Epic failure

AUSTIN, Texas – On a night in which the Kansas Jayhawks mustered just three more yards of total offense (46) than the Texas Longhorns did points (43), Head Coach Turner Gill's squad dropped its sixth straight game in a fashion that left everyone - coaches, fans and players - searching for answers.

By halftime, the Kansas Jayhawks had recorded just 10 yards of total offense.

And that's pretty much all one needs to know about the way things went for Head Coach Turner Gill's squad Saturday night in Austin, Texas, as the Longhorns steamrolled their way to a 43-0 victory.

In a season that has been filled with mind-boggling performances - and not in a good way - Saturday's struggle to produce anything offensively was just the latest worthy of a facepalm.

"Obviously it was a tough ball game all the way around," Gill said. "Tough on our offense. Unfortunately, (they weren't) expecting to have a total shutdown as far as not being able to move the ball at all on offense."

Texas freshman running back Malcolm Brown had a career day - in an admittedly brief career - topping the 100-yard mark before half and logging a pair of rushing touchdowns, including one with 10:06 remaining in the first half that opened the floodgates.

Every time Kansas looked to take a step forward, they found a way to take an even bigger one backward.

The defense stiffened and held on Texas' first drive of the second quarter, stuffing Longhorns quarterback David Ash on 4th and Goal from the 1-yard line. However, an illegal hands to the face penalty on senior center Jeremiah Hatch in the end zone resulted in a safety.

On the ensuing drive, the defense tightened up again, forcing an interception in the end zone after freshman linebacker Michael Reynolds tipped Ash's pass and it wound up in the hands of senior cornerback Greg Brown.

"I did like the way that they played hard," Gill said, of his defense. "They showed a lot of heart today. Obviously I know it wasn't very successful as far as the scoreboard, but it's good to see that fight."

Once again, however, the Jayhawks were unable to capitalize, going three-and-out. Texas responded by engineering a nine play, 56-yard scoring drive, capped by Brown's second rushing touchdown of the game.

Despite producing a small handful of turnovers and playing tough in the red zone at times, the Kansas defense once again surrendered more than 500 yards of total offense - 590 to be exact. Joe Bergeron led the Longhorns on the ground with 136 yards on 13 carries, while Brown added 120 on 28 carries. Both rushed for a pair of touchdowns.

It was a light day of work for Ash and backup Case McCoy, who combined to go 16-20 for 149 yards and no touchdowns.

However, the Kansas offense was the real story. Once thought to be evidence of the team's progress in Year Two of the Gill Era, the unit's momentum has slowed of late and Saturday came to a screeching halt.

At halftime, the Jayhawks had 10 yards of total offense. By the end of the third quarter that total had dropped to nine, and when the final second ticked off the clock it had increased to just 46 yards of total offense - the second lowest total in program history.

Darrian Miller led Kansas in rushing with 11 yards on six carries. Starter James Sims was held to five yards on three carries. In total, the Kansas ground game actually lost yardage on the night, totaling -2 yards on 20 carries. By contrast, Texas rushed for 441.

It was a difficult day for quarterback Jordan Webb as well, who completed just 7-of-16 passes for 48 yards.

A deeper look at the statistics shows just how tough the sledding was for Webb and Co. Texas won the time of possession battle 40:33 to 15:53. They ran 93 plays to Kansas' 36. They had three fewer points than the Jayhawks had yards.

It was, in short, a dominating performance by Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz's crew – one which left the Kansas coaching staff searching for answers.

"I don't (have an explanation) right now," said offensive coordinator Chuck Long. "Other than Texas, they just whooped us. They out-physicaled us, and it's one of the worst days or nights I've had as a coach. It was a rough night, obviously."

Kansas next travels to Ames, Iowa for a Nov. 5 match-up with the Iowa State Cyclones.

Phog.net Top Stories