Kansas Runs Past BC

Kansas Runs Past BC

By JD Biagioni 

Boston College’s defense couldn’t stop Khalil Herbert and Pooka Williams Jr., who combined for 308 yards on the ground, in Kansas’ 48-24 road victory Friday night. 

Herbert’s 187 rushing yards were his lost since going for 291 against West Virginia early in 2017 and marked only the third time in his career that he broke the 100-rushing yard mark. His night was highlighted by an 82-yard rush in the final minute of the second quarter. BC had just come off an 8-play, 72-yard drive that left just 45 seconds for the Jayhawks. On the first play from scrimmage following the kickoff, Herbert broke loose for the big run, finding a gap and shaking multiple defenders. Kansas would go on to score a touchdown to regain the lead and close the half ahead 28-24.

This quick drive came in the middle of a string of seven-consecutive scoring drives for Kansas, stretching from the mid-first quarter to the start of the fourth. Five of those seven, including four straight to close the first half, were touchdowns. 

Kansas quarterback Carter Stanley went 20-of-27 passing for 238 yards, just 9 yards off his career high set last season in a loss to Oklahoma State. Stanley’s efficient night had a chance to be even better too, as a handful of his incompletions came on plays where he simply overshot an open receiver. 

BC did manage to jump out to an early 10-0 lead. The offense took the opening kickoff and marched 75 yards down the field, capped off by a 2-yard touchdown rush for AJ Dillon. Under a minute later, the offense was back in business when Mehdi El Attrach intercepted Stanley’s pass to give Anthony Brown and co. great starting field position. That second BC drive would only last four plays, and would result in a 40-yard field goal for Aaron Boumerhi. 

From then on, Kansas began its run of seven-straight scoring drives. 

BC had a chance to turn the momentum back in their favor early in the third but couldn’t capitalize. Kansas began the half with the ball and marched down the field on a 12-play drive. In a goal-to-go situation, Stanley tried a screen pass to Stephon Robinson Jr., but Brandon Sebastian read it perfectly and deflected the pass. The ball bounced away and hit off of Joey Luchetti’s hands before falling to the ground. Instead of a potential interception for BC, the Jayhawks got a field goal. 

Anthony Brown threw for 195 yards on 18-of-36 passing in the loss.  He did contribute to the Eagles offensive highlight of the night, though not as a passer. On a 1st and 10 from the Kansas 12-yard line late in the first half, the Eagles ran a jet sweep to Kobay White, who reversed the ball back to CJ Lewis. While all this was going on, Brown rolled out to his right and Lewis found him in the end zone. For the second straight season, BC successfully executed the Philly Special. 

The junior quarterback, who’s really taken the next step towards becoming a leader in the locker room this season, took the loss, and his performance, to heart. 

“We won’t let this turn into two,” Brown said. “And you’ll see a complete 360. You won’t see this same team ever again.”

Head coach Steve Addazio echoed Brown’s statement.

“[We’re] going to get back to the drawing board here first thing in the morning and put the film on and we’re going to get better and take that [to Rugters] next week and play a much better football game,” Addazio said. 

Kansas entered the game 1-1, coming off a 12-7 loss to Coastal Carolina. Former LSU head coach Les Miles is in his first season at the helm in Lawrence. And he didn’t disappoint in his first chance against a Power Five foe, snapping an 11-year, 48-game road losing streak against such teams by beating BC.

Next up, BC hits the road for the first time this season to travel to New Jersey and face Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights, much like the Jayhawks, have recently been a team in the Power Five’s bottom tier. They are 1-1 after beating UMass and getting blanked by Iowa. While Friday night certainly dampened some of the national enthusiasm around BC football, Week 4 against Rutgers should be the perfect chance to get back on track before facing Wake Forest’s high-powered offense.