MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — With a combination of an explosive running game and hard-nosed defense, Kansas collected its first win of the 2018 season, beating Central Michigan, 31-7, on Saturday afternoon inside Kelly/Shorts Stadium.
Both offenses struggled to find an answer early on, but Kansas struck first with five minutes to go in the first half, igniting the Jayhawk offense as KU never relinquished the lead. The Kansas defense provided the energy the Jayhawks needed, creating six turnovers and holding the Chippewas to 103 total rushing yards throughout the game. Senior Joe Dineen Jr. led the team with 14 tackles, while also recording his first career interception.
Offensively, Kansas dominated the game on the ground, utilizing true freshman Pooka Williams Jr., who rushed for 125 yards and two touchdowns in his collegiate debut. Senior quarterback Peyton Bender completed 17-of-26 passes for 130 yards and one touchdown. Kerr Johnson Jr., was on the receiving end of Bender’s 31-yard touchdown pass and led the Jayhawks with four receptions on 68 yards.