Sept. 6, 2008
LAWRENCE, Kan. - Louisiana Tech was unable to capitalize on its scoring chances Saturday and 13th-ranked Kansas pulled away for a 29-0 win before 48,621 fans at Memorial Stadium.
Tech (1-1) had a number of opportunities in the first two and a half quarters when the game was close but the Bulldogs were unable to execute in the red zone and last year's Orange Bowl champion Jayhawks (2-0) kept their foot on the gas.
"Kansas is an outstanding football team, and when you play an outstanding football team you better take advantage of your opportunities and we didn't do that," said Tech head coach Derek Dooley. "We had opportunities early and we didn't do it. When you don't do it against a good team its going to be a long night and that's what happened."
With Tech trailing 3-0 in the first quarter, the Bulldogs mounted one of the most impressive drives in recent LA Tech history ... but came away empty. Behind the arm and legs of Bennett, Tech went on a 22-play drive that took 9 minutes and 22 seconds off the clock as the Bulldogs drove from their own 12-yard line down to the Jayhawk six.
However, Bennett's second down pass was tipped into the air by tight end Anthony Harrison and intercepted by Chris Harris in the endzone for a touchback. On the drive, Tech was a perfect 6-for-6 on third down conversions.
"Anytime you get down their tight and don't get points it's devastating," Dooley said. "We had a couple of chances. We got down there trailing 3-0 and dropped the ball, they knocked it out and got the interception. That was disappointing."
Midway through the third quarter with KU leading 20-0, Phillip Livas took a handoff on a reverse and raced 78 yards down to the Jayhawk two yard line where he was caught from behind by KU's Darrell Stuckey.
KU then added a 26-yard field goal to make the score 23-0.
The Bulldogs then had another opportunity to score on its next possession but Bennett overthrew a wide open Anthony Harrison, who had gotten behind the KU secondary around midfield.
After a Tech punt, KU added a 39-yard touchdown pass in the final five minutes of the third quarter to take a commanding 29-0 lead and put the game away.
Kansas opened the game with an impressive drive as quarterback Todd Reesing orchestrated an 11-play, 74 yard drive that culminated with a 28-yard field goal by Jacob Branstetter. Reesing was 5-of-7 for 65 yards during the drive but his near-touchdown pass on a third down and seven was broken up by Antonio Baker, forcing the field goal attempt.
The Bulldogs defense came up big on KU's second possession. On fourth down and inches from the 11-yard line, Tech defensive lineman Adrian Logan stopped Jayhawk running back Jocques Crawford for no gain as the Bulldogs prevented KU from increasing its early lead.
After Bennett's interception in the end zone in the first quarter, Kansas drove 80 yards on eight plays as Reesing hit Daym Patterson with a three-yard touchdown pass to give the Jayhawks a 10-0 lead. Reesing was 6-for-6 on the drive for 72 yards.
The Jayhawks would tack on a 25-yard field goal by Branstetter with 1:36 to play in the first half to take a 13-0 halftime lead.
After Tech failed to record a first down on either of its first two offensive possessions of the third quarter, Reesing hit Dezmon Briscoe on a slant pattern and Briscoe broke six tackles on his way to a 48-yard score and a 20-0 lead.
"That was disappointing," Dooley said. "It was a good run and you can't take anything away from him but we didn't do a good job of tackling. We'll look at film and correct those kind of mistakes and get better."
KU now leads the series 2-1. Tech returns to action Sept. 20 when its host Southeastern Louisiana at 6 p.m.