He’s quick and elusive when running, and has an accurate arm. He makes things happen and is the catalyst for a Kansas offense averaging over fifty points in their first three games. Jayhawk quarterback Jalon Daniels is going to be a handful for the defense of Duke football.
A difference maker
While it may seem like Daniels came from nowhere to be an early season star, his ascendance began late last season. He took over during a 35-10 loss to Kansas State in the ninth game of the season and threw for his team’s only touchdown of the game. Over the next three weeks he managed to lead the Jayhawks to an upset of Texas and greatly increase the production of the offense. How much did it increase? In the four games preceding that K-State game, the Jayhawks scored forty-seven points. In those final three games with Daniels at the helm, they scored 113. He is definitely a difference maker.
Picking up where he left off
So far in 2022, Daniels has hit on sixty-seven percent of his passes for 566 yards, seven touchdowns, and just one interception. He’s also rushed for a team-leading 237 yards. The most scary thing about his rushing totals is he averages an eye-popping 8.8 yards per carry. He was so good in their win over Houston last week that he as named as one of the Davey O’Brien Award’s Great 8 Quarterbacks for the week. Duke head coach Mike Elko is impressed, “They can run designed quarterback runs, run-read plays, throw the ball and he throws the ball exceptionally well. He’s not only a runner, he can throw the ball exceptionally well, but even when they are throwing it, he’s still a run threat. He still has the ability to pull the ball down and kind of make something out of nothing now and then.”
If you’re a Blue Devils fan, you should be nervous about Daniels. The Duke defense hasn’t seen anyone like him yet this year. But Kansas fans should be nervous about facing the likes of a defense they haven’t yet seen. No other team the Jayhawks have played is as strong and disruptive along the interior of the defensive line like DeWayne Carter, Ja’Mion Franklin, Aeneas Pebbles, and others have been for the Blue Devils. If those three can cause problems for the Kansas offensive line, it is going to go a long way in being able to control Daniels.
The Blue Devils and Jayhawks will kick it off at noon Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, Kansas.