LAWRENCE — The Kansas Jayhawks came within :12 seconds of beating the Texas Longhorns on Saturday at Memorial Stadium. Let that sink in.
In what might become the worst victory in the Mack Brown era, Texas escaped Lawrence with a win that makes the Horns bowl-eligible, and lays another foundation of doubt cementing the coach’s legacy.
Case McCoy led Texas to touchdowns on it’s two final drives, hitting tight end DJ Grant for a touchdown on 3rd-and-goal with :12 seconds left to give the Longhorns the 21-17 win. McCoy hit Jaxon Shipley on a 4th-and-6 for 18 yards, then a 34-yard strike to Mike Davis getting them to the 4-yard line to setup the game-winning strike.
That followed a 14-play, 45-yard drive by the Jayhawks, where Kansas kicker Nick Porlago would hit a 29-yard field goal with 2:28, giving the Texas faithful a chest full of heartburn on this chilly midwest morning.
Grant’s catch was in the same spot where Vince Young hit Tony Jeffery for the game-winning score in 2004, beating the fighting Manginos on a cold, November evening. It had to be deja vu for Brown.
Texas (6-2, 3-2) starter David Ash would have his worst outing of the season. But the offense’s problems were more of a lack of focus and completing drives. McCoy entered midway in the 4th-quarter, taking the Horns on a 7-play, 84-yard drive, where Texas ran the ball seven consecutive times. Marquis Goodwin would scamper in from 11 yards out on a jet sweep, tying the game at 14 all, and giving Texas some life.
It was a revealing look at the Texas program in general.
Joe Bergeron got the Longhorns on the board first with a 3-yard touchdown run just under four minutes into the contest, and a 7-0 lead. But two interceptions, and getting stuffed on 4th-and-goal thwarted any idea Texas had of an expected blowout.
Kansas (1-7, 0-3) would run, and run some more. Kansas rushed for 234 yards, 4.2 a carry, highlighted by James Sims 176 yards.
Christian Matthews scored on a 15-yard touchdown jaunt, going 98 yards on the drive, early in the second quarter, tying the game at 7. On their next possession, the Jayhawks’ Tony Pierson would score from 11 yards out, giving KU a 14-7 Â lead they’d carry well into the fourth quarter.
Johnathan Gray was a bright spot for Texas finishing with 111 yards, on 18 carries, his first 100-yard rushing game as a Longhorn.
Texas travels to Lubbock next Saturday to take on the Red Raiders of Texas Tech.