Marcus Herford was directly involved in the failure of two plays in the second half of the Baylor game that, if executed properly, would have resulted in touchdowns. On Kansas's opening drive of the second half, the Jayhawks were up 35-17 and they were running the ball down Baylor's throats. Standing 1st-and-10 at the Baylor 24, four Kansas players: Jon Cornish, Kerry Meier, Brandon McAnderson, and Jake Sharp had combined to run the ball on 15 of the last 16 offensive plays, gaining 121 yards and scoring two touchdowns.
- On 1st down, Meier threw to Brian Murph, who dropped the pass.
- On 2nd down, Sharp ran for a 1-yard loss.
- On 3rd down, Marcus Herford took a pitch on a designed wide receiver pass, saw Murph open downfield, and threw the ball out of the back of the end zone.
- On 4th down, Scott Webb missed a 42-yard field goal.
On Baylor's next three possessions, KU's defense forced two punts and intercepted a Shawn Bell pass. Taking over on their own 35 with 12:40 left in the game, Adam Barmann was in at QB in place of the injured Kerry Meier and Jake Sharp in at TB for (the somewhat injured) Jon Cornish.
Three runs from Sharp and a short pass from Barmann to Dexton Fields set up a 3rd-and-3 at the Baylor 46. I'll let Jason King take over here:
"Barmann heaved a perfect strike to Herford, who was wide open as he streaked down the left sideline and toward the end zone. But instead of making the play that would've secured a KU victory, Herford let the ball carom off his breadbasket and through his arms."
The lead Kansas football story in today's Kansas City Star and today's column by Lawrence Journal-World Sports Editor Tom Keegan are about Marcus Herford talking to the press on Tuesday and taking responsibility for the role his mistakes played in Kansas losing at Baylor.
"I choked. That could've put the nail in them. We were up 35-17, and we could've gone up by (25 points). I'm a person who's expected to make plays. So for me not to make that one hurt me a lot."
Frankly, the Kansas coaching staff could learn from Herford's honesty and maturity. I obviously don't know what goes on behind closed doors in the football offices, but the unwillingness of Mark Mangino to discuss publicly the obvious problems that have kept this team from being 6-2 or 7-1 is eroding his support among the people who care about the University of Kansas fielding a consistently competitive football team.