How it Happened
Early turnovers put Rhode Island in a deep hole that it never dug out of as the Rams fell 55-6 at Kansas Saturday night.
A pair of fumbles by Rhode Island (0-1) led to 13 first quarter points for Kansas (1-0). After the Rhody defense forced a Kansas punt, Harold Cooper muffed the punt at his own 13-yard line. Five players later, Montell Cozart threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Ben Johnson to put the Jayhawks up 7-0 at 9:51 of the first quarter.
The lead was pushed to 13-0 following Rhode Island's second turnover of the first quarter. Quarterback Wesley McKoy was hit while scrambling and fumbled at his own 46-yard line. Three plays later, Ryan Gonzalez hit LaQuviote Gonzalez for an 18-yard strike. The Jayhawks botched the snap on the extra point. A 35-yard touchdown pass from Cozart to Steven Sims in the second quarter pushed the score to 20-0.
Rhode Island got its first points of the season when McKoy hit wide receiver Aaron Parker for a 23-yard touchdown pass at 10:36 of the second quarter. The score pulled Rhody within 20-6 after the extra point was blocked. The momentum was short-lived, as Kansas responded on its next possession with an eight-play, 77-yards drive to make it 27-6 midway through the second quarter.
Kansas salted the game away with a pair of third quarter touchdowns that gave the Jayhawks a 35-point lead.
Inside the Box Score
- Freshman wide receiver Aaron Parker scored a touchdown on his first career reception, hauling in a 23-yard strike and diving to the goal line in the second quarter. Parker led Rhode Island with 37 receiving yards.
- Junior T.J. Anderson rushed for a career-best 59 yards. Anderson got the bulk of the work after Harold Cooper left the game early with an injury.
- Quarterback Wesley McKoy also established a new career high with 56 yards on the ground.
- The offensive line played well, helping Rhode Island rush for 170 yards. Last season, Rhode Island's best performance on the ground was 149 yards against Delaware. The Rams averaged 4.3 yards per carry and allowed just one a sack.
- Sophomore linebacker Justin Hogan had eight tackles and his first career interception for the defense.
- Senior linebacker Adam Parker finished with seven tackles.
- Junior defensive lineman Jose Duncan had six tackles and one quarterback hurry.
- Junior defensive tackle Mike Ezirike had three tackles, including one tackle for loss.
- Sophomore long snapper Michael Curry had a fumble recovery on special teams for the Rams.
- Rhode Island committed three turnovers to two for Kansas. The Jayhawks had 13 points off turnovers.
- Several Rams made their Rhody debut in the game. Playing for Rhode Island for the first time were Harold Buckner III, Sam Benjamin, Myles Ross, Momodou Mbye, Rashod Dickerson, Oliver Graybar, Joey Kenny, Raees Johnson, Dwayne Scott, Keith Coleman, Jr., Kyle Murphy, Rendyll Moorman, Aaron Parker, Nate Pauls, Danny Harry, Jr., Tyrone Barge, William Mack III, Shane Olson and Brandon Ginnetti.
- Cornerback Momodou Mbye, center Dwayne Scott, right guard Raees Johnson and wide receivers Aaron Parker and Sam Benjamin all started in their Rhody debut. Running back Markey Clarke also made his first career start.
- Rhode Island is now 0-14 all time against FBS level schools.
- Junior defensive tackle Mike Ezirike was the anchor bearer for Rhode Island.
- Joining captains Adam Parker, Harold Cooper and Charlie McKeeman for the coin toss was game captain James Caparell.
- Attendance for the game was 26,864.
- This was the first ever meeting between Rhode Island and Kansas.
Stat of the Game
570 – Kansas finished the game with 570 total yards on offense. The Jayhawks passed for 399 yards and rushed for 171.
Rhode Island heads home to host UAlbany in the CAA Football opener for both teams Saturday, Sept. 10. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.