LAWRENCE, Kan. — After trailing for most of the game, the Rice Owls stayed the course and came back to stun the Kansas Jayhawks 25-24 on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
In the first quarter, KU quarterback Dayne Crist threw an interception at midfield that resulted in a 47-yard field goal by Rice kicker Chris Boswell. KU trailed 3-0.
With 4:47 to play in the fourth quarter, Crist threw his second interception of the day. It too was a midfield interception that resulted in a FG of 45 yards or more, except this time it was the game winner, with no time left on the clock.
Boswell went 4-4, and left Kansas fans absolutely stunned with his final dagger. KU punter Ron Doherty also served as the team’s kicker. Doherty finished the day 1-3, missing from 53 yards in the third quarter, and from 40 yards in the fourth.
After a slew of turnovers by both teams in the first quarter, Kansas scored 10 unanswered points. Crist threw a 23-yard TD pass to sophomore tight end Jimmay Mundine to give KU a 10-3 lead.
Rice (1-1, 1-0 away) kept the KU defense on its heels all day, after embarking on a 94-yard TD drive to tie the game at 10-10 in the second quarter.
Kansas (1-1, 1-1 home) answered with a 75-yard TD drive to take a 17-10 lead, capped by a 1-yard rushing TD by linebacker Schyler Miles. KU led 17-13 at the half.
One positive for KU was their two-headed monster rushing attack. Cox carried the ball 15 times for 79 yards and a TD, and sophomore RB Tony Pierson finished with 120 yards on 19 carries.
The Hawks opened the second half with another 75-yard TD drive. An 8-yard TD run by junior running back Taylor Cox gave KU a 24-13 lead. Rice cut the deficit to 24-16 by the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth, Rice narrowed the gap to 24-22 after a 7-play, 93-yard TD drive. They failed the ensuing 2-point conversion attempt.
On their game-winning drive, Rice converted on fourth and four. A 7-yard pass from junior QB Taylor McHargue to senior wide receiver Vance McDonald gave the Owls a first down, and kept the game-winning drive alive.
The Jayhawks begin Big 12 conference play next Saturday at Memorial Stadium against a heavy hitting Big 12 newcomer, the 20th-ranked Texas Christian Horned Frogs.