The streak is over, folks.
Coming into this game, Kansas football had lost a rather embarrassing 56-straight conference road games (last Big 12 road win was in October of 2008), far and away an NCAA record. Additionally, KU had lost 18 Big 12 games in a row regardless of location.
But that’s all over now.
Since 2011, the only programs with multiple losses to Kansas are South Dakota, Southeast Missouri State, Central Michigan, and... Texas.
Down to its third-string quarterback, Jalon Daniels, the Jayhawks were a 30-point underdog coming into this one. But you would have never known it had you watched the game on mute. Texas won the toss and deferred, and KU started the game off with a 13-play drive that sucked up half of the first quarter.
After a Texas fumble recovered by KU, suddenly the Jayhawks found themselves leading 14-0 going into the second quarter. Then, with less than two minutes remaining in the half with a tie game, Kansas puts in three touchdowns in 85 seconds. KU finished off yet another long drive, recovered another Texas fumble, and hit on a pick-6 to take a 35-14 lead into the break.
The third quarter, as it has been all season, was not kind to Kansas. Texas moved the ball at will as KU’s offense stalled, and the Longhorns trailed by just 7 points entering the final frame.
Kansas regained the two touchdown lead, 49-35, on a beautiful pass from Daniels to Kwamie Lassiter with 8:47 to play, but Texas drove right back down the field to make it a one-possession game with just 3:57 left on the clock.
And this is where Kansas football began to do Kansas football things.
KU took possession with the lead and the ball, and just needed to get three or maybe four first downs to end the game. However, KU couldn’t even get one. With 2:34 on the clock and KU facing 4th-and-1 from the their own 34-yard line, Leipold made the (in my opinion) correct decision to go for it. However, the play call was awful, and the QB sneak was snuffed out. A 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty pushed Texas back toward midfield, but Texas still had 3 timeouts and just 49 yards to go to tie the game.
After some big runs by UT’s Roschon Johnson, QB Casey Thompson was intercepted in the end zone by KU’s OJ Burroughs. Kansas now had the ball at the 20-yard line with 1:10 left in the game; one first down would ice it for Kansas.
But again, KU’s offensive coaches went brain numb and ultra conservative. Three handoffs up the middle gained one yard, and while Texas was forced to use its timeouts, just 26 seconds ticked off the clock. A 38-yard punt was returned for 25 yards, and KU’s defense found itself in another untenable position.
And of course Texas scored three plays later and tied the game with the extra point with just 22 seconds to play. KU took a knee and elected for overtime.
Kansas won the toss and selected defense first. Texas scored in three plays and kicked the PAT, but another unsportsmanlike conduct penalty would give KU the ball at the 12-yard line instead of the 25-yard line for their possession. Facing third-and-7, Jalon Daniels took a QB draw up the middle for the first down, and Devin Neal would punch it in for the TD on the next play. Again, Leipold had a decision to make.
And again, he made the correct call to go for it. Kansas lined up to attempt the 2-point conversion. However, at least this time the plan wasn’t to run it up the middle. Jalon Daniels went shotgun and a three-step drop, but was quickly forced out of the pocket to his right. He managed to find fullback Jared Casey near the goal line and hit him with a perfect strike, sending Kansas fans everywhere into a frenzy.
Again, not the play call I would have chosen (roll him out and give him an RPO) but hey, it worked!
And there was much rejoicing in Mudville.
Despite the awful coaching/clock management in the final four minutes of the fourth quarter - KU was a 96.5% win probability at 1st-and-10 with 1:10 to play - Kansas somehow managed to pull this one out in overtime, and we here at RCT couldn’t be happier.
I for one greatly enjoyed the mocking chants of “SEC” that were clearly audible on the broadcast coming down from the visitor’s section at DKR Memorial Stadium. Let’s for real stop pretending that Texas is good at football, as Kansas is now 3-3* against the Longhorns over the past six years.