LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Ryan Jastram kicked two field goals and North Dakota State’s defense smothered Kansas in a season-opening 6-3 victory Saturday night.
The first-ever victory for the FCS Bison over a current member of the Big 12 spoiled the coaching debut of Kansas’ Turner Gill. Jastram snapped a 3-3 tie with a 32-yard field goal at the 8:04 mark of the third quarter.
Kansas struggled throughout on offense and switched to backup quarterback Jordan Webb in the second half. The hopes for Kansas faded on its next-to-last possession when Tim Biere fumbled at the Kansas 36 following a reception and a big hit by Daniel Eaves.
The Bison launched a huge celebration when the final seconds ticked away. Kansas used its final timeout of the half with 8:13 remaining.
North Dakota State played a scrappy first half to stay with the Jayhawks, and its confidence seemed to soar as the game progressed.
Kansas had a 187-88 advantage in total yards through two quarters, but it was a 3-3 game at the break. The Jayhawks converted just 2-of-8 opportunities on third down in the first half but got a big play from wide receiver Daymond Patterson to set up a field goal by Jacob Branstetter that gave Kansas a 3-0 lead with 1:58 left in the first quarter.
Taking the ball on a reverse, Patterson broke free on a 51-yard run that put the ball on the Bison 14. The Jayhawks stalled, but Branstetter hit his sixth field goal in his last seven attempts dating back to last season.
The Bison had a chance to take the lead after Mike Sigers’ blocked punt put North Dakota State at the Kansas 10 in the second quarter. However, Isiah Barfield intercepted a pass from Jose Mohler in the end zone on third down. Barfield tried to run the ball out, but was tackled at the Kansas 1.
The poor field position ultimately cost Kansas, as the Jayhawks subsequently punted from the end zone. An 18-yard punt return by Ryan Smith and a late hit penalty put Jastram in position for a 44-yard field goal and the 3-3 tie with 3:20 left in the half.