Texas Tech defeats Kansas, 34-21

  • 2:30 p.m., Oct. 18, 2014
  • Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock, TX

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Streaking in wrong direction

Jayhawks drop 30th straight away from Lawrence

Kansas defenders Fish Smithson (9) and JaCorey Shepherd (24) lose their grip on Texas Tech running back Justin Stockton as he escapes on a touchdown run during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas.

Kansas defenders Fish Smithson (9) and JaCorey Shepherd (24) lose their grip on Texas Tech running back Justin Stockton as he escapes on a touchdown run during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Clint Bowen on what went wrong in 34-21 loss at Texas Tech

Clint Bowen on what went wrong in 34-21 loss at Texas Tech

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Box score

— The Kansas University football team's streak of second-half shutouts by its defense ended at two on a drizzly and dreary Saturday at Jones AT&T; Stadium, where Texas Tech's 17 second-half points helped the Red Raiders put away Kansas, 34-21, in front of a crowd of 54,071.

Will Ferrell's “Frank the Tank” character in the movie Old School may have been a fan of all the streaking associated with Saturday's loss, but the Jayhawks were less than thrilled.

That's four losses in a row for Kansas (2-5 overall, 0-4 Big 12) and the end of a four-game losing streak for Texas Tech (3-4, 1-3). Oh, and there's also the big one: KU's losing streak away from home crossed a new threshold and now sits at 30 as the Jayhawks head into their second bye of the season licking their wounds.

“I'm disappointed after every game we lose,” said KU senior Ben Heeney, whose career-best 21 tackles were the most by a KU player sicne LeRoy Irvin Sr., had 21 against Missouri in 1979. “But a game like this and a game like last week (27-20 vs. No. 16 Oklahoma State), these ones hurt.”

There were a handful of bright spots and a few more of those baby steps that have become the rallying cry for the Clint Bowen interim head coaching era. But the Jayhawks still made too many mistakes, let too many opportunities pass them by and again showed there remains a ways to go in their quest to close the gap on the rest of the Big 12 Conference.

Like they've done so many times this season already, the Jayhawks started slow and let their opponent dictate the way the game would be played. Tech tallied a field goal and two touchdowns in its first five possessions and built a 17-0 lead on an eight-yard touchdown pass from Davis Webb (28-of-44 passing, 288 yards, 3 TDs) to Brad Marquez with 6:57 to play in the half. But the big early lead did not knock the Jayhawks out. If anything, they felt at ease in such a position simply because they've been there so many times.

“Not very good,” Bowen said of his team's start. “We did kind of battle back and settle down a little.”

After a Heeney interception set up the Kansas offense at the Texas Tech 39, junior quarterback Michael Cummings led a seven-play drive that put KU on the board with 31 seconds remaining in the half. His 16-yard touchdown pass to Justin McCay in the back corner of the end zone was one of two Cummings TD passes on the day — he also added a 21-yarder to Jimmay Mundine in the third quarter — and the play marked one of the first signs of Kansas stealing back some momentum.

Despite playing a step or two slow and taking a full quarter to settle in, Kansas trailed just 17-7 at the break and was in line to field the second half kickoff. The Jayhawks did not do anything with their first possession of the third quarter and watched Tech tack on a field goal on its, but the 20-7 deficit sparked KU's most impressive stretch of the day.

The Jayhawks pulled within six points — 20-14 and 27-21 — twice in the second half, but each time they did the Red Raiders hit back with efficient drives that ate up yards in a hurry and pushed the margin back to two scores before the visitors even had time to realize or worry about the game being within reach.

“That's your chance to win the game,” Bowen said. “You come (back) from 17-0, you get it to a one-possession game, you've got to go out on defense and get a stop. That's what the game is about. Both times Tech goes down and scores a touchdown and ballgame.”

Added senior pass-rush specialist Michael Reynolds, who turned in another solid game with six tackles, including a sack, three for loss and a forced fumble: “It's really tough when our offense steps up and gets their job done and it's on us to get the stop and we don't get the job done. They just got the best of us today.”

Led by Cummings' 20-of-32 passing day for 235 yards, the Kansas offense took a couple more steps in the right direction, but, too many times, was victimized by its inability to convert third-and-short. KU converted just four of 14 third-down opportunities — that makes 11-of-49 in the past three games — and twice failed to gain the one yard needed to move the sticks. What's more, the Jayhawks, who pride themselves on running to the football on defense, did much more chasing in this one, as Tech's smaller, quicker wideouts gave Kansas fits on the underneath routes over the middle.

“They're quick. And that's what Texas Tech does,” Bowen said. “They find some match-ups and they take advantage of them.”

Added Heeney: “They had a really good scheme for our defense today.”

With around 10 minutes remaining and KU driving to cut it to a one-score game for a third time, Cummings and freshman running back Corey Avery botched a handoff and the Red Raiders fell on the loose ball. Although plenty of time remained and neither side added another point after that, the miscue definitely seemed like that moment in Old School when Marisa picked up Frank the Tank as he was running naked down the middle of the road. In other words, the party's over.

Cummings said the gaffe was symbolic of what's currently holding Kansas back.

“It's the little things,” he said. “You've got to be able to execute the little things to make the big things happen. We came up short in a couple of instances.”


Marc Frey 8 years, 1 month ago

I will keep watching, but as long as we go through coaches as often as we do, it will be nearly impossible to recruit to this program with its revolving door with our HC.

kellerman411 8 years, 1 month ago

Here is the reality of the situation. Three games into Bowen's tenure, it is apparent that the coaching gap has been closed. When a certain look or scheme shuts us down, we're now able to adapt and execute plays designed to beat it. Beyond that, the kids are just playing harder.

The question is will Bowen and his staff be able to close the talent gap. We need a steady diet of 3 star high school kids with a few 4 stars and well vetted Juco kids mixed in there. If Bowen can't deliver that, he should not be hired. If he can, he's an excellent candidate.

Mike Barnhart 8 years, 1 month ago

It takes a couple of seasons of attention to detail to turn the titannic of bad football. Mangino did it and I've always said the Orange Bowl team was as technically sounds as any Bill Snyder team ever was.

If Bowen's teams keep improving the fundamentals, he may actually get too keep this job!

Doug Cramer 8 years, 1 month ago

Why why why are people aiming so low to hire a coach that has struggled here in the past ?

After everything this program has been through...why do we want to hire a guy who's units have under-performed ?

Have ya'll forgotten the 2008-2009 defenses...ran by no other than Clint Bowen ?

Have you forgotten the 2012 special teams disaster...again ran by Clint Bowen ?

He is now 0-3 as an interim head coach...and has the hardest portion of the conference schedule ahead. The general consensus on the message boards was that we were supposed to beat Tech today. We didn't come close...

This is our opportunity to move the program forward in hiring a Snyder disciple that knows what it takes to win in Kansas. Let's not shoot low on this one. I'd prefer not to be miserable for another 3 seasons and looking for another coach by 2016.

Good grief

Brian Wilson 8 years, 1 month ago

Yeah..... sure.... I agree with you. Clint Bowen sucks when saddled by a defensive and special teams scheme that he didn't choose as well as His terrible plays that were called by his head coach. Also, Bowen's team today was only within a touchdown going into the 4th quarter and so he never came close to winning. It was also Bowen that has taken the same team Weis had and went from touchdown shutouts to putting some on the board. So much for million dollar coaches like Weis making the big treakn splash and difference. And god forbid we rehire Mangino, whom is a Snyder disciple that happened to be a teacher and Mentor to Bowen. Its also great you can only point to two years out many many terrible ones when Bowen was coaching so he was just ok all those other years despite how poor the rest of team was. Or maybe you give good credit to a job well done to someone else when Bowen was doing ok. Get your head out of your .....and realize that so far under disastrous conditions the team is playing better and better, although still losing. And at least give the guy til year end. We won't hire a coach until then anyway.

Doug Cramer 8 years, 1 month ago

Brian - listen I'll make this simple. Do you want a winning program or not ?

Are we asking Zenger to hire Bowen because he's the hometown boy who has passion for KU football ? Does this qualify him to be a head coach in the Big 12 ??? we want to win or not ?

If it's more important to the KU fan base that our football coach looks good and is likable, as opposed to winning, then I can't help ya. Because that's what I'm seeing right now.

I'd love to get back to Lawrence on Saturday's with my kids and be excited about football again. That's what KU football needs. We don't need hire a coach because everyone likes him as a person. I'm sure Bowen is one hell of a guy...but we need to get back to winning.

Rick McGowwan 8 years, 1 month ago

I still believe Zenger goes home run or Bowen. I like Bowen and he is certainly a pick with as much upside as our other coordinators who are now coaching at big time programs, Warriner and Beaty. I don't think either of them get the job over Bowen. I do think Zenger will swing incredibly big, and if he lands someone, great! If not, well, we'll probably let Bowen play out the Weis contract.

New coach or not, if Bowen wants to stay here with the new regime, he will. He has proved that he is incredibly valuable to the program. And, for what it's worth, I think he has done a pretty good job with the talent he's been given, both today, and with his previous positions at KU. I love Bowen for the program, I want a proven coach for the team though.

Joe Baker 8 years, 1 month ago

I'll ask you a real simple question: Who will come to KU as head coach? Many are questioning what talent can be recruited.

Harbaugh? LOL...that'll be the day! I'm reading Harbaugh's name on wish lists. We will always settle for the Bowens and the Gills. Hey, let's see if Josh Huepel will leave OU. I know, let's get Sumlin. Charlie Weis was a bit of a "homerun" for KU and he turned out to be a freakin' joke.

I do like what I'm seeing from Bowen. We are more competitive than before. Bowen is hungry and it's time to make a name for himself. As for talent, KU can't even keep top talent in Kansas. We lost Bell (never was a KU prospect at all). We lost Grissom, who was verbally committed until Perkins fired Mangino over what was apprently some bogus player allegations. Ironically, Perkins had his share of infractions too. Once Perkins fired Mangino, Mangino delivered Grissom with a nice Crimson and Cream bow to Venables and OU. Look at Grissom now! We could've used him, damn it!!

I say, let's not be too quick to write Bowen off. Hell, we have nothing to lose at this point and only to gain. Let's let Zenger vett a few more coaches before we start throwing names around. At least we didn't get skunked by OSU or Tech. Let's not look at what we didn't do right, but what we did and build. Give Bowen a 1 yr contract at a fairly reduced rate of roughly 2.0m and see what he can do. We are coach poor in the football program. Gill and Weis both got paid to lose! Bowen has given this team a little something it was missing. We just need to get the recruiting.

Terry N Tom Denner 8 years, 1 month ago

Got to go with Brian on this one Buck Wheat. KU needs to Get rid of the Notre Dame QB coach. He is just another worthless Charlie Wes left nut that has showed and offered KU nothing. Oh, and I have never been a fan of the damn 3-4 defense.

Mike Barnhart 8 years, 1 month ago

Everybody slow down! Zenger wont do ANYTHING for another four weeks. He'll keep evaluating Bowen and keep working on his list of other candidates.

Rick nailed it! IF Bowen proves he's a qualified candidate, he'll be in the mix! IF Jim Harbauagh wants the job, he'll get it! IF Zenger falls in love with a coordinator from somewhere else, he might go that direction.

The point is, right now is too soon to make that decision!

Ethan Berger 8 years, 1 month ago

You think we will all of a sudden start winning? Bowens teams have shown more improvements in 3 games than 5 years. We played Tech at their house, we weren't supposed to win. But we gave better teams good competition. If a better option than Bowen comes up, we should take it. As of now, idk who your list is but maybe 3 guys are on mine. Ed Warriner I wouldn't be upset with. Outside him, who else? Its amazing how much better this team is. We have been the worse power 5 team for 5 years. You don't only judge by wins if you have been as bad as us. You look for improvement and we are better. Bowen has my vote. He has passion, team is better and yeah he's a KU guy. BTW I'm pretty sure you said game was going to be 34-20, that was a dang good guess, props.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 1 month ago

CSU's McElwain (?SP?) - Former 'Bama OC. Good performance as HC turning around a bad (smaller) program.

Brian Skelly 8 years, 1 month ago

As much as we all have a sentimental attachment to Bowen, it's not like we're going to take leaps and bounds from where he was the day we fired Weis. The advantage we have now is Cummings at least looks like a D-I QB, even if its a mediocre one. Im all for including Bowen in the mix. But I happen to agree with Doug that we should set our sights higher. That doesnt mean a bigger name coach -- I think we just did that and it didnt work so much. The reality is, this is probably Zenger's last FB head coach hire. If he screws this one up, he might be the next to go.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 1 month ago

Generally agreeing Brian, but not sure I'd call Cummings mediocre after yesterday. He actually had just as good a day as Webb, who I think is generally considered a good (not great) QB. One comp from same % and better YPC. Ironically, we failed yesterday because of running - O & D.

DaNeille Dani Davis 8 years, 1 month ago

You know, I hear what everyone is saying. But think about it for a minute....Coach Bowen hasn't had any head coaching experience until now and has been mostly defense minded. You can't slam the guy for his offensive mindset yet. He was thrust into learning it and will need a little time to develop his own style and the kind of team he wants. Remember an unkown assistant coach who was hired to lead the men's basketball team? Well, we all know how that went!! Give Clint a chance! He can be the right guy for this job! Rock Chalk!!

robert rasdon 8 years, 1 month ago

if we are gonna through around coaches names that are not coming to KU how about Pete Carol

Michael Sillman 8 years, 1 month ago

For Kansas football to rise to an elite level, we'll need a coach who views the school as a destination rather than a stepping stone.

Let's say that Zenger is able to recruit a promising coordinator from a power conference school. If and when that coach is able to get the Jayhawks close to .500, he'll bolt for the next high level job.

We need a Kansas guy who's willing to put 5-10 or more years into the program. Right now that guy looks like it might be Bowen.

Granted, we have to see what Bowen can do over the rest of the season before making any final decision. The team has to keep playing hard and be in every game but most importantly we need to see what sort of recruiting class the current coaching can keep committed through the final game.

I really feel that progress has been made over the last several years in getting more D1 talent on the team. Weis sealed his own fate when he went all in on Cozart. It was a gutsy call but unfortunately the wrong one.

Bowen has not only put Cummings in but pitting the number 1 squads against each other in practice is clearly paying off. The Jayhawks need to take the risk of practice injuries to get ready for the Big 12.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 1 month ago

For Kansas football to rise to an elite level, we'll need an elite coach.

For Kansas football to stay at an elite level, we'll need an elite coach who's willing to put 5-10 or more years into the program.

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 1 month ago

Only partially right. The wealthy donors for KU have to invest in the football program long term. All you have to do is look at two schools in the Big 12 to see the blueprint for going from bottom feeder to contenders. OSU is not where they're at today without T. Boone and Baylor is not where they're at without Drayton McLane.

Even if KU hits a home run with this upcoming hire, without donors investing in the program, it will be a Glen Mason situation again.

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