2008 Insight Bowl
Kansas 42, Minnesota 21
Kansas receiver Dezmon Brisoce earned bowl MVP honors after setting Insight Bowl records for receptions (14) and touchdown catches (3), and the Jayhawks won consecutive bowl games for the first time ever with a 42-21 thumping of Big 10 opponent Minnesota.
Quarterback Todd Reesing completed 27 of 35 passes for 313 yards and four touchdowns, the most memorable coming on the game’s first play from scrimmage, when he connected with Briscoe for an 80-yard score.
2008 Orange Bowl (2007 season)
Kansas 24, Virginia Tech 21
Playing in their first BCS bowl game, the Jayhawks concluded their best season in school history with a 24-21 victory over Virginia Tech on Jan. 3 in the 2008 FedEx Orange Bowl.
Aqib Talib was named the game’s most valuable player, leading a defense that forced three interceptions and four total turnovers.
2005 Fort Worth Bowl
Kansas 42, Houston 13
The Jayhawks achieved their first winning season in 10 years, beating Houston, 42-13, in the Fort Worth Bowl on Dec. 23, 2005, in Fort Worth, Texas.
The teams got off to a sluggish start offensively, but KU got the jolt first when Brian Murph muffed a punt, scampered back five yards to pick up the loose ball, then turned and returned it 85 yards for the first score of the night.
Kansas (7-5) led just 14-10 at halftime, but outscored the Cougars 28-3 in the second half to win by a landslide.
2003 Tangerine Bowl
N.C. State 56, Kansas 26
KU’s defense had been a sore spot all through the 2003 season, but the Dec. 22, 2003, Tangerine Bowl in Orlando, Fla., took it to another level.
North Carolina State quarterback Philip Rivers picked apart the Jayhawks’ defense, passing for 475 yards and five touchdowns in the 56-26 victory.
KU’s offense, led by quarterback Bill Whittemore, wasn’t bad. It piled up 463 total yards.
1995 Aloha Bowl
Kansas 51, UCLA 30
If it’s possible to overshadow a bowl victory such as the 51-30 pounding KU gave the UCLA Bruins in the 1995 Aloha Bowl on Christmas Day in Honolulu, then head coach Glen Mason surely did it.
The day before departing for Hawaii, Mason announced he was leaving to take the head-coaching job at Georgia. Hours before the game, the coach told his players he’d reconsidered, inspiring not only a decisive victory but also several bowl records.
1992 Aloha Bowl
Kansas 23, BYU 20
It took KU 11 seasons to make it back to another bowl game when it met Brigham Young in the 1992 Aloha Bowl on Christmas day in Honolulu. The game got off to a less-than-stellar beginning when BYU’s Hema Heimuli ran back the opening kickoff for 94 yards and a touchdown.
The rest of the game went much better for Kansas, which went on to beat the Cougars, 23-20. MVP Dana Stubblefield sacked BYU’s Tom Young three times, and KU’s defense finished with six sacks.
1981 Hall of Fame Bowl
Mississippi St. 10, Kansas 0
New Year’s Eve, 1981, marked the end of a six-year bowl-game drought for the Jayhawks when they met Mississippi State in the Hall of Fame Bowl in Birmingham, Ala.
The Jayhawks were humbled only 12 seconds into the game when return man Darren Green collided with a teammate, turning the ball over on the Kansas 17. On the first play from scrimmage, MSU quarterback John Bond rolled right on an option and took the ball to the end zone.
1975 Sun Bowl
Pittsburgh 33, Kansas 19
Jayhawk standout Laverne Smith’s 118-yard rushing game in the 1975 Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, the day after Christmas couldn’t offset the three 100-plus yard performances posted by the Pittsburgh Panthers’ Tony Dorsett, Elliott Walker and Robert Haygood.
Though Kansas scored first in the second half, it wasn’t enough to shift momentum following Pitt’s 19-0 first-half showing. Kansas didn’t fold, however, scoring last on a 38-yard completion from Scott McMichael to Skip Sharp.
1973 Liberty Bowl
N.C. State 31, Kansas 18
Going into the Dec. 17, 1973, Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn., the Jayhawks were modest favorites over the North Carolina State Wolfpack. N.C. State’s victory came despite a 10-all tie in the third quarter.
On fourth-and-six, N.C. State punted from its own 44-yard line. KU’s Bruce Adams was apparently tripped while calling for a fair catch, but no call was made. N.C. State recovered the ball and scored two plays later.
With momentum and emotion on their side, the Wolfpack scored twice more .
1969 Orange Bowl
Penn State 15, Kansas 14
Jan. 1, 1969, saw the Jayhawks make their second appearance in the Orange Bowl. It is now known as the “12th man game,” a bitter loss that was very nearly a victory.
In the final seconds of the game, KU had seemingly stopped Penn State’s come-from-behind, two-point conversion attempt to hang on to a 14-13 lead. Officials ruled, however, that KU had 12 men on the field, giving the Nittany Lions a second attempt, which they converted.
It was the final game for two Kansas All-Americans, quarterback Bobby Douglass and defensive end John Zook.
1961 Bluebonnet Bowl
Kansas 33, Rice 7
KU’s second bowl game was played on Dec. 16, 1961, when the Jayhawks met Rice in the Bluebonnet Bowl in Houston.
John Hadl’s fake punt with the team down 7-6 in the second quarter spurred the team past the Owls and onto a 33-7 victory after dominating the second half.
Two Kansas players, Hadl and fullback Curtis McClinton, signed professional contracts on the field immediately after the conclusion of the game.
1948 Orange Bowl
Georgia Tech 20, Kansas 14
KU’s first bowl appearance, against Georgia Tech in the 1948 Orange Bowl, was a heartbreaker.
Trailing 20-14, the Jayhawks advanced the ball to the one-yard line.
But quarterback Lynne McNutt fumbled the ball on the two-foot line.