It’s over at Royal-Memorial Stadium. Texas, which was a 33-point favorite tonight, has beaten Kansas 42-27.
It wasn’t a blowout. It wasn’t a very pretty win. Texas produced 258 passing yards and 118 rushing yards against one of the worst defenses in the country; Kansas was allowing 42.2 points a game (127th nationally) and 457.7 yards a game (114th). But at this point in the season, a win is a win; the Longhorns now need one win against either West Virginia or Texas Tech to make a bowl game.
Why Texas (5-5, 4-3) won
Simply put, the Longhorns are better than the Jayhawks. Of course, they were last year too, though that didn’t matter in Lawrence because Texas committed six turnovers that day. That didn’t happen tonight. Shane Buechele was functional but the offense was generally off. Texas had its second best point total of the season, but don’t be fooled. The Longhorns did it against a 1-9 team and didn’t look all that sharp getting there.
Why Kansas (1-9, 0-7) lost
The Jayhawks committed four turnovers, three of them leading to 21 Texas points. They struggled on third down conversions, didn’t produce any big plays and had several injuries. Texas shut down Khalil Herbert, the team’s leading rusher, and wide receiver Steven Sims Jr., perhaps the most dangerous Jayhawk on the field, got his touches but didn’t do much with them.
Texas plays at West Virginia next Saturday. Time and TV have not yet been announced. Kansas gets No. 5 Oklahoma at home.
How it all happened
Texas 28, Kansas 7. The Jayhawks opened the game with some trickery — an onside kick — but John Burt scooped it up. On Texas’ first snap, Shane Buechele hit Lorenzo Joe for a touchdown just 9 seconds into the game. (Last year, Buechele threw a 75-yard touchdown on Texas’ first play, too.) Carter Stanley was picked off twice; one was a pick-six, the other set up a Longhorns touchdown. Daniel Young and Toneil Carter showed some flash and Sam Ehlinger got into the game and threw a touchdown.
Texas: Lorenzo Joe 49-yard pass from Shane Buechele (Mitchell Becker kick, 14:51)
Texas: Antwuan Davis 16-yard interception return (Becker kick, 8:05)
Kansas: Steven Sims Jr. 5-yard pass from Stanley Carter (Gabriel Rui kick, 527)
Texas: Toneil Carter 23-yard run (Becker kick, 3:42)
Texas: Cade Brewer 8-yard pass from Sam Ehlinger (Becker kick, 1:55)
Halftime: Texas 35, Kansas 17. Mitchell Becker, taking over kicking duties from Joshua Rowland, missed his first field goal attempt from 44 yards. Texas promptly abandoned its kicking game, twice going for it on fourth down inside field goal range. Those gambles paid off, though as Lil’Jordan Humphrey converted that second fourth down and then scored on back-to-back wildcat snaps. Texas is 3 of 3 on fourth downs. Davis had his second pick of the game — in the end zone, snuffing out a KU scoring threat — and also recovered a muffed punt. That turnover led to Humphrey’s score.
Kansas: Earl Bostick 8-yard pass from Stanley (Rui kick, 13:11)
Kansas: Rui 36-yard field goal (12:12)
Texas: Lil’Jordan Humphrey 1-yard run (Becker kick, 4:49)
Texas 35, Kansas 20. The Longhorns’ offense stalled in the third quarter. Texas mustered only 81 yards and narrowly avoided two near-turnovers in its three drives. Texas also failed on two fourth-down attempts inside the Kansas 40. Linebacker Gary Johnson and wide receiver Dorian Leonard both left with injuries.
Kansas: Rui 32-yard field goal (5:11)
Final: Texas 42, Kansas 27. Buechele was picked off when he threw into triple coverage, but the defense stopped the Jayhawks on their last real shot at getting back into the game when Malik Jefferson stuffed Taylor Martin for a 3-yard loss on fourth-and-2 from Texas’ 29 with 10:47 left and KU trailing by 15. Warren’s touchdown iced the game; the Jayhawks added a final-minute touchdown.
Texas: Chris Warren III 1-yard run (Becker kick, 5:34)
Kansas: Chase Harrell 18-yard pass from Stanley (Rui kick, :11)
1. What angered fans the most? It wasn’t the lackluster offense, or the fact that Texas couldn’t knock Kansas out, or that the Longhorns didn’t cover. It was the constant stream of official reviews, the most egregious coming in the fourth quarter when Chris Warren III clearly crossed the goal line for an over-the-pile run. Each review lasted a couple of minutes, which compounded things.
2. Finally, an alpha rusher. Daniel Young had 21 carries while the three other running backs combined for 9. Young finished with 67 yards, including a long run of 21. Toneil Carter had 3 carries for 34 yards, including a 23-yard touchdown. Kyle Porter had 5 carries for 8 yards and Warren had only one carry but scored on it. He was utilized primarily as a blocking back.
3. Buechele was fine. Not great. Not very good. But fine. His interception came on a throw into triple coverage. He nearly had another one picked off by defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr.; Armstrong might have returned it for a 35-yard score had he been able to control it in his paws.
4. It was Mitchell Becker, not Joshua Rowland, handling place kicking duties tonight. Same results, though. Becker’s lone field goal attempt missed from 44 yards out; Texas bypassed more 40-something yard attempts in the second half by opting to go for it on fourth downs. Texas was 4 of 6 on fourth downs.
5. The Longhorns didn’t really miss Holton Hill, thanks to big plays produced by Antwuan Davis and Jason Hall. That was expected, though. Kansas wasn’t expected to challenge the secondary. But West Virginia next week and Texas Tech in the regular-season finale certainly will.
6. The Longhorns had 16 drives tonight. How they played out:
First quarter (5) — TD, punt, TD, TD, TD
Second quarter (5) — Fumble, missed FG, punt, TD, halftime
Third quarter (3) — Turnover on downs, turnover on downs, punt
Fourth quarter (3) — Interception, TD, punt
The post Texas 42, Kansas 27: It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t a blowout, but it was a much-needed win appeared first on Hook ‘Em.