Keys to the game
In his first start, Baylor true freshman Charlie Brewer completed 23 of 29 passes for 315 yards with three scores, shredding a Jayhawks secondary that had shown signs of progress in previous weeks.
After Kansas kicked a field goal to take a 3-0 second-quarter lead, Baylor answered on its first play from scrimmage with a 56-yard strike over the middle from Brewer to receiver Denzel Mims. The Bears scored a touchdown two plays later, and the rout was on.
On a day with little wind, Carter Stanley was inaccurate throughout, short-hopping (and long-hopping) numerous receivers. He also seemed to break the pocket too quickly even when he had decent protection, which included a third-quarter play in which he threw an off-balance interception to Baylor’s Harrison Hand. The Jayhawks averaged 4.2 yards per play and 3.8 yards per rush against one of the worst defenses in the conference — totals not nearly good enough to keep the game competitive.
After forcing three punts to start, KU’s defense collapsed while allowing consecutive 75-, 74- and 56-yard touchdown drives. The Jayhawks even struggled to stop the Bears after they had built a big lead and were content to run the ball most downs. As one might guess, Baylor’s 6.6 yards per play were the team’s best against an FBS opponent this year.
There was a definite emphasis on special teams this week … but at what cost? Defensive starters Michael Lee, Tyrone Miller and Bryce Torneden were among the players who joined the coverage units, and because of that, those areas improved. In a perfect world, though, KU’s coaches would probably rather those guys focus all their attention on playing defense. On the positive side, KU executed a fake punt to get a first down, while Gabriel Rui made 3 of his 4 field-goal attempts, putting through kicks of 38, 40 and 43 yards after missing from 48.
It was bad enough for KU to be a 7 1/2 -point underdog against an 0-8 Baylor team. But then to underperform that number by more than three touchdowns? No grade other than “F” would be appropriate here.