In this weekend’s game against Oklahoma State, the Kansas defense showed that they are not to fault that the Jayhawks are 1-5 on the season. Even though the Cowboys put up 20 points on the Jayhawks, the defense was not slacking and has not been slacking this season.
In the first half, the defense only let Oklahoma State score 10 points. This also included a scoreless first quarter for the Cowboys. The 10 points in the first half is the lowest first half output in OSU’s last 14 games. Kansas’ defense showed that they were going to play tough all game on the first drive for Oklahoma State. The Cowboys reached the redzone on their first drive of the game, but the defense for the Jayhawks did not let them score and the drive ended on KU’s 16 yard line.
According to kuathletics.com, the zero points for Oklahoma State in the first quarter “marked the first time this season a KU opponent was held scoreless in the first quarter, and was just the second time OSU was held scoreless in a quarter this year.”
One of the biggest players for the Oklahoma State Cowboys entering the game was, without a doubt, Joseph Randle. Randle entered this weekend’s game leading the Big 12 with 133.5 rushing yards per game. The defense held Randle to just 80 yards in the game and did not let him get into the endzone once.
The Jayhawk defense also held the Cowboy total offense to 371 yards in the game. OSU’s offense averages 659.0 yards per game this season.
Some of the key Jayhawks on defense were safety Bradley McDougald, safety Lubbock Smith, and linebacker Jake Love. McDougald tied a career-high with 12 tackles in the game, Smith had his first career interception on a ball in the second quarter, and Love recorded a career-high 12 tackles (previous high of 2).
Then what is the problem with Kansas?
That answer is simple. The problem is the offense, mainly Dayne Crist.
Crist entered the game as the starter for the Jayhawks against Oklahoma State. In the game, he went 10-of-22 for 136 yards. While he was in the game at quarterback, Kansas did not score a single point (touchdown or field goal).
Kansas pulled Crist in the second half for Michael Cummings. This was the second consecutive week where Crist had been benched for Cummings.
After Cummings came into the game, Kansas was up on the score board. He went 5-of-10 for 75 yards and threw a key touchdown to tight end Jimmay Mundine.
The rushing game also looked a lot better with Cummings in the game. James Sims did not get into the endzone until Crist was benched. In the fourth quarter, Sims scored on a 30 yard run to pull the Jayhawks within 6 points with just under nine minutes left in the game.
The Jayhawks are 1-5 on the season after this weekend and they have six games left in 2012. It is clear that Kansas will most likely not win five of their next six games to make the team bowl eligible.
Even though Kansas will be playing six tough Big 12 opponents, Michael Cummings should be the starter for the rest of the season. It was a little unclear after the KSU game if Crist should be benched for good, but it is 100% clear after this weekend.
The Kansas defense is not the problem. The problem is Crist and the pressure that is put on the defense. Will Crist be benched the rest of the season? Time will tell, but the answer should be yes.
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Check out my other writings on the Oregon Ducks blog, Autzen Zoo.