Kansas football’s misery over the last decade can be summed up with the following: A losing record every season, shuffling through four interim/head coaches and a general ineptitude that has put the program among the laughingstocks of college football.
Things weren’t supposed to change much this season, as head coach David Beaty entered the 2018 campaign with a 3–33 record and justified that sorry mark when the season opener resulted in a loss to FCS opponent Nicholls State.
But the Jayhawks then put together a mini-winning streak by beating Central Michigan in Mount Pleasant, snapping a 46-game road losing streak, and destroying equally pitiful Rutgers the next week.
On Saturday Kansas beat TCU 27–26 to snap a four-game losing streak—its first victory over the Horned Frogs since 1997 and its first conference victory since beating Texas at home two years ago, setting off a wild celebration and rare field storming by fans.
With TCU driving for the potential tying on winning score in the fourth quarter, the college version of the buttfumble took place, when Darius Anderson ran into the backside of his own offensive lineman, coughed up the pigskin and Kansas defensive end KeyShaun Simmons recovered the ball at 7-yard line.
The loss to the Jayhawks means Gary Patterson’s team has officially hit rock bottom.
The Horned Frogs, who were among the favorites to knock off perennial conference champion Oklahoma, were shorthanded coming into the game, with dynamic kick returner/receiver Kavontae Turpin booted from the team earlier this week and starting quarterback Shawn Robinson done for the year after having shoulder surgery.
Michael Collins, who came in for an ineffective Robinson during last week’s loss to Oklahoma, got the nod on Saturday. The Penn transfer went 23 for 33 for 351 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
TCU outgained Kansas by 175 yards, had 27 first downs and went 8 for 12 on third down conversions and still lost.
In a game that saw seven lead changes, Peyton Bender led the Kansas offense by throwing for 249 yards, including the go-ahead score, when he found running back Pooka Williams Jr for a 28-yard touchdown with six minutes remaining.
At the beginning of the season, Beaty’s name was certainly floated around as one who might not survive the season if things continued in a downward trend.
That still might happen, but Kansas needs to take this victory and show progress the rest of the season, which includes a home date with Iowa State, road games at Kansas State and Oklahoma and the season finale against Texas.