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Archive for Saturday, October 5, 2002

Heartbreak in Waco: Baylor 35, Kansas 32

October 5, 2002

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In what on-air commentator Bob Davis called "a honey of a game" Baylor has ended its 29-game Big 12 losing streak by nipping Kansas 35-32. The Bears knocked through a 33-yard field goal with just half a second left on the clock. On the ensuing kickoff, the Baylor student body did not even wait for the play to end before starting to tear down the goal posts.

Baylor tied Kansas at 32 with just 1:18 left on the clock. BU quarterback Aaron Karas hit Robert Quiroga with a 41-yard touchdown pass, and then Baylor barely put the ball into the end zone for the game-tying two-point conversion.

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Kansas could do nothing on their ensuing possession, punting the ball back to the Bears. Baylor then promptly marched down the field to set up the winning kick.

Bill Whittemore is the heart and soul of the Kansas Jayhawks. Whittemore has 79 rushing yards - including touchdown runs of 2 and 35 yards - and 246 yards through the air to seven different receivers.

Kansas started the game just like they did last week at Tulsa: surrendering two first-quarter touchdowns before climbing back into the game. This week, Kansas had to wait until the third quarter to regain the lead, based on stingy defense and the play of Whittemore. The similarities to last week ended there, as Baylor responded with a 91-yard touchdown drive to regain the lead.

In the Jayhawks' first possession of the second half, KU drove 53 yards in five plays. Derick Mills made up for several dropped passes by hauling in a 19-yard scoring strike, helped by a key block by Byron Gasaway.

One difference from last week was that Johnny Beck could seem to hit anything, missing both a field goal and an extra-point attempt. Where Beck was failing, punter Curtis Ansel was excelling. Ansel put four punts inside Baylor's 20, with one boot going for 83 yards.

KU's defense, which looked downright silly in giving up Baylor's two long first-quarter touchdown drives, hunkered down after the first quarter, giving up just one first down until Baylor's third-quarter scoring drive. Even better, Johnny McCoy picked off a Baylor pass to set up the Jayhawks with a short field starting at the Baylor 32. Shortly after that, Jake Letourneau added a pick of his own.




How would you grade the Jayhawks' performance in Waco?

A - Whittemore is the real deal
B - hey, they covered the point spread
C - exactly what I expected of them: another loss
D - how could they give up 11 points in the final 78 seconds?
F - a loss to Baylor is simply unacceptable
*View Results

However, it was the KU's defense that let them down late, allowing 11 Baylor points in the game's final 78 seconds.

One early KU drive stalled at the Baylor 16, but instead of trying another field goal, Kansas tried a trick play: holder Curtis Ansel pitched the ball to Johnny Beck. The 6'1", 220-pound kicker nearly got the first down, but was run out of bounds just one yard short.

On the ensuing Baylor drive, Kansas came up with their second interception of the day. This time it was Jake Letourneau with the pick, advancing the ball to the Baylor 20, with just under two minutes to go in the half. Reggie Duncan punched the ball in for six points, but Whittemore's pass on the two-point conversion attempt fell incomplete.

Last week, the Jayhawks came back in the second and third quarters to build an insurmountable lead. Unfortunately, KU's first possession in the second frame today ended with a sack of Bill Whittemore on the third play, followed by a Curtis Ansel punt on the fourth.

Kansas squandered Greg Heaggans' 40-yard return of the opening kickoff by punting after only three offensive plays. That punt, however, pinned Baylor inside their own 5-yard line.

After trading three-and-outs, Kansas took over at midfield for their second possession and struck for two quick first downs. Two passes, one to freshman Mark Simmons, and a screen to Clark Green, and KU was down to the Baylor 22.

Kansas could manage only four more yards before Johnny Beck missed his fifth field goal attempt of the season.

Baylor took over on their own 20, and needed just six plays to go 80 yards for the game's first touchdown. The first two of those were offset by a penalty, so the Bears' drive effectively consisted of only four positive-yardage plays.

On offense, the Jayhawks put together two early drives that had a chance of scoring, but mistakes ended each. Just prior to Beck's missed field goal attempt, Derick Mills dropped two passes. On KU's next possession, a dead-ball personal foul crushed the Jayhawks' chances at a first down.

Getting the ball back on their own 19, Baylor needed seven plays this time to drive the length of the field. The scoring play was a halfback pass to a wide-open Aaron Karas, the Baylor quarterback.

KU's first touchdown drive covered 75 yards in 12 plays, and chewed up 4:39 of clock. The scoring play was a nine-yard pass from Bill Whittemore to freshman Mark Simmons.

With the loss, Kansas falls to 2-4, 0-2 in the Big 12. Next up for the Jayhawks is a 1 p.m. Homecoming kickoff against Colorado next Saturday.


For full coverage of today's game, read tomorrow's Lawrence Journal-World, and see KUSports.com.

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