Kansas Football 2023 -:
Following an exhilarating 38-33 victory against the sixth-ranked Oklahoma team, Leipold expressed, “The time has come for me to acknowledge the tremendous strides we’ve made.”
Devin Neal’s impressive 112-yard run culminated in the game-winning score with only 55 seconds remaining, ultimately thwarting the Sooners’ final play and paving the way for Kansas fans to savor a well-deserved triumph.
After enduring numerous challenging seasons, Jayhawks supporters joyously stormed the field, celebrating one of the most monumental victories in the school’s history.
This triumph marked the end of an 18-game losing streak against Oklahoma, concluding their matchups before the move to the SEC and standing as their highest-ranked victory since the 2008 Orange Bowl against Virginia Tech.
In a frenzy of celebration, fans dismantled the goal posts and submerged them into Potter Lake.
“This is an incredibly significant moment for this team,” affirmed Jason Bean, who stepped in for the injured quarterback Jalon Daniels.
Despite a tense moment when the Jayhawks, trailing 33-32 with 2:29 left, faced an interception by Bean, their vastly improved defense stood firm.
They compelled Oklahoma (7-1, 4-1) to punt. Following two completions and a crucial fourth-down throw, Neal rushed in from 9 yards out, reclaiming the lead against what seemed to be an unsure defense.
However, this granted Oklahoma’s offense another opportunity.
Dillon Gabriel managed a 39-yard pass to Brenan Thompson, bringing the Sooners to the Kansas 34 with just 24 seconds remaining.
After a short throw to Jovantae Barnes and an incomplete pass, the quarterback, who had maintained near perfection throughout the season, lobbed a high pass to the end zone in the game’s final moments, igniting the celebratory storming of the field.
“I found myself among a mass of students,” chuckled Leipold. “I hope no one administers a breathalyzer test based on the fumes out there.”
Bean completed 218 yards with two interceptions, along with a 62-yard rushing performance and a touchdown. Daniel Hishaw also contributed two TD runs for the Jayhawks, marking their victory against Oklahoma for the first time since October 4, 1997.
Gabriel concluded the game with 171 passing yards and three touchdown runs, while Tawee Walker added 146 rushing yards and a score. Nonetheless, the Sooners were left regretting several missed opportunities, signifying the end of their flawless season.
“Turnovers, penalties— the timing of it all was terribly off,” lamented Oklahoma coach Brent Venables. “As I told them, we won’t be defined by a single win or loss. There’s still much ahead of us. But this one stings.”
Until the fourth quarter, the Homecoming event for the Jayhawks seemed dreary.
A packed Memorial Stadium eagerly tuned into Fox’s pregame show, only to contend with rainfall after kickoff. In the second quarter, lightning disrupted play for almost an hour. When the game resumed, only half of the initial crowd remained, with a substantial portion chanting ‘Boomer Sooner.’
Those loyal Kansas fans who braved the conditions witnessed an unforgettable game.
The Jayhawks surged to a 14-0 lead courtesy of a pick-six by Mello Dotson and Hishaw’s initial TD run. Yet, the Sooners, struggling without the injured running back Marcus Major, quickly regained their momentum.
An error by the Jayhawks, fumbling a kickoff, led to Gabriel’s second touchdown run, marking 21 unanswered points for Oklahoma.
The back-and-forth contest was far from over.
Narrowing the gap to 21-20 in the third quarter, the Jayhawks capitalized on a fumble, allowing Bean to rush for a 38-yard score. Responding with a 75-yard TD drive, the Sooners seized a 27-26 lead, only for the Jayhawks to capitalize on three personal fouls, including one resulting from the Oklahoma bench’s dispute, reclaiming a 32-27 lead.
Kansas nearly solidified a two-possession advantage in the fourth quarter following a muff by the Sooners during a kickoff. However, a holding penalty nullified Hishaw’s 20-yard touchdown run, and Seth Keller missed a 42-yard field-goal attempt.
Seizing the opportunity, the Sooners intercepted Bean’s pass, with Billy Bowman securing it at the Kansas 14. Gabriel scored less than 2 minutes later, securing a 33-32 lead with 5:22 left.
Ample time remained for the Jayhawks to orchestrate one final touchdown and deliver a resolute defensive stand.
“Everyone trusted the process,” Hishaw declared. “I guess you could say this is a bit of a payoff.”
Kansas Football, Kansas Football 2023, KU holds,
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