Top 13: Wyman Lifts Jayhawks with Last Second Field Goal
Kansas Athletics and Jayhawk student-athletes had numerous successful athletic and academc accomplishments during the 2013 calendar year and will relive the top 13 moments in a nearly two week series leading up to New Years Eve. One crowning moment will be posted to KUAthletics.com and across the department’s social media platforms. Like, favorite or vote for your favorite 2013 moment and a top three, based on fan votes, will be revealed on New Year’s Eve. Check back daily for video highlights, a recap and your chance to weigh in on your favorite moments of 2013.
Down to the final play of the game with two seconds remaining on the clock, freshman kicker Matthew Wyman lofted a 52-yard field goal from the left hash mark to give the Jayhawks a 13-10 victory over Louisiana Tech Sept. 21 at Memorial Stadium.
Wyman’s kick gave Kansas its first lead of the contest when it mattered most and gave the Jayhawks their first walk-off win since Scott Webb kicked a field goal to push KU past Iowa State in 2005. The kick was also the first 50-yard make for KU since 2009 and moved the Jayhawks to 3-1 in meetings with Louisiana Tech.
Wyman’s kick capped 10 unanswered points by the Jayhawks following a fourth-quarter fumble by the Bulldogs on the one-yard line that proved to be the momentum changer of the game. It was the first of two Louisiana Tech fumbles inside the five in the fourth quarter.
“Great, great, great effort and fighting until the end of the game, that’s it,” Kansas defensive lineman Keon Stowers said. “There wasn’t a magic wand, it was a great team effort obviously. The offense started off a little slow, but the defense was still there. We held them to 10 points, we bended a little bit, but we still got them. We came up with some big plays like my fumble (recovery), and Tony’s (Pierson) big catch, and definitely (Matthew) Wyman’s big kick. It was a whole team effort, we came together as a team.”
On the ensuing Kansas possession, KU drove 80 yards on eight plays that ended with Jake Heaps found Jimmay Mundine for a 22-yard touchdown connection to tie the game at 10
LA Tech strung together an 80-yard drive of its own late in the fourth quarter, but a fumble by Kenneth Dixon gave KU the ball back on its own 5-yard line with 1:33 left in the game. The Jayhawks then drove 60 yards to set-up the game-winning field goal for Wyman.
“I knew (Matthew) Wyman was going to make that right when he went out there so I buckled my helmet up because I knew we were about to celebrate,” Kansas punter Trevor Pardula said. “It’s a good feeling.”
Kansas recorded 396 yards of total offense, 117 rushing and 279 in the air, compared to the 443 yards recorded by LA Tech.
Heaps completed a career-high 28 passes for 279 yards and a touchdown. Tony Pierson was the Jayhawks leading receiver with nine catches for 82 yards, while Brandon Bourbon added seven for 47 yards.
On defense, Victor Simmons and Ben Heeney each recorded a game-high 10 tackles, while Dexter McDonald added two more pass breakups to his nation-leading mark in the passes defended column of six. The tackles were a career high for Simmons, who also recorded two tackles for loss.
KU opened the game with a 43-yard drive, thanks to Pierson combining for 33 with three rushes and a completion. However, the Jayhawk offense failed to convert on a short fourth and three from the LA Tech 33, turning the ball over on downs.
The Kansas defense had no trouble finding a rhythm on the ensuing Bulldog possession, as the squad allowed just one yard and forced a LA Tech punt. The unit continued to shine on LA Tech’s next possession after Heeney recorded his first career interception for the team’s fourth on the season.
Heaps threw an interception of his own on the next drive, leading to a 57-yard drive by the Bulldogs that resulted in a touchdown from Ryan Higgins to Hunter Lee, putting LA Tech on top 7-0 as the first quarter came to a close.
After back-to-back missed field goals, one by KU’s Wyman and the other by LA Tech’s Kyle Fischer, the Jayhawks drove the ball 58 yards late in the second quarter to score their first points of the game on a make by Wyman. The Bulldogs answered back with another 60-yard drive, however, another missed field goal by Fischer ended the half with a score of 7-3, in favor of LA Tech.
Fischer gave Louisiana Tech a 10-3 lead early in the third quarter with a 39-yard field goal, but that was it for the scoring in the third frame as both teams jockeyed for field position. Kansas punter Trevor Pardula booted a 78-yard punt – eighth-longest in school history – and added a 65-yard kick in the third quarter, part of a single-game, school-record effort of 57.6 yards per punt.
Louisiana Tech running back Kenneth Dixon, a freshman All-American a year ago, rushed for a game-high 129 yards and Bulldog freshman quarterback Ryan Higgins completed 35-of-55 passes for 289 yards. DJ Banks tied Pierson for the game-high with 82 yards, while hauling in 13 passes.
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