It was a tale of two halves for the Jayhawks against the Kansas State Wildcats. The first half was a hard fought battle by Kansas. Kansas kicked off to Kansas State to begin the game and the defense forced the Wildcats to punt after a four play drive. On the next drive, Jayhawk fans saw a Kansas team that they have not seen much this season.
On Kansas’ first drive of the game, the Jayhawks marched down the field. They started on their own 17-yardline and ended with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Dayne Crist to Tony Pierson. Overall, Crist was 7-of-8 on the drive and it looked like a different Dayne Crist than many are use to seeing.
The rest of the first half was close as Kansas State scored three touchdowns and Kansas scored one more time on the ground. Kansas had a chance to tied the game before halftime, but could not due to a thrown interception by Crist (his first of the game). Kansas entered the halftime locker rooms trailing Kansas State 21-14.
However, the second half was a completely different story, especially the third quarter.
It all started on Kansas State’s first drive of the second half as the Wildcats scored on a Collin Klein touchdown to Travis Tannahill. On the next drive by the Jayhawks, the old Dayne Crist came back.
After it looked like Kansas was clicking and going to score, Crist threw a costly interception to Allen Chapman. The biggest thing that hurt about this interception was that Chapman intercepted the ball at the Kansas State 2-yardline, but it was not all good times for the Wildcats on their next play.
On the first play after the interception, Tunde Bakare tackled John Hubert in the endzone for the Kansas safety. The safety cut the Wildcat lead to 28-16. This looked like the spot that Kansas needed in order to get back into the game.
However, on the next kickoff, Tre’ Parmalee fumbled the ball for Kansas and the Wildcats recovered the ball on Kansas’ 32-yardline. This was followed by a Hubert 32-yard touchdown run to put the Wildcats up 35-16.
Kansas tried to get things going, but, on the third play of their next drive, Crist threw an interception to Ty Zimmerman. This interception was not all Crist’s fault because the pass was tipped into the air by a Kansas wide receiver.
Crist finished the third quarter, but was pulled because the game was completely out of reach for the Jayhawks. This was one of the hardest games to watch for Jayhawk fans. Dayne Crist actually looked good in the first half of this game, especially on Kansas’ first drive. It looked like Kansas was going to see the Dayne Crist they expected since the beginning of the season, but that was not the case.
In the end, Kansas saw the same nervous Crist that it has seen all season. Michael Cummings came in for Crist and did not do too bad, but it was basically “babysit” duty. The question that this raises though is “Should the Jayhawks bench Crist for Cummings?” If the struggles for Crist continue, why not?
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Check out my other writings on the Oregon Ducks blog, Autzen Zoo.