Texas Tech Offense Too Much for Kansas on Homecoming
staff - October 7, 2017 10:29 pm
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas was unable to solve a potent Texas Tech offense, powered by a rushing attack that gained 313 of 603 total yards, including 161 by senior Justin Stockton and four rushing touchdowns by junior Desmond Nisby, as the Jayhawks fell on Homecoming to the Red Raiders, 65-19.
Texas Tech (4-1, 1-1 Big 12) controlled the game from the opening drive, scoring 21 unanswered points on its first three drives.
A nine-play, 75-yard drive, capped with a 13-yard touchdown run from Stockton gave the Red Raiders their first score with 11:43 remaining in the opening quarter.
Kansas (1-4, 0-2 Big 12) was unable to convert on a fourth-down attempt on its first drive, turning the ball over on downs at the Texas Tech 45. The Red Raiders moved the ball down the field with ease on their ensuing drive, scoring in just 50 seconds after Nisby took the drive’s third play 47 yards to put the Red Raiders ahead by two scores.
Texas Tech added to its lead after another failed fourth-down conversion by the Jayhawks with its second-straight three-play touchdown drive. TTU quarterback Nic Shimonek connected with wide receiver Quan Shorts for a 37-yard touchdown pass, and after a PAT from Michael Barden the Red Raiders held a 21-0 advantage.
A three-and-out from the Jayhawks put the defense back on the field where a sack by junior defensive end Josh Ehambe built needed momentum for the Jayhawks. After three plays, Kansas forced TTU to punt, and junior Khalil Herbert blocked the punt setting up the Jayhawks on their own 28-yard line.
A six-play drive was capped with an 18-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Peyton Bender to junior wide receiver Jeremiah Booker to make the score 21-7 with 19 seconds remaining in the first stanza. The play marked the eighth passing touchdown for Bender this season and Booker’s second receiving score of the year.
Texas Tech answered the Jayhawks’ scoring drive with 14 unanswered points, all by Nisby. An eight-yard rushing touchdown with 13:06 on the clock and another run to the end zone with 5:16 remaining in the second quarter stretched the TTU lead to 35-7.
Kansas sophomore Mike Lee picked off his second pass of the season on Texas Tech’s next drive attempt, which placed Kansas on the Red Raiders’ 27-yard line. Bender connected on a 41-yard pass to junior wide receiver Steven Sims Jr., to put Kansas in the red zone, but after three incomplete passes, the Jayhawks were forced to kick a field goal.
Senior kicker Gabriel Rui completed a 21-yard field goal for his seventh made try of the season to bring the score to 35-10 before heading into the locker room.
Kansas started off the second half with a 10-play, 42-yard drive, which resulted in a 41-yard field goal by Rui, which tied a career long for the Hinton, Oklahoma native.
After a missed 44-yard field goal attempt by TTU, Kansas answered with a seven-play, 74-yard drive, which included a 45-yard run by Herbert and concluded with a two-yard rushing touchdown by junior running back Taylor Martin, his second of the season. A mishandled snap on the try after attempt resulted in a failed two-point conversion, making the score 35-19 in favor of the visitors from Lubbock.
Texas Tech closed the game with 30 unanswered points, including Nisby’s fourth rushing touchdown of the game, setting the final score at 65-19.
Splitting time at quarterback, Bender finished the day with 146 yards on 12-for-24 passing, while sophomore Carter Stanley went 11-of-19 with 110 yards passing. Sims led the Kansas receivers with 102 yards on five receptions, while seven other players recorded a catch, including senior tight end Ben Johnson, who hauled in five catches for 55 yards. Herbert finished the day with 65 yards on the ground while Martin picked up 32 yards rushing.
Despite the struggles to stop the Texas Tech attack, the Jayhawks recorded a season-high three sacks, including the first of the season for both Ehambe and fellow junior defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. Sophomore safety Mike Lee, Armstrong and junior linebacker Joe Dineen Jr., each recorded nine total tackles to lead KU.
Kansas will travel to Iowa State for the first of a two-game road swing. The Jayhawks and Cyclones will face off in Ames, Iowa on October 14 at 11 a.m., before Kansas will trek to Fort Worth, Texas to face TCU on October 21.