Kansas football clinched its best start since 2009 after the Jayhawks edged Duke 35-27 to move to 4-0 on Saturday. Perhaps even more shockingly, the win means that Kansas clinches the best record for a Jayhawks squad since that '09 squad which finished 5-7.
Jayhawks quarterback Jalon Daniels put together another sensational game, completing 19 of 23 passes for 324 yards, carrying the ball 10 times for 83 yards and notching five total touchdowns in the victory. Perhaps the biggest came midway through the second quarter when running back Daniel Hinshaw put together one of the plays of the season.
Facing second-and-7, Daniels dropped back and found Hishaw for a swing pass out of the backfield. The redshirt sophomore ran past midfield nearly untouched but was met by Duke defender Chandler Rivers. Instead of going down, Hishaw swung Rivers around, made a cut and exploded the remaining 40 yards down the field for a wild touchdown to take a 14-7 lead the team would not relinquish.
The play was one of four passing touchdowns from Daniels to four different receivers. Six different players had at least 20 yards receiving for the Jayhawks. Hishaw had just the one catch but added 61 yards rushing in the statement victory.
Duke quarterback Riley Leonard played well with 324 yards passing and 54 yards rushing, but the Blue Devils had to settle for field goals. First-year coach Mike Elko's defense struggled to get Daniels off the field as he averaged 14.1 yards per pass attempt.
The game against Duke -- a fellow blue-blood basketball power -- quickly became one of the most anticipated games of the weekend after both programs began 3-0. Kansas sold out David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium and featured a raucous crowd to watch the outstanding victory.
While the Jayhawks started 5-0 in 2009, Kansas actually lost seven consecutive games to close the year and missed a bowl game. Kansas' last bowl appearance came when Mark Mangino's Jayhawks beat Minnesota 42-21 in the 2008 Insight Bowl.