LAWRENCE, Kan. (KUAthletics.com) — On the strength of two defensive touchdowns and three passing touchdowns by Jalon Daniels, Kansas opened Big 12 Conference play with a 38-27 victory over BYU on Saturday, improving to 4-0 this season.
The win gives Kansas wins in its conference-opener in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2007-08. The victory also makes Kansas 4-0 in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1914-15.
BYU falls to 3-1 on the season and gives them their first loss in Big 12 Conference play. Kansas improves to 2-0 against BYU all-time after defeating the Cougars in the 1992 Aloha Bowl.
Kansas’ defense came through with two defensive touchdowns, while holding BYU to nine rushing yards, the fewest amount of rushing yards against the Jayhawks since 2009 (UTEP, 4 yds.). The Jayhawk offense was led by three passing touchdowns from quarterback Jalon Daniels, as the Jayhawks overcame a second half deficit to defeat the Cougars.
On Kansas’ first defensive possession, junior Cobee Bryant got Kansas on the scoreboard by forcing a BYU fumble and returning it for a touchdown. The score was Bryant’s fourth defensive touchdown of his career and first since returning the game-winning touchdown at West Virginia in 2022.
After a BYU score, Kansas added another on an eight-play, 86-yard drive that ended in junior Trevor Kardell’s first touchdown of the season from Daniels.
The Cougars would go on to score 10-straight points to take a 17-14 lead into the locker room at halftime.
On BYU’s opening possession of the second half, Kansas’ defense struck once again, as senior Kenny Logan Jr. returned an interception 30-yards for a touchdown. The pass was broken up by senior Kalon Gervin and batted up by redshirt sophomore Jayson Gilliom, before Logan snagged it and ran it 30 yards to the endzone to put the Jayhawks up, 21-17.
After a BYU field goal, Kansas marched down the field for their second offensive touchdown of the day on a 10-play, 75 yard drive to take the lead, 28-20. Daniels connected with junior Luke Grimm for Daniels’ 30th career touchdown pass.
On Kansas’ next defensive possession, the Jayhawks forced BYU into a fourth-and-7 from the 34-yard line, in which Bryant recorded his second takeaway of the day, this time by intercepting Slovis.
Kansas regained possession with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter and marched 69 yards down the field, stretching its lead to 11 after a 23-yard field goal from redshirt senior Seth Keller. The Jayhawks then forced a turnover on downs and went into victory formation, securing the team’s fourth win of the season.
The Jayhawks will travel to Austin, Texas to take on the Texas Longhorns on Saturday, Sept. 30 at 2:30 p.m. CT on ABC. Fans can purchase tickets to Kansas’ remaining four home games by clicking here.