LAWRENCE, Kan. (KU) - After a slow offensive start to the day, Kansas football dropped its final game of the season to No. 11 Texas, 24-17, on Senior Day inside David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.
Kansas held Texas to its lowest first half total of the season with just seven points, which is the third time on the season that the Jayhawks have held their opponents to seven points or less in the first half.
During Kansas' impressive defensive effort, junior defensive end Najee Stevens-McKenzie recorded his first-career interception, ending Texas' Sam Ehlinger's 308 pass attempts without an interception.
After Kansas went scoreless in the first three quarters, the Jayhawks put up two touchdowns and a field goal in the final 15 minutes of the game to narrow the Texas lead. Freshman running back Pooka Williams Jr. scored on a 57-yard run to put the Jayhawks on the board first early in the fourth quarter. Junior wide receiver Daylon Charlot added to the KU score with a 31-yard touchdown catch from senior quarterback Peyton Bender, the longest catch of Charlot's career and his second touchdown of the season. Senior kick Gabriel Rui capped the Kansas scoring effort with a 45-yard field goal with 1:37 remaining in the game to bring the Jayhawks within one touchdown, but Texas recovered the onside kick attempt and ran out the clock to hand the Jayhawks the loss on senior day.
NOTABLES // Complete Postgame Notes
Freshman running back Pooka Williams Jr. had one rush for 20 or more yards against the Longhorns. He now has 15 20-plus yard rushes on the season, which leads the Big 12.
Williams ended his freshman season with 1,125 yards rushing, tying him with Kansas football legend Gale Sayers for second in rushing yards by a first year player. Sayers' 1,125-yard season came as a sophomore, as freshmen were not allowed to play during his era. June Henley holds the freshman rushing record with 1,127 yards.
Ending the day with 14 total tackles, senior linebacker Joe Dineen Jr. passed Curtis Moore to move into fourth place all-time in tackles in history with 391.
Coming into Saturday's matchup, Dineen had a total of 133 tackles on the season. With 14 tackles against the Longhorn's, Dineen brought his season total to 147 tackles, tying for the sixth most in a single season in Kansas history.
Junior defensive end Najee Stevens-McKenzie recorded his first-career interception ending Sam Ehlinger's 308 pass attempts without an interception streak.
Stevens-McKenzie is the 12th Jayhawk on season with an interception and Kansas leads the Big 12 with 16 interceptions this season.
Sophomore punter Kyle Thompson booted 21 of his 55 punts this season inside the 20-yard line. Three of his seven punts on Saturday were marked down inside the 10-yard line, including his career-long 76-yard punt that was downed at the four.
Freshman Pooka Williams Jr. rushed for 57 yards to put Kansas of the board first with 14:44 remaining in the game.
Junior wide receiver Daylon Charlot caught a 31-yard touchdown pass for the longest of his career to add to the Kansas score.
Senior kicker Gabriel Rui's 45-year field goal narrowed the Texas lead to one possession.