A quick survey of the 2024 KU football schedule, Part 2
photo by: Nick Krug
Following an Oct. 12 open date — one of two bye weeks the Kansas football team has this season in the span of a month — the Jayhawks’ schedule really kicks into gear.
October features battles with a new-look Houston and rival Kansas State before the Jayhawks welcome Iowa State and Colorado to Arrowhead Stadium in November in what should be intense NFL-caliber atmospheres. They also travel to face BYU for the first time along the way before ending the season against Baylor in Waco.
Here’s more on the second half of the KU football schedule.
photo by: AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack
Houston (Oct. 19, GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri)
Last year’s record: 4-8, 2-7 Big 12 Conference
Last meeting: Sept. 17, 2022. Jalon Daniels accounted for 288 yards from scrimmage and five total touchdowns, KU scored 28 unanswered in the first half and the Jayhawks cruised to a 48-30 victory in Houston.
One guy you should know: Another standout freshman running back from last year’s Big 12 campaign, Parker Jenkins stayed with the Cougars in the offseason after running for 463 yards and three touchdowns in his first collegiate season. He had 20 carries for 105 yards and all three of those scores in his first career start against Sam Houston on Sept. 23.
What’s new: Dana Holgorsen is out after five seasons, and Kansas native and former longtime Tulane head coach Willie Fritz will attempt to get UH up to speed in the Big 12 after its lackluster debut season.
photo by: AP Photo/John Raoux
Kansas State (Oct. 26, Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan, Kansas)
Last year’s record: 9-4, 6-3 Big 12, won Pop-Tarts Bowl
Last meeting: Nov. 18, 2023. With true freshman and former walk-on Cole Ballard starting at quarterback for the first time, KU led 27-16 early in the third quarter but missed multiple opportunities to extend its advantage and got shut out for the final 28:28 of game time, as K-State won 31-27 and continued its 15-game winning streak in the Sunflower Showdown.
One guy you should know: Will Howard is gone to Ohio State, meaning that the highly touted Maize native Avery Johnson will be the undisputed starting quarterback as a true sophomore. Johnson threw for five touchdowns and ran for seven more in periodic action in 2023.
What’s new: KSU picked up a high-level offensive lineman in the transfer portal in Easton Kilty, formerly of North Dakota, as it looks to replace some of the departing talent from its vaunted 2023 unit.
photo by: AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
Iowa State (Nov. 9, GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Mo.)
Last year’s record: 7-6, 6-3 Big 12, lost Liberty Bowl
Last meeting: Nov. 4, 2023. Jason Bean found Lawrence Arnold for an 80-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter to silence the Jack Trice Stadium crowd and help KU hang on for a 28-21 win.
One guy you should know: Quarterback Rocco Becht got thrust into the starting role shortly before the year and acquitted himself quite nicely by throwing for 3,120 yards and 23 touchdowns to just nine interceptions.
What’s new: Becht will have a new target next year in Army transfer Isaiah Alston, whom KU had offered in the portal. The former cadet followed through on transferring after considering it earlier in his tenure, and brings 1,031 career receiving yards from the run-heavy service academy to the Cyclones.
photo by: AP Photo/Mitch Alcala
BYU (Nov. 16, LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo, Utah)
Last year’s record: 5-7, 2-7 Big 12
Last meeting: Sept. 23, 2023. In the Cougars’ first-ever Big 12 game, they traded blows with the Jayhawks in the first half, but a Kenny Logan Jr. defensive touchdown soon after the break turned the tide and KU rolled to a 38-27 win.
One guy you should know: Defensive end Tyler Batty, one of the league’s top players at his position, is coming back for his final season of eligibility. In 2023, he got to the quarterback for 5.5 sacks, forced a pair of fumbles and racked up 57 tackles in all.
What’s new: The Cougars are trying again with another transfer quarterback (after Kedon Slovis), as they have acquired the services of Gerry Bohanon. Bohanon, who once shone under now-KU offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes at Baylor in 2021, also played at South Florida and will now take his talents to Provo for a seventh year of college football.
photo by: AP Photo/Rob Gray
Colorado (Nov. 23, GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Mo.)
Last year’s record: 4-8, 1-8 Pac-12 Conference
Last meeting: Nov. 6, 2010. The Jayhawks trailed 45-17 early in the fourth quarter before an offensive explosion led by Quinn Mecham and James Sims, aided by a Tyler Patmon fumble-return touchdown, fueled a massive late comeback, culminating in Sims’ game-winner with 52 seconds left. KU won 52-45 and then Colorado left for the Pac-12 the next year.
One guy you should know: How about Travis Hunter? The former top-ranked recruit in the class of 2022, who has played for Deion Sanders at both Jackson State and Colorado, is a rare two-way threat in modern college football and excels on both sides of the ball. Against TCU in his Buffaloes debut, Hunter had 11 catches for 119 yards on offense and an interception on defense, while playing a combined 138 snaps.
What’s new: The knock on CU all throughout its intensely scrutinized 2023 campaign was its lack of an offensive line, so of course Sanders went out and signed five-star tackle Jordan Seaton, the consensus top player at his position in the class of 2024.
photo by: AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack
Baylor (Nov. 30, McLane Stadium, Waco, Texas)
Last year’s record: 3-9, 2-7 Big 12
Last meeting: Oct. 22, 2022. KU scored 20 straight after falling behind 28-3 by halftime, but Richard Reese ran for 37 yards on a third-and-2 when the Jayhawks needed a stop and then scored two plays later to ice the 35-23 victory for Baylor.
One guy you should know: The running back Reese had a decorated rookie season in 2022 that got him named Big 12 offensive freshman of the year — he ran for 972 yards and 14 touchdowns on 198 carries — but saw his touches and overall productivity reduced by about two-thirds in 2023. Head coach Dave Aranda got rid of Grimes and brought in a new offensive staff led by former Cal offensive coordinator Jake Spavital, who worked wonders with Jaydn Ott in Berkeley, and Baylor will hope Reese can return to prominence in his junior season.
What’s new: The Bears saw pretty substantial turnover in the transfer portal. Quarterback Blake Shapen left for Mississippi State and was replaced by Toledo transfer DeQuan Finn, adding another dual-threat to the mix in the Big 12. Finn was the Mid-American Conference’s most valuable player in 2023, as he threw for 2,657 yards and ran for 563 more with 29 total touchdowns.