LAWRENCE (AP) — Trailing by two points with only a couple of minutes to go, Rice quarterback Taylor McHargue saw kicker Chris Boswell look him confidently in the eye and say, “Get me to the 45 with this wind and I’ve got it.”
McHargue and his teammates did just that and Boswell delivered, booming a 45-yard field goal as the last second ticked off the clock and giving the Owls a stunning 25-24 victory over Kansas for one of their most thrilling road wins in years.
It was the fourth 3-pointer of the game for Boswell, who the week before had set the school record with six career field goals of 50 yards or longer.
“It still hasn’t really set in yet,” he said. “I’m sure it will set in when we are on the plane or something, but right now it doesn’t seem like it.”
As the big crowd sat holding its breath, Kansas coach Charlie Weis called timeout.
“I had an idea that they were going to ice me, but I was still going to kick it regardless,” Boswell said.
Boswell also had kicks of 47, 29 and 29 yards for the Owls (1-1), who got into position for the winning score after Bryce Callahan’s interception of Dayne Crist’s pass with 3:47 to play.
“My biggest disappointment is we didn’t finish,” said Weis. “Our whole motto for this week was about finishing games.”
Weis refused to blame Crist for the interception or his special teams for the loss. While Boswell was going 4 for 4, Jayhawks kicker Ron Doherty was missing two of three field goal attempts, including one from medium range that struck the left upright.
“There’s plenty of blame to go around,” Weis said. “We didn’t finish on offense. We didn’t finish on defense. We didn’t finish on special teams. When that happens, there’s a good chance you lose.”
McHargue led a 93-yard drive late in the fourth period that ended when Charles Ross scored from the 2, making it 24-22 at the 4:47 mark. On the two-point conversion attempt, McHargue’s pass to Luke Wilson was caught out of bounds.
After Callahan’s second interception of the day, McHargue connected with Vance McDonald for 7 yards to the Kansas 40 on fourth down. Three plays later, McHargue ran 12 yards, making sure the strong-legged Boswell was in range to stun the Jayhawks (1-1).
McHargue was 23 of 35 for 236 yards. Jordan Taylor had nine catches for 101 yards and Ross gained 94 yards on 14 carries for the Owls.
“We obviously didn’t get the two-point conversion, but the defense got another huge stop,” said McHargue. “With the confidence we have in our defense and in our kicker, I don’t think there was any doubt that we could come back, and we capitalized on those opportunities.”
After Boswell’s first 29-yard field goal closed the halftime gap to 17-13, Crist hit three straight passes to set up Taylor Cox’s 8-yard touchdown run and give the Jayhawks a 24-13 lead. Tony Pierson had 120 yards rushing for the Jayhawks, while Crist was 16 of 28 for 144 yards and one TD.
Boswell’s second 29-yarder sliced the lead to 24-16.
Kansas’ first two scores came off first-quarter turnovers. Greg Brown intercepted McHargue’s pass at the Kansas 9 just three plays after the Owls had recovered a kickoff that Kansas muffed on its own 18, leading to Doherty’s 29-yard field goal.
After another turnover, Crist immediately tossed a 23-yard touchdown pass to Jimmay Mundine.
The Owls responded with an impressive 16-play, 94-yard march capped by Turner Peterson’s 1-yard run.
“To go on the road against a Big 12 team and come out of here with a win, we are just ecstatic as a program,” said Rice coach David Bailiff. “We too are trying to build a program that wins consistently, and that is something we have talked about. That is an achievement that we’ve needed, to win a big one on the road, and we’ve done that. I am so proud of this team.”
Rice 25, Kansas 24
1 2 3 4 F
Rice 3 10 3 9 — 25
Kansas 10 7 7 0 — 24
Rice — FG Boswell 47, 11:42.
Kan — FG Doherty 29, 5:48.
Kan — Mundine 23 pass from Crist (Doherty kick), 5:30.
Rice — Petersen 1 run (Boswell kick), 8:01.
Kan — Miles 1 run (Doherty kick), 3:32.
Rice — FG Boswell 29, :21.
Kan — Cox 8 run (Doherty kick), 11:47.
Rice — FG Boswell 29, :44.
Rice — Ross 2 run (pass failed), 4:47.
Rice — FG Boswell 45, :00.
A — 44,683.
First downs 25 22
Rushes-yards 41-167 36-195
Passing 236 144
Comp-Att-Int 23-35-1 16-28-2
Return Yards 14 (-5)
Punts-Avg. 3-34.7 2-50.0
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 1-1
Penalties-Yards 6-64 5-28
Time of Possession 32:01 27:59
RUSHING — Rice, Ross 14-94, Petersen 12-41, McHargue 12-18, McGuffie 2-14, Team 1-0. Kansas, Pierson 19-120, Cox 15-79, Miles 1-1, Crist 1-(minus 5).
PASSING — Rice, McHargue 23-35-1-236. Kansas, Crist 16-28-2-144.
RECEIVING — Rice, Taylor 9-101, McDonald 4-72, McGuffie 3-15, Ross 2-(minus 1), Cook 1-15, Petersen 1-14, Moore 1-12, Gibson 1-5, Gautreaux 1-3. Kansas, Patterson 7-55, Mundine 3-39, Pick 2-22, Beshears 2-11, Ragone 1-9, Bourbon 1-8.