Quick Hits: Texas 21, Kansas 17

By Matt Hinton | Blogger
Texas' Mike Davis celebrates with Bryant Jackson during the victory. (U.S. Presswire)

TEXAS WON. Longhorns fans will never grow accustomed to narrow escapes against Big 12 bottom dwellers, but one week after surviving a 56-50 shootout against Baylor, they had to settle for another close, come-from-behind win to avoid a major upset in Lawrence. Kansas led for most of the game, until backup quarterback Case McCoy came off the bench to lead to Texas to two late touchdowns, including the game-winner to D.J. Grant with just 12 seconds to play.

WHY TEXAS WON. Most of the criticism over the last month has been reserved for the Longhorn defense, but today it was the offense's turn to struggle: After scoring quickly on its first possession of the game, Texas' next eight opportunities with the ball resulted in four punts, two interceptions, a fumble and a turnover on downs when Kansas turned away a 4th-and-1 attempt at the goal line. When McCoy came on for struggling starter David Ash in the fourth quarter, the Longhorns had managed just 198 yards of total offense and trailed 14-7 against a team riding a 16-game conference losing streak. Ash was pulled with just 63 yards and two interceptions on 8-for-16 passing.

With McCoy at the controls, Texas drove 84 yards to tie the game on an 11-yard run by Marquise Goodwin, and subsequently answered a go-ahead Kansas field goal with a 70-yard march for the winning score.

WHEN TEXAS WON. The Longhorns' final drive nearly ended before it began, with UT facing a fourth-and-6 on its own 34. From there, McCoy hit Jaxon Shipley for 18 yards to move the sticks, and two plays later connected with Mike Davis on a 39-yard strike inside the Jayhawk five-yard line. After a pair of goal-line runs by Johnathan Gray came up short, McCoy found Grant wide open on third down via play-action. Kansas had no opportunity for a response.

WHAT TEXAS WON. The last Big 12 coach who lost to Kansas, Colorado's Dan Hawkins back in November 2010, was immediately fired. At least that's not going to happen to Mack Brown, whose team just secured a bowl game at 6-2 for the season. But between the close calls to traditional doormats and the renewed quarterback controversy between Ash and McCoy, the grumbling that's continued through most of the past three seasons is not about to subside.

WHAT KANSAS LOST. The Jayhawks are still well behind the curve compared to the rest of the Big 12, but a strong upset bid against one of the league's heavier hitters should inject a little optimism as they steam toward another losing season. There's a realistic chance the losing streak could end over the final month of the season, against Baylor, Texas Tech, Iowa State or West virginia -- though three of those four are on the road, where Kansas hasn't been nearly as competitive as in Lawrence.

 
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