Behind a scintillating last-minute drive from quarterback Case McCoy, the No. 23 Texas Longhorns avoided becoming the biggest upset victim of the year and defeated the Kansas Jayhawks 21-17 on Saturday.
Replacing an ineffective David Ash, McCoy went 5-of-7 for 68 yards, leading a drive down the field that culminated with a one-yard touchdown pass to D.J. Grant.
The final drive ended a Jayhawks charge led by a running attack brought to life by a career-best performance from James Sims. The junior back rushed for 176 yards on 28 carries, including a scintillating 64-yard scamper.
Sticking to the run was the name of the game for Charlie Weis' bunch, as quarterback Michael Cummings threw the ball just nine times.
Nonetheless, Kansas would not have been in the game if it weren't for Ash's poor performance. The sophomore signal-caller completed just 8-of-16 passes for 63 yards and threw two critical interceptions on Saturday.
Those struggles come just 14 days after Ash put up equally paltry numbers in the Longhorns' 63-21 loss to Oklahoma in this year's Red River Shootout.
In fact, the Longhorns' performance was so shockingly bad that it led the folks running ESPN Unite's Twitter feed to wonder whether they got started on Halloween festivities a little early:
Good to see Texas is going as an FCS team for Halloween.— ESPN UNITE (@UNITE) October 27, 2012
Regardless, McCoy's late-game brilliance allowed for the Longhorns to escape Lawrence with a narrow victory.
For the Jayhawks, this has to be nothing short of a moral victory. Weis' first season in Kansas certainly hasn't gone as planned, but this is definitely a game that the team can build on going forward.
Either way, the long-term takeaway is that Texas has a ton of work to do if it hopes to be taken seriously down the stretch.
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