Monday Notebook: Jayhawks show ups and downs in Big 12 opener

The final score shows that the Jayhawks were handled by West Virginia, but there were some encouraging things to come out of the performance.

1. KU keeps it close (mostly) against West Virginia

Kansas lost 56-34 on Saturday. It was 42-34 in the middle of the fourth quarter. The Jayhawks played poorly in the first half, especially on defense. West Virginia was up 35-13 at the break, but back-to-back scoring drives for KU to open the second half would make it a one score game. The Hawks kept it close for a long time, but the Mountaineers were able to pull away in the last few minutes of the game. The Kansas defense was and is bad. The pass rush is almost nonexistent and the secondary isn’t nearly good enough to cover good WRs for six seconds.

The offense is considerably better than it was last season, however. Peyton Bender is a good QB but I’m not sure how good. He shows flashes of being great but then he’ll throw a pick that leaves you scratching your head. I can’t end this blurb without talking about Khalil Herbert. He took 36 carries for 294 yards and two TDs. It’s one of the greatest rushing performances in KU football history. And we still lost. 

2. Game Reviews

TCU 44, Oklahoma State 31: OSU was a dark horse title contender entering the season but they did not look like it in this game. They were playing from behind almost all game. Mason Rudolph was good but he threw two picks too many.

Texas A&M 50, Arkansas 43: Another OT classic between these two old rivals. An insane game, including seven lead changes. Eventually Arkansas is going to win the game, I just don’t know when. 

Oklahoma 49, Baylor 41: Baylor has been bad since week one and OU has been good since week one. For that reason I thought that this game would not be close at all. It ended up being a very dramatic finish and very entertaining game. 

Penn State 21, Iowa 19: Talk about a dramatic finish. Penn State had less than two minutes left in the game, having to go the length of field, needing a touchdown. It’s what you dream about as a kid playing in your backyard. Penn State QB Trace McSorely got to live out that dream. He threw the game winning TD at the buzzer. Oh, and Penn State RB Saquon Barkley had 358 total yards – a school record.  

3. College Football Playoffs Update

1. Alabama 4-0. They have a win against Florida State in week one but not much else. That being said, I’ve seen nothing that says they’re not the best team in college football. The Tide destroyed Vandy 59-0 on Saturday in Nashville. I don’t know who’s going to be able to beat them in regular season play. 

2. Clemson 4-0. I severely underrated the Tigers coming into the year. They have looked superb through four weeks. Taking care of good Louisville and Auburn teams. QB Kelly Bryant hasn’t been nearly the step down from Deshaun Watson I thought he’d be either. They should easily be the favorite to win the ACC. 

3. Oklahoma 4-0. They beat Ohio State on the road. Baker Mayfield is one of the top-5 quarterbacks in the country, if not higher. The Big 12 is a cake walk minus TCU and Oklahoma State too. They are by far the best team in their conference. Let’s just see if they can take care of business. 

4. Penn State 4-0. Yes, that is correct. I do not have USC in the top four. I believe Penn State is the best team in the Big Ten. The Big Ten includes, Michigan, Ohio State, and Wisconsin. Penn State has the most talented player (Saquon Barkley), and the most difficult schedule. If they win out, or even go 12-1, they should be in. 

4. Memorial Stadium to be renovated

300 MILLION dollars worth of renovations are coming to Memorial Stadium. 300 MILLION. That is a ton of money. More money than all of the RCB writers will ever see in their lives combined (most likely). (Ed. Note: Yes.)

 The animated models of the new stadium look absolutely gorgeous too. I’m all for having a pretty venue but wouldn’t you rather have a winning team? Just sayin’. 

Landen Fields is a contributor for Rock Chalk Blog. You can check out his archive here.