The Kansas Jayhawks came into Saturday with not many prospects. Facing off against the No. 3 Oklahoma Sooners, they hadn’t beaten a Big 12 opponent since October 2019, hadn’t beaten a nationally ranked team since 2010, and hadn’t beaten a Top 5 team since 2007.
And yet, for a long time there, it looked like all of those streaks were about to end. Kansas played its heart out, outgaining the Sooners 412-398 and holding Oklahoma to a scoreless first half. And yet it ultimately wasn’t enough as the Sooners eventually remembered they were the Sooners, winning 35-23.
You could argue that the game was still very much in doubt with three minutes remaining. Oklahoma led 28-23 and was facing fourth-and-1 from their own 46-yard line. The Sooners called for a run up the middle by Kennedy Brooks but he was pushed backward by Kansas’s defenders. That’s when Sooners quarterback Caleb Williams grabbed the ball out of Brooks’ hands and ran for a first-down conversion, preserving the drive and leading to the game-clinching score.
Great play by Williams but man OU lucked out not having this play being whistled dead for forward progress being stopped. Would have given Kansas the ball at midfield down 5 late in the 4th quarter. Brooks had been driven back 3-4 yards and no whistle! pic.twitter.com/Cq7igHMFYw
— Ben Koo (@bkoo) October 23, 2021
Plenty of people looked at the play and assumed it wouldn’t count, but it ultimately did stand because, according to the rule book, a player can hand the ball off to a forward player when they are both behind the line of scrimmage and the player handing the ball forward has not moved beyond the neutral zone.
It’s a real bummer for Kansas, who entered the game as a 38.5-point underdog. But it certainly made for some great reactions on social media while it seemed like the Jayhawks might pull off the monumental upset.
Wow! They just announced on Kansas radio network that stadium gates are open, no more tickets required. “If you’re in town, come on down!”
Kansas 17, Oklahoma 7. 3Q
— Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) October 23, 2021
Oklahoma losing to Kansas would easily be the funniest thing since that big boat clogged the Suez
— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) October 23, 2021
Oklahoma and Texas running scared to the SEC to get away from Kansas.
— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) October 23, 2021
LOL, Oklahoma going to be shut out in the first half. Against Kansas.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) October 23, 2021
Ah well. It was fun while it lasted.