LAWRENCE — Kansas football’s 2022 regular season continued Saturday at home against Duke.
The Jayhawks came in after opening the season with wins against Tennessee Tech, West Virginia and Houston. That had head coach Lance Leipold’s squad at 3-0 with a 1-0 mark in Big 12 Conference play. And it went up against a Blue Devils program that was also 3-0 with wins against Temple, Northwestern and North Carolina A&T.
Did junior quarterback Jalon Daniels continue to star for Kansas as he has all season long? Did senior safety Kenny Logan Jr. and more on the defensive side of the ball make the key plays that helped deliver the win last week against Houston? Did the Jayhawks avoid the slow starts that they have had to overcome the past two games?
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Here’s what’s happening at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium:
FINAL: Kansas 35, Duke 27
Duke drove down the field late in the fourth quarter, trailing by eight points. The Blue Devils were threatening to take this game into overtime. But Kansas got a stop on fourth down on its own side of the 50 yard line and then ran out the clock for the win.
Duke is making it interesting
Duke put together another scoring drive, and after the touchdown and ensuing extra point it’s a 35-27 lead for Kansas with 2:40 left in the fourth quarter. Riley Leonard found Jalon Calhoun on a 27-yard strike in the end zone. The drive lasted seven plays and went 70 yards in 1:57.
Kansas makes it a two-score game again late
That touchdown drive might do it, as now Kansas leads 35-20 with 4:42 left in the fourth quarter. It’s hard to see Duke scoring twice in that time, with a stop defensively, the way this game has gone. And it feels as if Jayhawks fans in the stadium have recognized that.
What happened, was Jalon Daniels capped off the drive with a three-yard rushing touchdown and Kansas hit the ensuing extra point. The drive went 75 yards in eight plays. It took 4:12 off of the clock.
Duke finds the end zone
The Blue Devils cut into the Jayhawks’ lead with a three-yard touchdown run from Jordan Waters. After the extra point, Kansas’ lead is at 28-20 with 8:54 left in the fourth quarter. Duke’s drive went 92 yards in 10 plays and took 4:40 off of the clock.
Kansas now has the opportunity to take some serious time off of the clock, and potentially extend its lead again. One might look for the Jayhawks to rely on running back Daniel Hishaw Jr. here, as he’s had arguably the best day so far among those in that position group. But Jalon Daniels is throwing the ball really well, so it wouldn’t be a surprise for them to stick with what’s working either.
END 3Q: Kansas 28, Duke 13
Kansas extends its lead
The Jayhawks are up 28-13 now with 8:25 left in the third quarter, after a 36-yard touchdown pass from Jalon Daniels to Lawrence Arnold and the ensuing extra point. The score capped off a drive that went 62 yards in four plays and took 1:02 off of the clock. Daniels now has four passing touchdowns on the day and no interceptions, while on the ground Daniel Hishaw Jr. has continued to showcase just how difficult he is to bring down.
Kansas opens third quarter with 4th down stop defensively
The Blue Devils were driving. They were across midfield and facing 4th-and-short inside the 40 yard line. Then, when Duke tried to run it to convert the first down, Jayhawks defensive lineman Eddie Wilson led a throng of defenders in putting an end to that notion.
Kansas is able to hold onto its eight-point lead to start the second half. It gives its offense quality field position as the Jayhawks look to extend their lead. This very well could end up as Kansas’ best defensive effort against a FBS opponent yet this season, and for some time beyond that.
HALFTIME: Kansas 21, Duke 13
Duke hits another field goal
With just three seconds left before halftime, Duke connected on a 37-yard field goal to cut into Kansas’ lead again. This made it a 21-13 game late in the second quarter. The Blue Devils drive lasted nine plays and went 55 yards in 1:01.
Kansas extends its lead
Jalon Daniels found Luke Grimm on a 19-yard touchdown pass, which required a heck of a catch by Grimm, to extend the Jayhawks’ lead. After the extra point, Kansas is up 21-10 now with 1:04 left in the second quarter. The drive lasted 11 plays and went 75 yards in 5:13.
Daniels has been having a great day passing the ball, thanks in part to quality blocking from his offensive line. He’s currently 11-for-12 for 200 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. Watch out for Kansas’ play-action passing game in the second half.
Duke hits a field goal
The Blue Devils cut into the Jayhawks’ lead with a 22-yard field goal, and now the score is at 14-0 in favor of Kansas. Duke’s drive went 70 yards in 12 plays and took 6:18 off of the clock. There’s 6:17 left in the second quarter.
Kansas takes the lead again
Daniel Hishaw Jr. broke tackle after tackle on the way to a 73-yard touchdown, after catching a pass from Jalon Daniels. After the extra point, Kansas leads 14-7 with 12:35 left in the second quarter. The drive went 76 yards in two plays and took one minute off of the clock.
Kansas’ defense keeps turnover from costing Jayhawks
Although Kansas gave the ball away offensively on a fumble, it didn’t lead to points for Duke. The Jayhawks stopped the Blue Devils before midfield and forced a punt. It’s an important response from a Kansas defense that had struggled in the first half at times the past couple weeks.
END 1Q: Kansas 7, Duke 7
Kansas loses a fumble
The Jayhawks are the victim of the game’s first turnover, as Devin Neal fumbled the ball away not long before the end of the first quarter. The turnover ended what was a promising Kansas drive that was nearly into the red zone. Duke, which saw the fumble forced by Anthony Nelson and recovered by Jaylen Stinson, took over at its own 21 yard line.
Duke is on the scoreboard now after a 66-yard drive that lasted four plays and took 1:39 off of the clock. Jaylen Coleman ran the ball in from five yards out for a touchdown, and with the ensuing extra point it’s a 7-7 score with 3:40 left in the first quarter. The drive included a heck of a catch by Eli Pancol on a pass from Riley Leonard that went for 49 yards and got the Blue Devils into the red zone.
Kansas opens the scoring
This Jayhawks drive wasn’t going to be denied. Not long after Jalon Daniels completed a pass on fourth down near midfield to Devin Neal for a first down, Daniels found Trevor Kardell for a six-yard touchdown pass. After the extra point, Kansas leads 7-0 with 5:25 left in the first quarter. The drive took 3:16 off of the clock and went 57 yards in seven plays.
Duke’s opening drive ends with a punt
The Blue Devils didn’t come close to enjoying the same success the Jayhawks did offensively. Duke went 3-and-out on its first possession, as it was unable to do much in the shadow of its own end zone after starting the drive at its own 1 yard line. Now, after the punt, Kansas will have another chance to take the lead.
Kansas’ opening drive ends with failed 4th down attempt at the goal line
Kansas’ opening drive went right up to the end zone after starting at its own 25 yard line. Multiple times, the Jayhawks came close to crossing the goal line for the score. But on fourth down, Duke stopped a run by Devin Neal and was able to force the turnover on downs.
Jalon Daniels and Neal were both running the ball well. Daniels hit Trevor Kardell for a 22-yard pass at one point. The drive just didn’t end with points.
The coin toss
Duke won the toss and chose to defer. Kansas will receive to start the game.
Here’s a look at the crowd about 5 minutes before kickoff
An update for Kansas football’s offensive line
Here’s a look at the depth chart
Kickoff is approaching
Kansas has arrived
Jordan Guskey covers University of Kansas Athletics at The Topeka Capital-Journal. Contact him at [email protected] or on Twitter at @JordanGuskey.