LUBBOCK (AP) — Kansas interim coach Clint Bowen is glad for the upcoming open week after the Jayhawks lost their sixth straight Big 12 game, falling to Texas Tech 34-21 on Saturday.
“It allows us to do a lot of things that I think are important for this team,” he said. “We need to focus on improvement in all areas.”
Davis Webb threw for 288 yards and three touchdowns to snap the Red Raiders’ eight-game Big 12 skid that dated to last season.
The loss for the Jayhawks was their fourth straight conference defeat this year (they lost their final two Big 12 games last season) and keeps Bowen still in search of his first win.
Webb threw TD passes of 13, 8 and 6 yards. He also threw his 12th interception of the year, one of two errors the Jayhawks capitalized on with touchdowns.
But it wasn’t enough for Kansas, which has won just one conference game in its last 34 outings.
Red Raiders (3-4, 1-3 Big 12) freshman Justin Stockton scored on a 21-yard run to put the game out of reach.
Michael Cummings completed 20 of 32 passes for 235 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for the Jayhawks (2-5, 0-4).
The Red Raiders dominated offensively, getting 507 total yards to the Jayhawks’ 363.
Webb, the second-best passer in the Big 12 coming into the game, completed 28 of 44 passes. Running back De’Andre Washington finished with 164 yards on 23 carries.
Ben Heeney, a standout linebacker on Kansas’ defense, had a career-high 17 solo tackles. His previous high was 15 last year against Duke.
“Ben’s a great player,” Cummings said. “He’s one of those guys that’s going to be hard to replace when he’s gone, so it’s definitely fun to watch when he’s out there playing.”
Heeney saw his career day as fortunate. He was all over the field making tackles.
“Probably a little bit of luck honestly,” the senior said. “It was just a normal game, and I ended up making a little bit more than I usually do.”
Texas Tech lost five straight conference games to close its regular season last year. The Red Raiders opened Big 12 play this season with losses to Oklahoma State, Kansas State and West Virginia.
The Jayhawks made it a one-possession game late in the third quarter when Cummings scored from 1 yard out to make it 27-21. The Red Raiders got their first rushing touchdown on their next possession, a 21-yard scamper up the middle by Stockton to put more distance, 34-21, between Texas Tech and Kansas.
Kansas got touchdowns off two mistakes by Webb, one in each half. The second came after Webb fumbled on the Red Raiders’ 40. Two plays later Cummings found Jimmay Mundine over the middle to pull within 20-14 with 8:34 remaining in the third quarter.
The Red Raiders answered quickly, with Webb capping a nine-play drive when he hit freshman receiver Ian Sadler on a 6-yard touchdown to go up 27-14.
Texas Tech led 17-7 at halftime off two touchdown passes by Webb. He got his first when he found Reginald Davis on fade route in near corner of the end zone to put the Red Raiders up 10-0. Webb’s second TD pass, an 8-yarder to Bradley Marquez, made it 17-0. It was Texas Tech’s largest lead of the season and gave Marquez his seventh touchdown for the season, a career high.
On the Red Raiders next possession, Heeney intercepted Webb and returned it 37 yards to the Texas Tech 39. Cummings found Justin McCay for a 16-yard touchdown pass to pull the Jayhawks within 17-7.
The interception extended the Red Raiders streak of losing at least one turnover to 19 games; Webb has 12 now in seven games, compared to the nine in 10 games he had last season.
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