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Archive for Sunday, October 7, 2001

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October 7, 2001

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Kansas University football players Mario Kinsey and Reggie Duncan, who both hail from the Lone Star State, rained on the Red Raiders' parade as the Jayhawks stunned Texas Tech, 34-31, at Jones SBC Stadium.

"It was more than Texas Tech's homecoming. It was my homecoming, too," said Kinsey, the Jayhawks' red-shirt freshman quarterback. "It's going to be a good homecoming for us next week when we play OU, and I hope we win."

Kinsey -- who didn't start the game because he missed a practice the week before KU's scheduled off week -- was 8-of-24 passing for 86 yards and a touchdown, which tied the game in the final seconds to force overtime.

It was KU's ground game, though, which proved to be the deciding factor in just the third road victory for fifth-year coach Terry Allen.

"We challenged our linemen before the game," Kinsey said. "If you get Reggie 100, something good will happen for you all. We didn't tell them what, but we told them something good would happen for them next week. We owe them one."

Apparently when Duncan gains 227 yards -- on just 38 carries for an average of 6.0 per carry -- something really good happens.

"We knew we had the game," Duncan said. "We were going to come back. We never quit. We kept a good attitude, talked about how we were going to win the game. We pulled it out."

Although Duncan found the end zone just once, it happened to be on an option play for a two-point conversion that tied the game at 24-all with 21 seconds remaining in regulation.

The Jayhawks also ran an option on the second play of the first overtime, on which Kinsey faked a pitch to Duncan and skated into the end zone.

KU finished with 288 yards rushing on 57 carries, a tribute to the offensive line as much as it is to the backs.

"My line did a helluva job," Duncan said. "My game ball goes to my offensive line."

The Jayhawks had led 10-0 before allowing 17 unanswered points. KU faced deficits of 14-10, 17-10, 17-13, 24-13 and 24-16 before the game-tying drive.

"They just hung in there," Allen said. "They didn't lose it on the sideline. There were an awful lot of personal fouls in the game on both sides of the ball that were pretty costly. But it is kind of special the way they hung in there through the process because God only knows that we needed this win.

"They looked 1-3 in the mouth. It would have been pretty bad, but now 2-2 and we get to play the team that should be the No. 1-ranked team in the country next week, that has the longest winning streak. To keep playing on every down, that's what we preached," he added.

The win was especially sweet for Kansas considering a last-minute rally against Tech fell short in a 45-39 loss last season in Lawrence.

"They beat us at home and it was a real close game," Duncan said. "We came back down here and had an aggressive game. We were 0-1, now we are 1-1 in the Big 12. We really needed this win and it was an away win, so we feel good about the win overall."

The Jayhawks, who improved to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the Big 12, will play host to Oklahoma next Saturday. Kickoff for the homecoming game is 6 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.

-- Sports writer Robert Sinclair can be reached at 832-7185.

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