At the end of the first quarter of play Thursday night in Memorial Stadium, the scoreboard read 3-0 in favor of the visiting Kansas State Wildcats.
By the end of the second quarter? 31-0.
To paraphrase the immortal Ron Burgundy, things really got out of hand – fast.
Kansas State opened the scoring with a 38-yard field goal from Josh Cherry, with 5:06 left in the first quarter, before opening the floodgates in the second. Taking advantage of a Kansas offense that couldn't manage to get out of its own way, the Wildcats poured in a quartet of second quarter touchdowns. Starting quarterback Carson Coffman contributed two on the ground in the quarter – three for the game – and another through the air.
The Jayhawks, meanwhile, simply could not find a way to get things on track. Plays for positive yardage were frequently negated by penalties (four for 41 yards in the half), and a stout Wildcats defense held Kansas to just 124 yards of total offense before intermission.
So one-sided was the first half that the highlight reel presented before the start of the third quarter consisted mostly of clips from the pre-game festivities. And unfortunately for the approximately 45,000 Kansas fans in attendance, the second half failed to produce a single discernible bright spot either.
"We've got to look at some things on the basics of football," Head Coach Turner Gill said, succinctly. "Being able to execute plays."
Highlighted by an 85-yard fumble return for a touchdown after freshman tailback James Sims was drilled on the 15-yard line, Kansas State pushed its lead to 52-0 in the third quarter – by which point the stadium that had been packed, rocking and rolling just two hours earlier had begun to resemble a ghost town.
Kansas finally got on the board with 2:06 remaining in the fourth, a five-yard touchdown run from senior Angus Quigley – their only score of the night. Kansas State would answer, however, with a 52-yard touchdown run from backup quarterback Collin Klein on the ensuing drive.
For the game, the Jayhawks managed just 331 yards of total offense – 103 rushing and 228 passing. Quarterback Jordan Webb was 26-of-46 for 228 yards, and Quigley mustered 70 yards on 16 carries to lead the rushing attack.
The Wildcats, meanwhile, totaled 460 yards – 276 rushing and 184 passing. Coffman had a field day, passing for 184 yards and rushing for another 43, accounting for five touchdowns.
With the 59-7 loss, the Jayhawks drop to 2-4 heading into next weekend's Homecoming Game versus Texas A&M.
One thing is for certain, however. If the Jayhawks are to salvage the 2010 to any degree, giant-sized strides need to be made during the next seven days.
"I'd say right now, we're not a very good football team," Gill said. "That's the reality at this time."