The Kansas football team was able to snap a tough two-game losing streak on Saturday in a 49-16 win over Cincinnati thanks in large part to the return of quarterback Jason Bean.
Apart from the first two offensive drives of the game, Bean looked as if he hadn’t missed a beat since being knocked out of the game against Texas Tech a few weeks ago. He was a true example of a dual-threat quarterback – torching the Bearcats through the air and with his legs.
Bean started the game a perfect 10-for-10 passing in the first half, which was the most consecutive completions by a Kansas quarterback to open a game since 2003.
Bean finished the game with an incredibly efficient 13-of-17 passing for 250 yards and two touchdowns – which put him ahead of fellow quarterback Jalon Daniels for fourth in school history with 32 overall. He also scored two touchdowns on the ground via four carries for 90 yards rushing.
As impressive as Bean was, he wasn’t the only one who turned in a big game for the Jayhawks.
Running back Devin Neal continued his stellar junior year by rushing for 106 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries. It marked the third straight game of 100-plus-yards rushing for Neal, and his sixth this season. It was also his fourth time this year rushing for multiple touchdowns.
With his performance, Neal surpassed the legendary Gale Sayers to become fourth on KU’s single-season rushing list with 1,209 yards. His 15 rushing touchdowns this season are the third-most in Kansas history, and his 16 total touchdowns this year are tied for second in school history with 2008 Orange Bowl running back Brandon McAnderson.
Defensive back Cobee Bryant continued to make big plays for the Kansas defense as well. He intercepted Cincinnati quarterback Emory Jones thanks to an improbable, highlight-reel grab in the first half.
It was Bryant’s third pick of the season and eighth of his career. He is now tied for 10th all time in interceptions along with KU great Darrell Stuckey and Orange Bowl safety/cornerback Justin Thornton.
The win gave Kansas its eighth of the season – marking the first time since the 2007-08 Orange Bowl year that the Jayhawks have won eight games. It was also the first regular season finale win by KU since 2008.
It was a great way to end the season for this Kansas football program which took a big step forward this year following last season’s encouraging six-win performance.
The Jayhawks will now await their bowl destination, which will be determined by Sunday, Dec. 3. It’s the second time in school history the Jayhawks will appear in a bowl game in back-to-back seasons.