Flashback: Kansas football beats Houston in 2005 Fort Worth Bowl

The last time the Kansas Jayhawks met the Houston Cougars on the football field was during the 2005 Fort Worth Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas.

Both teams entered the contest at 6-5. Kansas was in its fourth year under head coach Mark Mangino, while Houston was in its third year under Art Briles who would later coach the Baylor Bears from 2008 to 2015.

KU emerged victorious 42-13 thanks to stellar play from running back Jon Cornish who had 16 carries for 101 yards and two receiving touchdowns, and quarterback Jason Swanson who finished the game 19-for-27 passing for 307 yards and 4 touchdowns. Swanson’s performance earned him MVP honors following the game.

The Kansas defense played really well against Houston quarterback – and future NFL player – Kevin Kolb. The Jayhawks finished with two sacks and three interceptions on the night, holding Kolb to just 20-for-44 passing for 214 yards.

The defense also limited the Cougars to just 30 yards rushing on 24 carries, giving up just 244 yards of total offense.

It was the second bowl appearance and first of three bowl victories for Mangino at Kansas. The win also gave Mangino his first winning season as head coach.

It was the first bowl win for KU (at the time) since the 1995 Aloha Bowl – where the Jayhawks crushed the UCLA Bruins 51-30 under the direction of head coach Glen Mason.

The matchup would end up being the final Fort Worth Bowl game as it was renamed the following year to what is currently known as the Armed Forces Bowl.

There were several notable Jayhawks on that team, including the aforementioned Cornish, linebacker Nick Reid (2005 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year) and cornerback/wide receiver/special teams star Charles Gordon (undrafted NFL free agent in 2006).

There were also several Jayhawks on the roster who would later play big roles in KU winning the 2008 Orange Bowl, including quarterback Todd Reesing, wide receivers Marcus Henry, Marcus Herford, and Dexton Fields, defensive lineman James McClinton, cornerback Aqib Talib, linebackers James Holt, Joe Mortensen, Mike Rivera, and others.

The Jayhawks lead the all-time series against Houston 3-0. We’ll see if the Jayhawks can stay undefeated against the Cougars and stay undefeated on the season this Saturday when the two teams kick off at 3 p.m. CT on ESPNU.