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Kansas aims to overcome hurdles in clash vs. Nevada

Sep 8, 2023; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Kansas Jayhawks quarterback Jalon Daniels (6) pitches the ball during the first half against the Illinois Fighting Illini at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

It’s hard to build a case that 28-point underdog Nevada can give visiting Kansas a legitimate test on Saturday night, even if the Jayhawks’ depth chart suggests otherwise.

Starting cornerback Cobee Bryant and defensive end Austin Booker must sit out the first half of their game in Reno after being ejected from last week’s 34-23 win over Illinois for targeting penalties.

In addition, quarterback Jalon Daniels, running back Devin Neal and wide receiver Luke Grimm practiced sparingly on Sunday, according to coach Lance Leipold. The trio sustained injuries against Illinois, although Leipold said Daniels was able to do more in practice than the other two.

“Hopefully, we can get some guys back,” Leipold said. “That’s probably what you expect and we’ll probably have some more of these as we go.”

Daniels sat out the season-opening win over Missouri State with a shoulder injury. He was sharp against Illinois, completing 21 of 29 passes for 277 yards with a pair of first-quarter touchdowns as Kansas (2-0) raced to a 28-7 halftime lead.

Nevada (0-2) is off to as rocky a start as can be imagined. The Wolf Pack have been outscored 99-20 in losses to No. 6 USC and FCS power Idaho. Their 33-6 defeat to the Vandals last week marked just the third time this year that an FCS team beat an FBS opponent, and was easily the most lopsided win of those results.

The setbacks also stretched the program’s losing streak to 12 games, but second-year coach Ken Wilson painted an optimistic picture of his team’s future.

“I see how hard they work,” he said. “I see how hard the staff works. We have a plan that’s worked. My optimism is I see those guys out there working hard and they don’t bend, they don’t break on things. They fight like crazy.”

This will be the first matchup of these programs.

–Field Level Media

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