Luke Grimm and Lawrence Arnold went for three touchdowns apiece as Jason Bean tied a school record (and set a Guaranteed Rate Bowl record) with 6 touchdown passes, and Kansas waltzed past UNLV in Phoenix on Tuesday night.
After jumping out to a 28-7 lead just before halftime, KU endured a furious third-quarter rally by the refs. Kansas would score first in the fourth quarter to reestablish a double-digit lead, and the Jayhawks would hold UNLV at arm’s length the rest of the way to provide the final 49-36 margin.
Kansas piled up 591 yards of total offense at an 8.8 yards per play clip, while UNLV mustered just 386 yards at 6.5 ypp. KU turned it over thrice, on three Bean INTs, while UNLV tossed two INTs of their own.
It sucks that the performances by Grimm, Arnold, Bean, as well as UNLV’s Ricky White are overshadowed by the awful clown show that was the bowl game itself. Officiating, production, commentators - and my god, if this is what officiating in the ACC is like, then I don’t ever want to play in that conference.
Tonight they were flagged 18 times for 216 yards, which is not just a record for this bowl game, but an NCAA postseason record, and ...
... you know what? We’re going to complain about the officiating, commentators, and production crew later. I promise. Tonight, we’re just going to enjoy a bowl win for the first time since 2008. Haters gonna hate, cuz KU still beat the books even with the ref show tonight. Bean, Grimm, and Arnold all balled out, Quentin Skinner made some amazing plays as well, and while Devin Neal didn’t put up monster numbers, he still had a solid game (and had a nice 30-ish yard run called back by holding and dammit Mike you said you wouldn’t do this).
So go wild, Jayawk fans. This team deserves it, you deserve it, we all deserve it. This was a fun season, if a bit frustrating at times, but 9 wins is something this program hasn’t done very often. It is absolutely grounds for celebration. I have a good feeling about 2024, and this time, there’s no kool-aid needed.
Congrats to the Guaranteed Rate Bowl champions, your Kansas Jayhawks!