In a game that featured numerous standout moments and plays for the Jayhawks this past Saturday at Texas, the performance by Kansas football cornerback Jacobee Bryant graded out as one of the best individual showings in the country.
Pro Football Focus named Bryant, a freshman from Evergreen, Ala., to its Week 11 team of the week, which highlights the top performers for every position.
In just his sixth career start, Bryant nabbed his first interception as a member of the Jayhawks, and returned it 31 yards for a crucial defensive touchdown just before halftime in KU’s upset road win against the Longhorns.
KU defensive coordinator Brian Borland said Bryant picked up on an indicator from Texas receiver Marcus Washington as the wideout went into a break on his route.
“He really made a great read on that play and really read that receiver’s mail,” Borland said, “and (Bryant) jumped on it and caught it and ran it all the way in. So, yeah, that was pretty huge.”
The starting quarterback in KU’s first nine games of the season, junior Jason Bean could have played in an “emergency situation” at Texas this past weekend, head coach Lance Leipold said, but otherwise wasn’t likely to make an appearance.
Leipold didn’t want to put a percentage on Bean’s status after the fact, but said the junior QB “didn’t practice much at all” leading up to the Texas game.
Of course, the Jayhawks prevailed, 57-56 in overtime, against the Longhorns as Jalon Daniels took over the QB spot.
Bean was able to take comparatively more reps early this week, Leipold said, as the Jayhawks began preparing for Saturday’s road game at TCU (3 p.m., ESPN+).
Though Leipold didn’t want to announce who will start at QB for the Jayhawks this week, he said Daniels will play against the Horned Frogs.
KU’s marquee road win at Texas nabbed the program the title of the Cheez-It Bowl National Team of the Week.
The award, voted on by members of the Football Writers Association of America, has been a staple of the college football regular season since 2002.
This marked the fifth time the Jayhawks were named the FWAA’s team of the week, and the first time since another surprising road win — when the Jayhawks dominated at Boston College, 48-24, early in the 2019 season.
Longtime ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit also showed his appreciation for KU’s win, putting the Jayhawks at the No. 1 spot in his Week 11 installment of the country’s top performing teams.
Herbstreit ranked KU’s performance ahead of the likes of Michigan, Baylor, Ole Miss, Florida State, Mississippi State, Wake Forest and Georgia State.