Austin, Texas — The third quarter of the Kansas football team’s 42-27 loss at Texas Saturday night got off to a somber start. On the offense’s first series after halftime, junior receiver Steven Sims Jr. converted a third-and-10 by making a wicked cut in the open field for a 26-yard gain.
However, his teammate, receiver Tyler Patrick, suffered a severe left-leg injury on the same play.
The game stopped for several minutes as trainers addressed the injured Patrick, down on the turf.
“I mean, it stunk,” KU head coach David Beaty said of Patrick’s setback. “Because all he wanted to know was did we get the first down. I’m like, 'Dude, your leg doesn’t look great right now.' But that’s what type of kid he is. But he was hurting. I could tell something wasn’t right when we got out there.”
After having the leg stabilized, Patrick was placed on a stretcher and driven off the field on a cart.
A junior from The Woodlands, Texas, Patrick did not make a catch in the game before being forced out of action. Beaty didn’t provide an update on his status.
Defense down three starters
Three potential starters for KU’s defense weren’t able to play at Texas, due to undisclosed injuries.
Sophomore safety Mike Lee and junior cornerback Shakial Taylor, both considered questionable leading up to the game at Darrell K. Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium, hadn’t fully recovered from injuries suffered the previous week, in a home loss to Baylor.
Junior defensive end Josh Ehambe, who started six games earlier this season before missing the Nov. 4 loss to Baylor due to injury, also was unavailable.
As expected, sophomore Shaq Richmond started for Lee at safety, while Kyle Mayberry filled in for Taylor at corner.
Richmond recorded one tackle and Mayberry had a pass breakup, 1.5 tackles for loss and four solo stops.
Junior Keyshaun Simmons again started on the opposite end of the defensive line from Dorance Armstrong Jr., where Ehambe typically plays. Simmons made three tackles.
No team playing at college football’s highest level has ever lost as many road games in a row as Kansas.
With a 15-point defeat at Texas, the Jayhawks took sole possession of the streak they briefly shared with former high-major conference member Western State, which lost 44 consecutive road contests from 1926-36, while playing in the old Rocky Mountain Conference, comprised of teams such as Utah, Colorado, Brigham Young and Utah State.
KU’s 45-game road losing streak began in 2009, with a loss at Colorado, roughly a month following the program’s last road win, at UTEP, on Sept. 12, 2009.
FCS program Idaho State, a longtime member of the Big Sky Conference, but never competing at the FBS level, lost 48 straight road games from 2006 to 2014.
KU plays its home finale next week against Oklahoma, before closing the 2017 season at Oklahoma State, on Nov. 25.
Scare for Defense
Late in the third quarter, it appeared the KU secondary might be dealt another injury blow when starting corner Hasan Defense got hurt.
The sophomore corner gingerly ran off the field.
Sophomore Julian Chandler replaced Defense, who made five total tackles and broke up a pass before the injury, only temporarily. As a sub, Chandler forced a fumble and made two tackles
In the fourth quarter, Defense returned the field and intercepted a pass.
Although Clyde McCauley III started again for KU at right tackle, Zach Hannon did play as a reserve, making his first appearance in three weeks.
The Jayhawks (1-9 overall, 0-7 Big 12) started the same five on the offensive line for the third week in a row: Hakeem Adeniji, Andru Tovi, Mesa Ribordy, Chris Hughes and McCauley.
Hughes was replaced at right guard in the second half by Larry Hughes.