5 thoughts on Kansas football's loss to Iowa State: 28-point first-quarter deficit headlines crushing defeat

Jordan Guskey
Topeka Capital-Journal

AMES, Iowa — Kansas football suffered its fourth-straight loss this season with a 59-7 defeat on the road against Iowa State (3-2, 1-1 in Big 12) to drop to 1-4 overall and 0-2 against the Big 12. 

Here are five quick thoughts from the game:

It’s hard to think it could have started much worse

Before much time ticked off the clock inside Jack Trice Stadium this contest appeared as if it was getting out of hand. And by the time the first quarter ended, the Jayhawks trailed 28-0 against the Cyclones.

The first 15 minutes saw Kansas allow Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy to throw for four touchdowns, one of them going for 44 yards and another 36 yards. The four offensive drives Kansas had that started and finished before the second quarter began ended with a punt, lost fumble, turnover on downs and blocked field goal. 

It’s a tough situation to overcome, especially in front of a crowd that had an announced attendance of 60,446, and the Jayhawks weren’t able to do that.

More:Replay: Kansas Jayhawks lose 59-7 against Iowa State Cyclones

Kansas’ defense, again, struggles

Iowa State Cyclones running back Breece Hall (28) runs the ball into the end zone for a touchdown during the first half of the game against Kansas at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021.

After allowing 49 points against Coastal Carolina, 45 against Baylor and then 52 against Duke, Kansas watched Iowa State drop 59. It means, heading into an open week, the Jayhawks are allowing 43.8 points per game through five contests despite allowing just 14 points in the opener against South Dakota. 

The Jayhawks also allowed 564 yards of total offense, 315 of those yards coming in the first half. Purdy finished with 245 yards passing, going 17-for-22 through the air with four scores and no interceptions. He also rushed for 37 yards, although Breece Hall would end up leading the Cyclones with 123 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns.

Junior safety Kenny Logan Jr. missing the first half due to his targeting penalty in the Duke game was an issue. Iowa State eventually turned to its backup quarterback, Hunter Dekkers, because it could, and on Dekkers’ first drive in the third quarter Dekkers rushed for a 41-yard touchdown.

Kansas’ offense struggles on third down, doesn’t accomplish much 

After its performance against Duke, one might have expected the Jayhawks’ offense to build on that and do well against Iowa State. But that didn’t happen. Much like the game against Baylor, Kansas struggled to convert on third downs and didn’t put together very many scoring drives.

Jayhawks redshirt junior quarterback Jason Bean’s odd fumble in the first quarter and interception in the end zone in the second quarter didn’t help matters. Though, those two drives weren’t the sole reasons for what occurred.

Redshirt sophomore Torry Locklin had Kansas’ lone touchdown on a 12-yard touchdown in the third quarter. The Jayhawks finished with 302 yards of total offense, with Bean going 10-for-20 through the air for 120 yards. Freshman running back Devin Neal had 83 yards on 15 carries and a long of 21.

Iowa State averaged 9.4 yards per play on 60 plays, while Kansas averaged 4.6 yards per play on 66 plays.

Again, Kansas wasn’t in striking distance in the fourth quarter

Kansas Jayhawks quarterback Jason Bean (17) funnels the ball during the first half of the game against Kansas at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021.

Jayhawks head coach Lance Leipold has talked at different points this season about how he’s looking for his team to be in games in the fourth quarter. But ever since the opener against South Dakota, which included a game-winning drive by Kansas, the Jayhawks haven’t been able to be in that situation.

The majority of the games Kansas has played so far this season have seen a backup quarterback enter the game for the Jayhawks, whether it’s been redshirt senior Miles Kendrick or sophomore Jalon Daniels. At no point has either entered the game because Kansas has been leading by enough it’s not been worth it to leave Bean in.

At least Kansas has an extra week to rest, prepare for Texas Tech

The Jayhawks’ don’t take the field again until Oct. 16, when they welcome Texas Tech (4-1, 1-1 in Big 12) to Lawrence for Homecoming. And after a night like this, maybe that’s a good thing.

Whatever nagging injuries are affecting players can have more time to heal — at least as much as possible in that extra time. Whatever Leipold’s coordinators haven’t been able to get to yet because of the limited time they’ve had with the team to this point, there’s more time before they face off against the Red Raiders. And in addition to being able to spend more time addressing certain issues, the coaches can also spend more time recruiting should they choose to do so.

The last time the Jayhawks won a Big 12 game, back in 2019, they topped the Red Raiders on Homecoming.

Jordan Guskey covers University of Kansas Athletics at The Topeka Capital-Journal. Contact him at jmguskey@gannett.com or on Twitter at @JordanGuskey.