University of Kansas

Texas coach’s bulletin-board material fired up KU. But was he taken out of context?

Kansas quarterback Carter Stanley blew a kiss to the Texas crowd. Then, he followed with a double horns down.

The Jayhawks eventually fell to No. 15 Texas, 50-48 Saturday night. But these actions from Stanley — just after the Jayhawks took a lead following a successful two-point conversion with 1:11 left — indicated something else about this matchup.

KU took this contest personally.

“Definitely an emotional game. I think we received a lot of disrespect before this game,” Stanley said. “I actually love Texas. I love everything about this place, really, except for one guy on the coaching staff on that sideline, and you can probably figure out who it is based off of his press conference earlier this week.

“So I don’t have a lot of respect for that individual, but it was unfortunate we came up short.”

Start here: KU’s players — more than one — spoke after Saturday’s near-upset about being slighted following comments by Texas coach Tom Herman during his weekly news conference Monday.

“We watched that probably a thousand times this week, just the disrespect that they put on us,” KU receiver Andrew Parchment said. “But I hope that we showed them what we’re about.”

This bulletin-board ploy — likely put into place by KU’s coaching staff — seemed to work. The Jayhawks played motivated throughout, then were one defensive stop away from winning their first game in Austin ... ever.

Yet, go back to the film, and it sure seems like Herman’s words were taken a bit out of context to get a desired reaction.

Herman spoke for 26 minutes at his Monday media availability, with much of the discussion centering around the Longhorns’ 34-27 loss to rival Oklahoma last weekend.

At the 16:55 mark of his news conference, Herman was finally asked his first question about KU. Reporters in attendance said, at that point, that the coach playfully chided writers for not asking him about the Jayhawks sooner.

“We actually play a game this week?” Herman said with a smile, referring to the previous onslaught of questions about the previous week.

That snippet — taken by itself — seemed to fire up the Jayhawks, who perceived it as the coach overlooking his team’s next opponent.

“We’re not a layover,” Parchment said. “We heard what the head coach over there said about us. He said, ‘We actually got a game this week?’ So we wanted to show them what a game felt like.”

The Jayhawks no doubt proved their offense could be dynamic under new offensive coordinator Brent Dearmon.

KU’s 48 points were the most scored against Texas since 2017. Stanley threw for 310 yards and four touchdowns and engineered four straight scoring drives to end the game.

“We can and will do this every single weekend if we play our game and execute,” Stanley said. “I think the rest of the Big 12 should start taking Kansas a little bit more seriously.”

Parchment said Herman’s words were definitely a motivating factor this week.

“That was a lot of pressure that we put on ourselves, and we didn’t take that lightly at all,” Parchment said. “The game was a lot of fun.”

Herman, for his part, was complimentary of the Jayhawks afterward. He called KU’s Les Miles “a heck of a coach” before mentioning Stanley, saying, “I thought their quarterback played great.”

Later, Herman also was effusive in his praise for KU running back Pooka Williams, who had 25 rushes for 190 yards.

“He is as explosive and dynamic of an athlete as we have in this league, and there’s a bunch of them,” Herman said. “There’s no weeks off when you’re talking about guys that can make plays like Pooka.”

For KU, the offensive outburst wasn’t quite enough. KU took a 48-47 lead with 71 seconds left on the two-point conversion pass from Stanley to Daylon Charlot.

That set off Stanley’s sideline emotions ... and also continued the Jayhawks’ aggressive thoughts against both the Longhorns and Herman.

“Nobody outside of our building thinks that we’re going to be in that position but us, and we just wanted to shock the world on their own turf,” Parchment said. “We got (the two), Daylon made a tremendous catch in the back, Carter threw a beautiful ball.

“Sucks it didn’t go our way tonight, but there’s always another game.”

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Jesse Newell — he’s won an EPPY for best sports blog and previously has been named top beat writer in his circulation by AP’s Sports Editors — has covered KU sports since 2008. His interest in sports analytics comes from his math teacher father, who handed out rulers to Trick-or-Treaters each year.
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