Another week of KU football brings another new feature to our coverage of the Jayhawks.
Introducing, “Moments that Popped,” a quick look back at some of the more memorable moments — good and bad — from the Jayhawks’ most recent outing.
We’ll keep the fun going throughout the season and mix in other sports, including men’s and women’s basketball, into our “Moments that Popped” feature.
Here’s a look at what stood out during the Jayhawks’ 31-24 win over Nevada on Saturday night, which moved KU to 3-0 on the season, giving Kansas back-to-back 3-0 starts for the first time since 1991 and 1992.
• First look at the road uniforms: A lot was made about last week’s Blackhawk uniforms, which, for my money, were by far the coolest black uniforms we’ve seen at Kansas. That came after KU opened the season in new but classic blue uniforms that looked clean and cool in the season-opening win over Missouri State. But Saturday marked the first chance to see what KU wants to bring to the table in terms of road uniforms and the Jayhawks looked sharp. Wearing traditional road whites, the Jayhawks went with the all-white look — white pants, white jerseys, white helmet. It looked a lot like the road version of KU’s home uniforms in the opener and it wouldn’t surprise me for a second if this becomes the predominant road look for the Jayhawks from here on out.
• 4th-Quarter Q: On back-to-back plays in the fourth quarter, with KU driving to go back in front, wideout Quentin Skinner made a couple of big time grabs on the sideline on passes from Jalon Daniels. The first was a timing route that Skinner grabbed with ease before getting knocked out of bounds. The second was even better, as Skinner climbed the ladder along the sideline and took a shot while getting both feet down and in bounds to move the chains. Three plays later, the Jayhawks reclaimed the lead on a tough run by Devin Neal.
• Deep shot early: With a 7-0 lead and fresh off of a defensive stop, the Jayhawks dialed up a deep ball on their first play of the second offensive series. It didn’t connect, but Jalon Daniels’ pass for Quentin Skinner and Skinner was tackled by the defender, giving Kansas a 15-yard gain despite not completing a pass. Saturday’s game featured Daniels and the KU offense taking a few more deep shots than they had shown in their first two games, and the early bomb turned out to be an indicator that the Jayhawks were interested in taking some shots.
• Tanaka Scott Jr.’s first grab: After not suiting up in the opener and not making a catch in Week 2, KU wideout Tanaka Scott Jr. came down with his first reception of the season during Saturday’s first half. There was a fair amount of buzz surrounding Scott as a potential breakout player during the offseason and preseason camp, but injuries slowed him down out of the gate. With him back in the mix, the Kansas offense now has yet another weapon that they can mix into the attack. Scott finished Saturday with just the one catch for eight yards.
• Early penalties: After the pass interference call that benefited the Jayhawks, KU immediately went backwards with a couple of big penalties, including a holding call on a long completion from Daniels to Lawrence Arnold that would’ve been enough for a first down. KU wound up punting on the drive and that was the start of Nevada climbing back into it. Penalties as a whole were an issue for the Jayhawks in this one. Early in the fourth quarter, defensive end Austin Booker, who missed the first half to sit out following last week’s targeting penalty, jumped offsides on third down, allowing the Wolfpack to keep the drive alive that tied the game at 24 with 10:37 to play in the fourth quarter.
• Jalon Daniels’ first-half decision making: You can’t blame the guy for wanting to make a play — or even every play — but KU’s QB was a little off in the first half on Saturday night. In addition to missing on a few balls he usually hits, Daniels over-scrambled a bit too much and nearly threw two interceptions as a result. On one of those, he also took a harder hit than he should’ve. It’s football and part of Daniels’ charm is that he’s capable of making those types of plays out of nothing. But that can also backfire at times, and, after a nice opening drive, the KU offense was pretty ineffective for the rest of the first half. Daniels was much better in the second half and his overall numbers for the game (21 for 27 for 298 yards) were both terrific and showed no ill effects of the handful of rough first-half moments.
• Bad bounce, bad break: With Nevada driving for a game-tying touchdown, running back Ashton Hayes broke free for a 35-yard gain and appeared to be on his way to the end zone. KU’s Kenny Logan Jr. had other ideas, though, knocking Hayes to the ground and knocking the ball loose in the process. At the time, with a few KU defenders in the area, it looked as if the forced fumble saved a touchdown. But a Nevada player fell on the ball at the 1-yard line and the Wolfpack tied the game at 24 three plays later.
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