The Kansas Jayhawks upset the Texas Tech football team in Lawrence, Kansas with a field goal in the final seconds of the game, defeating the Red Raiders 37-34 on Saturday.
Before this season, the Jayhawks have historically been known for ranking at the bottom of the Big 12 standings. In Kansas’ last five seasons, the Jayhawks posted a 9-51 overall record, going 3-42 in conference play, according to Kansas Athletics. With the win over Tech, it marked the first time in 18 years that the Jayhawks defeated the Red Raiders in football.
The Jayhawks secured their win in the final seconds of the game on Thursday as Liam Jones was sent in to kick a 40-yard field goal of Kansas and Tech were tied, 34-34, with 13 seconds left of play. As Jones prepared to kick, junior defensive lineman Nick McCann blocked the kick. Senior defensive back Douglas Coleman III recovered the loose ball and with seconds left in the game, pitched the ball back with no one behind him. Long snapper Logan Klusman dove on the ball and recovered the ball for Kansas with two seconds left on the clock.
After Kansas recovered the fumble, Jones was sent out to try to end the game for a second time. As the clock wound down, Jones nailed the 32-yard field goal to give the Jayhawks their first conference win of the season, 37-34.
Following the loss, Tech fans went to Twitter in disbelief as Coleman’s fumble was widely talked about on social media. Although Coleman’s fumble was the final play that resulted in Tech’s loss, there were several other plays that led up to the Red Raiders’ first loss to the Jayhawks in 18 years.
At the start of the game, Tech’s offense began with a 17-0 lead with a little over eight minutes left in the first half. The first explosive play by Kansas was a 53-yard gain by Stephon Robinson Jr. to put Kansas on the one-yard line. Kansas’ quarterback Carter Stanley then ran the ball in the end zone for the Jayhawks’ first points of the game.
On Kansas’ next drive, Tech’s secondary gave up another big play by Robinson. This time, Robinson ran a slant route and maneuvered his way through the backfield for a 48-yard touchdown. The touchdown put the Jayhawks within three points with under a minute left in the first half.
With seconds left in the first half, sophomore running back Ta’Zhawn Henry returned the kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown. As the Red Raiders celebrated, the touchdown was called back due to a holding call on senior tight end Donta Thompson. Instead of the Red Raider heading into the second half with a 24-14 lead, the half ended 17-14 as Tech’s offense could not find the end zone.
Robinson continued to take advantage of the Red Raiders’ secondary in the third quarter recording his third play of the game for over 45 yards. The play resulted in a touchdown after Robinson gained 65 yards off of a pass, ending in the end zone for six points on a third-and-10 attempt.
In the fourth quarter, junior defensive lineman Eli Howard set the Red Raiders up with an opportunity to stop Kansas’ offense with a sack, pushing the Jayhawks back 10 yards. Tech’s defense blew the opportunity as Kansas recorded a first down and ended the drive with an explosive play at the hands of Velton Gardner. Gardner tied the game, 34-34, with a 32-yard rushing touchdown with five minutes left of play.
As Tech’s defense gave up several plays for over 30 yards, the Red Raiders’ defense struggled to stop the Jayhawks’ offense on third down. Out of 15 third-down attempts, Kansas’ offense converted for a first down nine times, giving the Jayhawks a 60 percent success rate. Of Kansas’ 15 third-down attempts, six were third-and-long situations, where the Jayhawks converted four times. On third down, the Jayhawks averaged 22.2 yards passing.
With Kansas finding success on third down, Tech’s offense could not do the same. The Red Raiders converted on third down six times in 15 tries for a 40 percent success rate. On third-and-long, Tech’s offense came up short on all three of its attempts.
Despite Coleman’s fumble, ultimately resulting in Tech’s loss Kansas, there were multiple missed assignments that helped the Jayhawks secure the upset. Overall, Kansas recorded 527 total yards on offense. Robinson led Kansas’ offense with 186 receiving yards off of six completions, averaging 31 yards per catch.
The loss to Kansas kept the streak of road losses alive as the Red Raiders have not won a single game on the road this season. Tech will not play a game next Saturday as its second bye week approaches. After the bye week, the Red Raiders will travel to play West Virginia in Morgantown on Nov. 9.