Courtesy of Kansas Athletics
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas scored six touchdowns, including four on the ground by four different running backs, as the Jayhawks defeated Missouri State 48-17 in the season opener at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium on Friday night.
Kansas quarterback Jason Bean threw for 276 yards on 22-of-28 passing and tossed two touchdowns, while running backs Devin Neal, Dylan McDuffie, Daniel Hishaw Jr., and Sevion Morrison each scored on the ground. The Jayhawks totaled 521 total yards of offense, marking the eighth time Kansas has gone over 500 yards of offense in a game in the Lance Leipold era.
The Jayhawks jumped out to a 7-0 lead on a Neal 48-yard run, which was Neal’s first carry of the game. Neal has now scored on his first touch in back-to-back seasons (2021 vs. Tennessee Tech), becoming the first FBS running back since at least 2012 to accomplish such a feat.
Missouri State marched back after Kansas turned the ball over on a fumble, as the Bears got their first score of the game on a 2-yard pass from quarterback Jacob Clark to Jmariyae Robinson. The Bears would later convert on a field goal to make the score 10-7, in favor of Missouri State.
Kansas answered on its next drive by going 75 yards on three plays, which ended in a 14-yard touchdown pass from Bean to Luke Grimm. Kansas would add a field goal from Seth Keller before the half to make it 17-10 at the break.
The Jayhawks pushed the lead to 27-10 in the third quarter, thanks to a 17-yard rushing touchdown from Dylan McDuffie on his first carry as a Jayhawk, and another field goal from Keller. Missouri State’s Robinson added a second touchdown run to trim the lead to 27-17, but Kansas took advantage of two interceptions in the final quarter of play. The Jayhawks would close out the Bears with three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to move to 1-0 on the season.
Kansas returns home to David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium on Friday, Sept. 8 to host Illinois at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2.