- Associated Press - Saturday, September 26, 2015

PISCATAWAWAY, N.J. (AP) - Kansas came into Rutgers with a shot at ending its long losing streak away from Lawrence, and gave it away.

Flu bugs that hit quarterback Montell Cozart and linebacker Marcquis Roberts didn’t help and neither did the three major penalties on Rutgers scoring drives and an interception by Deondre Ford in a 27-14 loss on Saturday.

While it was a better performance for Kansas (0-3), it wasn’t good enough to prevent the Jayhawks from losing their 34th straight away from Lawrence.

“You can’t take the score out of it unfortunately,” first-year coach David Beaty said. “There were some better things at certain points. I really liked the way our defense responded after we gave up a touchdown on that first drive in the second half. I thought (the defense) created some turnovers. I thought they flew around a lot better. There was some improvement there.”

Deondre Ford started for the Jayhawks with Cozart battling flu-like symptoms, but he sprained a thumb in the second quarter and did not return. He went 6-of-13 for 85 yards and one interception prior to the injury.

Cozart came on and finished the game, giving his team facing a 13-0 deficit a spark, finishing off the drive started by Ford with a touchdown.

“They kind of just piggy back on me - the enthusiasm and stuff that I had,” Cozart said. “And we started to believe that we have a shot.”

Kansas did hang around until early in the fourth quarter. But trailing 27-14 with 9:02 to play, Cozart threw an incomplete pass on a 4th and 7.

Chris Laviano threw two touchdowns and Josh Hicks ran for 113 yards and two more scores as embattled Rutgers snapped a two-game losing streak.

It was the first win for the Scarlet Knights (2-2) since coach Kyle Flood was suspended for three games on Sept. 16 for contacting a faculty member about a player’s grade. Running backs coach Norries Wilson has run the team the last two games.

Laviano’s touchdowns covered 14 yards to Carlton Agudosi and 7 to Matt Flanagan. Hicks scored on runs of 1 and 4 yards. Robert Martin had 17 carries for 102 yards as the Scarlet Knights ran for a season-high 312 yards and held the ball for almost 38 minutes.

“That’s a Big Ten football team and they’re built a lot differently than we are,” Kansas defensive coordinator Clint Bowen said. “They’re built to run behind those big old dudes up front.”

Ke’aun Kinner scored on runs of 2 and 1 yard for Kansas (0-3), which is still looking to give Beaty his first win.

Laviano finished 18 of 25 for 201 yards and two interceptions.

Rutgers, which had six players kicked off the team since August and had star receiver Leonte Carroo suspended indefinitely for an altercation outside the stadium after a loss to Washington State, used a ball-control offense on drives of 91, 75 and 84 yards in opening a 27-7 lead early in the second half.

The Jayhawks hurt themselves with 15-yard penalties on each of the drives, including a horse-collar tackle by Ben Goodman on a third down play that kept one of them alive.

“I really thought they called intentional grounding,” Goodman said with a laugh. “But it ended up being a horse-collar and it kind of frustrated me and haunted me.”

It kept the drive a drive alive that led to a Rutgers touchdown, but in retrospect, Goodman felt it was the only way to tackle Laviano.

“It was just the only way I could really bring them down. It was the only way other than letting go and I wasn’t letting go,” Goodman said. “It was a horse-collar and it was a big play. Cost my team, and just got to move on. It was a big play.”

Laviano capped the longest drive with the pass to Agudosi, who has moved into the starting lineup since Carroo was suspended. The pass to Flanagan capped a 31-yard drive set up when linebacker Kaiwan Lewis intercepted a pass by Ford. A botched extra point left the score at 13-0.

Hicks had a 31-yard run to set up his 1-yard tally with 2:31 left in the half. He added his 4-yard score on the opening series of the third quarter.

Kinner got Kansas within 13 points late in the third quarter after a fumble by Hicks. Cozart drove the Jayhawks of the Big 12 Conference to the Rutgers 20 midway through the fourth quarter but his fourth-down pass under pressure fell short.

It was the first meeting between Rutgers, from the Big Ten, and Kansas in football.


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