LAWRENCE, Kan. – Here's a quick look, with plenty of notes, quotes and highlights from the Texas Longhorns' 21-17 win over the Kansas Jayhawks in front of 40,097 fans at Kivisto Field at Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Case McCoy came in and quarterbacked Texas to two touchdowns late in the game.
How the Longhorns Won
I don't know. On a day when the Longhorns' play could only be described with awkward silence, that pretty much sums up how Texas left town with a win. Texas hadn't moved the football with any consistency until Case McCoy entered the game. McCoy's 16 plays under center netted the Longhorns 154 yards of total offense, which is 33 yards fewer than the Longhorns had through three quarters. Texas had a failed conversion on 4th-and-goal, two turnovers and allowed 234 yards rushing. Nevertheless, they moved to 6-2 with the win.
How the Jayhawks Lost
I don't know. The Jayhawk offense converted 7-of-15 third down tries and bled the clock as much as they could on the final scoring drive, giving Texas the ball back with 2:22 to play. Plays like Greg Brown's dropped interception on Texas' final drive, a muffed punt and a bad snap that helped take points off the board showed why the Jayhawks are now 1-7 on the year, and have yet to beat an FBS team.
Alex Okafor. Yes, Case McCoy came in for the final two scoring drives while Mike Davis and Johnathan Gray both had big days. However, Okafor finished the game with 13 tackles, 11 solo stops, a tackle for loss, a forced fumble and a quarterback hurry. He looked like the best player on the field for the Longhorns.
It Was Over When...
Case McCoy hit Mike Davis for a 39-yard pass on the Longhorns' final scoring drive. Davis was knocked out of bounds after pulling in the ball along the Kansas sideline at the three-yard line. At that point, even as bad as they'd played, it seemed as though even Texas on this day couldn't shoot themselves in the foot again from point-blank range.
Johnathan Gray and Josh Turner. Gray finished with 111 yards on 18 carries and despite not getting into the end zone, he was the one constant on offense. Turner downed a punt at the two-yard line, and also recovered a fumbled punt for two big, heady special teams plays.
The Texas run defense. James Sims ran for 176 yards as the Jayhawks averaged 5.9 yards per carry as a team. Kansas did enter the game with a top 50 rushing attack nationally, but the Longhorns looked lost and were gashed time and again in the first half as Kansas dominated the line of scrimmage.
That Bryan Harsin waited so long to get Marquise Goodwin and D.J. Monroe involved. Neither recorded an offensive touch until the fourth quarter. Harsin has been harping on getting speed more involved for weeks, and after looking like it got fixed against Baylor it nearly cost the Longhorns a win on Saturday.
That the Longhorns fell asleep. After going up 7-0 after the defense forced a three-and-out, the Longhorns relaxed and didn't look motivated to play. From there the defense allowed a 98-yard scoring drive, and the offense had the ball for five plays or fewer on its next six possessions.
Drive of the Day
The final drive of the game was obviously big, but the Longhorns aren't in that position without a 7-play, 84-yard march that ended with an 11-yard run by Marquise Goodwin. That tied the game, and got the Longhorns back in it.
Catch of the Day
Jaxon Shipley. On 4th-and-6 and with the game (and likely the future of the program) on the line, Shipley made a clutch grab for 18 yards at the Kansas 48.
Block of the Day
Trey Hopkins. Hopkins did a great job of kicking out the play-side end on Johnathan Gray's 31-yard first-quarter run that set up the Longhorns' first touchdown of the day.
Hit of the Day
Tevin Jackson. Jackson got through the line unblocked on a blitz in the first quarter and sacked Michael Cummings for a 10-yard loss. Quandre Diggs gets an honorable mention for an open-field tackle on Tony Pierson in the second quarter.
Stat(s) of the Day
The Longhorns' lost the turnover battle (3-1), the rushing battle (234-211), had a worse time in the red zone (3-of-5 compared to Kansas' 3-of-4), and had a worse percentage of third downs converted (4-of-12 to 7-of-15) and still won the game.
Story of the Day
Missed opportunities as both teams had plenty. Texas was stopped on a 4th-and-goal at the one and had an additional red-zone turnover. Kansas took points off of the board with a bad snap on a first-quarter series and Greg Brown dropped what would have been a game-sealing interception of Case McCoy.
Mack Brown on What if the Longhorns Would Have Lost
“[Reporters] talk about losses. I don't. What I thought was it's so similar to 2004 and the 2004 team ended up in the Rose Bowl.”
Mack on the Win
“It was really, really hard to win this game and it can give this team and this staff so much confidence moving forward to play poorly most of the game and win. That's when you get better, believe it or not.”
Case McCoy on the Final Drive
“I wish I was never in 4th-and-7, but we got into that situation and luckily had a dropped [interception] on the first play. A couple of things definitely went our way, but at the same time, we got into that situation.”
Kansas Head Coach Charlie Weis on the Loss
“We have nothing to be embarrassed about. We played our butts off on both sides of the ball. Physically, we not only hung in there, but more than held our own, and to lose with 12 seconds left to go in a game is really disappointing for everyone and I just feel bad for them.”