Kansas football fought hard for the better part of three quarters but eventually fell to the senior-laden Coastal Carolina Chanticleers 49-22 on Friday night.
Despite holding a lead twice in the first half, the Jayhawks looked outmatched on special teams and defense, giving up 460 total yards (215 rushing, 245 passing).
The lone bright spot in the game for Kansas came from starting quarterback Jason Bean.
Bean finished the game 12 for 23 passing for 189 yards. He was also the team’s leading rusher, carrying the ball 13 times for 102 yards and two touchdowns.
He made some incredible plays with his feet throughout the game behind an offensive line that gave him little help the entire night. Bean was also sacked five times.
Multiple times he scrambled and made big plays down the field – connecting with wide receivers Luke Grimm, Trevor Wilson, and Lawrence Arnold – who each had receptions over 30 yards, though none resulted in a touchdown.
Bean’s two touchdown runs went for 34 yards and 46 yards respectively – showing just how dangerous he can be in space.
This will likely not be the last time Bean is counted on to make plays, as the running game (from the tailbacks) looked stale yet again.
Running backs Velton Gardner and Devin Neal combined for a total of 71 yards rushing on 19 attempts – good for just 3.7 yards per carry. It was an improvement over their performance against South Dakota, but they’ll need to continue progressing to take some of the pressure off Bean heading into Big 12 play next week.
Regardless of the outcome, it was an encouraging sign to see Bean step up on the road against a top-25 team on national television, in front of what the announcers said was their largest football crowd in school history. He played well under pressure and carried this team most of the night.
KU needs that type of poise, skill, and leadership under center. It’s something they’ve been searching for since the days of Todd Reesing, and it appears they may have finally found it with Jason Bean.