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With upset of Boston College, Les Miles becomes first Kansas first-year head coach to start 2-1 or better since 1997

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Kansas brought Les Miles to Lawrence to help change the trajectory of what’s been a historically abysmal football program. Thus far, the Mad Hatter’s addition is paying immediate dividends.

Entering Week 3 as a three-touchdown underdog, Kansas looked every bit the part early on as they trailed Boston College 17-7 at the end of the first quarter. Over the next three quarters of play, however, the Jayhawks looked every bit the part of the better team (!) as the visitors cruised to a 48-24 win.

The win, fueled in equal parts by 325 yards on the ground and three touchdowns through the air by starting quarterback Carter Stanley, marked Kansas’ first road win over a Power Five opponent since beating Iowa State in Ames way back in 2008. As we noted last night, it ended a stunning streak of 48 straight such losses.

Exiting Week 3, KU is now 2-1 on the season after they previously beat an FCS team by seven at home in the opener and lost to Coastal Carolina (FBS member since 2017) in Week 2 at home. That being said, Miles is the first Jayhawks head coach to get to 2-1 or better in his first season in Lawrence since Terry Allen went 3-0 back in 1997. Miles and Allen are also the only two to have hit that 2-1 mark or better since Bob Valesente (!) in 1986.

This is also the second straight year that the Jayhawks began a season 2-1 as they did the same in David Beaty‘s fourth and final season at KU in 2018. Thus, it’s the first time the football program has gone 2-1 in back-to-back seasons since 2013-14, which were Years 2 and 3 of the Charlie Weis era.

Moving ahead to Week 4, Kansas will play host to West Virginia in its Big 12 opener for the 2019 season. For those who need a refresher course: KU is 5-76 — 5-76 — in conference play since 2010, with those five wins coming against TCU (2018), Texas (2016) (I still giggle like a schoolgirl over that one), Iowa State (2014), West Virginia (2013) and Colorado (2010).

Kansas pummels Boston College for first Power 5 road win in 11 years

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Kansas snapped its FBS-record 46-game road losing streak with a 31-7 win at Central Michigan. That streak dated back almost a decade to the day to today, to a 34-7 triumph at UTEP on Sept. 12, 2009.

But both of those wins were Power 5-on-Group of 5 crime. As for KU’s last victory away from home against a Power 5 opponent, you’d have to go back to Dec. 31, 2008 and a 42-21 victory over Minnesota in the Insight Bowl. And to find the last Kansas win inside an opposing Power 5 team’s stadium, that would take you back to a 35-33 win at Iowa State on Oct. 4, 2008.

In all, Kansas had lost 48 straight road games to Power 5 opponents, and the streak stretched to 51 when including neutral site games.

That streak is now over, as Les Miles and company went to Chestnut Hill on Friday night and beat Boston College, 48-24.

A mere six days after the Jayhawks were held to 280 yards and seven points in a home loss to Coastal Carolina, Kansas simply ran wild on an overmatched BC defense. KU ran for a stunning 331 yards on 44 carries and threw for 238 more, racking up 567 yards of total offense on 7.9 yards per play.

The game began as nearly all Kansas games do. Boston College went for 75 yards and a touchdown to open the game, then intercepted KU’s Carter Stanley inside Jayhawk territory and turned that into a 10-0 lead not even four minutes into the game.

But then the Kansas (2-1) offense simply caught fire, igniting in a way it hasn’t since the salad days of Todd Reesing and Mark Mangino. Kansas scored on seven consecutive possessions, a streak of possessions that began at the 7:10 mark of the first quarter and finally ended with 35 seconds to play in the third, in the process turning that 10-0 deficit into a decisive 41-24 lead.

The streak began with a 19-yard pass from Stanley to Jack Luavasa, then continued with a 1-yard Hudson Hall run, tosses of four and three yards from Stanley to Andrew Parchment and a 12-yard Pooka Williams run with two Liam Jones field goals sprinkled in.

Over that 7-drive stretch, Kansas ran 55 plays for 503 yards (9.15 per snap), including four drives of at least 78 yards and three of more than 80.

Kansas completed its scoring with a 6-yard Khalil Herbert run one play after Boston College went for a 4th-and-8 from its own 6 trailing by 17 with 5:50 to play.

Herbert paved the way for KU, rushing for 187 yards and that touchdown on just 11 carries. Williams added 121 yards and a score on 22 carries, while Stanley completed 20-of-27 passes for 238 yards and three touchdowns against one interception. A week ago against Coastal Carolina, Stanley threw for 107 yards on 19 attempts with no touchdowns and two interceptions.

Kansas will now go into next week with an opportunity to build a winning streak against a suddenly-quite-beatable West Virginia in Lawrence, while Boston College (2-1) must now regroup to avoid the double-down of losing to Kansas and Rutgers in consecutive weeks.

Coastal Carolina picks up first-ever win over Power Five school at the expense of Les Miles, Kansas

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Just when you thought they may be heading out of the decades-long malaise, the reality of the state of the football program pulls you right back in — especially when Week 1 is factored in.

Up on Indiana State 16-3 in the fourth quarter of Les Miles‘ debut as Kansas’ head coach, the Jayhawks watched as the FCS school took a 17-16 lead before a touchdown with just over two minutes remaining secured a narrow 24-17 win.  A week later, there would be no late-game magic as Coastal Carolina, after KU took a 7-0 first-quarter lead, scored the last 12 points to exit Lawrence on the winning side of a 12-7 score.

Both of those games were played in Lawrence, incidentally.

This marks the first time Coastal Carolina, a program that played its first season of football in 2003 (at the FCS level) and has been an FBS member since 2017, has beaten a Power Five school.  Kansas, meanwhile, has fielded a football team in some form or fashion every season since 1890.

Had Kansas won, the Big 12 school would’ve won back-to-back games in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2008-2009.  Instead, Saturday was merely the continuance of one of the worst stretches ever for a member of a major football conference.

Since winning 25 games total from 2007-09, the Jayhawks have won a combined 19 games over the next nine-plus seasons.  Of those 19 wins, 12 came against schools from either the FCS (seven) or the Group of Five (five).  In those nine years, KU has won a grand total of five — FIVE — Big 12 games.

So, yes, Miles has his work cut out for him.  But, even given the historical ineptness he inherited, he absolutely has to beat the likes of Coastal Carolina.  Anything less is unacceptable.

Virginia and Kansas reportedly ink home-and-home for 2029-2030

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There was a time where Virginia and Kansas were both listed as some of the worst Power Five football programs. While that is still the case for the Jayhawks, Bronco Mendenhall has at least rescued the Cavaliers from those depths just as his program reportedly just inked a deal to play a home-and-home with their Big 12 counterpart deep into the future.

Per a contract obtained by FBSSchedules.com, the schools are set to play a series that kicks off in Charlottesville on Sept. 8, 2029. The return date in Lawrence is scheduled for Sept. 7, 2030.

This will be the second home-and-home the two programs have played and the third and fourth meetings ever between KU and UVA. The pair previously saw action in 1990 (a blowout victory for the Cavs on the road) and 1991 (a 31-19 win for Virginia at home).

The series marks the first non-conference date for Kansas in both seasons while it’s the second for the Cavaliers, pairing with a home-and-home with Liberty those two seasons.

While we can’t say what the future holds for both sides in terms of football, it’s nice to see Power Five opponents setting up home-and-homes even if this particular matchup would be better served for the basketball court given the history of the two schools in that sport.

Two Kansas players arrested in separate incidents the last week

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Basking in the glow of his first win as the head football coach at Kansas, Les Miles now has a pair of off-field situations with which to deal.

Two Kansas football players, fifth-year senior safety Shaq Richmond (pictured) and redshirt sophomore linebacker Tom Barrett, were arrested recently as a result of separate and unrelated incidents. According to the Kansas City Star, Barrett, who will turn 21 this week, was arrested early Sunday morning on suspicion of contributing to a child’s misconduct and displaying or possessing a fictitious ID. Richmond, meanwhile, was arrested Thursday night for failure to appear.

At this point, details of what led to either incident haven’t been released.

The football program told the Star that they are “currently in the process of gathering information” and “will handle the situation according to our internal policies.”

After redshirting as a true freshman in 2015, Richmond played in 15 games the past three seasons, including two in 2018. He started four games in 2017, the only starts of his collegiate career.

A walk-on, Barrett hasn’t played a down for the Jayhawks since coming to Lawrence in 2017.