Quick recap: Kansas improves to 4-0 with win over BYU in Big 12 opener

photo by: Mike Gunnoe/Journal-World Photo

Kansas offensive lineman Ar’maj Reed-Adams lifts tight end Trevor Kardell up after scoring a touchdown Saturday against BYU on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023, at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.

The Kansas Jayhawks put last week’s underwhelming win behind them with a relatively-complete performance during a 38-27 victory over the BYU Cougars Saturday afternoon in David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. KU is now off to a 4-0 start for the second straight season, its first back-to-back opening 4-0 stretch since 1913-15.

After failing to capitalize on any of Nevada’s miscues last week, the Jayhawks netted two pivotal defensive touchdowns in the conference opener. Defensive touchdown No. 1 came on BYU’s first offensive drive in the Big 12, when cornerback Cobee Bryant delivered a devastating hit on Parker Kingston, leading to a scoop-and-score sequence.

The second defensive score occurred right as the second half got underway. Safety O.J. Burroughs whiffed on a pick-six opportunity on the first play of the third quarter, but safety Kenny Logan Jr. made up for it on the very next snap. His tip-drill interception led to a 30-yard touchdown return, giving KU a lead that it wouldn’t relinquish for the remainder of the game.

Bryant added to his and the defensive unit’s stellar day with another interception later in the third quarter. The Cougars were threatening to score, but Kedon Slovis underthrew a fourth-down deep shot to his left that ended up in Bryant’s hands. The Jayhawks disguised their coverage on that down, which led to the errant pass.

It wasn’t a flawless day for the Kansas defense by any means, but that shouldn’t be the expectation in Big 12 play. The Jayhawks forced two fumbles, recorded two interceptions and netted three sacks in front of a sold-out crowd in Lawrence.

KU’s offense struggled at times in the first half, but ultimately helped put the game away when the team needed it the most. Following Bryant’s second interception, the Jayhawks recorded a critical 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive that was capped off by a 5-yard touchdown laser from Jalon Daniels to Luke Grimm in the back of the endzone.

Daniels and Grimm hooked up again to begin the fourth quarter, with a 13-yard connection to give Kansas a 35-20 advantage.

Kansas will travel to Texas next weekend for a matchup against the Big 12 favorite. Kickoff is slated for 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

How they scored

First quarter

10:38 — Cobee Bryant 22-yard fumble return. Seth Keller PAT good. Kansas 7, BYU 0

5:48 — Darius Lassiter 7-yard pass from Kedon Slovis. Will Ferrin PAT good. 10 plays, 75 yards, 4:50 TOP. Kansas 7, BYU 7.

1:33 — Trevor Kardell 15-yard pass from Jalon Daniels. Keller PAT good. Eight plays, 86 yards, 4:10 TOP. Kansas 14, BYU 7.

Second quarter

11:00 — LJ Martin 10-yard pass from Slovis. Ferrin PAT good. 13 plays, 75 yards, 5:25 TOP. Kansas 14, BYU 14.

00:13 — Ferrin 33-yard field goal good. 12 plays, 68 yards, 4:07 TOP. BYU 17, Kansas 14.

Third quarter

14:38 — Kenny Logan 30-yard interception return. Keller PAT good. Kansas 21, BYU 17.

10:55 — Ferrin 34-yard field goal.

4:53 — Luke Grimm 5-yard pass from Daniels. Keller PAT good. 10 plays, 75 yards, 6:05 TOP. Kansas 28, BYU 20.

Fourth quarter

13:36 — Grimm 13-yard pass from Daniels. Keller PAT good. Seven plays, 64 yards, 3:38 TOP. Kansas 35, BYU 20.

8:02 — Keelan Marion 6-yard run. Ferrin PAT good. 13 plays, 75 yards, 5:34 TOP. Kansas 35, BYU 27.

1:33 — Keller 23-yard field goal good. 12 plays, 69 yards, 6:29 TOP. Kansas 38, BYU 27.


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