Notebook: Kansas’ Daniel Hishaw Jr. rumbles for touchdown; Jalon Daniels sacked
photo by: Charlie Riedel/Associated Press
Daniel Hishaw Jr. is certain he’s scored more dazzling touchdowns while in high school or in youth leagues.
But the redshirt sophomore running back’s 73-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter of Kansas’ 35-27 win over Duke on Saturday at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium ranks among his best while with the Jayhawks.
Hishaw caught a pass from junior quarterback Jalon Daniels in the left flat and turned upfield, gaining nearly 20 yards before making first contact with an opponent.
Four Duke players failed to take him down, and with help from redshirt sophomore running back Sevion Morrison and redshirt sophomore wide receiver Quentin Skinner, he rumbled all the way to the end zone to help put the Jayhawks up 14-7 with 12:35 left in the quarter.
“It’s just green grass and go,” Hishaw said. “Once you get the ball, if you see something open, go. If somebody is in front of you, try to get off them. If they tackle you, you should have never gotten tackled. That’s how I feel about it.”
It was Hishaw’s longest play from scrimmage while at Kansas and his first touchdown catch. In addition to the reception, he ran 10 times for 61 yards, second to Daniels’ team highs of 11 attempts for 85 yards.
Hishaw missed all of last season with a hip injury and appeared to be a forgotten commodity given the emergence of sophomore Devin Neal and the additions of redshirt sophomores Ky Thomas and Sevion Morrison via transfer.
But Neal missed a large portion of Saturday’s game after appearing to hurt his right shoulder, Thomas sat out altogether with an unspecified injury and Morrison has had limited opportunities in the backfield.
That left Hishaw to carry much of Kansas’ running game, which generated 204 yards against Duke. Neal had nine rushes for 54 yards, including one that was stopped at the goal line on fourth down and a fumble in the first quarter.
“Being able to see (Hishaw) finally be able to get back into his mojo 100% and just be able to make a lot of people miss, being able to run a lot of people over, it’s just exciting to be able to see him back at 100%,” Daniels said.
Daniels was sacked for the first time this season in the third quarter when Duke sophomore cornerback Joshua Pickett dropped him for a 4-yard loss on a blitz.
Kansas entered Saturday as one of only four FBS teams — a list that also included Oregon, TCU and Georgia Southern — to have not allowed a sack this season.
“It was a good call by them,” coach Lance Leipold said.
Targets in town
The Jayhawks hosted several recruiting targets for the game, including Mason Goldman, a high school senior offensive tackle from Gretna, Nebraska, and a pair of high school juniors in Topeka High’s BJ Canady and Blue Valley Northwest’s Trey Ridley, who are considered the top two high school players in the state in their class.
Also in attendance were Tony Terry Jr., a high school senior defensive end from Jackson, Missouri, who committed to the Jayhawks in June; Logan Brantley, a high school senior linebacker from Englewood, Colorado, who made his pledge in July, and Free State’s Calvin Clements, a senior offensive tackle who committed to Baylor over Kansas and Kansas State in June.
This and that
• After going 2-10 last season, Kansas is now 6-10 under Leipold, who improved to 152-49 as a head coach. The win also means the Jayhawks went unbeaten against nonconference foes in a season for the first time since 2009.
• The sellout crowd was the 16th at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium since 2000. Tickets to the previous game against Duke, a 44-16 win by Kansas in 2009, were also sold out.
• Sophomore safety OJ Burroughs replaced junior wide receiver Luke Grimm as the Jayhawks’ punt returner and had two returns, one for 16 yards and one for 4.
• Kansas did not have an interception, ending a streak with one in every game this season.
With the nonconference portion of its season over, Kansas will return to Big 12 competition with a home game against Iowa State (3-1) on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The Cyclones won 59-7 at home last season and have won every game in the series since 2014.