WRITER: Benton Smith

Can KU football lay another streak to rest?

No, the Kansas football team’s three-week nonconference schedule as a whole, didn’t play out perfectly. But the Jayhawks’ victories over Central Michigan and Rutgers have allowed them to enter Big 12 play at Baylor on Saturday in a more ideal head space than seemed possible after their Week 1 home loss to Nicholls State. Especially for the players who have suffered through the program’s struggles the ...

Pooka Williams rated 3rd-best true freshman in FBS

Pooka Williams’ skills aren’t only dropping jaws around Lawrence. The freshman’s open-field speed, power, vision and agility, which have played a central role in consecutive victories for the Kansas football team, also are drawing the attention of college football evaluators nationwide. According to Pro Football Focus, the Jayhawks’ young offensive star is the third-best true freshman in all of FBS ...

Defensive takeaways fueling KU football's confidence

Not long after the Kansas football team’s defense spent its second straight Saturday repeatedly heisting the ball from a nonconference opponent, someone asked redshirt senior Daniel Wise what’s different about the group this season. The stalwart defensive tackle and captain began his response with two words: “Nothing, really.” How could that be? In 2017, the Jayhawks ranked 100th or worse in the FBS in ...

Beaty: Pooka Williams' eligibility issue 'behind me until somebody tells me different'

If the undisclosed eligibility issue that kept Kansas running back Pooka Williams from playing in the football team’s season opener remains unresolved — head coach David Beaty won’t address its status — the matter, Beaty insists, is not one currently causing him grief. Asked during his weekly press conference on Tuesday whether the Jayhawks have been able to put Williams’ case behind them, Beaty first ...

Peyton Bender will remain KU's starting QB at Baylor

Although he watched the entire second half of the Kansas football team’s home win over Rutgers from the sideline with coaches and reserves, senior quarterback Peyton Bender will keep his spot as the Jayhawks’ starting QB on Saturday at Baylor. Head coach David Beaty stated immediately after KU’s 55-14 romp over Rutgers that he didn’t want to say who would start at QB the following week. He provided an ...

'Little sprain' won't keep KU defensive tackle Daniel Wise out of lineup

When Daniel Wise hurt an ankle badly enough to limp off the field this past Saturday during the Kansas football team’s home game against Rutgers, the redshirt senior defensive tackle was adamant about checking back in. After some evaluation, halftime rest and a little convincing of his coaches, they caved. “All right, give it a shot,” Wise related of the response he got. The experiment lasted all of one ...

In 1 fewer game than competition, KU RB Pooka Williams leads Big 12 in rushing yards

As the Kansas football team prepares to open Big 12 play this Saturday at Baylor, it does so with the conference’s leading rusher residing in Lawrence, and spending most of his waking hours inside Anderson Family Football Complex. In just two games — KU kept him out for its season-opening loss to Nicholls State for what was later described as an eligibility issue — freshman sensation Pooka Williams’ 288 ...

Does KU football have a QB controversy?

As various Kansas football players made their way Saturday afternoon to media interviews inside the Chancellor’s Lounge at Anderson Family Football Complex, a horde of reporters and television cameras encircled the table where Miles Kendrick sat. “All the lights on ol’ Miles,” KU redshirt senior linebacker Joe Dineen observed, as he sauntered past the backup quarterback. Head coach David Beaty planned ...

Jayhawks pummel Rutgers, 55-14

For the first time since 2011, members of the Kansas football team can say they’ve won back-to-back games. The Jayhawks followed their road losing streak-killing victory at Central Michigan by closing nonconference play with a 55-14 home drubbing of Rutgers on Saturday. Although Peyton Bender started at quarterback, Miles Kendrick (6-for-11 passing, 66 yards, one touchdown throw and one rushing TD), subbed ...

Notebook: KU limits QB Peyton Bender to 1st-half reps

The third start of his senior season began in similar fashion to the previous two weeks for Kansas quarterback Peyton Bender, with him watching from the sideline on occasion while backup Miles Kendrick took over for the offense. However, unlike the past two games, Bender didn’t play at all after halftime Saturday in KU’s 55-14 drubbing of Rutgers. All of the third-quarter snaps at QB went to Kendrick. ...

Game day Breakdown: KU football vs. Rutgers

— Kansas (1-1) vs. Rutgers (1-1) • 11 a.m. kickoff at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium • Game-time forecast: 82 degrees, mostly sunny, 7% chance of rain • TV: FOX Sports Net • Radio: KLWN, FM 101.7 / AM 1320 — Log on to KUsports.com for our live game blog and follow our coverage team on Twitter: @KUSports, @BentonASmith, @TomKeeganLJW and @SJacksonLJW Keys for Kansas 1. Embrace ...

'Do you think I can play or not?': Once disregarded, QB Todd Reesing joining KU Ring of Honor

Back when he was a high schooler at Lake Travis, in Austin, Texas, Todd Reesing had a difficult time convincing college football coaches he could play quarterback for them. The mobile but undersized gunslinger was the 4A Player of the Year as a junior and Central Texas Player of the Year as a senior. But as he pitched his highlight footage to various high-major programs, it seemed Reesing kept hearing the same ...

KU's Kerr Johnson Jr. a WR 'you better pay attention to'

Around the Kansas football team’s facilities, it’s easy for Kerr Johnson Jr. to go unnoticed. The senior receiver’s head coach, David Beaty, jokes he sometimes needs to hold a mirror under Johnson’s nose to ensure the calm and quiet California native is in fact alive. No such concerns exist when the 5-foot-11, 193-pound Johnson is running routes for the Jayhawks. Owner of two of the offense’s five ...

Freshman CB Corione Harris 'workmanlike' in 1st career start

No one figured it would take Corione Harris long to break into the starting lineup at Kansas. Still, the freshman cornerback from New Orleans might have even flew past some of his highest expectations. It only took Harris until the second game of his college football career to graduate from contributing reserve to a first series appearance. On the same day that fellow four-star Louisianan Pooka Williams Jr. ...

David Beaty maintains vague stance regarding Pooka Williams' availability past this week

Yes, Kansas freshman running back Pooka Williams will play in the Jayhawks’ home football game Saturday against Rutgers. But will Williams also play the following week at Baylor, and for the remainder of the schedule? His head coach, David Beaty, would not say Tuesday whether the reigning Big 12 Newcomer of the Week has been permanently cleared for competition. Asked to clarify whether the issue that led KU ...

Notebook: Game ball from KU's win at CMU makes the rounds

Inside the visiting locker room at Kelly/Shorts Stadium in Mount Pleasant, Mich., this past Saturday, after he became the first Kansas football coach to win a road game since Mark Mangino’s final season, in 2009, David Beaty received the game ball as the Jayhawks celebrated. He didn’t hang onto it long, though. In a behind-the-scenes video of the moment posted to the football team’s social media ...

KU football offense not perfect, but much cleaner through 2 games

Sure, the season is only two weeks old. But as of this moment, Kansas football, the same program that finished 2017 ranked an ugly 127th out of 129 FBS teams in turnover margin, is sitting pretty in the same category. With seven takeaways (only two less than their previous yearlong total) and one giveaway, the Jayhawks own a plus-3.0 turnover margin average, a number that ties them for second nationally with ...

Pooka Williams expected to play for KU this week vs. Rutgers

Some mystery still surrounds what kept the Kansas football team from playing Pooka Williams Jr. in its season opener. But head coach David Beaty said Monday morning the freshman running back who raced to 125 rushing yards and two touchdowns in his debut will be back in action this Saturday for the Jayhawks’ home game versus Rutgers. “He’s available and we expect him to compete this weekend,” Beaty ...

KU football's ball-hawking defense key to successful road trip

The Kansas football team scored more points against an FBS opponent in Saturday’s road losing streak-killing 31-7 win at Central Michigan than it had since defeating Iowa State at home, 34-14, in 2014. Nonetheless, it was KU’s defense that made sure no doubt crept into the Jayhawks’ minds in the second half, as six takeaways allowed the visitors to cruise. The Chippewas, on 16 possessions, finished with ...

Redshirt seniors Daniel Wise, Joe Dineen revel in their first KU road win

In their four-plus years as members of the Kansas football program, redshirt seniors Daniel Wise and Joe Dineen have experienced more losses than they’d ever care to recall. So many times, the defensive standouts set their minds on carving out ways to bounce back, and far more often than not, those endeavors ultimately didn’t produce the victories they kept chasing. However, Wise shared Saturday in Mount ...