Wednesday, 22 March 2023
Login |  Register 
MSC News National Headlines Sports Top Headlines CBS US News CBS Technology
Kansas Outlasts South Dakota State, 31-17, in Season Opener

LAWRENCE, Kan. - Kansas running backs Taylor Cox and Tony Piersoneach rushed for over 100 yards while the KU defense forced four turnovers, as Kansas defeated the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, 31-17, in its season opener Saturday night inside Memorial Stadium.

Kansas is 1-0 for the eighth time since the 2004 campaign, while South Dakota State drops to 0-1 on the season.

It was a tale of two halves, as Kansas outscored the Jackrabbits, 21-10, in the second half starting Charlie Weis' KU head coaching career off on the right foot.

The South Dakota State defense had no answers for the KU rushing attack, which gained a total of 263 yards on the ground. Pierson and Cox each notched career highs on the night, collecting 128 and 125 yards, respectively.

The duo's performance marked the first time Kansas featured a pair of 100-plus yard rushers in the same game since Brandon McAnderson and Jake Sharpboth hit the century mark against Central Michigan in 2007.

KU's defense used several big plays to tame the pesky Jackrabbit offense. The Jayhawks notched four interceptions, also a first since the 2007 season. KU held SDSU to just three third-down conversions on 14 attempts.

KU used a strong start to the second half to out outlast the visitors from Brookings, S.D. Pierson got the Jayhawk offense going after the intermission when he broke free on an off-tackle run. The East St. Louis, Ill., native took it 47 yards for the score with less than five minutes into the third quarter. The run matched his career high and gave the Jayhawks their first two-possession lead of the contest.

The KU defense then applied the pressure when it forced the first turnover of season on the ensuing Jackrabbit drive. Senior safety Bradley McDougaldstepped in front of SDSU quarterback Austin Sumner's first pass of the game to snag his fifth-career interception.

The McDougald pick gave the Jayhawks prime field position, which they used to their advantage. Crist found senior tight end Mike Ragoneon a 2-yard touchdown pass at the end of a seven-play drive to up the KU lead, 24-7. The score marked the first touchdown reception in Ragone's collegiate career and the first touchdown pass for Crist in a Jayhawk uniform.

Crist went 17-of-36 for 167 yards and added a touchdown pass in his Jayhawk debut.

The Jackrabbits didn't say die however, scoring 10 points in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter to narrow the Kansas lead to seven.

The Jackrabbits opened the scoring in the game when sophomore Zach Zenner broke free for a 99-yard touchdown run with 6:30 minutes into the opening quarter. The rush was the longest in Jackrabbit history and the longest run ever given up by a Kansas defense.

The Jayhawks responded eight minutes later when Tony Piersonfound the end zone for the first time on a rush from three yards out to even the score, 7-7.

Later in the half, the Jayhawk special teams unit came up big when junior Josh Ford blocked an SDSU punt, giving Kansas great field position once again. The KU drive ended in a Ron Dohertyfield goal, giving the Jayhawks a 10-7 advantage as they headed into the locker room.

Kansas will return to the gridiron on Saturday, Sept. 8 for a matchup against the Rice Owls. Kickoff is slated for 2:30 p.m., and will be televised on Fox Sports Net.

You will need to be logged in to leave a comment.
Please Login

characters left

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited.
Click here to review our Terms of Use.

K-State & KU Track Athletes Wrap Up NCAA's with Top Performances
Jayhawks Men and Women Both in Sweet 16
Big 12 MBB Regular Season Ends & Awards Announced
Lady Jayhawks lose top scorer to knee injury
Big 12 announces conference football schedules
Big 12 roundup: KU & Missouri notch wins, while K-State let's one slip away
Women's Big 12 basketball recap: K-State, Kansas & Missouri
Danny Manning Accepts Tulsa Head Coaching Job
Wildcats landed 26 total players on signing day
Jayhawks Defense push them to National Championship Game
Click Here For All Stories

Plea entered for forced kiss on teen
Two local couples to be honored
New Sabetha Elementary School principal hired
Two arrested on drug charges in Morrill
Atchison crimes lead to weekend arrests
Death investigation underway in Johnson County NE
KS cannabis reform appears dead for year
Missing truck found; Atchison Police seek suspects
New Holton High School principal named
Commission approves rate increases for Fisher Center, Aquatic Park
Baileyville Benefit generates $175K
Scott appointed as Hiawatha Public Works Director
Noxious weed oversight approved in Atchison Co
Hiawatha sewer project moves forward
New Nemaha Co noxious weed director appointed
Interest voiced in replacing long closed Jefferson Co bridge
First female U.S. Atty for KS sworn in
Richardson County Sheriff warns of intimate photo scam
Julie Bauman joining Peru State College Foundation Board
Falls City School Board approves administrator salaries

Click Here For All Stories

Holton man files for KS Senate
City approves power plant substation acquisition
Man bound over on charges in fatal 2021 Jackson Co wreck
Atchison waste fees increase due to vote
Doniphan Co rescue plans Easter with the dogs
Bids opened for new county building at Rulo
Pawnee City School Board approves personnel changes
Farm Safety programs offered to Nebraska teens
Proposed road project discussed with county
New Holton High School principal named
Click Here For All Stories

©2023 MSC News
Hiawatha, Ks 66434
EEO Public Report
Powered by Radio Media Group