The mighty Texas Longhorns rolled into Lawrence and eeked out a closer-than-it-sounds 23-0 victory.
"But mikeville," you may ask, "How is a shutout, 23-0 victory 'closer than it sounds?'" Well, dear reader, come with me and let's recap the 2014 Homecoming game in Lawrence.
The Jayhawks won the toss and elected to defer. This time, Texas chose to receive. Weird. Anyway, Texas picked up two first downs, but the Kansas defense held on fourth down near the KU 40-yard-line. The defense was fired up, the crowd was fired up, everyone was having a great time! Then after a momentum-killing TV timeout, Kansas moved the ball toward the end zone. On second down from the UT 14, Cozart's pass got batted at the line of scrimmage and was picked off in the end zone. Texas ball again.
UT takes the touchback and drives all the way down inside the Kansas 5-yard-line, where Johnathan Gray puts it on the turf and Ben Heeney recovers. Rock Chalk Defense! However, after a quick three-and-out by the offense, Trevor Pardula out-kicks his coverage team, leading to a big punt return. Texas scores quickly but misses the PAT, and takes a 6-0 lead into the second quarter.
Things would only get worse from there for Kansas. In the first quarter, Kansas TOP was a shade over three minutes (3:28 to be exact). Not good. First quarter Tony Pierson touch count - one rush, three yards.
The second quarter was a punting contest until approximately the 6-minute mark, when Texas picked off Cozart again, this time running it down inside the 15-yard-line. UT would again score quickly, and take a 13-0 lead. After a Kansas punt, Texas would set themselves up for a field goal try, which was promptly rejected by the KU defense. Cozart's Hail Mary pass at the end of the half was intercepted, and Texas led 13-0 at the break.
Second quarter TOP? 7:24 for KU, twice as good as the first quarter!! Second quarter Tony Pierson touch count - do incomplete passes thrown his way count? If so, then two, for a total of three in the first half.
KU would come out and move the ball a little better in the second half but (obviously) got no points to show for it. Nobody scored in the third quarter, and Kansas actually held the ball for most of the third quarter (9:52). KU went for a fourth-and-goal from the 5-yard-line, but didn't convert.
Third quarter Tony Pierson touch count - three receptions, 31 yards, a total of six touches for the game.
In the fourth quarter, Texas would tack on a field goal at about the 12-minute mark, and a touchdown with about three minutes left. Kansas would take the last three minutes of the quarter and do what Texas refused to do - run the ball and run out the clock. Fourth quarter TOP for KU: 7:39. Fourth quarter Tony Pierson touch count: 0.
Final score: Texas 23, Kansas 0
Tony Pierson total game touches: 6. And that's only if you count the two incomplete passes thrown his way. Good job, offensive game-planners. I am SO frustrated by this staff's absolute refusal to get the ball the Pierson. I don't understand. Am I missing something? Is he hurt? Is he in Chuck's doghouse? What's the deal?
Anyway, overall, a good game by the Kansas defense, holding Texas to 329 yards of total offense. As expected - at least by the folks here at Rock Chalk Talk - the Kansas offense struggled. I'm to the point now where I don't think it's the player's fault, either. Consider, on two fourth down conversion attempts, the plays called were "fade pass" and "option." I highly doubt that those are the two best plays in our playbook. Also, why was Tony Pierson not involved in either one???
By my count, Kansas took one shot deep down the field, with Cozart barely overthrowing Justin McCay (see pic above) - I won't remind y'all that Pierson is the fastest guy on the team and should probably be running the deep routes. That looks suspiciously like pass interference - despite the no-call on that play, there was another play shortly afterward where Kansas was called for pass interference on a ball that missed a Texas receiver by probably five yards. However, let me be clear that the zebras were NOT the reason that Kansas lost this game.
Kansas travels to West Virginia next weekend, and I'm sure those boys remember the whoppin' they got in Lawrence last year. For our sake, let's hope they don't remember. I won't tell if you don't!