Nick Prolago’s 29-yard field goal, the first of his career, put Kansas in position to post a win over No. 23 Texas, but Longhorn quarterback Case McCoy led a 70-yard touchdown drive with 12 seconds remaining for a 21-17 come-from-behind victory at Memorial Stadium on Homecoming weekend Saturday afternoon.
With the loss, Kansas fell to 1-7 overall and 0-5 in the Big 12 Conference, while Texas improved to 6-2 and 3-2, respectively. KU led the majority of the game until Texas tied it, 14-14, with 9:41 remaining. On the ensuing drive, the Jayhawks responded with a 14-play drive that took 7:07 off the clock. The drive ended with Prolago’s first-career field goal with 2:33 remaining in the game.
Texas answered with a 1-yard touchdown pass to D.J. Grant from McCoy on a 70-yard drive. On the drive, McCoy threw for 68 yards on 5-for-7 passing, including a 39-yard pass down the left sideline to Mike Davis to put the Longhorns on the KU 3-yard line. Davis had three catches for 49 yards on the drive.
Texas’ Joe Bergeron ran in the first score of the game with a 3-yard play to take the lead, 7-0. The 43-yard drive was set up by a 31-yard rush from Jonathon Gray, who led Texas with 111 yards rushing on 18 carries. Michael Cummings and the Jayhawks responded with 19-yard pass to Kale Pick to the Longhorns’ 5-yard line, but a bad KU snap pushed the Jayhawks back to the 29-yard line which eventually stalled the drive.
The Jayhawks opened the second quarter scoring back-to-back touchdowns on their first two drives to take a 14-7 lead. KU’s Christian Matthews scored his second-career touchdown on a 15-yard run to cap a 98-yard drive; KU’s longest of the season. James Sims helped set up the initial Jayhawk scoring drive with a 64-yard run, which also included a 15-yard penalty on the play following a Texas personal foul. The run put Sims over 100-yard rushing mark for his fourth-consecutive game. He ended the half with 139 yards rushing, one more than his previous career high for a game. Sims ended the game with 28 carries for 176 yards.
On the ensuing KU drive, the Jayhawks went 63 yards in seven plays. Sims opened the drive with 20-yard gain and Tony Pierson scored an 11-yard touchdown for his third scoring run of the season. The Longhorns tried to counter by making their way into Jayhawk territory, but quarterback David Ash threw an interception to Greg Brown and the Jayhawks finished the first half leading 14-7.
Through a scoreless third quarter the Kansas defense made two impressive stops in the red zone to keep the lead, 14-7. Bradley McDougald fumbled a punt return to give Texas possession on the KU 19-yard line. Texas made its way to the 1-yard line but a goal-line stand by KU’s Ben Heeney and Huldon Tharp on fourth down ended the drive. On the next Texas possession, Lubbock Smith intercepted an Ash pass at the end of the third quarter to keep the momentum with Kansas and post his second interception of the season and his career. Heeney led the way for the Jayhawk defense with 13 tackles and Tharp added 11 stops.
Texas’ Marquise Goodwin tied the game with an 11-yard touchdown run with 9:41 left in the game. Goodwin accounted for 52 rushing yards on the 7-play, 84-yard scoring drive.
Kansas will be on the road for the next two contests, as the Jayhawks travel to Baylor next Saturday for a 2:30 p.m. game.
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