Coming off shocking upset, Kansas visits banged-up TCU
The stunning upset Kansas pulled off at Texas led to a difficult decision on the status of a key performer.
The Jayhawks (2-8, 1-6 Big 12) will now retain Jalon Daniels for the remainder of the season and not redshirt the player who engineered the overtime win that snapped a 56-game Big 12 road losing streak and an 18-game losing streak overall in conference play.
Daniels, who has played four games after being summoned because of injuries, will be in the lineup Saturday when Kansas faces TCU (4-6, 2-5) at Fort Worth, Texas. That will put him over the redshirt limit of games played.
“He sees the momentum of what this team is doing, what it’s done for our locker room,” first-year Kansas coach Lance Leipold said. “He’s all in to help us build the program, and he wants to play.”
Devin Neal impressed Leipold enough for him not to press a freshman redshirt and instead play the prize recruit in the Jayhawks’ 2021 class. Neal recorded 143 yards rushing and three touchdowns in the Texas win. Kwamie Lassiter had eight catches as Kansas enjoyed a rare day where skill players performed consistently well across the board.
Can the Jayhawks play at that level against TCU? Perhaps.
The Horned Frogs could not build on an upset over Baylor on Nov. 6 and will be coming off a humiliating 46-point loss at Oklahoma State, allowing 682 total yards in their worst defeat since 1993.
Defending the pass has been a significant challenge for TCU, which allows a league-worst 9.5 yards per attempt. Offensively, TCU scored its only touchdowns in the final quarter of the Oklahoma State blowout and converted just 2 of 13 third downs.
The Frogs hope Chandler Morris regains the form he showed in his first start, when he totaled 531 yards against Baylor. Morris should play against Kansas, but not at 100 percent, said interim coach Jerry Kill, who provided a grim injury report. Max Duggan, TCU’s regular quarterback, could be available too, but is dealing with a broken foot.
Elsewhere on offense, Kill said “we don’t have a running back that is healthy,” noting ailments bothering Zach Evans, Kendre Miller and Emari Demercado. A converted defender, Ahmonte Watkins, could get carries.
“We’re decimated by injuries,” said Kill, a Kansas native. “I mean, there’s no excuses. I’ve never had (an excuse) in my life, so you’ve got to find a way to get it done. But I’ve never seen anything like it and it continues to get worse.”
–Field Level Media