Kansas coach David Beaty and his wife, Raynee, decided they weren’t going to make it an early night following the Jayhawks’ 24-21 victory over Texas on Saturday.
So they decided to drive down Mass Street in Lawrence to check out the celebration.
“The place is just buzzing, and there’s people everywhere,” Beaty said. “You can see smiles on their faces and people yelling as you’re driving by, just thanking you for giving them that moment.
“That was a cool deal.”
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Beaty, who picked up his first Big 12 victory, wanted to be sure to soak in as much of the postgame atmosphere as he could.
“It was pretty phenomenal,” Beaty said. “Just watching those students out there on that field and literally driving back away from here ... I leave the stadium three or four hours after the game a lot of times, and there’s people still tailgating all over the place.”
The challenge now, Beaty says, is building upon the win.
KU still has a game left, going on the road to face Kansas State this week. After talking with some players Sunday, Beaty was encouraged when most of them talked about the next game instead of the last one.
“For it to be a turning point, there’s got to be more production behind it,” Beaty said of the win. “Otherwise, it was just a game.”
It should be some time before Beaty and the coaching staff fully understand the consequences of Saturday’s victory. The early returns have been positive, though, as KU has picked up two commitments, including former Washington State quarterback Peyton Bender and Rivals three-star juco cornerback Hasan Defense.
“For us, reality is, getting that win validates basically all the work and the continued fight that these kids have put in over the past two years,” Beaty said.
The coach won’t forget Saturday anytime soon, calling it was “one of the funnest nights I’ve ever been involved with.” Beaty also said spending those minutes on the field with students afterwards would be “one of the greatest memories I’ll ever have.”
“Seeing their face and how excited and how much fun they had ... man, that was priceless,” Beaty said. “I know those guys, they’ve stayed with us. They kept coming. There were students in those stands every week.”
Awards roll in — Following its victory over Texas, KU was named the Football Writers Association of America’s national team of the week. The Jayhawks last won the honor on Nov. 29, 2008.
KU defensive end Dorance Armstrong also was named the Big 12’s co-defensive player of the week, and kicker Matthew Wyman was selected as the conference’s special teams player of the week. Armstrong had 11 tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble and fumble recovery against Texas, while Wyman made a 36-yard field goal to tie the game at the end of regulation and a 25-yarder in overtime to win it.