WRITER: Benton Smith

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 ...

Notebook: KU wideout Steven Sims Jr. 'tough' on himself after TD drop

The play happened early in the second quarter of his team’s season opener, with more than 43 minutes left in regulation. All the same, Kansas senior receiver Steven Sims Jr. had a hard time forgiving himself for dropping what looked like a sure touchdown in the end zone. Sims had beaten the coverage deep for what could have been a 37-yard TD throw from Peyton Bender, to set up a seven-point lead for the ...

'Unreal': Freshman RB Pooka Williams ignites rare KU football road win

Mount Pleasant, Mich. — One man and one result might not prove capable of changing a program’s fortunes. But for one sunny Saturday afternoon at Kelly/Shorts Stadium the Kansas football team, losers of a major college football record 46 consecutive road losses, finally left an opponent’s stadium victorious. And it seemed one new Jayhawk in particular deserved as much credit as any. Many KU players on ...

Notebook: RB Pooka Williams cleared for debut ‘late, late’ Friday night

Mount Pleasant, Mich. — Exactly what kept Pooka Williams out of the Kansas football lineup a week earlier remained unclear following the freshman running back’s debut Saturday, which sparked a 31-7 road win at Central Michigan. Shortly before kickoff of the Jayhawks’ season opener, the team announced Williams would not play against Nicholls State due to an undisclosed, non-disciplinary matter. Following ...

Game day Breakdown: KU football at Central Michigan

— Kansas (0-1) at Central Michigan (0-1) • 2 p.m. CT kickoff at Kelly/Shorts Stadium • Game-time forecast: 67 degrees, partly sunny, 0% chance of rain • TV: ESPN+ • 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. Let your RBs carry you In the ...

‘Pass-first’ QB Miles Kendrick assesses his KU debut

During his first game wearing a Kansas football uniform, backup quarterback Miles Kendrick only got onto the turf for six snaps. The sophomore dual threat QB carried the ball twice, handed it off once and connected on two of his three throws during his cameo, which included a bit part on the Jayhawks’ final offensive play of overtime. Now, Kendrick’s goal is to absorb all he can, both positive and ...

KU defensive lineman Isi Holani's DUI charge dismissed

Kansas football coach David Beaty suggested earlier this week that a resolution was coming on defensive tackle Isi Holani’s summer DUI charge. On Tuesday, Holani’s case was dropped because he didn’t meet the legal standard for the violation. A KU football spokesperson confirmed the redshirt senior, who played in Week 1, will not miss any games due to punishment. According to the KU defensive lineman’s ...

Unheralded Kansas WR Stephon Robinson Jr. wants to build on debut showing

Not one other Power Five program actively recruited Stephon Robinson Jr. Yet, there the sophomore junior college transfer was Saturday in his Kansas football debut, tying for the team lead in receptions and blocking a punt on special teams. After a standout freshman season at El Camino Community College, during which the 5-foot-10 Robinson accumulated 1,274 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in 11 games, ...

Jayhawks might play reserve O-linemen more after lackluster opener

In its first game of the season, the Kansas football offense only finished with 255 yards — the lowest output among Big 12 teams in Week 1 — in its overtime home loss to Nicholls State. The Jayhawks’ 199 passing yards ranked last in the conference, as did their 56 rushing yards. After a preseason full of coaches and players talking up the potential of KU’s revamped offensive line, the idea was to put a ...

David Beaty owns up to 'Hawk Talk' gaffe

According to Kansas football coach David Beaty, he mistakenly described some of the circumstances surrounding his team’s final offensive play of an overtime home loss to Nicholls State while appearing on his weekly radio show, "Hawk Talk," Monday night. Beaty brought up the blunder during his weekly press conference Tuesday afternoon, a day after he said the Colonels’ defense was in cover-zero, and if the ...

Notebook: KU letting 'due process' conclude following Isi Holani's summer arrest

When Kansas defensive tackle Isi Holani got arrested in late July on suspicion of DUI, the football team issued a statement saying that details of the situation were being collected and an update would be provided once the process was completed. On Saturday night, in the Jayhawks’ season-opening loss to Nicholls State, the 6-foot-3, 325-pound redshirt senior didn’t start, but Holani subbed in to play on the ...

Carter Gaskins

Notebook: No update yet on RB Pooka Williams' availability

University of Kansas football coach David Beaty didn’t provide many particulars when the team on Saturday kept ballyhooed freshman running back Pooka Williams out of the lineup for the season opener due to a “non-disciplinary matter.” Two days later, Beaty didn’t have much of an update, either, during his weekly "Hawk Talk" radio show, other than to say the coaching staff hopes there “might be” an ...

Jayhawks intent on recovering from disappointing season debut

A 12th consecutive defeat, this one in overtime of the opener to an admittedly successful FCS opponent, on the surface looks like the type of blow that could crash a team’s season. Football players at the University of Kansas who lived through Saturday’s 26-23 home loss to Nicholls State are here to tell you that won’t be the case. Although the Jayhawks who have spent the entirety of their college ...

KU's stadium officially renamed for booster David Booth in halftime ceremony

As of halftime of Saturday’s season opener, the home of University of Kansas football has a new name: David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. The university made it official with a ceremony at the 50-yard line, as new athletic director Jeff Long and Chancellor Douglas Girod presented Booth with a miniature Jayhawk statue shortly after the KU band spelled out his name in formation. It was close to a year ago ...

Notebook: Pooka Williams unavailable in Week 1

The long-awaited debut of freshman running back Pooka Williams didn’t go as planned Saturday night at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. The Kansas football team announced shortly before kickoff of its 2018 opener that the four-star running back from Louisiana was “unavailable for competition.” “He is working through a non-disciplinary matter,” a release from the team stated. “We are fully ...

Familiar result: Kansas football suffers overtime loss to Nicholls State

In a game marred by bad snaps, sacks and no real running threat, the Kansas football team somehow found itself with a chance to open the season with a victory, in overtime at that. But head coach David Beaty’s fourth season opener ended the same as his first, in 2015, with a home defeat at the hands of an FCS opponent. Nicholls State, ranked No. 17 in the preseason coaches poll, entered newly christened ...

KU football MVP Countdown: No. 5, Alex Fontana

When the Kansas football team lost its presumed starting center for 2018, Mesa Ribordy, during the offseason due to retirement, it didn’t take much reflection to realize how dire a situation the Jayhawks would face if they didn’t find a worthy replacement. All one needed to do was recall the two games KU played without Ribordy in 2017. When the center missed back-to-back road games due to injury, the ...