Kansas Football: Jayhawks' Close Win Is a Huge Confidence Booster

Ben KerchevalCollege Football Lead WriterSeptember 21, 2013

LAWRENCE, KS - SEPTEMBER 21:  Tight end Jimmay Mundine #41 of the Kansas Jayhawks lunges for a touchdown as defensive back Xavier Woods #39 of the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs defends during the game at Memorial Stadium on September 21, 2013 in Lawrence, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Kansas has had opportunities to end their 22-game losing streak to FBS opponents before. Most recently, the Jayhawks failed to finish in Week 3 against Rice by giving up 10 fourth-quarter points in a 23-14 loss. 

With Louisiana Tech driving in the final minutes of Saturday's game, it looked like Kansas was doomed for another letdown. 

But Jayhawks linebacker Michael Reynolds forced a fumble inside the 10-yard line and Kansas recovered. KU's offense, which had little success scoring all day, then drove 13 plays in under two minutes and Matthew Wyman made a 52-yard field goal as time expired to give Kansas the 13-10 win. 

It was far from a good-looking or well-executed game, but at this point, head coach Charlie Weis just needs wins. And his team got one by executing when it needed to most. 

LAWRENCE, KS - SEPTEMBER 21:  Defensive lineman Keon Stowers #98 and cornerback Dexter McDonald #12 of the Kansas Jayhawks compete against wide receiver Richie Casey #1 of the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs for a loose ball during the end of the 4th quarter of t
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

After all the dropped passes against Rice a week ago, and after the early-game miscues on fourth down, it was impressive to see the Jayhawks offense come together at the right time. The game-winning drive was still shouldered by KU's running backs, James Sims and Tony Pierson, but that's where the playmakers are for this offense right now. 

Yes, the Jayhawks passing game still has a long way to go, but Kansas is 2-1 heading into Big 12 conference play after having just one win all of last year. 

That should give this team some confidence that it can execute and win games. The defense gave up a lot of yards to the Bulldogs, but forced three turnovers. That side of the ball hasn't been the issue, though. If the offense, especially the passing game, can continue to jell, Kansas can realistically be competitive in more than a few games this season. 

That would be a monumental improvement over the so-called "pile of crap" that Weis coached a year ago. 


Ben Kercheval is the lead writer for Big 12 football. You can follow Ben on Twitter @BenKercheval