Lawrence, KS (Sports Network) – Jordan Webb threw for three touchdowns and Kansas’ defense thwarted a final Georgia Tech drive, as the Jayhawks upended the 15th-ranked Yellow Jackets, 28-25, to bounce back from a shocking defeat.
The Jayhawks (1-1), under the guidance of new head coach Turner Gill, began the campaign with an ugly 6-3 loss to North Dakota State last weekend. This time, though, they were able to snap an eight-game losing streak going back to last year.
Webb completed 18-of-29 passes for 179 yards and was picked off once. Daymond Patterson had seven receptions for 85 yards and a score. James Sims rushed 17 times for 101 yards and a score.
“We didn’t change what we did last week, we just opened up the offense, and we executed a lot better,” Patterson said. “Some of the plays we ran last week, they just didn’t look the same, because we executed better.”
Josh Nesbitt connected on just 5-of-15 passes for 116 yards and a TD for the Yellow Jackets (1-1), who were coming off a 41-10 win over South Carolina State.
“There were a lot of missed tackles,” Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said. “We didn’t have a lot of guys getting off blocks. You know we should have scored more than 28 anyway. Nobody played good enough to win.”
Nesbitt led Georgia Tech from its own 34 with under 4 1/2 minutes left to the Kansas 34, but the drive stalled. On 3rd-and-2, Anthony Allen fumbled the handoff, but recovered. That left a 4th-and-3, but after a false start penalty, Nesbitt’s pass to the left sideline for Stephen Hill was out of bounds.
Kansas ran out the remaining minute on the clock.
Nesbitt scored on a nine-yard run in the opening quarter, but KU countered with Webb’s 15-yard TD pass to Brad McDougald.
Webb’s two-yard scoring toss off play action to a wide open Tim Biere gave the Jayhawks a 14-7 lead on the first play of the second quarter.
Nesbitt, though, scored on a four-yard run to cap the ensuing drive, during which the Yellow Jackets converted a fourth down with a run from Embry Peeples.
A 28-yard field goal from Scott Blair in the final minute of the half gave Georgia Tech a 17-14 edge.
The see-saw battle continued with Sims scoring from two yards out less than five minutes into the third.
Nesbitt threw incomplete to Hill on a 4th-and-7 play from the KU 30 on the ensuing march, but Webb was picked off as the Yellow Jackets had another chance to move ahead. Instead, a drive stalled at midfield, and the Yellow Jackets punted.
The big play for Kansas then came just 41 seconds into the fourth when Patterson caught a pass on the right side of the field near the line of scrimmage, broke a few tackles and rumbled 32 yards to the end zone for a 28-17 margin.
The Yellow Jackets fumbled the ball away on the ensuing drive, but they got it back after a punt and Nesbitt threw a 40-yard TD pass to Hill on a 3rd-and-12 situation. The score came with 7:48 remaining, and the two connected for the two-point conversion.
Before Saturday, Georgia Tech had won nine straight games decided by five points or less…Kansas is 26-140-2 all-time vs. ranked teams…The Jayhawks moved to 19-4 in their last 23 home games…Georgia Tech was the first ranked non-Big 12 opponent to play at Kansas since then No. 14 UCLA in 2001 (the Bruins won 41-17)…Allen had 11 carries for 89 yards.