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2017 Season - Week 11

Texas Holds On To Beat Kansas In Austin

A game that looked to be a rout early was competitive for three quarters.

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Texas Holds On To Beat Kansas In Austin

The Big 12 matchup in Austin between Kansas and Texas looked like it would be a rout early, but in the last three quarters of play the game was closer than many predicted.

The first quarter made fans think this game would be over by halftime.

On the first play of the game, Texas quarterback Shane Buechele threw 49 yard touchdown pass to a streaking Lorenzo Joe.

Things began to look bad for the Jayhawks.

After an exchange of punts, the Jayhawks then found themselves with the ball at their own one yard line. On third and nine yards to go, Texas nickel back Antwuan Davis picked off a Carter Stanley pass and returned it to the house to put Texas up 14-0.

Kansas would respond, however. Stanley and the offense would get the ball back and score on a 5 yard screen pass to Steven Sims, Jr. The play made it a one score game at 14-7.

Texas would open up the next series running the ball, and running back Toneil Carter would benefit by getting a score on a 23 yard touchdown run. That put Texas up 21-7.

Another Carter Stanley interception gave Texas the ball at the Kansas nine yard line. Backup quarterback Sam Ehlinger would come in to throw the ensuing touchdown pass to tight end Cade Brewer. That put Texas up 28-7.

Kansas would make the game closer in the second quarter. Carter marched the ball down the field and hit Earl Bostick in the end zone for an eight yard touchdown pass. That cut the lead to 28-14.

A Texas fumble on the ensuing kickoff would give Kansas the opportunity to get a 36 yard field goal. The Gariel Rui field goal went through the uprights and they were down 28-17.

Another turnover stemmed the Jayhawks momentum, though. A few plays later, a muffed punt by the Jayhawks gave Texas the ball at the Kansas 22 yard line.

The Longhorns would turn that into points on a Lil’Jordan Humphreys run from the one yard line. Texas was up 35-17.

The second half would start slower than the first. Kansas picked up a field goal halfway through the third quarter to cut the lead to two touchdowns. It was 35-20.

Kansas looked to slowly be building some momentum. Early in the fourth quarter Buechele threw an interception in Texas territory. The Jayhawks would come away with no points, however, and get turned over on downs.

Texas would then march the ball down the field and take five minutes off the clock to score. After getting inside the red zone, the Longhorns gave the ball to running back Chris Warren III on a direct snap and he ran it in from the one yard line. Texas was up 42-20.

Kansas would end up scoring in the last seconds of the game, with Carter Stanley hitting Chase Harrell for an 18 yard touchdown.

That would be the last score, with Texas topping Kansas 42-27.

GAME STATS

MATCHUP KU UT
1st Downs 19 18
3rd Down Eff 7-19 5-17
4th Down Eff 0-1 4-6
Total Yards 364 371
Passing 268 258
Comp-Att 27-43 24-34
Yards Per Pass 6.2 7.6
Interceptions 3 1
Rushing 96 113
Rush Att 35 40
Yards Per Rush 2.7 2.8
Fumbles Lost 1 1
Penalties 5-45 8-68
Possession 30:23 29:37
PASS LEADERS C/ATT YDS AVG TD INT QBR
KU – C. Stanley 27/43 268 6.2 3 3 33.1
UT – S. Buechele 22/32 249 7.8 1 1 32.4
RUSH LEADERS CAR YDS AVG TD LONG
KU – C. Stanley 11 43 3.9 0 18
UT – D. Young 21 67 3.2 0 21
RECEIVING LEADERS REC YDS AVG TD LONG
KU – E. Fairs 7 104 14.9 0 34
UT –L. Joe 5 98 19.6 1 49

EMPTYING THE NOTEBOOK

The Kansas front seven was able to mostly contain the Texas rushing attack throughout the day. They held Texas to 2.8 yards per rush on 40 rushing attempts. Defensive lineman for the Jayhawks were also in the Texas backfield all day, making Shane Buechele uncomfortable throughout the game. Star defensive lineman Dorance Armstrong also almost had an interception at one point and it felt like the Kansas defense did enough to possibly get them a win today.

Kansas was absolutely done in by their turnovers. They had four on the day and the points Texas got off turnovers really gave the Jayhawks obstacles they couldn’t overcome. At one point, Carter threw one of those picks in the end zone when Kansas looked to be about to score. Missed opportunities like that will have Kansas fans wondering whether they could have won this game if it wouldn’t have been for the interceptions and the fumble.

Today looked like progress for Carter Stanley and the Kansas offense. Herbert wasn’t really ever able to get free for a long run, but Stanley was able to find holes in the Texas defense all day. He also showcased some decisiveness on his way to 268 yards passing. Stanley was also the team’s leading rusher, averaging 3.9 yards per carry. Multiple times on Saturday, he was able to pick up first down yardage when the Jayhawks needed it.

Although the Texas defense accounted for four turnovers, four sacks and twelve tackles for loss, they gave up plenty of yards, particularly through the air. As in weeks past, most of these were problems in communication with the defensive backs and issues with not everyone being on the same page. The loss of cornerback Holton Hill was definitely noticeable, but the mistakes that the Texas defense made can’t be pinned on one player.

Offensively, Texas struggled again for much of the day. They put up five touchdowns, but three of Kansas’s turnovers put Texas in Kansas territory and set up scores. The Longhorns offense only scored twice, in fact, when they were forced to set up on their own side of the field. Much of that had to do with inconsistency on offense for Texas, who didn’t really ever find a reliable way of moving the ball down the field on the ground or through the air.

Texas decided to put Mitchell Becker in at kicker to try and hit a 40 yard field goal early in the game, but the kick was wide left. As in other games Texas has played this season, the lack of confidence in a field goal kicker began to affect the Longhorns decision-making on fourth down. Texas went for it six times in this game. Four times they were able to pick up the necessary yardage, but they were within field goal on the two failures.

 

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