In life, you don't often get a second chance at something, but for 58 minutes on Saturday, Kansas had a chance to finish the upset of a heavily favored Texas team at Memorial Stadium.
It was 4th down and ball game. Unlike, in 2004, it was only six yards instead of 18.
Nevertheless, the Jayhawks defense needed one stop to pull off the upset and likely watch their fans rush the field. Once again, the Longhorns converted and a few minutes later, tight end D.J. Grant scored on a two-yard touchdown catch with 12 second to play and KU fans were left to wonder what if, as Texas (6-2, 3-2) came from behind to beat Kansas (1-7,0-5) 21-17.
The Jayhawks were left to pick themselves up and know that improvement is there after another close loss.
“We played our butts off on both sides of the ball,” head coach Charlie Weis said. “Physically, we really not only hung in there, but more than held our own and to lose with 12 seconds to go in a game is really disappointing for everyone and I just feel bad for them.”
Students were eyeing the goalposts with 2:28 to play, as kicker Nick Prologo booted a 29-yard field goal to put Kansas up 17-14. Texas got the ball back at their 30-yard line. On first down, quarterback Case McCoy in relief of starter David Ash, threw right at cornerback Greg Brown, who drop the game clinching interception.
A few plays later, it was fourth and six at the Texas 34 with under two minutes to play and fans recalled 2004, when the Longhorns faced fourth and 19 with the game on the line. In 2012, McCoy hit Jaxon Shipley over the middle for 18 yards to get a first down.
Two plays later, McCoy found receiver Mike Davis for 39 yards down the left sideline to the KU three. The touchdown came on third and goal.
The loss especially hurts, because Kansas did everything it needed to win.
They ran the ball for 289 yards as a team, led by running back James Sims, who led the way with a career high of 178 yards on 28 carries. They controlled the ball for nearly 33 minutes. KU forced two Texas turnovers and held them to 21 points and 342 yards of total offense. Coming in, the Longhorns were averaging 44 points per game and nearly 500 yards of total offense.
The Longhorns jumped out to a 7-0 lead on a three yard touchdown run by Joe Bergeron, but once Kansas tied it early in the second quarter on a 15-yard run by Christian Matthews, the Horns never led again until the final score.
“After this game, of course we are down, but we see the progress as a program,” Sims said. “That’s all that really matters at this time. We have to take it week by week, practice by practice and just continue to work as hard as we can.”