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The Kansas Jayhawks fell to 1-3 on the season following their loss against the Northern Illinois Huskies at Huskie Stadium. The team's road loss extended their road losing streak to 15 consecutive losses; a record that stretches back to a victory over UTEP in Sept. 2009. More importantly, the back-breaking loss proved the Jayhawks have a long way to go before they can turn the corner, writes ESPN Chicago's David Ubben, who warns it may be a long season for the Kansas faithful.
Despite having second half leads against the Huskies on Saturday and Rice Owls the week before, the Jayhawks were unable to close out victories in either game. In fact, the Jayhawks blew a double-digit lead in the second half at home against the Owls before their road woes continued this past Saturday against the Huskies.
Kansas will now prepare to take on their rivals and the No. 7 ranked team in the nation, the Kansas State Wildcats, and the schedule doesn't get much easier the rest of the way.
The Kansas Jayhawks held a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter over host Northern Illinois on Saturday, only to see the Huskies score 17 unanswered points and claim a 30-23 victory.
The folks over at SB Nation's Kansas blog Rock Chalk Talk seem resigned to this being another long season for the Jayhawks on the gridiron:
Even though we were underdogs, and expecting a road win out of this group is probably unreasonable, this win felt very attainable after Patmon's touchdown put us up 23-13 in the 4th. Seemingly on cue, we were called for holding on an extra point, missed the retry, and gave up a 65-yard touchdown pass. I suppose I'm being a bit hard on the team right now, but this had the feel of last year's games against Texas Tech, Baylor and Iowa State, where we had every reason to feel hopeful but we just inevitably found ways to lose. It's time to accept that this year's team isn't that much different from last year's, and hope for improvement. As of right now, it doesn't look like better results on the scoreboard are coming any time soon.
Kansas has a week off before traveling to take on in-state rival Kansas State on Oct. 6. The Wildcats are coming off an upset of Oklahoma on Saturday in Norman.
For more on the Jayhawks, be sure to check out Rock Chalk Talk and stick with SB Nation Kansas City. For on Northern Illinois, visit Hustle Belt. Check out SB Nation's NCAA hubfor more on college football.
The Northern Illinois Huskies, down 10 to the Kansas Jayhawks early in the fourth quarter, mounted a comeback of 17 unanswered points to prevail 30-23. The Huskies were led by quarterback Jordan Lynch's 369 all-purpose yards and two passing touchdowns.
Kansas struggled to get their passing attack going, with quarterback Dayne Crist completing only 10 of 26 pass attempts for 147 yards. The Jayhawks' ground game stepped up, with running back James Sims gaining 91 yards on 18 rushes, including two touchdowns.
Following a Leighton Settle touchdown run to put Northern Illinois up 7 with 4:33 remaining, Kansas had one last shot to take the game to overtime. However, Northern Illinois' defense held, with the Jayhawks turning the ball over on downs. The Huskies were then able to run out the clock and secure the win.
Box Score Hero:
Northern Illinois was up at halftime after erasing Kansas' second-quarter lead with a 10-play, 77-yard touchdown drive that ended with Akeem Daniels taking it in from 3 yards out. The third quarter was the first for the Huskies without a touchdown, so the Jayhawks' defense is holding up better after the break so far.
Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist has only completed 47 percent of his passes, but the Jayhawks have managed a balanced offensive attack with 158 rushing yards to go with 141 passing yards.
For more on the Jayhawks, be sure to check out Rock Chalk Talk and stick with SB Nation Kansas City. For on Northern Illinois, visit Hustle Belt. Check out SB Nation's NCAA hub for more on college football.
The Jayhawks quickly answered the Huskies' late first-quarter touchdown with a four-play, 86-yard drive to put up a touchdown of their own on a 26-yard run by James Sims.
The Jayhawks held on to the lead until the last two minutes of the half before the Huskies answered with a 3-yard touchdown run by Akeem Daniels that made it 13-10 Huskies.
It's been a turnover-free game as both offenses found a rhythm in the second quarter. Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist (108 yards passing) has leaned on his running game (96 total yards rushing) to provide balance. Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch has provided his own rushing and passing attack, as he has amassed 81 yards passing and 80 yards rushing.
The Jayhawks held a 3-0 lead on a Ron Doherty 26-yard field goal at the 6:44 mark of the first quarter and it looked like they would go into the second quarter with the lead. But Northern Illinois answered with a 4-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Lynch to Tommylee Lewis with 2:02 remaining in the first to give the Huskies the lead.
Mathew Sims missed the extra point, leaving it at 6-3.
Lynch finished the first quarter 7-of-8 for 38 yards and a touchdown while Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist went 3-of-5 for 42 yards.
The Jayhawks are in search of their first road win and an end to their current two-game losing streak
The Kansas Jayhawks head to DeKalb, Ill. looking for their first road win against a Northern Illinois Husky team they're very familiar with. This is the second of a home and home series between the 1-2 Jayhawks and Huskies. Kansas won last year's tilt in Lawrence 45-42 on a D.J. Beshears touchdown with 14 seconds left in the game. A win would be Weiss' first road victory in nearly three years, when Notre Dame beat Purdue in West Lafayette in September of 2009.
This year's Jayhawks' squad features a much improved defense so far. The Kansas D is tied for first in the nation with 12 turnovers forced. The 2-1 Huskies will present certain challenges for Charlie Weiss' offense. The Huskies are ranked seventh in the nation in defending the pass, but rank near the very bottom in rush defense, where they're allowing 229 yards a game so far. Weiss' offense features two running backs, Tony Pierson and Taylor Cox, who both rank in the Big 12 top 10 in rushing.
Game Time: 2:30 p.m. CT
TV: ESPN 3, WatchESPN.com
Radio: Jayhawk Radio Network
The Kansas Jayhawks visit DeKalb, Ill. on Saturday to play the Northern Illinois Huskies of the Mid-American Conference. The Jayhawks need a win to even their record at .500, after losing their Big 12 opener to TCU 20-6.
Kansas scraped by Northern Illinois in Lawrence last season, beating the Huskies 45-42 on a last minute D.J. Beshears touchdown catch. A win Saturday would be the first road victory for first-year Kansas head coach Charlie Weis. The Jayhawks expect to have James Sims back from a three-game suspension, a boon to the offense after a lackluster showing against the Horned Frogs last week; Sims led the team in rushing in 2011, going for 727 yards and nine scores.
Northern Illinois has defeated Tennessee-Martin and Army and lost to Iowa so far in 2012. Dual-threat quarterback Jordan Lynch has 304 yards rushing and 610 yards through the air in three games: he has thrown for five touchdowns and ran for five more.
Game Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN 3, WatchESPN.com
Radio: Jayhawk Radio Network
Odds: Northern Illinois is a nine to 10 point favorite on most books. The over-under is at 52.5 to 53.
Following James Sims' three-game suspension, the Kansas Jayhawks will be getting back a top offensive threat when they face off against Northern Illinois. The star running back was arrested over the off season for a DUI and was forced out of the start of the season for Kansas.
He’s seen those other two guys play pretty well, and he knows, for him to get snaps, he’s gonna have to earn ’em. A lot of times, when a player leaves, it’s, "Well, they need me, they need me." Well, he’s sitting in the stands those games watching those guys run the ball pretty well then he’s starting to question, "I wonder if they need me."
In 2011, the junior running back put together 727 yards on the ground and nine touchdowns as the featured back for the Jayhawks.
In addition to looking like a much better football team than in years past under Charlie Weis, the 2012 Kansas Jayhawks football team is looking like one of the best academic groups that the football program has ever boasted. Their numbers in the classroom are record-setting for the program, with high marks all around. It's been a solid year academically for the entire athletic department, but the football team's 3.0 GPA was one of the best:
The University of Kansas football team set a team record for the 2012 spring semester with a 3.0 grade-point average, and the department's overall GPA of 2.99 was its fourth-highest in history. The football program's previous high mark was a 2.75 in the spring of 2010.
Kansas will take on Northern Illinois on Saturday as the Jayhawks look to win their second game of the season against an upstart 2-1 NIU squad.
The Kansas Jayhawks travel to Northern Illinois on Saturday.