Why BYU receiver Darius Lassiter will never forget his game at Kansas, even though the Cougars lost
Eastern Michigan transfer caught a 7-yard touchdown pass from Kedon Slovis in 38-27 loss to Jayhawks
LAWRENCE, Kansas — For BYU receiver Darius Lassiter, everything about Saturday’s matchup with the Kansas Jayhawks went swimmingly well.
Except for the final score, a 38-27 KU victory in front of a sellout crowd of 47,233 at Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.
The Eastern Michigan transfer who lined up against his brother, KU’s Kwinton Lassiter, caught a team-high eight passes for 84 yards and a touchdown for the Cougars.
A defensive back, Kwinton Lassiter made two tackles and was part of a fired up Jayhawks defense that forced three turnovers and turned two of them into 14 points — the difference in the game.
“It was great. A great atmosphere, great being back in Lawrence. Wish we was able to pull out the ‘W’ first and foremost. I am always going to worry about the win before any individual stats. But just seeing my brother out there and having the family out there, it was great.” — BYU receiver Darius Lassiter.
“It was great. A great atmosphere, great being back in Lawrence. Wish we was able to pull out the ‘W’ first and foremost,” Darius Lassiter said.
“I am always going to worry about the win before any individual stats, but just seeing my brother out there and having the family out there, it was great.”
As was heavily publicized all week, the brothers’ father, the late Kwamie Lassiter, played for Kansas before a nine-year NFL career. Another brother who played for KU is now on the Cincinnati Bengals’ practice squad.
To commemorate Saturday’s event, non-playing family members wore jerseys of the two teams, sewn together, with Darius’ No. 5 and Kwinton’s No. 8 on them.
Darius’ 7-yard touchdown catch came from Kedon Slovis in the first quarter and knotted the score at 7-7 after KU’s Cobee Bryant had returned a Parker Kingston fumble 22 yards for a score.
“I am kinda situated to score. I kinda expect myself to score,” Darius said of his second TD catch as a Cougar.
“But just being able to do it at Kansas, it kinda felt good. Just having the family history that goes here. So it wasn’t really nothing to it. I expect to score every time I touch the ball. That’s my mindset.”
Later in the game, Darius made a 22-yard catch.
He said the brothers chatted pregame and had a prayer together, then “kinda hashed out our little jokes in between each other” during the game.
“But other than that, it was more so just showing love, just as far as being blessed and thankful to be in position to play each other is something that we always wanted,” Darius said. “It wasn’t too much negative things going against each other, but more positive.”
Mostly, Darius was just disappointed in how the BYU offense played overall, committing three turnovers and failing to get anything going on the ground. The Cougars ran for just 9 yards on 22 carries.
Slovis was sacked three times for a loss of 26 yards, cutting into BYU’s rushing total.
“We know we didn’t play what we are capable of at all. We had a lot of missed assignments, a lot of turnovers. I was a part of that myself. Had a lost fumble. Luckily we were able to get it back,” Darius said.
“We got to clean those up if we want to win,” Lassiter continued. “We kinda spotted them 14 points. You take those 14 away and it is kind of a different ball game, and then you probably hear us cheering in the locker room.”
The Cougars were without running back Aidan Robbins, who was “dinged up” according to head coach Kalani Sitake’s pregame chat with KSL radio. Receiver Kody Epps went through warmups but didn’t play.
Other receivers also had nice games; Chase Roberts caught five passes for 89 yards, Keelan Marion caught two passes for 47 yards and Keanu Hill had three grabs for 34 yards.
Tight end Isaac Rex was targeted 13 times and made seven catches for 76 yards.
“You gotta win the turnover battle if you want to win the game, so we can’t do that,” Darius said. “We got the outcome we did because of that.”
Slovis liked the way the Cougars bounced back after a ball he threw intended for Rex was tipped twice and returned for a touchdown by KU’s Kenny Logan. However, the drive stalled and Will Ferrin booted a 34-yard field goal.
“I thought the guys did a great job of bouncing back,” said Slovis, who threw a 50-yard pass to Roberts to get the drive going.
“We actually marched down the field. I think we had a sack that put us in a bad situation (after the Cougars got to the KU 9). … But yeah, I thought the guys did a great job responding. It wasn’t like we went three and out the next drive. That’s always tough to do.”