David Beaty not making excuses for KU following near upset

photo by: Nick Krug

Kansas head coach David Beaty talks with wide receiver Shakiem Barbel (82) late in the fourth quarter on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016 at Memorial Stadium.

In the Kansas football team’s narrow loss Saturday to TCU, the Jayhawks only drew five penalties for 61 yards. It just so happened one of those flags cost Kansas a touchdown in a 24-23 loss.

Early in the third quarter, KU sophomore quarterback Ryan Willis swung a pass out to the right flat for sophomore running back Taylor Martin, who had plenty of space near the sideline to make an impact play. As Martin took off for what would have been a 40-yard touchdown, Kansas senior offensive lineman D’Andre Banks got flagged for holding while making a cut block near the line of scrimmage — before Martin even caught the pass.

On Monday’s Big 12 coaches media teleconference, second-year Kansas head coach David Beaty said he would’ve preferred the play had gone the Jayhawks’ way and indicated he thought Banks executed a legal block. Still, Beaty added, Kansas had plenty of other opportunities to win in the nearly two quarters that followed.

“It’s unfortunate, because I thought D’Andre really did throw a really nice block there,” Beaty said of the play that negated Martin’s TD. “He really did a good job and the kid didn’t deserve to have a penalty thrown to him, but, you know what, it happens. It’s part of the game. To me it’s what makes college football great. Every now and then there’s gonna be some things that work against you, and how are you gonna respond to it. We had plenty of time left to go in the game.”

On the very next play Willis connected with senior receiver Shakiem Barbel on a corner route for 32 yards. But KU had to settle for a 29-yard Matt Wyman field goal with 10:02 left in the third quarter after failing to pick up another first down or reach the end zone.

“Those are things that we’re not going to sit here and harp on, woe is me, when it comes to things that maybe don’t go our way,” Beaty added.

In such situations, the coach said his staff tries to keep the players focused on moving forward. Beaty added Kansas (1-4 overall, 0-2 Big 12) later put Wyman in “long, difficult” field-goal situations on other plays that could’ve turned the outcome of the game in KU’s favor.

photo by: Nick Krug

Kansas place kicker Matthew Wyman (7) gets a pat on the shoulder from teammate Gabriel Rui (39) after Wyman missed what could have been the game-winning field goal with seconds remaining in the game on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016 at Memorial Stadium.

The Jayhawks’ senior kicker, Wyman missed from 37, 41 and 54 yards in the fourth quarter. Beaty said the Big 12 has too much fire power to settle for so many field-goal tries (Wyman made three of six, including a 50-yarder in the first half).

“You’ve gotta score touchdowns,” he said.

Field goal debate?

Given that Wyman had missed a pair of fourth-quarter field goals before attempting a game-winner from 54 yards out against TCU, one reporter asked Beaty whether he and special teams coordinator Joe DeForrest discussed having KU’s other place kicker, junior Gabriel Rui, ready for a late-game try.

“The thing that we know is Wyman is the only guy that we have on our team that was capable of making a field goal and reaching from that distance,” Beaty replied. “… He’s got an incredibly strong leg. Rui can’t reach it from there, so to answer your question it never entered our mind, because we were not in a tighter range to even consider another guy. We never even discussed another guy. We were trying to score. From that standpoint, we trusted the kid to go in there and hit the thing down the middle as best he could. Like we said after the game, man, that’s not Wyman’s fault. We had so many opportunities to win that game prior to that that it didn’t have to rest on Wyman.”

Added Beaty: “But when your number’s called you want to execute, and he wanted to execute, and our team wanted him to execute, but it didn’t happen. We’ve gotta continue to fix what we’re not doing well so when we get in those situations again we can close those games down with wins.”

This season, Wyman is 4-for-8 on field goals, a perfect 15-for-15 on extra points and the only kicker Kansas has used to date. Wyman is 1-for-3 in the 30- to 39-yard range, 0-for-1 from 40 to 49 and 1-for-2 on kicks from 50 or more yards (both versus TCU).

Homecoming kickoff

The Jayhawks travel this week to face No. 11 Baylor (5-0, 2-0) in Waco, Texas — 2:30 p.m. kickoff on FOX Sports 1.

Their next home date comes Oct. 22, when Oklahoma State visits Memorial Stadium for homecoming. The Big 12 announced Monday KU-OSU will kick off at 11 a.m. on FOX Sports 1.

Oklahoma State leads the all-time series with Kansas, 34-29-3. The Cowboys are 19-15-1 at KU through the years.