AUSTIN (AP) — The Texas program has been down so low for the past three seasons, just making a bowl game would feel like a victory in itself.

The Longhorns inched a bit closer to that goal Saturday night with a 42-27 win over Kansas, a tougher-than-expected result that left first-year coach Tom Herman fully aware that nothing about the post-season is certain for a team with two tough games left on the schedule. Texas hasn’t played in a bowl since the 2014 season.

“Winning for us right now is going to be hard and that’s OK, as long as we win,” Herman said. “(A bowl) is something that our seniors truly deserve.”

Texas (5-5, 4-3 Big 12) made the big plays it needed early against Kansas (1-9, 0-7) then did just enough to keep the Jayhawks from repeating their shocking upset win last season that ultimately doomed then-Texas coach Charlie Strong, who was fired barely a week later.

Shane Buechele connected with Lorenzo Joe on a 49-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage and the Texas defense forced four first-half turnovers in a 42-27 win over Kansas on Saturday night.

Antwuan Davis returned a first quarter interception for a touchdown and Toneil Carter and Lil’Jordan Humphrey added scoring runs as Texas built a 35-17 lead by halftime.

Texas set up three first-half touchdowns with turnovers and ended another Kansas drive in the end zone with an interception. Carter Stanley passed for 268 yards and three touchdowns, but had three turnovers in the first half. The Jayhawks (1-9, 0-7) have just three Big 12 wins over the past seven seasons.

Buechele passed for 249 yards.

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