Never did most Kansas fans think that they be locked in a 13-0 struggle with Texas. However, that deficit might as well have been 100-0, as the Kansas offense was struggling just to score once, let alone several times, as the Longhorns tacked on 10 points in the final quarter to make the final score 23-0, Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
The game marked the first Kansas home shutout since being demolished 64-0 during Mark Mangino’s first season in 2002. The game also signaled the end of the Charlie Weis era at Kansas, as he was fired early Sunday morning by athletics director Sheahon Zenger. Defensive coordinator Clint Bowen will assume the head coaching duties beginning with the team’s upcoming game at West Virginia, this coming Saturday.
"I normally do not favor changing coaches mid-season," Zenger said in a statement Sunday morning. "But I believe we have talented coaches and players in this program, and I think this decision gives our players the best chance to begin making progress right away.
"I appreciate what Coach Weis did with several facets of our football program," Zenger continued. "But we have not made the on-the-field progress we believe we should. I believe new leadership gives our coaches and players the best chance to make a fresh start."
As for the game against Texas (2-2, 1-0), the Kansas defense hung in there throughout in front of a Homecoming crowd of 36,904. But, the Jayhawks (2-2, 0-1) rarely threatened to score and on their two trips in the redzone, one ended in one of quarterback Montell Cozart’s four interceptions of the day and the other ended via turnover on downs, when Kansas called a fade pattern on fourth and goal from the five yard line.
“I thought we played a really good game for our first Big 12 game,” linebacker and team captain Ben Heeney said. “I thought we kept the team in the game. I’m really proud of how we played today.”
The Kansas defense held Texas to just 111 yards on 36 carries and not once did were the Longhorns able to drive the length of the field on KU, which made the loss all the more unsettling. The Kansas offense, which wasn’t expected to have success on the ground against Texas rushed for 173 yards on 51 carries, led by running back DeAndre Mann, who totaled 83 yards on 17 carries.
In the end, the game will be remembered for what happened in the hours following it, rather than what took place during it and it was their captain’s thoughts that proved to be more prophetic that anyone could have imagined as the team moves forward with a new coach.
“We sulk tonight, but tomorrow we move on to West Virginia,” Heeney said. “There is a new opportunity at West Virginia to beat them at their place next week. We got a win against them last year and I’m sure they haven’t forgot about it so we need to be ready to play them next week.”