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Dawg Review: UCF Knights at Kansas Jayhawks



The Kansas Jayhawks welcomed yet another conference newcomer in the UCF Knights in what was supposed to be an offensive shootout for the ages. For one side, it was one of the best offensive performances they have had in years. For the other, things certainly could have gone better, and that's putting it lightly. The Jayhawks would flex their strengths, while the Knights got the brunt of the beast that looked like they were avenging a bad loss from last week. In fact, they were, so let's analyze and review.


Game Summary

It started out slow, the Jayhawks would be up just 3-0 at the end of the 1st quarter. No one expected this game to start out like this, and many were worried we weren't going to get the cornucopia of points and big plays we were promised. Then, as the old Kansas broadcaster Bob Davis used to say, the Hawks started cooking. The Jayhawks would score 21 unanswered in the 2nd quarter and never looked back, putting up 51 points in total and allowing just 22 points in what can be considered mostly garbage time. The main catalyst to this scoring? The rushing attack. The Jayhawks would finish with a whopping 399 yards rushing through 3 players, along with 5 rushing touchdowns. Top that with 91 yards and 1 touchdown in the passing game, and one team, the Jayhawks, would showcase their offense miraculously. The beast that is the Kansas running backs room showed why they're considered one of the best in the nation, Jason Bean looked like he regained his confidence, special teams showcased how much they've improved since last year, and Kansas got the statement win. The final score would be Kansas 51-UCF 22.


Turning Point of the Game

Kansas was up 17-0 with 3:26 left in the 2nd. While Kansas looked fully capable of just coasting through the rest of this game and getting the win, this play would end up being the true backbreaker to the Knights. UCF would have to punt the ball away after 6 plays and what looked to be a promising drive to potentially get back in the game. It started out looking like your standard punt return, the ball made it into returner Trevor Wilson's hands around the 18-yard line and he shifted to the right hash looking for a hole. Then, he hit the cutback lane and showed what speed can do. Wilson would dash through the gap that opened up and scored the 82-yard return touchdown, scoring Kansas's first special teams touchdown this year and putting a stake in the heart of the Knights.


Kansas Jayhawks Player of the Game: Daniel Hishaw Jr.

This was a toss-up between the two running backs that had the lion's share of carries for the Jayhawks, Devin Neal and Daniel Hishaw Jr. Daniel Hishaw was chosen because he looked like a man amongst boys, running for 134 yards and averaging 7.1 yards per carry along with 2 touchdowns. He ran with a physical determination not seen in many running backs of his size and ability, and once getting into the open field, showed great boosts of speed. Kansas gave him the ball 19 times for a reason, he was the hot hand and was literally running over guys throughout the game. It showed that he was the most dominant player in this game, this award is well-deserved.


UCF Player of the Game: Timmy McClain

After his defense was shellshocked by a relentless Kansas offensive attack and he was thrown into the fire post-John Rhys Plumlee reaggravating his injury, Timmy McClain looked more than serviceable as a backup quarterback, throwing for 12/15, 136 yards, and 2 touchdowns. McClain had to step in for John Rhys Plumlee early in the 2nd quarter, and while his team didn't find much success overall, he was one of the lone bright spots and kept this team fighting to the very end. McClain showed impressive attributes throughout and didn't get flustered even with a strong Jayhawk front seven breathing down his neck every other play. He gained a lot of respect doing that in that situation as a backup, so he earned UCF's MVP honors.


Conclusion

The Jayhawks came out after that bad Texas loss angry and looking to make a statement and a statement they made with a big win over a team that certainly is no pushover in the Knights. They will go to Stillwater to face the Oklahoma State Cowboys next week, and if they can get another convincing win there, don't count them out just yet for the Big 12 Championship talks. UCF will have to recover from two back-to-back bad losses, a feat a lot of teams cannot accomplish. Through the leadership of Gus Malzahn though, a coach that is used to being a part of winning programs, they certainly have the right person for the job of righting the ship. Unfortunately, however, their next contest comes against the current conference frontrunner the #11 Oklahoma Sooners. Perhaps they'll need to wait until the week after for that confidence-boosting win...stranger things have happened though in the world of college football.



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