Late TD Lifts Texas Over Kansas 21-17
LAWRENCE, Kan. — After coming up with a couple of huge plays late, the Texas Longhorns survived a big time scare by the Kansas Jayhawks at Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Kansas is now 0-9 all time in Big 12 games against Texas. The Jayhawks haven’t beaten the Longhorns since 1938.
On the game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter, Texas junior quarterback Case McCoy relieved sophomore QB David Ash, who finished with 63 yards passing and two interceptions.
With less than two minutes to play in the fourth, and with the game on the line on 4th and 6 from the Texas 34-yard line, McCoy delivered an 18-yd strike to sophomore wide receiver Jaxon Shipley for a game-saving first down.
McCoy threw the go-ahead 1-yd touchdown pass to senior tight end D.J. Grant with :12 seconds left in the game. It was the first lead for the Longhorns since early on in the first quarter.
After their defense held KU to three and out and a loss of 13 yards to start the game, the Longhorns (6-2, 3-2 Big 12) wasted no time getting on the board. With 10:53 to play in the first quarter, sophomore running back Joe Bergeron capped a 43-yd drive with a 3-yd TD run to give Texas a 7-0 lead.
The Jayhawks (1-7, 0-5 Big 12) overcame a smattering of early mishaps to tie the game at 7-7 with 12:06 left in the second quarter. Junior WR Christian Matthews capped a 5-play 98-yd drive with a 15-yd TD run. Five minutes later, the Hawks took a 14-7 lead on an 11-yd TD run by RB Tony Pierson, capping a 63-yd drive.
Junior RB James Sims led a vicious rushing attack for the Hawks. Sims gained 139 yards on 14 carries in the first half alone, and KU took a 14-7 lead into halftime.
After another huge stop by KU’s defense to open the half, a muffed punt by Bradley McDougald gave Texas the ball at KU’s 19-yd line. KU’s defense answered with a goal line stand, after Texas failed to convert on 4th and goal from the 1-yd line.
Texas kept knocking on the door of KU’s red zone. KU protected its lead once again with clutch defense, and an interception late in the third quarter by Lubbock Smith. The Hawks still led 14-7 heading into the fourth quarter.
That’s when the Horns found new life. After injuries to KU defensive players Jake Love and Toben Opurum on the same play, the Longhorns rushing attack came alive. Senior wide receiver Marquis Goodwin’s 11-yd TD run tied the game at 14-14 with 9:41 left in the fourth quarter.
The Hawks responded with a clock-chewing 61-yd drive that resulted in a 29-yd field goal by freshman kicker Nick Prolago, the first FG of his career. The Hawks led 17-14 with 2:28 left in the game.
The late burst from McCoy and the Horns’ rushing attack proved too much for KU’s defense to handle. Freshman RB Johnathan Gray was a thorn in the Jayhawks’ side for most of the afternoon. Gray finished with 111 yards rushing on 18 carries.
The Jayhawks travel to Waco, Texas next Saturday to take on the Baylor Bears.