It might’ve been a loss, and it was no doubt disheartening, but there were still a handful of Kansas Jayhawks who deserved to be honored for their efforts after Saturday’s 40-14 road loss to Texas.
You’ve seen the tomahawks on the back of the Florida State helmets, the buckeye tree leaves on the Ohio State helmets and the paw prints on the back of the Clemson helmets.
These are your weekly Wheaties.
Each Monday, after every KU football game, we’ll take one last look back at the game that was and hand out different amounts of the classic and iconic breakfast cereal to the Jayhawks’ top performers.
So, be sure to come get your Monday morning Wheaties and feel free to hit up the comments section — subscribers only for now — with any players you feel we might’ve missed.
Picture on the box
• Junior safety O.J. Burroughs – On a day when the Kansas defense missed a ton of tackles and struggled to get power and pop from its linebackers, Burroughs was an absolute monster from his spot in the secondary. He led KU with 13 tackles — 9 solo — and added a tackle for a loss. It wasn’t just the numbers that mattered. It was also the way he got them. Burroughs laid some pretty solid hits, especially while supporting the run. It didn’t do a ton to limit UT’s point total or yardage numbers, but without it, both would’ve been much, much higher.
A full bowl
• Sophomore running back Daniel Hishaw Jr. – Yes, he was Johnny on the Spot on the touchdown he scored, scooping up a Jason Bean fumble and finishing the run in the end zone. But he also ran hard on plays which were designed to give him the ball — to the tune of 44 yards on 8 carries and 5.5 yards per carry — and was a man child in pass blocking. Hishaw was involved in the fourth-down gaffe that signaled the beginning of the end for the Jayhawks. But that fumble was credited to Bean and looked a lot like a mistake made by the KU quarterback.
• Sophomore D-Lineman Austin Booker — Booker’s numbers are half of the story (7 tackles, half a sack and 1.5 tackles for loss) and the way he stands out tells the rest. Even on the plays where he doesn’t make the tackle, Booker flashes with his physicality, athleticism and effort. He’s had a great start to his KU career and has been a huge part of this team’s success up front thus far.
• Junior linebacker Cornell Wheeler – Wheeler’s second straight strong outing featured one of the game’s biggest plays. His interception in the final minutes of the first half, kept Texas from adding to its lead and sent the Jayhawks to the locker room down by just six, 13-7. Considering the way the game started, with KU falling into a 10-0 hole without starting QB Jalon Daniels, being down by just six at the break was pretty massive. Equally as big is the fact that Wheeler, who had a terrific preseason camp, is now starting to make the types of plays we heard he was capable of making on a regular basis when he transferred to KU from Michigan. Wheeler added five tackles to his interception and looked comfortable matching the game's physicality most of the afternoon.
• Junior wide receiver Trevor Wilson – There was nothing tricky about Wilson’s route on the 58-yard touchdown. It was just a guy doing what he’s asked to do and doing it very well. Wilson blew the top off of the route, getting nearly 10 yards of separation on the Texas safety by running right past him without so much as a thought of hesitation. On a day when KU’s receivers struggled to get involved in the passing game, this was a huge play and it helped make up for Wilson’s drop on third down earlier in the game.
Drink the milk
• Junior defensive lineman Jereme Robinson – Robinson had just three tackles in this one, but one was a sack and he also had a pass break-up and QB hurry. He now leads the team in sacks (4.5) and QB hurries (3) and did nothing against the Longhorns to make you think a regression is coming after his strong start to the 2023 season.
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