Kansas topped by Ohio, 42-30
Joe Dineen Jr. and Dorance Armstrong Jr. take down an Ohio player.ATHENS, Ohio – A career rushing day for sophomore running back Khalil Herbert wasn’t enough for Kansas football as the Jayhawks dropped a 42-30 contest at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio on Saturday. The Kansas defense allowed 7.0 yards per play and the Bobcats scored five touchdowns on 450 total yards offensively.
The Ohio offense scored on its first three drives of the game before being forced to punt for the first time with 11:42 remaining in the second quarter.
Things started off quickly for the Bobcats, with a 63-yard run to move to the Kansas 30-yard line on their first play. The Jayhawk defense forced a field goal on the Bobcats’ opening drive, but the home team scored touchdowns on its next two, as well as a two-point conversion on the team’s first touchdown, to take an 18-0 lead with 14:53 remaining in the second quarter.
A big chunk of Herbert’s career-high 137 yards came on a 56-yard touchdown run with 9:11 left in the second, after a big first down pickup on third-and-9 thanks to a 16-yard completion from junior quarterback Peyton Bender to junior wide receiver Steven Sims Jr.
Ohio answered the Jayhawks’ first score with a six-play, 91-yard drive, aided by a 58-yard completion on the drive’s fifth play and capped with a nine-yard passing touchdown to extend its lead back to 18 at 25-7.
Getting the ball back with 6:14 remaining in the first half, the Jayhawks put together an 18-play, 80-yard drive that lasted 6:06, where Herbert rushed for 38 yards and Bender completed 5-of-6 passes including a nine-yard touchdown to sophomore Chase Harrell, his second receiving touchdown of the year.
Trailing by 11 at the half, the Jayhawks attempted to catch Ohio off guard with an onside kick to open the third quarter, but the ball was touched before it went 10 yards, giving the Bobcats short field position.
Ohio drove all the way to the seven-yard line, but sophomore safety Mike Lee made an impressive interception in the end zone as he was falling out of bounds to give Kansas the ball back. On the ensuing play, Bender threw an interception to allow the home team to regain possession, and four plays later the Bobcats scored on an eight-yard run to make it 32-14.
Kansas was forced to punt on the following possession and Ohio drove 84 yards on 12 plays to score its fifth touchdown of the game on a nine-yard pass.
The Jayhawks answered with a 12-play, 77-yard drive that saw junior wide receiver Jeremiah Booker catch a 36-yard pass from Bender to move Kansas into Ohio territory and a one-yard completion by Booker for his first-career touchdown.
The Kansas defense came up with a stop on the ensuing Ohio drive and used an 11-play, 75-yard drive that ended in a career-long 34-yard field goal by senior kicker Gabriel Rui to bring the score to 39-24.
Ohio tacked on another field goal before Kansas drove 75 yards on its final drive of the game, with Herbert capping his career day with a touchdown as the clock expired to set the final score of 42-30.
Bender ended the day 30-of-47 passing with 343 yards to make in three-straight games with over 300 yards passing. Sims ended the day with six receptions to lead the Jayhawks with 60 receiving yards, while Harrell and Booker picked up 58 and 59 yards receiving, respectively. Joe Dineen Jr., picked up 11 total tackles (4 solo), marking his third-consecutive game of 10 or more stops to lead the Kansas defense.
The Jayhawks return home to face West Virginia on Saturday, September 23, with kickoff slated for 11 a.m. Single game tickets are available at KUTickets.com, but the game will air on ESPNU for those unable to make it to Memorial Stadium.
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