Sims leads Kansas to 31-14 victory over South Dakota

LAWRENCE, Kan. — After one game, the Kansas Jayhawks have matched their season win total from the 2012 season.

James Sims led the way for the Jayhawks with 95 yards and two touchdowns. In his much-anticipated Kansas debut, Jake Heaps passed for 111 yards and a touchdown.

Overall, the Jayhawks look much improved from a year ago. But that’s not saying much considering last year’s team was 1-11. However, the offense looked improved as the Jayhawks finally have a quarterback who is be accurate.

Jake Heaps’ completion percentage looks deceiving as he only completed 10-of-20 passes. Early on, the Jayhawks dropped many receptions. Heaps was hitting his targets with accuracy and he showed off his arm strength several times.

Oh, and the Jayhawks threw a passing touchdown to a wide receiver for the first time since October 22, 2011. With 1:39 left in the first half, Heaps completed a pass to Jayhawk-newcomer Justin McCay for 5-yard touchdown.

Charlie Weis was excited to see Heaps do so well.

“Jake (Heaps) will be disappointed in himself,” said Weis. “But I’m not…”

Everyone knew Kansas’ strength was in their running game but five Jayhawks had 32 or more rushing yards in the game and had a total of 278 net rushing yards. Sims led the way with 95 rushing yards followed by Darrian Miller (90), Tony Pierson (47), Taylor Cox (44) and Brandon Bourbon (32). Bourbon had KU’s other offensive touchdown with a 8-yard run with 6:39 remaining in the game.

The biggest improvement for KU is easily on special teams.  With 12:55 left in the fourth quarter, walk-on Matt Wyman nailed a 45-yard field goal. Last season, KU made 10 field goals (of 16) but their season-long was 37-yards and only three were over 30-yards.

On kick returns, Kansas also performed well. Connor Embree had 92 punt return yards on six attempts, with a 42-yard return.

“I told them they should really enjoy the win,” Weis told his team after the victory. “But it’s just the first step.”

The next step is against Rice this Saturday.

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From Kansas vs. South Dakota, posted by Rock Chalk Blog on 9/08/2013 (56 items)