Phoenix, AZ- The Kansas Jayhawks were able to hold off a 3rd quarter charge of the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels 49-36. Jason Bean was named the bowl MVP after throwing for 449 yards with 6 touchdowns.
The Rebels did manage to score 17 unanswered points, J.Bean had thrown two interceptions in back-to-back possessions. Rebels scoring first with three-yard touchdown run and 7-0 lead. That was their only and last lead of the game.
“Yeah, it’s a lot better ending than last year. I’m just thankful for the way that this team played tonight. They played their guts off. Like I said, I’m just thankful,” said J. Bean.
J.Bean did manage to throw to 8 different receivers to keep the defense honest. His top two targets were Lawrence Arnold who six catches 132 yards, 3 touchdowns, and Luke Grimm had 4 catches, 160 yards, 3 touchdowns.
The Jayhawks had jumped out to 28-10 halftime lead, J. Bean had already thrown for 274 yards, 3 touchdowns and interception.
An impressive 40-yard touchdown to Arnold (2) from J. Bean on 4&1 to move ahead 34-24 in the 4th quarter.
I’m really proud of this football team for a lot of reasons. They overcame a lot tonight and persevered. It wasn’t our prettiest performance, but we found a way to make plays and stops when we needed to.” Said Kansas coach Lance Leipold.
Rebels quarterback Jayden Maiava had a good game throwing for 291 yards with 3 touchdowns finding three different receivers in the endzone. They did have 106 yards rushing as a team but just not enough to make a difference.
This Kansas team in three years under its new coach Leipold is turning the program around in the right direction. This game will be a springboard for next year competing in the Big 12 minus Texas & Oklahoma.
“We’ve had our ups and downs, and I think it’s just a credit to our attitude and how we stay even keeled and not let the bad things really get to us and the good things either.” said J. Bean “I think the team handled the negativity very well, and I’m proud of them for doing that. I’m just glad we came out with a W.”