LAWRENCE, Kan. —If the Big 12 South title is ultimately decided on who handed Kansas the most lopsided loss, give Texas Tech the nod. The No. 2 Red Raiders crushed the Jayhawks 63-21 while No. 5 Oklahoma beat them 45-31.
But No. 4 Texas will not apologize for its 35-7 victory on Saturday no matter what the final BCS rankings might show.
“If 35-7 against Kansas on the road isn’t a good enough win for someone, we’ll just go wherever they tell us to go,” said Texas coach Mack Brown.
The Red Raiders, Sooners and Longhorns (10-1, 6-1 Big 12) could wind up in a three-way tie for the South title, which might mean the tiebreaker would be BCS standings. Those, of course, could be influenced by “style” points, including things like how they did against common opponents.
The Longhorns, who got 255 yards passing and two record-breaking touchdowns from Colt McCoy, no doubt were glad to see Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing get sacked all the way back to the 18 in the final minute after Kansas had a first-and-goal from the 2.
“That was our second team,” said starting linebacker Sergio Kindle. “They did a great job.”
The win gave Texas double-digit wins for the eighth year in a row, and McCoy’s two touchdown passes raised his season total to 31, breaking his own school record.
Increasing his mark as a starter to 30-7, the 6-foot-3 junior also tied Vince Young, his immediate predecessor, for the most wins as a Texas quarterback.
Reesing, hounded all day by the Texas pass rush and bedeviled by dropped passes, finally hit Dexton Fields with a 7-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter that made it 21-7. But McCoy responded on the next two possessions with touchdown throws of 9 yards to Quan Crosby and 36 yards to Brandon Collins.
“That was big,” McCoy said. “We wanted to score with the wind. I was glad we got the ball with the wind in the third quarter. That really helped us. We wanted to score a lot of points. As many as we could, and we did.”
Kansas (6-5, 3-4) lost for the fourth time in five games and faces a distressing drop-off from the gaudy school-record 12-1 campaign of 2007 that gave hope the Jayhawks could compete in the powerful Big 12. Texas’ rugged defense, dominating the line of scrimmage, held Kansas to its lowest point total in more than three years.
Critics will point to the fact the Jayhawks benefited from a soft 2007 schedule that did not have them play Texas, Oklahoma or Texas Tech, as they did this season.
“I’ll put it to you like this,” said Kansas coach Mark Mangino. “I don’t make the schedule in the conference. And I would like to say we did what we had to do when whatever schedule was handed to us last year. We didn’t have to win 12 games. Yeah, the schedule is more difficult and the challenge is greater. But I’m not going to make any excuses.”
Reesing, the Austin, Texas, native who has smashed most of Kansas’ passing records in less than two seasons as a starter, was 25-for-50 for 258 yards and one touchdown. He had two passes dropped on Kansas’ first drive after Texas made it 21-0, but wound up with his only score of the day after Dezmon Briscoe made the catch of the year for the Jayhawks.
Facing fourth-and-11 from the Texas 32, Kansas sent Briscoe down the left sideline and the 6-foot-3 sophomore turned around, snared the ball with one hand and pressed it to his helmet as he was being slammed to the ground.
Brown, who declined to recruit Reesing out of high school, embraced the Kansas quarterback at the end of the game.
“It was a lot of fun playing against those guys and having a lot of family and friends up,” Reesing said. “You wish you could have had a better performance. But I played as hard as I could and did the best I could.”
The Longhorns scored on their first possession, with McCoy hitting Jordan Shipley for 16 yards to help set up Vondrell McGee’s 14-yard scoring run.
Chris Ogbonnaya made it 21-0 with a 10-yard run after Shipley vaulted over the line for a first down on a fake field goal play.
Texas safety Blake Gideon was taken to a hospital for tests after getting knocked unconscious on a collision with Kansas running back Angus Quigley. The team said tests were negative and he did not have a concussion.