AUSTIN, Texas — The Kansas Jayhawks shocked the Texas Longhorns, and a lot of other people, Saturday night. It was the first time in history that KU won a football game in Austin.
After blowing the lead in the final minute of the game, Texas scored first in overtime. Kansas answered. And then first-year Jayhawks coach Lance Leipold decided go for the win and got it.
Jalon Daniels hit Jared Casey on a scrambling pass for a 2-point conversion in overtime. The catch snapped the Jayhawks’ eight game losing streak this season and a 56-game losing streak in Big 12 road contests that stretched back to 2008.
“He’s got one of the best hands on the team,” Daniels said. “I’ve seen him make some miraculous catches with just one hand. Walk-on or not, he’s going to be a ball player when it counts.”
The win was surprising, even to fans of the Jayhawks. But the final catch of the game, the 2-point conversion that sealed the win, was almost as unlikely to happen as a KU win in Austin.
Jared Casey is redshirt freshman walk-on fullback for the Jayhawks. Casey told reporters following the game that he hadn’t played any offensive snaps in a game before making the game-winning catch.
Casey was in for the play because tight end Mason Fairchild was injured earlier in the game. Spencer Roe and Will Huggins are out for the season because of injuries.
Casey is from Plainville, Kansas, a town of 1900 people. Plainville is 25-miles north of Hays, or 245-miles west of Lawrence.
His parents, Karen and Jerry Casey, were in Austin to see their son’s game-winning catch.
“That was Jared, wasn’t it?” Jerry Casey said.
“Was it?” Karen Casey asked. “Oh my God, oh my God.”
There is then a lot of celebrating, both on and off the field. Then you can see Jared running on the field toward his cheering parents in their seats. His teammates run along and congratulate him along the way.
The video of his parents celebrating Jared’s success — and KU’s — win was already viewed on twitter more than 800,000 times by Sunday night.
The Jayhawks return to Texas Saturday, Nov. 20 to face TCU. Kickoff is at 3 p.m.