Lawrence, Kansas— Kansas coach Lance Leipold has always focused on the future: the next game, Memorial Stadium improvements, and the long-term prospects of a program in the dumps.
After years of disappointment, Kansas fans stormed the field to celebrate one of the school's biggest wins after Devin Neal ran for 112 yards and the go-ahead score with 55 seconds left. The Sooners' Dillon Gabriel threw incomplete to the end zone on the final play.
Gabriel passed 39 yards to Brenan Thompson to reach Kansas 34 with 24 seconds left. On the last play, the almost flawless quarterback threw high to the end zone after a short pass to Jovantae Barnes and an incompletion to start the field-storming celebration.
Bean ran 62 yards and scored a touchdown while throwing 218 yards with two interceptions. Jayhawks had not beaten Oklahoma since October 4, 1997, and Daniel Hishaw had two TD runs.
While Gabriel threw for 171 yards and three touchdowns and Tawee Walker ran for 146 yards and a score, the Sooners lamented squandered opportunities and the end of their flawless season.
“Turned the ball over, penalties — the timing of all of it was really poor,” Oklahoma coach Brent Venables said. I assured them we won't be defined by one win or loss. We have plenty to do. But this aches. Stings.”
After kickoff, rain soaked Memorial Stadium's sellout audience, who had watched Fox's pregame show. Lightning during the second quarter delayed play by one hour. When the game restarted, half the audience was left, and many were screaming “Boomer Sooner.”
The Jayhawks led 14-0 after Mello Dotson's pick-six and Hishaw's first TD run. The Sooners, who struggled without injured running back Marcus Major, rediscovered their groove.
Kansas: The PA announcer casually informed field-storming supporters that the Jayhawks were bowl-eligible again. Only twice in school history have they qualified in successive seasons.