I have spent the last 24 hours worried my tailgate buddies will bail on me. It has been raining for almost 24 hours. But they have kept faith in the weatherman’s forecast and the tailgate is on. Before my ritualistic trip to Starbucks on my way to the tailgate, there is snow falling at my house.
Me and two of my kids head out at 9:30. Great news the construction on K10 is barely a blip on the radar. It slows us down not at all. We are in our parking lot before 10:30. The weather is beautiful. The sky is sunny, the air is crisp. When you think of college football in the fall, this is the weather you picture. The weather could not be better. What a great day to be outside with friends and watch football.
Today the tailgate gets some extra love from seniors in the KU band. They stop at our tailgate and play for us.
I must say I am a little disappointed in the tailgate turnout just about 2 hours to kickoff. We have been here for two hours and have plenty of people at our gathering and others near us but the parking lot has not filled up yet. It is fair weather. Where are the fans? The rain must have scared off some tailgaters.
With an hour and a half to kick off, I go to the Campanile to check out the band warming up.
During the tailgate, we have been watching the TCU v Texas Tech game. It has been interesting. Tech has played well and most of the people watching seem to want Tech to win. To me, it just seems inevitable TCU will win the game.
Two o’clock rolls around and it is time to pack up the tailgate and head to the game. Interestingly, many of the people at the tailgate have no plans to actually go to the game. Some are, I am, but many are headed to bars to watch the game. Oh well, their loss. There could not be a better day to be in the stadium to watch football. Are you sensing a theme yet? The weather is great and I cannot get over it.
Nice to hear loud “boos” when the Cowboys emerge from their locker room, and even better to hear KU wins the toss and defers to the second half. A good start and the game has not kicked off yet.
- So is Spencer Sanders playing?
- No, and it is not Gundy either. It is (me looking at my program), it is 13, freshman Garret Rangel. I like it.
- People are yelling “hit him” at the KU defense. No that is not it, “tackle him” is what we need.
- Cobee Bryant is in. Love to see him back. The way he left the OU game I thought he was done for the season.
- Interception Cobee. That is the spot on the field I can never see the action, but the reaction by everyone blocking my view tells me all I need to know.
- Big run by Devin.
- Grimm is playing and makes a catch.
- Weak roughing the passer call, but I will take it. He did hit Jason late, just not hard.
- Devin Touchdown!
THAT’S HOW YOU START A GAME. pic.twitter.com/wGHQgQVMr2— Kansas Football (@KU_Football) November 5, 2022
- Good start 7-0.
- ROTC members doing push-ups for points today. 7 was easy for them.
- The scoreboard says 0SU with a zero not OSU with a capital O
- Puni is in the tent.
- Lonnie?!? No. What happened?
- He is putting no weight on his leg as he goes to the tent.
- Melo Dotson with the pick. From my seat, it looked like he was the intended target. The ball was never being caught by the Cowboy receiver.
- The gentleman sitting next to me is a chatterbox. It is his first game of the season. I think he said he is from Chicago. He says Gunnar Gundy was so nervous last week against K-State that you could see his hands shaking. I have no idea if this is true.
- Could we go up 14 instead of being down 14 early?
- Luke Grimm followed by Devin Neal, nice plays.
- Puni back playing.
- Ky went out as a wide receiver. Never got set. Why was Lance so upset? It seemed pretty clear. I guess you could argue he was our man in motion and should not have been flagged.
- Ok, 3 & 8. On fourth down, you cannot punt or kick FG. You have to go for the first down.
- Lonnie is walking to the locker room without help. But he is headed to the locker room.
- Yikes. Bad pass and punt.
- My son is confident in the Jayhawks. He says ”the way OSU is playing we will have it back in 2 plays.”
- And this is why you go for it on 4th down. The Cowboys cover what was gained by the punt in what, two plays?
- Looks like Sam Burt hurt his wrist.
- McCaskill with great pressure and now a punt.
- Well, that has been an eventful 8 minutes of football.
- Want a sign the Jayhawks are better without watching them play? The Junior Reporter segment is in the first quarter. They are no longer holding it for the second half to keep people in the stands. Yes, people around me used to wait for this segment before they would leave.
- Shadow already has taken over my seats. It is so nice out and the extra chill only makes it easier for people to stand up and cheer louder.
- Is there a holding or not? Nope. That should not take so long.
- Wow! How was that not picked? Arnold with a nice catch and first down. First ill-advised throw of the day for Bean, but he got away with it.
- Devin shuffle pass. Love it.
- I haven’t seen Skinner today. Has he been in? He has not been involved if he has been.
- Why are we playing so quickly on 1st down? It does not seem to help.
- My daughter sees Ben Easters shooting arrows as part of the signals for the offense, it cannot mean a pass, can it? I wonder what it means.
- Bostick hurt after another quick formation play. Man, I hate the quick formation plays.
- Bostick seems like he will be ok.
- I am torn. I want a 10-point lead, but I want them to go for it on fourth down. My son says “go for it, the OSU offense sucks.”
- The field goal is good. 10-0.
- OSU offense is 0-5 in the last 5 quarters as far as scoring points goes. Gundy must hate the state of Kansas this season.
- Lonnie is back on the field. I am surprised after watching him come off the field and go to the locker room.
- The first quarter is over and I sit down for the first time.
- The screenplay is not killing us. That is a good sign.
- WTF? What happened? No call from the official, but the Cowboys go from having a third and short to first down 10(?) yards downfield. The public address announcer says there was a defensive hold. Fine, but it seems like the officials are trying to help OSU continue with the fast pace by not slowing down and making the call properly.
- Sam Burt is back.
- Touchdown OSU. 10-7
- That is why the field goal was important. At least we still have the lead.
- There is the Bean speed we knew he had. Great run. Touchdown. 17-7.
- Oh, by the way, we have been standing again since the second quarter started.
- ROTC doing more push-ups.
- Come on defense. Let’s stop them.
- And they do it. The defense holds on 3rd and 2.
- Jalon is on a headset I notice for the first time.
- 3 and out. Got to love it.
- My son points out the OSU play callers on the sideline are dressed like the chipmunks, you know Alvin, Simon, and Theodore. One is red, one is green, and one is blue. And they are jumping around like crazy people/chipmunks.
- The Pepsi t-shirt toss is a scam. I am ok with it only being in the student section, but I think they only threw out 2 t-shirts this week.
- Come on defense.
- OSU option play goes nowhere.
- The defense with a big hold on 4th down. The fumble there helped certainly.
- Devin, as my son says, “puts them in a blender” Nice spin moves, nice gain.
- Skinner is playing, and Canadian football rules seem to apply to him that play. As he loops behind the backs pre-snap, he is definitely moving forward as the ball is snapped. I mean not even close. He probably took two steps toward the line of scrimmage before the ball is snapped. No call is good for the Jayhawks.
- I think I would have taken the 10-second run-off and saved the timeout.
- Jalon pumped after the Arnold touchdown catch. 24-7.
- Lot of hurt players during the first half today.
- McCaskill almost gets the interception.
- And OSU surrenders the first half with a kneel-down.
- The band performance today is jazz music I have never heard of.
- Nowhere near a sellout, but those that came are the vocal fans.
- The band is done, but there is a lot of time left in halftime. Music over the PA system entertaining the crowd includes:
Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the USA”
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts’ “I love Rock n’ Roll”
- I guess the first two are for the students and the last for their parents.
- Stats are now running on the board. 239 yards rushing in the first half!! Keep it up.
- And something I do not think I have seen at a KU football game before, a hype video leading into the second half.
- A downside of KU being better, the TV cameramen get in the way more. Starting the last play, the cameraman on the lift is directly in my line of sight.
- As this play starts I am saying Luke Grimm will be open.
- Guess who is open. Luke Grimm. First down.
- Add Luke to the list of injuries.
- Oh man, going for it on 4th down. I love it. It is just nerve-wracking.
- Casey with an over-the-head catch. Yes!
- Devin, catch and run.
- Nice drive so far.
- Lucky incompletion. Jason finds nothing but turf on a throw where maybe he should have taken a sack. He just spun and hucked it. It worked out this time.
- On the day so far Bean has made two questionable decisions to throw the ball. This is a good number for him and the results are better than normal. He has one completion and one incompletion. Most importantly no interceptions.
- Going for it again. Going into the wind, Borcilla probably isn’t making it. I like the call.
- First down completion to Neal while being sacked. Yes.
- Cabeldue hurt. Another player is down. Man
- Grimm is back, that is good.
- Jared wide-open touchdown. It looked like the same play they have run to Fairchild in the same situation. 31-7.
Are you in good hands?— Kansas Football (@KU_Football) November 5, 2022
This football is pic.twitter.com/jbqQXwLzZG
- 8 minutes off the clock, and back-to-back touchdowns. This is going well.
- ROTC members complete 31 push-ups.
- I am thinking bowl game now, my daughter says “don’t hex it.”
- A quarter and a half to glory, at least in KU football terms.
- Bean and Casey talking on the bench, enjoying the moment.
- OSU trying to exploit the screen like so many other teams, but it is not really working.
- Mello Dotson is hurt. Yikes.
- The good news about the injuries is everyone so far seems to have made it back on the field.
- It may have been a 9-yard gain for the Cowboys, but Kenny lowers the boom on the running back. From my spot, it looks like he crushed that guy.
- OSU is driving. I am not worried about it.
- Team sack. Rich Miller gets it officially.
- That penalty is on Lance. He was yelling to get someone on the field.
- Ahh, the officials pick up the flag. KU was not given time to match the OSU substitution.
- FG attempt by OSU when down 24? Fine 31-10.
- My son is now laughing at the bad Cowboy head mascot guy. Except for Big Jay and Baby Jay, are all the Big 12 mascots the same guy with a big head? They are all so bad.
- Back-to-back good runs by Ky.
- Ky for a third time.
- Does Bean keep the play card in his pants? I think he looked at a play card in his hand and then slipped it into his pants.
- Devin ends the quarter with a big run. Are we over 300 yards rushing? Is Neal over 300?
- Run up the middle with Bean? Run him to the wide side. Do not get him hurt! A thought enters my mind, Bean may be the best backup QB in the conference this season. The only one close is the guy up the road in Manhattan. Will something.
- Field goal. Borcillia is money from close range. 34-10.
- Bean does go to the tent favoring his left side, ribs maybe.
- Will Vasko get in?
- Both Jalon and Vasko are warming up.
- Jalon is talking to Lance.
- Dotson is back after his injury.
- Jason’s throwing and looks ok.
- Young and Dunn team up for a sack. Love it.
- Man, OSU 1st down.
- Great hit by McGary on the quarterback, but the QB somehow completes the pass for a 1st down.
- Touchdown OSU. It is ok but too fast. Make them eat up the clock.
- Going for two? I have to do quick math to make sense of it. Math-wise, it works, but Gundy is counting on his defense to make holds and his offense to match their entire game output so far in the remaining time to make it work.
- Denied. 2 points attempt fails. 34-16
- Bean is in. That is good.
- Shuffle pass to Devin for a huge gain.
Devin too fast for the camera feed pic.twitter.com/UoCepY2Azt— Kansas Football (@KU_Football) November 5, 2022
- Most important, Devin protected the ball well as the defenses brought him down.
- A field goal will make it a 21-point lead.
- It is good 37-16.
- 5 minutes to bowl eligibility.
- The scoreboard clip used to pump up the crowd starts with a Sponge Bob and Patrick the Starfish exchange. It is funny, but I don’t know if it makes me feel old or that I am not the target audience. Maybe both.
- Nice catch over Cobee by the Cowboy receiver.
- Is QB not outside the pocket? No way. That should be a flag for intentional grounding.
- Rich Miller interception!!!!!
Rich Miller man. Love this guy pic.twitter.com/DZYtenkOAC— Kansas Football (@KU_Football) November 5, 2022
- Cobee tipped it, or should I say batted it back to Miller.
- Game over, just roll the clock.
- Ky! Maybe his best run of the season. He just kept pushing forward.
- Bostick is down again.
- It seems like the only player for KU not to return from injury is Cabeldue.
- Ky again with a nice run. I like to see it.
- There was just a big move by the students down the stands and to the railing.
- The Cowboys are not calling their timeouts.
- Rock chalk chant starts.
They did it.
Thoughts after the game as we listen to the postgame radio broadcast:
- I forgot the Cowboys were ranked. KU gets first win over a ranked opponent in 44 or 45 games.
- First win over OSU since 2008, which is no surprise. First win over OSU in Lawrence since 1994. Man, my life has changed a lot since that one.
- Lance laughs during the news conference. A door to the press room must have opened and the noise is very loud. He jokes something like “Nice to have crowd noise at the press conference.“
- I find it interesting that Hanni and David Lawrence are drinking champagne in the pressbox after the game to celebrate bowl eligibility.
- Much later in the post-game coverage David Lawrence has left the pressbox and is at a party, I think at his house, doing a radio hit. That makes me laugh. He also pretty much pinpoints his location by giving the street name where the house is located. He doesn’t care.
I know I was optimistic going into the season. I looked back on the preseason prediction article while writing up this post. How optimistic was I? I had KU at four wins after the Iowa State game and looking for a fifth the rest of the way, yet here they sit at 6 wins and bowl eligibility. No matter what happens the rest of the way, this season has been a great one by any reasonable standard. I cannot wait for the last home game of the season and a shot to beat Texas again. But in the meantime, I will be watching next Saturday night when the Jayhawks take their first crack at win number seven this season. Enjoy.