Peyton Bender is doing things that have never been done at Kansas, unfortunately the result has been the same heading into Saturday’s game at Ohio. The junior quarterback attempted a school record 62 passes last week as the Jayhawks fell behind early in a loss to Eastern Michigan and he may be in line for more of the same if this game with the Bobcats is anything like last season.
The Jayhawks and coach David Beaty were hoping to be 2-0 heading into this game, but instead there is a chance of being 1-2 going into the Big 12 opener against West Virginia. “You don’t live on perception, you live on reality,” Beaty, who is 3-23 with two wins over FCS schools, told the media. “We’re just not there yet and we’ve got a long way to go.” The Jayhawks’ pass defense was the main culprit in the loss to the Chippewas as it surrendered 467 yards and five touchdowns. If there is a silver lining it is that the Bobcats are more of a running team, having churned out 421 yards and nine touchdowns in two games.
TV: Noon ET, ESPNU. LINE: Ohio -7.5
ABOUT KANSAS (1-1): Senior tight end Ben Johnson has been one of the main beneficiaries of the Jayhawks’ pass-heavy offense, catching 10 balls for 147 yards and one touchdown. At his current rate, Johnson will set the school mark for receiving yards in a season for a tight end, a record held by Jimmay Mundine, who had 564 yards in 2014. Steven Sims, Jr., who played one series and was held without a catch last week for the first time in 24 games, and Jeremiah Booker also have more than 100 yards receiving from Bender, whose 687 passing yards in two games are the most since Todd Reesing had 754 yards in 2009.
ABOUT OHIO (1-1): The Bobcats, who opened to a 25-0 lead en route to a 37-21 victory last season at Kansas, do not rely on one player to run the ball. A.J. Ouellette leads the group with 101 yards, but quarterback Nathan Rourke has rushed for 86 yards and three touchdowns and Julian Ross has also scored three times while amassing 82 yards. Ohio has only two touchdowns through the air with Rourke and backup Quinton Maxwell tossing one apiece.
1. Kansas has lost 39 straight true road games since beating UTEP in 2009.
2. Jayhawks junior LB Joe Dineen, Jr. leads the Big 12 in tackles with 27 and is tied with Kansas DT Daniel Wise atop the conference with five tackles for loss.
3. The 62 pass attempts by Bender surpassed the record of 58 set by David Jaynes in 1973.
PREDICTION: Ohio 37, Kansas 27