staff let us know that we were going to be doing that, and we’re for one another. We’re all about wins, so at the end of the day that’s what it’s all about.”
On winning the season opener:
“It was great, it was great to celebrate in the locker room. It’s something we haven’t experienced in a while, so we’re all humbled and we’re looking forward to next week.”
On Coach Beaty:
“Last year, everybody knows the story, and coming off of that Coach Beaty getting his first one, it was real special. It was special for all of us and I know it’s special for him. We owe it to him. He’s come in and we’ve done nothing but follow his lead, and he’s leading us to great things.”
Kansas sophomore wide receiver Tyler Patrick
On the reaction of the fans:
“It means the world to us, for them to just come out and support us. On Fan Day we had a big showing, it was just great to see that and great to see them stay for the whole game. We really appreciate them and we’re going need them going forward. So thank you all for coming.”
On five different receivers scoring the six touchdowns:
“You can just plug anyone in at any point and feel completely comfortable that they’re going to get the job done. Everyone is just making everyone better and competing every day and that’s a really good thing”
On his favorite moment outside of his own touchdown:
“By far Steven Sims, when he caught that screen, I could just tell as soon as I got my block and looked over. I just saw him hightailing to the end zone. I knew without a doubt he was going to score. I probably ran down there as fast as I could to catch him but that was an awesome play.”
Kansas senior safety Fish Smithson
On the feeling of starting the season with a win:
“It feels great. Last season was tough since we didn’t get a win. We had to work hard in the offseason with conditioning and throughout the summer. I’m glad we could show the fans what we put together.”
On the locker room environment:
“It is a bit different obviously. There were a lot of smiles but we still have to be serious. We can enjoy this win but tomorrow we start getting ready for Ohio. But the environment is great because we are all together. It was a good win but there are obviously things that can still be improved. It feels good to get a win.”
On the impact of an opening win on the rest of the season:
“It means we got a win in the win column. All it means is that we are 1-0. Going into next week it is a whole different team and whole different ball game. We have to come in ready to defend the stadium like we did tonight.”
Kansas sophomore defensive tackle Daniel Wise
On the feeling of starting the season with a win:
“It feels good. We worked hard all offseason and throughout fall camp. We had to be prepared and listen to what coach was saying. It feels great to get a win.”
On most important changes coming into the season:
“The coaching staff changed a lot. There is not one specific thing that you can say changed. We just had to keep listening to what coach was saying and had to go with it.”
On his individual performance:
“I couldn’t do it by myself. Thanks to the guys to my left and right Damani [Mosby], [Anthony] Olobia, Dorance Armstrong Jr., and all my guys. I can’t take credit for it myself but I feel great.”
On the feeling of the locker room:
“After the win it was really joyful, especially with the drought last year going 0-12. We have to be focused and be prepared on what we need to do when we get out there.”
On the impact of the win on the rest of the season:
“It’s just nice to get off on a good foot.”
Rhode Island head coach Jim Fleming
On what he was looking to work on coming into the game:
“We were looking to come in and win, execute and play cleanly. We did none of the above. There were some ugly things that happened out there, but we’ll try to find some positives out of it. We’re getting into our conference (play) and we’ll see where we go from there. I think we played very poorly for what we’re capable of and as a result we got spanked a little bit by Kansas. Hats off to them, they were better prepared than us and had their way. We’ll pick up the pieces and see from there.”
On the absence of junior RB Harold Cooper:
“He got an ankle injury early on, it was probably during the kickoff. We had two mistakes early that he made on special teams that hurt us both ways. We wanted to let him try the field and that hurt us and turned into the opening touchdown. Then on the kickoff returned that ensued, he didn’t pick it up and we got creased down inside the 20 and he rolled his ankle a little bit. I thought (junior RB T.J. Anderson) came in, ran hard and did some good things. And (junior RB Markey Clarke) did some good things.”
On what Rhode Island can work on:
“Until you evaluate the film, there are a million things I can say that may be right or wrong. The cleanliness of our operation needs to come a long way. We need to be able to compete in the short passing game. I thought there were some bright spots in the running game, we found some creases. We’ve just got to find some more explosion plays.”
Rhode Island Senior LB Adam Parker
On playing a Power 5 school:
“We were confident. We looked at the record book and saw they didn’t have too much success (last year) but you still have to respect them. The Big 12 is the Big 12, 0-12 in the Big 12 is different than in the CAA so they automatically get that respect.”
On what KU did that Rhode Island couldn’t control:
“I think it was one of those things where you’ve got a lot of rookies in there that didn’t have a lot of experience. This is their first time out there, bolts are flying. Playing in front of 50,000 fans in your first (game) adds an element of pressure. I think with more experience they’ll get over that and we’ll be able to overcome this loss.”
On the absence of junior RB Harold Cooper:
“I’m not too sure, I hope he recovers from whatever it was, I didn’t get a chance to talk to him. We definitely need him to get back strong so hopefully it’s nothing too serious. As an all-conference type of player, he definitely would have helped a lot.”
On what to work on for the next game:
“We’re going to look at the film and learn from it. Obviously, we would have liked to have had a different outcome today but now we’re getting into conference play which adds another element of focus and hard work that we’re going to look forward to.”
KANSAS CAPTAINS: QB Montell Cozart, LB Joe Dineen Jr., RB Ryan Schadler, S Fish Smithson
DEBUTS AT KU: Freshman OL Hakeem Adeniji, freshman DE Isaiah Bean, freshman WR Keegan Brewer, freshman CB Julian Chandler, freshman OL Malik Clark, junior DT DeeIsaac Davis, freshman OL Cam Durley, junior RB Denzell Evans, redshirt-freshman CB DeAnte Ford, freshman OL Antione Frazier, junior WR LaQuvionte Gonzalez, redshirt-freshman WR Chase Harrell, freshman RB Khalil Herbert, junior DT Isi Holani, freshman S Mike Lee, sophomore LB Keith Loneker Jr., freshman LB Maciah Long, freshman CB Kyle Mayberry, junior P Cole Moos, redshirt-freshman OL Mesa Ribordy, redshirt-freshman QB Carter Stanley, redshirt-freshman TE Jace Sternberger, freshman S Bryce Torneden
FIRST TIME STARTERS AT KU:
•Offense: OL Hakeem Adeniji, WR LaQuvionte Gonzalez, RB Khalil Herbert, OL Jayson Rhodes, OL Mesa Ribordy
•Defense: DT Isi Holani, LB Osaze Ogbebor
•Coin toss: Rhode Island won the toss and deferred to the second half. KU received and defended the north end zone.
•Kansas’ all-time record improved to 580-610-58
•Kansas improved to 72-48-7 in season openers.
•As a team KU’s 399 yards through the air were the most since airing it out for 498 yards against Missouri in 2009.
•Kansas’ 570 yards of total offense are the most since racking up 576 yards on South Dakota State in 2015. Prior to that, KU hadn’t posted more than 570 yards of total offense since 2009.
•The Jayhawks put their most points on the board since a 76-point outburst against Nebraska in 2007.
•It had been nearly five years since Kansas scored 40 or more points (45, vs. Northern Illinois 2011).
•Kansas pass throwers connected on six touchdowns in the contest, the most by a Kansas team since also tossing six against Nebraska in 2007.
•The Jayhawks’ 49-point margin of victory was the largest since defeating Florida International, 55-3, in 2007.
•Five different receivers caught a touchdown pass – a first since a quintet of receivers also hauled in touchdowns against Central Michigan in 2007.
•KU won its 30th home, nonconference contest since 2003 and improved to 30-5 overall against opponents outside of the Big 12 Conference.
•Kansas improved to 3-1 in games played on Sept. 3.
•The Jayhawks are now 34-14 in home night games (6 p.m., or later kickoff) since permanent lights were installed at Memorial Stadium in 1997.
•KU has scored at least 20 points in 13 of the last 14 season openers.
•Kansas averaged 7.8 yards-per-play against the Rams.
•Kansas quarterbacks Montell Cozart, Ryan Willis and Carter Stanley combined to complete 74 percent of their pass attempts (28-of-38). The last time KU signal callers completed a higher percentage of passes happened against Colorado in 2010 (23-of-28, 82 percent).
•Six Jayhawks set career-highs in either passing or receiving as KU threw for 399 yards in the contest: Cozart – touchdown passes (3); LaQuvionte Gonzalez – receptions (7) and yards (78); Steven Sims, Jr. – yards (124) and touchdowns (2); Chase Harrell – receptions (2), yards (51) and touchdowns (1); and tight end Ben Johnson also grabbed his first-career touchdown, which opened the scoring for the Jayhawks.
•Junior wide receiver LaQuvionte Gonzalez played in his first game since December 29, 2014 (614 days).
•At 9:51 in the first quarter, junior tight end Ben Johnson caught his first career touchdown pass to give Kansas the early 7-0 lead.
•With 6:43 left in the first quarter Gonzalez caught a 18-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Ryan Willis.
•That touchdown was the first for Gonzalez in 728 days (September 6, 2014).
•In the second quarter, senior fullback Michael Zunica caught the first pass of his career – a 22-yard strike from Cozart.
•With 8:08 to play in first half, sophomore running back Taylor Martin rushed for his first career touchdown – a one-yard carry.
•KU’s 27 points in the first half were the most since the Jayhawks tallied 27 in the first two quarters against Texas Tech in 2011 (Oct. 2).
•Cozart tied his career high of three touchdown passes with a 20-yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Tyler Patrick with 9:18 to play in the third quarter.
•Gonzalez’ seven grabs is more than he had in all of 2014 at Texas A&M and is a career high, while his 78 yards bested his previous career best by 21 yards (57).
•With 2:47 left in third quarter, sophomore wide receiver Steven Sims Jr. hauled in a career long 71-yard touchdown pass from Willis.
•That was also the longest touchdown pass of Willis’ career.
•With seven minutes to play in the game, redshirt-freshman quarterback Carter Stanley completed back-to-back passes – the first two of his career.
•Redshirt freshman wide receiver Chase Harrell hauled in the first pass for his first career catch for 38 yards with just over six minutes to play.
•On the ensuing play Harrell grabbed the second from Stanley for the first touchdown reception of his career.
•In his first game orchestrating the plays for the Jayhawks, head coach David Beaty led KU to 70 plays, 570 yards, 399 passing yards, 171 rushing yards and eight touchdowns.
•Kansas held the Rams to just 49 passing yards – the fewest by a Kansas opponent since Oklahoma threw for 39 in a downpour in Norman in 2014.
•Senior defensive end Damani Mosby forced the first fumble of his career at 6:45 in the first quarter.
•Sophomore defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. recovered that fumble, the first of his career.
•Senior safety Bazie Bates IV intercepted the second pass of his career with 4:16 to play in the first half.
•Sophomore linebacker Osaze Ogbebor recorded a career-high four tackles
•Senior safety Fish Smithson lost his streak of six-straight games with 10 or more tackles after a four-tackle performance against the Rams.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
•Sophomore defensive end Daniel Wise blocked a URI extra-point attempt at 10:36 in the second quarter- that was the second blocked kick of his career.
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