Jayhawk Flashback: Kansas Dominates Houston in Fort Worth Bowl, 42-13

by KUAthletics.com, Dec. 23, 2005

NOTE: The Kansas Jayhawks are set to take on the Houston Cougars this Saturday, Sept. 17, at TDECU Stadium in Houston. It will be the first matchup between the programs since the Jayhawks’ memorable victory over Houston in the 2005 Fort Worth Bowl.

Below is the recap and postgame notes from that game:

FORT WORTH, Texas – The University of Kansas closed out the 2005 season with a 42-13 victory over Houston in the Fort Worth Bowl Friday night, Dec. 23, at Amon G. Carter Stadium. The win gave the Jayhawks their first bowl victory since winning the 1995 Aloha Bowl and the most wins (seven) in a decade.

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Junior Brian Murph put Kansas (7-5) on the board early when he returned a Houston punt 85 yards for a touchdown. The punt return for a touchdown was the first of Murph’s career and KU’s longest of the season. Sophomore Scott Webb kicked the extra point to give the Jayhawks a 7-0 lead 10:26 into the game.

Houston (6-6) scored its first points of the game in the second quarter (14:22) when freshman Ben Bell kicked a 32-yard field goal. Kansas answered on the ensuing possession with a five-play, 60-yard drive that resulted in a 13-yard shovel pass from senior Jason Swanson to junior Jon Cornish for a touchdown. Webb converted on the extra point to give KU a 14-3 lead.

Kansas Jayhawks

The Cougars capped a 42-yard, seven-play drive with a touchdown when junior Kevin Kolb scored on a one-yard keeper with 57 seconds remaining in the half. Bell’s extra point brought UH within four, and KU headed into the break leading 14-10.

The KU defense struck early in the second half when senior Theo Baines intercepted a Kolb pass and ran it 16 yards to KU’s 30-yard line. Two plays later, Cornish took another shovel pass from Swanson (12:43) 30 yards for his second touchdown of the day and 11th of the season. Webb’s kick gave the Jayhawks a 21-10 advantage.

After a 44-yard field goal by Houston’s T.J. Lawrence, Swanson connected with senior Mark Simmons on a 32-yard pass to top off an 80-yard, 3:32 scoring drive. The TD and extra point (Webb) gave KU a 28-13 lead with 4:57 left in the third stanza.

KU pulled away when senior Charlton Keith picked off a Kolb pass at the Jayhawks’ 14-yard line 2:37 into the fourth quarter and ran it in for a touchdown. The interception was Keith’s first and marked his second career touchdown. Just over a minute later, Baines nabbed his second interception of the day, giving KU the ball on the UH 46-yard line.

Murph scored his second touchdown of the day in the fourth quarter, a 48-yard pass from Swanson, to give the Jayhawks a 42-13 advantage.

Swanson threw for four touchdowns and had 19 completions on 29 attempts for 307 yards in the final game of his career. Swanson joined Kolb as the teams’ 2005 Fort Worth Bowl MVPs.

Kansas’ win over Houston:

  • Gave Kansas its seventh win of the season, its most since the 1995 Jayhawks went 10-2.
  • Made the Kansas-Houston all-time series 3-0 in favor of the Jayhawks.
  • Gave Kansas an all-time bowl record of 4-6…The Jayhawks have since won two additional bowl game appearances to improve to 6-6 all-time in bowl games, with wins in three straight.
  • Marked Kansas’ third bowl win in its last four bowl appearances.
  • Gave KU’s Mark Mangino his 19th career win as a head coach…Mangino went on to finish his tenure at Kansas with a record of 50-48, giving him the second-most all-time victories by a KU Football coach.


– Junior Brian Murph returned a punt 85 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter, marking the longest punt return by a Jayhawk since an 88-yard return by Lee Hawkins against Iowa State in 1971. The return was the first of Murph’s career. It qualified as the fourth-longest punt return in school history and was the longest of the season. It was also the longest in Fort Worth Bowl history and a KU bowl record.

– Senior LB Nick Reid ended his career with his 42nd straight start. He started every game since the seventh game of his freshman year.

– Junior RB Jon Cornish scored on a 13-yard shovel pass from Swanson in the second quarter. It was his first TD reception of his career and his 10th touchdown of the season overall.

– Cornish scored on a shovel pass again in the third quarter on a 30-yard play for his 11th TD of the season which ranks in a tie for ninth all-time at Kansas. It marked the most touchdowns by a KU player in a single season since QB Bill Whittemore had 11 in 2002.

– Senior CB Theo Baines intercepted Houston QB Kevin Kolb early in the third quarter and returned the ball 16 yards. The pick was the third of the season for Baines and the fourth of his career. Baines picked off another Kolb pass in the fourth quarter, the fifth of his career. His two interceptions set a new KU bowl record. It was the third time this season KU had a player record multiple interceptions in a game.

Kolb went on to play seven seasons in the NFL for the Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals and Buffalo Bills. He started 21 games and throw for better than 5,200 yards and 28 touchdowns in his NFL career.

– Senior QB Jason Swanson threw for four touchdowns, which marked a KU bowl record and the most by a Jayhawk since Sept. 11, 2004 (four TD passes by Adam Barmann vs. Toledo). Swanson’s last game marked career highs in TD passes (four) and passing yards (307). His 307 passing yards are a KU bowl record

Todd Reesing has since surpassed the bowl record for passing yards (313) and tied the record for passing touchdowns (4) in the 2008 Insight Bowl

– Senior RB Clark Green ended his career ranked fourth on the all-time KU receiving list with 122 total career receptions. No running back in KU history recorded more catches than Green.

– Junior WR Charles Gordon moved into seventh place on the KU career pass receptions list. His six catches brought his career total 106

Gordon is currently ranked 12th on KU’s career receptions list

– Senior DE Charlton Keith picked off a Kolb pass in the fourth quarter and returned it 14 yards for a touchdown. The INT was the first of his career, while the touchdown was the second of his career. He also scored on a fumble recovery against Toledo in 2004.