No. 22 Texas Tech Slips Past Kansas in 2OT, 41-34
Nov. 10, 2012
LUBBOCK, Texas – While Kansas rushed for 390 yards, its highest total ever in Big 12 play, Texas Tech’s Eric Stephens needed just one positive yard and one pass to score two touchdowns in overtime and help the No. 22 Red Raiders escape with a 41-34, double-overtime win over the Jayhawks at Jones AT&T Stadium Saturday.
Kansas’ James Sims became the first running back in KU history to rush for more than 100 yards in six consecutive games and along with Tony Pierson helped KU match the single-season mark for 100-yard, but Stephens and the Red Raiders (7-3, 4-3 Big 12) got just enough to keep the Jayhawks (1-9, 0-7 Big 12) on the short end. Stephens took a snap and dove over the pile for a one-yard touchdown to answer KU’s opening score of the first overtime series, then the found Darrin Moore open on a halfback pass to provide the go-ahead score in the second series. KU’s attempt to answer was denied on fourth down.
Pierson led KU with 202 yards on just 16 carries, breaking long runs of 49 and 69 in the game, but it was Sims that carried the bulk of the workload with 30 rushes for 127 yards and two scores. Along with KU running back Taylor Cox, Kansas players have rushed for 100 yards 10 different times this season to match KU’s single-season high.
Kansas proved yet again that it could hang with one of the top teams in the country in the first half a game and trailed by just four at the break, 21-17. It could’ve been an entirely different feel, however, as KU scored 10 unanswered points to close the half after an interception by Bradley McDougald stopped a Tech drive near midfield.
Both teams exchanged touchdown jabs on their opening drives with TTU’s Seth Doege connecting with Jakeem Grant and KU’s Sims running up the middle to cap the respective starts. Tech began to distance itself in the early part of the second quarter, as Doege hit Tyson Williams for a 16-yard TD on the quarter’s opening play, then found Darrin Moore for a 6-yard strike just two minutes later.
The Red Raiders looked to be moving towards a third score on its third drive of the second frame after another three-and-out from KU, but McDougald intercepted Doege’s pass inside KU territory to break the momentum.
Michael Cummings found Brandon Bourbon open in the right flat for a 10 yard touchdown pass with six minutes to go before halftime and Nick Prolago knocked through his second career field goal from 22 yards out with 11 seconds to go.
Kansas received the ball out of the break but was unable to push across midfield before punting. Texas Tech struck first in the second half, but again the defense showed its toughness, limiting the Red Raiders to a field goal despite facing a first and goal inside the 10.
The Red Raiders added another field goal early in the fourth quarter but Kansas wouldn’t go away. The Jayhawks put together another 10 unanswered points, boosted by the 69-yard run by Pierson and a critical fourth down scamper by Cummings.
Both teams watched as Ryan Bustin missed wide left on a 41-yard try as time expired in regulation.
Kansas received the ball to open the overtime session and used a strong run by Pierson to move KU inside the 10 and himself over 200 yards for the game. His yardage total was the most by a Jayhawk since Jon Cornish ran for 201 against K-State in 2006. Cummings hit Sims for a five-yard touchdown pass on the right side to give KU its first lead of the game, 34-27, but Stephens run tied it up on the next drive, and his pass put the Raiders on top on the next series.
Doege threw for 476 yards and three touchdowns for the Red Raiders, with his favorite target, Eric Ward, catching 12 passes for 180 yards. TTU was held to just 63 yards on the ground.
After back-to-back Big 12 road trips to the state of Texas, the Jayhawks return home to Memorial Stadium and welcome Iowa State for a 6 p.m. kickoff Saturday. The contest marks the home finale for KU and the Jayhawk seniors will be honored prior to the game, which will be televised on FSN.
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