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Kansas keeps it close, loses a heartbreaker on the road against TCU

TCU used three quarterbacks and had offensive problems all day long, but the defense came up big in the closing moments and held off the Jayhawks to prevent a monumental upset.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into the game, everybody expected Kansas to get demolished.  I mean, ESPN's Game Predictor gave Kansas only a 0.4% chance of winning this game.  And it sure looked after two quick TCU stops and a punt return touchdown that Kansas was well on its way to being blown out. TCU added a field goal and a holding penalty on the ensuing kickoff were quickly overcome as Ke'aun Kinner rumbled for 43 yards to help the Jayhawks get on the scoreboard with a field goal.

On the ensuing possession, the Jayhawk defense stopped TCU with a sack by Damani Mosby.  It appeared that TCU QB Trevone Boykin injured his ankle as well, as he never saw the field the rest of the game.  Kansas answered with a 70 yard drive ending with a 3 yard TD run by Taylor Cox to tie the game and give the KU faithful hope for a close game.

While Kansas wasn't able to get anything else going the rest of the half, TCU started a drive at their 5.  A holding penalty pushed them back to their 2, but they immediately pushed their way down inside the red zone.  A huge stand by the defense on 4th and 1 neutralized the threat, and Kansas went into the half tied for the first time this year.

After the half, the defense went back to work. While TCU drove down the field against, Fish Smithson picked off a pass deep in KU territory to neutralize another threat. Unfortunately the offense wasn't able to really get going, and TCU finally took the lead again after driving deep into KU territory.  After giving the ball back again, TCU drove deep inside the red zone, only to go for it again on 4th down and fail.  The Horned Frogs added another touchdown and field goal, and appeared to finally have put the Jayhawks away with a 13 point lead, but Willis had other ideas.  He had a big 23 yard run on 3rd down, completed a 36 yard pass to  Bobby Hartzog on a 3rd down, and threw a 10 yard touchdown pass on 4th down to pull the Jayhawks within 6.

The defense gave Kansas a couple more chances to get the go-ahead score, but an interception by Willis and a big stand by TCU finished off the Jayhawks.

While the injury to Boykins obviously limited the ability of the Horned Frogs to move the ball, the Jayhawks still played an inspired game and nearly pulled off the biggest upset of the college season. This might give us hope in the final two games at home to end the season.  It was definitely a much better game to watch than I was expecting.