LAWRENCE, Kan. – Late defensive heroics by senior lineman Keyshaun Simmons proved to be the game changer in Kansas’ 27-26 victory over TCU inside David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.
As time was winding down in the fourth quarter, TCU was in the red zone with a chance to score a game-winning touchdown when Simmons recovered a TCU fumble, giving KU the ball and securing its victory.
On the opening drive of the game, Kansas traveled 75 yards on 11 plays to score its first touchdown of the day. The scoring drive marked the first time that KU had a lead during conference play this season.
KU’s defense has been its strength all season, and that showed once again in the first quarter when the Jayhawks stalled TCU’s drive at the one-yard line on fourth-and-goal with less than three minutes in the opening stanza. KU’s defense held a potent TCU offense to only 10 points in the first half, marking only the second time this season that TCU has 10 or less points in the first half. Both of the teams traded scores throughout the whole game, with eight different lead changes before KU pulled out ahead.
Two good kicks by senior Gabriel Rui in the second half gave KU a 20-17 edge, which marks the first time in conference play that the Jayhawks have led the game during the second half. TCU reclaimed the lead on a Michael Collins touchdown with 10:38 to play.
The Jayhawks answered, with Pooka Williams Jr. capping a nine-play 79-yard drive with a 28-yard touchdown catch from senior quarterback Peyton Bender. It was the late touchdown by KU that pushed the Jayhawks ahead of TCU and they didn’t relinquish the lead.