LAWRENCE — A woebegone Andrew Parchment spent part of his Sunday morning fielding uncomfortable questions, staring ahead at a row of assembled media at a virtual postgame news conference.
As it quickly became apparent, however, the only thing the standout Kansas wide receiver wanted to look into was a mirror.
"I would grade my performance," Parchment said, "as an F."
Perhaps the most telling aspect of the senior’s harsh self-evaluation?
It was entirely unprompted.
Parchment hauled in six receptions for 54 yards and a touchdown in the Jayhawks' 38-23 defeat to Coastal Carolina late Saturday night inside an empty David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. That line is nothing to be ashamed of, to be certain, but after the final whistle, Parchment was only interested in discussing his mistakes.
That was particularly true when, in the second question of the scrum, Parchment was asked to grade the performance of the team’s quarterbacks, an inquiry that prompted the preseason All-Big 12 first-teamer’s self-critical response.
Did the question get lost in digital translation? It begged a more direct follow-up: What did Parchment think of the way KU quarterbacks Thomas MacVittie, Miles Kendrick and Jalon Daniels played in the opener?
"I would grade my performance as an F," Parchment reiterated.
Message delivered, loud and clear.
Truthfully, Parchment’s showing contained only two glaring mistakes, occurring on back-to-back plays in the first quarter.
Typically a reliable blocker, Parchment uncharacteristically allowed himself to get blown up on back-to-back bubble screens. On the second, the 6-foot-2, 186-pounder was thrown into teammate Takulve Williams, who fumbled in what became the second of three first-half turnovers for KU that led to 21 points for the visitors.
Parchment, who noted the turnovers "killed (KU) a lot," acknowledged he simply "got beat up on a block" ahead of the fumble.
"(I feel) like a loser," he added. "I feel like I let my teammates down. I feel like I let the University of Kansas down. I feel like I let my family down. So I’ve just got to go back to work on Monday."
It’s also true that Parchment was responsible for arguably the brightest spot of the evening for the Jayhawks, corralling a tricky fade pass from Kendrick for a 14-yard score. That fourth-down conversion late in the third quarter gave KU (0-1) its first touchdown and helped ignite a rally that cut what was once a 28-point deficit to 11.
What did Parchment have to say about his scoring play?
"I don’t honestly remember it," he responded.
If it hadn’t already become patently clear by that point in the news conference, that answer from Parchment revealed that under no circumstances would the second-year Jayhawk speak of any silver linings from a performance FS1 play-by-play voice Tim Brando labeled "embarrassing" near the end of the nationally televised broadcast.
Relayed the nature of Parchment’s harsh — perhaps even over-the-top — self-evaluation, other Jayhawks seemed appreciative of their teammate’s tone.
"Andrew Parchment is a competitor," Kendrick said. "He has a lot of passion for the game. I think that’s just what that is. I mean I think a lot of guys on the team feel that way tonight. But at the end of the day, like I said, all we can do is just watch the film, make the corrections and get better.
"But AP (Parchment), he came out, he played hard, he made plays and he gave his best effort. At the end of the day that’s what you’ve got to do."
Before the three-minute session with Parchment concluded, the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native was asked once more about Kendrick, specifically how the junior fared once MacVittie left with an injury. And for a third time, Parchment ran a different route.
"My performance tonight was an F," he said.
Parchment, though, didn’t let the availability end without at least one optimistic note.
"You’ve got to look at yourself and look at the other teams in the country," Parchment said. "The Pac-12 and the Big Ten are not playing and we’ve still got a game to play, and our next game is against Baylor. So we’re fortunate enough to have that game. ...
"As a team we’ve just got to look at ourselves in the mirror."