Kansas reaches bowl eligibility for first time since 2008 as Jayhawks soar past No. 18 Oklahoma State


Kansas shocked No. 18 Oklahoma State 37-16 to move to 6-3 on the season and reach bowl eligibility for the first time since 2008. The win finishes off one of the biggest turnarounds in college football as the Jayhawks posted just two victories combined over the past two seasons. 

With starting quarterback Jalon Daniels still sidelined with a shoulder injury, backup Jason Bean completed 18 of 23 passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 93 yards, including a 73-yard breakaway score. 

It was running back Devin Neal who was the mega-star in the win, though. Neal became just the eighth FBS player to rush for 200 yards and post 100 yards receiving in the same game joining Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey, Oklahoma’s Joe Mixon and West Virginia’s Steve Slaton. As a team, Kansas ran for 351 yards and two touchdowns. 

Oklahoma State was without starting quarterback Spencer Sanders, starting true freshman Garret Rangel in his place. The Frisco, Texas, native posted 300 yards passing and two touchdowns but not before throwing three interceptions. The Jayhawks led 31-7 before Oklahoma State tried to mount a late rally. 

Kansas sat in one of the biggest holes in college football over the past decade, compiling a 23-118 record since 2010 across five different coaching staffs. The Jayhawks did not win more than three games in a season or win multiple conference games across the whole stretch. But under second-year coach Lance Leipold, the Jayhawks started 5-0 and won multiple conference games for the first time in 14 years. 

The Jayhawks have struggled since starting quarterback Jalon Daniels went out of the lineup, losing games against TCU, Oklahoma and Baylor. However, the win against Oklahoma State — snapping a 12-game losing streak dating back to 2007 — launched Leipold’s squad to 6-3 and 3-3 in conference play. It’s the most conference victories in a season for the program since the 4-4 campaign in 2008. 

Kansas’ last trip to the postseason slotted the Jayhawks against Minnesota in the 2008 Insight Bowl on New Year’s Eve, where they beat Minnesota 42-21 behind 313 yards and four touchdowns from quarterback Todd Reesing. 

CBS Sports expert Jerry Palm’s latest bowl projections slot Kansas against UNLV in the First Responder Bowl on Dec. 27. 

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