Friday, November 12, 2004

X-Factor Week 10: Texas 32, Kansas 31


After weeks and weeks of KU's virtual kicking game working like a finely oiled machine, Scott Webb missed two field goals against Texas, leaving the door open for the Longhorns to come from behind and defeat the Jayhawks, 32-31, in this week's X-Factor simulation.

Webb missed two field goals - one late in the second quarter and another late in the fourth quarter - and Texas kicker Dusty Mangum hit a 27-yard field goal with just two seconds left for the win.

KU's loss overshadowed a fine performance by quarterback John Nielsen. The senior walk-on finished 20-of-47 passing for 378 yards and two touchdowns.

Nielsen also threw two interceptions, though - the second of which set up the Longhorns' game-winning drive.

Phillip Gelggar intercepted Nielsen deep in Texas territory, and Vince Young and Cedric Benson marched the Longhorns downfield in nine plays, taking just 1:24 off the clock before Mangum's game-winning kick. The final drive included a fourth-down completion from Young to Limas Sweed.

John Randle returned the ensuing kickoff 20 yards, but was tackled by a horde of Longhorns after the final two seconds had expired, ending the game.

The virtual Jayhawks had jumped out to a 21-10 lead midway through the second quarter behind a 44-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Henry, a 12-yard scoring pass to Austine Nwabuisi and an two-yard run by John Randle.

The Longhorns had scored on a six-yard run by Cedric Benson and an 45-yard field goal by Mangum.

Texas closed to within four points, 21-17, on a 47-yard pass from Young to Tony Jeffery, but Kansas took a seven-point lead into halftime thanks to a 19-yard field goal by Webb with two seconds left before intermission.

Mangum brought Texas within a point, 24-23, with two third-quarter field goals, including a 47-yard kick midway through the period.

Randle gave KU a seemingly more comfortable lead with a three-yard scoring run early in the fourth quarter, but Benson answered less than two minutes later with a six-yard run. The Longhorns attempted a two-point conversion, but David McMillan stopped Young on the option.

After trading punts, KU marched downfield, but Webb missed a 38-yard field goal attempt wide right.

The redshirt freshman kicker's second miss of the game appeared to not matter when Charles Gordon swatted away Young's fourth-down pass to Sweed on the ensuing drive, but Gelggar's interception gave Texas one final chance - of which they took full advantage.

Randle rushed for just 64 yards on 23 carries, scoring twice. Mark Simmons caught eight passes for 130 yards, including five straight receptions on the first drive that resulted in a Randle touchdown.

Brandon Rideau caught four passes for 76 yards, and Gary Heaggans had three receptions for 86 yards.

Benson finished with 196 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries, and caught two passes for 25 yards.

Young, hounded much of the day by KU's defensive linemen, finished 9-of-29 passing for 190 yards and a touchdown.

Sweed caught four passes for 56 yards, and Jeffery had 109 receiving yards on three catches.

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