Saturday signaled the end of a long football season in Lawrence Kansas. The season that started with a loss to North Dakota State officially comes to a close next weekend with the Border War, but Memorial Stadium closed it's doors for the final time this year on Saturday.
For Turner Gill and Kansas the season has been far from what anyone would have liked. But considering the way things started, the progress over the last half of the year continues to provide some hope.
Oklahoma State represents the top offense in the country and perhaps the best team in the Big 12. Kansas came out early, took some chances offensively and managed to slow the Cowboy offensive attack enough to make a game of it through a half.
A six point halftime deficit could have easily been a lead had the Jayhawks managed to punch in a short 1 yard touchdown. Not many would have given Kansas a shot at keeping things that close early.
By the end, It was a game full of missed opportunities. As they did last week against Nebraska, the Jayhawk defense played admirably for as long as anyone could expect. Empty trips, three and outs and a return of the offensive struggles eventually proved too much and the game slipped away.
Fact is, you can't stop Oklahoma State all day long and if you can't capitalize on every opportunity that is presented, you'll find yourself behind in a hurry.
Again, there is definitely progress on the field. The defense looks better, the team is fighting harder, but poor special teams and the struggles on the offensive end continue to put an end to any momentum.
One more game, one more opportunity and one more chance to carry over some of the positives that have developed in the last half of the season to the offseason.