Kansas freshman Pooka Williams logged his second 100-yard rushing performance in as many starts and the Jayhawks capitalized on six takeaways Saturday in a 55-14 rout of Rutgers in Lawrence.
The victory was the second straight for the Jayhawks (2-1), their first back-to-back wins since 2011. It was their first nonconference victory against a Power Five opponent since 2010.
Williams gained 158 yards on 18 carries a week after debuting with 125 yards at Central Michigan, where Kansas snapped a 12-game losing streak. Williams sailed 52 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Kansas totaled 544 yards using four quarterbacks, but established superiority with its defense.
The Jayhawks, who came in tied for first nationally with a plus-six turnover margin on the season, swiped four takeaways in the first 16 minutes, including two pick-six returns, and led 31-14 at halftime.
To begin the second half, Kansas registered a three-and-out before an interception from freshman cornerback Corione Harris and a fumble recovery from senior linebacker Joe Dineen. The turnovers gave the Jayhawks short fields they converted into scoring drives for a 41-14 lead with 3:38 left.
Junior linebacker Bryce Torneden sailed 39 yards with an interception for the Jayhawks’ first touchdown.
Junior safety Mike Lee added a 31-yard score off a pick two plays into the second quarter. Kansas also recovered two first-half fumbles and got a 59-yard touchdown burst from reserve running back Khalil Herbert.
Freshman quarterback Art Sitkowski, who injured his throwing shoulder in Rutgers’ 52-3 loss to Ohio State a week earlier, was benched after completing 7 of 19 passes for 47 yards, with three interceptions.
He did engineer an 86-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter, though Rutgers (1-2) managed just 274 total yards. The Scarlet Knights returned a blocked field goal for their first TD as linebacker Deonte Roberts converted his deflection into a 64-yard score.
Sophomore running back Raheem Blackshear gained 102 yards on 19 carries for the Scarlet Knights.
—Field Level Media