June 16, 2024

Lance Leipold leaning on Jason Bean during Jalon Daniels’ absence

Kansas Jayhawks Football

Kansas quarterback Jason Bean scrambles for a first down during the third quarter against Oklahoma State Saturday October 14, 2023 at Boone Pickens Stadium. (Lynn Harrington/stayaliveinpower5)

STILLWATER, Okla. — The Jayhawks are coming off their second road loss in Big 12 play this season, but their coach feels his quarterback is starting to crack the surface of his potential.

The Big 12’s preseason Offensive Player of the Year has been sidelined with back tightness. However, Jason Bean has filled in nicely for Jalon Daniels. As a matter of fact, he helped pave the way for Kansas to have its’ highest output in total offense in conference play last Saturday.

After all, Bean threw for 410 yards and a jaw-dropping , five touchdowns, which were both season-highs. Bean was able to pick apart Oklahoma State’s defense with ease, especially during the first half.

However, he threw two interceptions down the stretch, including one in the red zone that would’ve put Kansas up by two scores in the second half. Leipold knows those are mistakes his quarterback can’t make on the road.

“I think he (Bean) struggled there a little bit late in the fourth, but before that I thought he played outstanding,” Leipold said. “I thought he made some really nice throws, and created some things with his feet.”

Bean was able to improvise with his mobility to extend plays. He also kept his eyes downfield, which helped him locate wideout Trevor Wilson for a 47-yard touchdown. There were times that Bean tried to do too much, and made costly mistakes. The 53,855 fans at Boone Pickens Stadium turned up the noise a lot in the fourth quarter. It created another element for Bean and the offense to battle against.

There’s no excuses though, because in the end Kansas came up short. Which is why Leipold is eager to watch film to see what happened on Bean’s interceptions.

“There are some plays I wish we all had back,” he said. “I can’t tell you on the tips if there was a window or something else, or what.”

The Jayhawks averaged 7.9 yards per play, and scored 32 points, which is more than enough to win a game. The defense couldn’t make the key stops in the clutch, and everything wound up falling on Bean’s shoulders. He tried to put the team on his back and carry them to the finish line like a leader supposed to, but Oklahoma State’s defense was relentless. The Cowboys put Bean to the turf four times, and in the end the Jayhawks had no answer for their pass rush.

Still, Leipold is encouraged by Bean’s performance, and will iron out all of the wrinkles during the bye-week. It’s up in the air if Daniels will be available for action in game eight. Regardless, the offense appears to be in good hands with Bean behind center.

Kansas is still in the Big 12 race too. Leipold’s squad will have a chance to shakeup the standing when it hosts Oklahoma in two weeks.