The Kansas Jayhawks dug themselves a hole in the first half against Texas Tech and could never fully recover. Texas Tech drove the length of the field in tactical fashion on their opening drive that ended in a Donovan Smith touchdown run. On their first possession, the Jayhawks gambled on a fourth and short on their end of the field. They fooled Tech’s defense and hit on a big play from quarterback Jason Bean to tight end Jared Casey for a 66-yard touchdown to even things up.
From there, the Red Raiders scored 17 unanswered points midway through the first quarter into midway through the second quarter. At that point, it was 24-7 and things were looking bleak for the Jayhawks. Kansas tried to fight their way back before halftime adding two touchdowns of their own and cutting the Texas Tech lead to 24-21.
The end of the half could have resulted in even more points for the Jayhawks. After a big fourth down stop just outside of Texas Tech’s field goal range, Kansas had a chance to tie it up, or potentially take the lead, heading into halftime. They had 50 seconds to work with and despite picking up one first down, a badly thrown pass by Bean was intercepted near midfield with 13 seconds left in the half. One pass later and the Red Raiders were set up for a 51-yard field goal to extend their lead to 27-21 at halftime and Kansas never got within a field goal the rest of the game.
There was no scoring in the third quarter but the Red Raiders added to their lead by scoring on the first play of the fourth quarter. Kansas added one more touchdown before Texas Tech put it away with 10 more points to close out the game, after another turnover from Bean, and make the final score 43-28.
Once again, the Bean criticism that has continually popped up during his time as starting quarterback has been that he’s prone to turn the ball over. Two critical turnovers cost Kansas again and it has been a trend. This is why Jalon Daniels won the starting job out of camp and why he will take over as soon as this weekend when the Texas Longhorns visit the Jayhawks in Lawrence.
Speaking of the Longhorns, Texas will enter David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium as a nine-point road favorite. This will be a battle of two 6-4 teams. While many say this has been a disappointing season for Texas with only six wins thus far, everyone has said the Jayhawks and their six-win season have been a resounding success to this point.
No one will forget what happened last year in Austin, Texas. The Jayhawks took the Longhorns to overtime and won it on a successful two-point conversion. The legend of Jared Casey was born that day. The confidence in head coach Lance Leipold and his team was also born that day.
This year it seems like another game-time decision between Jason Bean and Jalon Daniels as starting quarterback for the Jayhawks. The battle of the running backs, Bijan Robinson of the Longhorns and Devin Neal of the Jayhawks, should be an incredible strength vs strength matchup. These are two of the best running backs, not just in the Big 12, but in the nation.
I expect a high-scoring affair between both of these teams and the winner remains in the hunt for
a Big 12 title game bid.
Here’s what needs to happen for the Jayhawks to sneak into the Big 12 title game:
- Kansas wins out (beating Texas and Kansas State)
- Oklahoma wins out (beating Oklahoma State and Texas Tech)
- Baylor loses out (losses to TCU and Texas)
- Kansas State loses out ( losses to West Virginia and Kansas)
It’s a lot to ask, but there is still a pathway for Kansas to get to the Big 12 Championship Game to face TCU in a rematch of the Week 6 battle that saw TCU beat Kansas 38-31 in a game that went down to the wire despite Jalon Daniels getting hurt in the first half of the game. A rematch between the Horned Frogs and Jayhawks would be fun to watch.
It starts against Texas. Kansas upsetting the Longhorns in the final home game of the season would put Jayhawk nation in a good mood going into Sunflower Showdown week against Kansas State. The Jayhawks may be the underdog but it hasn’t stopped them from having a winning season so far in 2022.