Lawrence, Kan. • Jalon Daniels had BYU on the ropes. With his offense gashing BYU on the ground and the Jayhawks’ defense making the Cougars one dimensional, all Daniels had to do was author one more scoring drive to put the game away.
Inside the red zone with 14 minutes left in the game, Daniels proceeded to find his matchup and pick the Cougars apart one last time. He saw his receiver, Luke Grimm, matched up with Eddie Heckard.
Heckard got caught up on the route, and Daniels softly lofted a ball into Grimm’s hands for a touchdown. It gave KU a 35-20 lead, all but spoiling BYU’s Big 12 debut.
Kansas would go on to win 38-27.
Daniels finished with a modest 130 yards passing. But he didn’t need to do much as his offense rushed for 222 yards and the defense did the rest.
The Jayhawks got 14 of their points from the defensive side of the ball.
On the opening drive of the second half, BYU quarterback Kedon Slovis threw a pick-six on a ball intended for tight end Isaac Rex. The ball was tipped twice and landed in Kenny Logan Jr.’s hands, leading to a 30-yard return for a score.
Earlier in the game too, the Jayhawks forced a fumble by wide receiver Parker Kingston and returned it for a touchdown. Kingston never returned after the hit.
Still, BYU hung in for the first half as it tried to overcome the errors. Slovis looked crisp at first, going 19-of-27 for 172 yards and two touchdowns in the first half.
It was accented by touchdowns to wide receiver Darius Lassiter and LJ Martin on long, 10-play drives.
BYU drove down in the final seconds of the half to kick a field goal and take a 17-14 lead going into the intermission.
But as the day wore on, Slovis could only do so much. The duo of running backs — Martin and Deion Smith — finished with 15 carries for 38 yards.
The offensive line also lost two key contributors in Kingsley Suamataia and Weylin Lapuaho. It resulted in Slovis getting sacked three times for 26 yards.
When it wasn’t the line, BYU also had several procedural issues. It had to call a timeout several times because it couldn’t get lined up in time. The offense had an illegal touching penalty that was called back.
Meanwhile, Kansas’ offense in the second half adjusted to start gaining on the Cougars. Running back Devin Neal had 91 yards. Daniels added 54 yards on the ground.
Slovis finished 30-of-51 for 357 yards and two touchdowns. Rex led the Cougars in receiving with 91 yards on eight receptions and 11 targets.