HOUSTON — Jalon Daniels threw for 158 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 123 yards and two scores as Kansas improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2009 with a 48-30 win over Houston on Saturday.
Daniels finished 14 of 23 and threw touchdown passes of 5, 60 and 8 yards. He had touchdown runs of 12 and 9 yards.
“I thought Jalon was excellent today,” Kansas coach Lance Leipold said. “He made some big plays, scrambling, keeping drives alive, saw some things, didn’t hesitate. Statistically, he probably didn’t get off to a great start, but I think again, a very solid day.”
He found 11 different receivers and threw touchdown passes to Torry Locklin, Jared Casey and Luke Grimm.
“We have a lot of people who are able to make plays with the ball in their hands in our offense,” Daniels said. “I feel like (offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki) realizes that, so I feel like he does a great job of being able to put guys in situations to be able to get the ball.”
Kansas finished with 438 yards, including 280 rushing yards. The Jayhawks won back-to-back road games for the first time since 2007.
“It’s huge for this program,” Leipold said about the undefeated start. “It’s huge for these players for everything they’ve gone through, the ones who have persevered through it all.”
After Houston opened up a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter, Kansas answered with 28 straight points on a 12-yard touchdown run by Daniels, an 8-yard touchdown run by Daniel Hishaw Jr. and touchdown passes of 5 yards and 60 yards by Daniels to open up a 14-point lead with a minute left in the first half.
Clayton Tune was 22 of 31 for 260 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He also rushed for 63 yards and a touchdown. Houston (1-2) finished with 446 total yards.
“There’s plenty of blame to go around,” Houston coach Dana Holgorsen said. “I got out-coached. … We got out-coached offensively, defensively. Put it on me. We have a lot of work to do.”
Brandon Campbell had 48 rushing yards and a score, and Ta’Zhawn Henry finished with 56 rushing yards and a touchdown and five catches for 107 yards and a score for Houston. Nathaniel Dell caught six passes for 76 yards.
Kansas: The Jayhawks started slow but couldn’t be stopped for the final 3½ quarters. Kansas continued to excel on third downs finishing 7 of 12 after entering 17 of 23, which leads the nation. The Jayhawks had just two penalties for 25 yards.
Houston: The Cougars entered the season with hopes of making a New Year’s six bowl, but that accomplishment looks slim following consecutive losses to Texas Tech and Kansas, two Big 12 teams that Houston will face regularly next season when they join the conference. The loss snaps a streak of seven straight home openers the Cougars had won.
DELAY OF GAME
With 9:21 remaining in the second quarter, the game was delayed due to lightning. Play resumed after a 70-minute delay. Halftime was shortened to 15 minutes due to the delay.
Kansas hosts Duke next Saturday in an unexpected matchup of 3-0 teams.
Houston hosts Rice next Saturday.