The key: On Texas’ first play from scrimmage, Jacorey Warrick took a short pass, broke a tackle attempt from Kansas safety Fish Smithson, and ran 75 yards for a touchdown.
The key: KU cornerback Brandon Stewart stepped in front of a pass and returned it 55 yards down the left sideline for a pick-six. That was part of a second quarter where KU’s defense forced four turnovers.
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The key: With KU still competitive while trailing 14-10, Kansas receiver LaQuvionte Gonzalez lost a fumble after getting chased down from behind by the Longhorns’ Jeff McCullough. Texas took advantage with a subsequent touchdown.
The key: Matthew Wyman, who has been inconsistent this season, knocked through a 36-yard field goal in the final seconds to send the game to overtime. He’d later win it with a 25-yard field goal.
KU’s offense managed three total points on its first 15 possessions before succeeding at the perfect time. The Jayhawks’ 10-play, 80-yard touchdown march in the middle of the fourth quarter was one of the best drives of the year, and the team also executed with 58 seconds left while moving 52 yards with no timeouts to set up the game-tying field goal.
The Jayhawks defense came out of a month-long slump in a big way. The defense forced six turnovers, held its own in the run game, and came up with the key interception in overtime.
KU was lucky that a LaQuvionte Gonzalez fumbled punt rolled out of bounds, but Wyman came through in the clutch and punter Cole Moos was solid as well.
There were some repeat game-management errors, including the burning of a crucial timeout in the final three minutes on a fourth-down decision, but Kansas head coach David Beaty and defensive coordinator Clint Bowen deserve lots of credit for a solid game plan and also for keeping their players motivated in a game where the stakes were higher for Texas.
Player of the game: KU’s Dorance Armstrong had 11 tackles — including three tackles-for-loss and two sacks — while also adding a forced fumble and fumble recovery.
Reason to hope: A win over a Big 12 opponent should be beneficial for Kansas moving forward, as a victory over Texas should make it much easier to get into homes when trying to recruit.
Reason to mope: Even though it didn’t end up mattering, KU’s offense had a lousy first three quarters. The team clearly lags behind the rest of the Big 12 on that side of the ball.
Looking ahead: The Jayhawks will end their season with an 11 a.m. game next Saturday at Kansas State.