Kansas faced the Texas Longhorns and the second-ranked defense in the Big 12 on Saturday and came away with an FBS-record 45th consecutive road loss.
The Jayhawks looked desperate from the beginning of their 42-27 defeat at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Their onside kick to open the game failed.
Nine seconds later, Texas receiver Lorenzo Joe jogged into the end zone on a deep pass down the middle. And it only got worse from there.
Pinned at the 2-yard line several plays later, Kansas sophomore quarterback Carter Stanley threw an interception to Texas senior defensive back Antwuan Davis for an easy pick-six.
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Before 7 minutes had passed, the score was 14-0.
In a game of special-teams miscues and turnovers, Kansas fell to 0-7 in conference play with two games remaining. Just a year ago, the Jayhawks stunned the Longhorns in Lawrence — but these were two different teams, and this is a different year. The Jayhawks finish the season against Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
“We came out and said we were going to be aggressive this game,” KU coach David Beaty said. “We came out and started with an onside kick. We felt we had a great opportunity with a big gap they left there, we talked about fortune favoring the bold and we’re going to go after things when we see it”
Stanley threw for 268 yards and three touchdowns, but he tossed three interceptions. Wide receiver Evan Fairs finished with 104 receiving yards on seven catches.
Kansas answered the two quick Texas scores in the first quarter with a 56-yard drive that ended in a diving touchdown by junior Steven Sims. But the Jayhawks’ defense had no answer for Texas as the Longhorns scored four times in the first period.
“It's frustrating,” KU cornerback Hasan Defense said. “but at the end of the day we know that we’re a really good team. And whether or not we score or force a turnover we know eventually we’ll get into the end zone and make the best of it.”
The Jayhawks’ offense began to pick up in the second quarter, putting together a 75-yard drive that culminated in an 8-yard touchdown pass to freshman offensive lineman Earl Bostick Jr.
On the next play the Jayhawks forced a fumble on the punt return to set up deep in Texas territory. A quick three-and-out resulted in a 33-yard field goal that closed the gap to 11 points.
Kansas’ defense appeared to be settle in midway through the second quarter when the team forced a punt. But Sims fumbled deep in Texas territory, setting up the Longhorns at their 22. Nine plays later, Texas sophomore Lil’Jordan Humphrey scored the team’s fifth touchdown of the half.
“We have to carry that (energy) on throughout the whole game and not just have spurts,” Fairs said. “We gotta have that the whole time.”
The second half proved to be more of the same.
The two teams traded punts in the third quarter until Kansas junior Martin Taylor sprinted up the right side for 18 yards, setting up a field goal. That cut the Texas lead to 15.
Neither team gained much ground until Texas sealed the win with 5 minutes remaining with a 1-yard TD run by sophomore running back Chris Warren.
“We let a lot of chances go,” Beaty said. “That’s what's disappointing, we had an opportunity, and we weren’t able to take advantage of it. Particularly going into halftime.”