You can't say they didn't have a chance this week. Underdogs by nearly four touchdowns, the Jayhawks played Texas Tech to the finish Saturday, coming up just short despite two chances near the end of 16-13 defeat in Lubbock.
It was a sloppy game, as one might expect from the final score. It appeared to be headed for a typical blowout early, with Tech jumping out to a 10-0 lead in the first, despite a Red Raiders turnover on the opening drive. However, a circus of turnovers and missed field goals kept KU in it as the Jayhawks failed to score on their first six drives. The seventh try was the charm as Kansas kicked a field goal as the first half expired, entering halftime down just 10-3.
Things didn't get much prettier in the second half. The teams exchanged punts before Tech finally connected on a field goal to go back up ten. Kansas turned it over on downs, but recovered a Tech fumble that set up a field goal of their own and cut the lead back to seven.
With 10:52 to go, the Jayhawks finally found the endzone on a 12-yard run by Daniel Hishaw to tie the game. Unfortunately, the Raiders ran over five minutes off the clock before a field goal put them up 16-13. KU promptly went four and out, but a stop and yet another missed field goal bailed them out and gave them hope with 1:58 left on the clock. Sadly, the offense, down more linemen and other position players to count, didn't have it in them and only provided another turnover on downs on four plays, effectively ending the game.
While it was nice not to get blown out, it's hard to feel like this was nothing more than the annual flukey near-miss we're accustomed to seeing as KU football fans. The Jayhawks gained just 214 yards while allowing 410, and lost despite being the beneficiaries of a +4 turnover margin and three missed Tech field goals. I'm not calling it progress at this point, but at least it was cool to watch a game where we had a legitimate chance to win at the end.