Coming into Saturday afternoon, it looked like KU was going to need some lucky breaks to beat the Texas Longhorns on Senior Day.
Four turnovers and a first half lead later, it looked like KU might be getting just that. For a while, though, it was for not, as the Jayhawk offense just could not do anything all game versus a Texas defense with lots of talent.
Then, all of a sudden, the fortunes changed.
An 11 play 80-yard drive late in the 4th quarter capped off with a Khalil Herbert touchdown and a Steven Sims run for the 2-point conversion pulled the Hawks within 3.
And then, it was up to the defense. A defense that had done everything they could including a fifth turnover to set up the aforementioned touchdown drive.
They were able to stop Texas late on 4th down with 58 seconds left to give the Jayhawks one more chance.
From there, it was up to the freshman Carter Stanley to do the job and lead the charge, and boy did he ever, leading a 6 play, 52-yard drive that ended with a Matthew Wyman 36-yard field goal to tie the game and send it to overtime.
As they entered the overtime period, KU won the coin toss, electing to go on defense first.
On the second play of the period, Texas quarterback Shane Buechele was flushed out of the pocket and proceeded to throw his third interception of the game, this one to freshman safety Mike Lee. All KU needed was a field goal to finish the upset.
Some conservative play calling by coach David Beaty in the form of five Ke’aun Kinner runs to set up a 25-yard field goal attempt for the much maligned senior kicker.
The kick wobbled a little bit to the left, but still ultimately found the space through the uprights. KU was able to finish the night with their first win over an FBS opponent in almost 2 years, earning a 24-21 victory over Texas.
KU: Six turnovers by the Texas Longhorns. The Jayhawks defense played very aggressive, constantly jumping routes and ripping at the ball while taking down the ball carrier. KU was only able to score 10 points off those UT mistakes, but they needed each point and every opportunity to get the win.
UT: Foreman ran the ball 51 times for 250 yards. How in the world do you lose that ball game? Probably the turnover stat above. Foreman’s two fumbles were costly, but he still had a monster day.
KU: David Beaty needed this win. Moral victories had started to lose all value. Losing last week to Iowa State was tough pill to swallow, and Beaty did a great job of getting his players fired up to play in the final home game of the season.
Texas: Charlie Strong needed this win. Texas has taken some lumps over the last few years and Strong’s rebuild had seemed to stall out. Some people might have been willing to give him a little bit longer to show he could turn it around, but a loss to the Jayhawks is all but a fire-able offense. Just ask Ron Prince, Bill Callahan or Dan Hawkins.
Next game information
Kansas will take on the Kansas State Wildcats in Manhattan at 11 a.m. next Saturday in the final game of the regular season.