Game two of the Les Miles era didn’t quite go as planned.
Kansas lost to Coastal Carolina on Saturday night 7-12 in a game they were favored to win.
The point spread even started in the double digits, though closer to game time it eventually shrunk to single digits.
But this seems to be a common theme within the program, regardless who’s coaching.
Kansas comes in heavily favored against an inferior opponent only to piss it away on poor play calling and way too many mental mistakes.
Which begs the question; is there a curse on Kansas football?
Once again the game started off strong for Kansas as they methodically marched down the field on the opening drive to score an early touchdown.
It looked easy and smooth for an offense that struggled against FCS foe Indiana State.
But, they wouldn’t score another point after that.
The offensive line looked over-matched in the run game and the pass game. Either they have no interest in blocking or they just aren’t capable. Either option is a huge concern.
Carter Stanley looked as frazzled and unprepared as he’s ever looked. He tried forcing his throws too often and in two instances got intercepted.
The run game had its positive moments but with the predictable play calling eventually lost its effectiveness.
And then there’s the poor game management that had Kansas fans everywhere looking for David Beaty on the sidelines.
It was 4th and 1 in the fourth quarter and Kansas was deep inside Coastal Carolina territory. The score was 7-12 and they desperately needed a touchdown to regain the lead.
Miles calls a timeout because he wants to draw up a play to gain the one yard.
As they line up to snap the ball after the timeout, Coastal Carolina doesn’t like how they’re lined up so they call a timeout to get a better defensive setup.
But again, as Kansas is heading up to the line to snap the ball, Miles calls another timeout. This one followed by a slew of “boo’s” from the fans.
The play call was a double reverse. And it failed, miserably.
The game wouldn’t go any better as Kansas wasn’t able to score again and failed to convert on another 4th down.
The answer: Yes, the program is cursed. There’s simply no other explanation.
Kansas now has a proven coach who has won 72% of the games he’s coached, most of them being at one of the most prestigious programs in the country. And he can’t find a way to score more than 7 points against an opponent that can’t even win the Sun Belt Conference.
These are the types of games Miles was hired to win. No way is he expected to win a handful of Big 12 games in his first year, if any. But the non-conference games, those are expected.
There’s a lot to blame here and it doesn’t stop at the OC.
Every player and staff member on the offensive side of the ball should hold accountability.
Never again should this offense put up less than 20 points in a game.
But how can this be fixed?
For starters, the offensive line should no longer be rotated.
The staff now has two games on film to find the best starting five to go the rest of the way.
Additionally, the play calling needs to be more creative.
This is a very underwhelming offense and by calling underwhelming and predictable plays, it’s only making it worse.
The OC has to get the ball in the hands of his play makers. There’s no reason Daylon Charlot shouldn’t have a target the entire game.
The offense also had way too many penalties, once again, and it seemed every step forward they took they would take two steps backwards. It goes without saying they can’t keep biting themselves in the foot.
And for goodness sake, MANAGE THE GAME!
There’s no excuses for the coaching staff to manage the game the way they did.
Kansas fans have seen enough of these silly mistakes by guys that make millions a year to win easy football games. At least easy on paper.
Their next venture? At Boston College Friday night at 6:30 pm
And for those wondering, the line has jumped from -18.5 to -21.5 in just a few hours.
My guess is it won’t stop there.
But, an upset isn’t impossible. Although it seems this is as close as it gets.