New year, same stuff.
This game was dead on arrival. With his career on the line, David Beaty couldn’t deliver a win against an FCS opponent at home. Minutes before kickoff, it was announced that dynamic freshman Pooka Williams would not be playing. It only got worse sack after sack. Nicholls State, a team that lost to Sam Houston State by 49 last season, gave Kansas every chance to win and the Jayhawks couldn’t take advantage of it. A Big 12 team couldn’t beat a mistake prone FCS team. Let that sink in.
I don’t know what is going to happen, but this game was an indictment on the program in the worst way possible. The offensive line looked worse than last season. We knew that it could be a problem when they had to cancel the spring game because they didn’t have enough linemen, but nobody expected Nicholls State’s front line to have their way with the Jayhawks. Peyton Bender looked just as lost. KU got manhandled up front on both sides of the ball. They committed untimely penalties, including a facemask on 2nd and 20, and a pass interference in overtime. More than anything, KU didn’t look prepared to win. David Beaty said after the game that Nicholls State “didn’t make mistakes,” but that’s just not true.
Let’s talk about Beaty for a moment. He iced the kicker by calling timeout as Nicholls State missed the game-tying attempt, only to see it backfire when they made the ensuing attempt. Twice, the Jayhawks called a timeout to mull a fourth-down decision. They punted on 4th and 2 inside the Nicholls State 40 yard-line. They were called for penalties on the first play of drives. The Jayhawks just looked unprepared, and that responsibility falls on the coach.
I don’t have the answer and to be honest there isn’t really a whole lot to say. I could point out silver linings – special teams looked good, and Kyron Johnson was downright explosive off the edge – but those don’t matter when you’re staring down another lost season. It’s hard to get excited when the team doesn’t take any step forwards after a terrible season.
The Jayhawks opened David Beaty’s tenure by losing at home to an FCS school. The program was in ruins, but at least the future was promising. Now, they open up the fourth year of the Beaty era by losing at home to an FCS school, which is the perfect metaphor for how little progress the program has made in Beaty’s four seasons.
Here is my final thought: KU football needs change and it needs it now. Barring a miracle, KU will be the first FBS program to lose 100 games in a decade. David Beaty isn’t the answer. I hope Jeff Long has an answer or this football program will be more than just lost, they will be sunk.