Post updated at 11:08 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5:
The Kansas Jayhawks looked a little more like they did early in the season during their Salute to Service game Saturday afternoon, improving to 6-3 on the season and becoming bowl eligible for the first time since 2008.
They topped the No. 18-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys 37-16 Saturday, rushing for a season-high 351 yards.
Sophomore running back Devin Neal, a Lawrence High School alum, led the rushing attack with a career-high 224 yards, according to KU Athletics.
“Neal finished with 334 total yards and is the first Jayhawk running back with at least 200 yards rushing in a game since Pooka Williams Jr. in 2018,” according to KU.
The Salute to Service game was to honor veterans and those in active duty in the military. An F-35 flyover did not happen as planned “due to circumstances beyond our control,” according to KU Athletics, but there was a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter on display.
At halftime, Melissa Peterson (Diné), KU’s director of tribal relations, was honored for her service to students.
“In the last year, she had created a spotlight for our KU and Haskell Native students, faculty, and staff to step into so they can fully be who they are in a loving and supportive place at the University of Kansas,” Lori Hasselman, KU’s Native American student success coordinator, wrote of Peterson in a Facebook post Saturday. “Additionally, she has diligently worked to lift the voices of our tribal leaders in Kansas and beyond to facilitate partnerships that will help their students become more engaged in opportunities at KU that support tribal goals.”
Perhaps the Jayhawks achieving bowl eligibility was what it took for security to leave the goalposts unattended — they have been guarded carefully following previous wins this season.
But Saturday, students rushed the field out of excitement following the victory; then pulled down the goalposts and carried them to a final resting place at Potter Lake. (KU Football indicated in a tweet that the posts had already been replaced Saturday night.)
Bowl assignments will be announced Sunday, Dec. 4 after conference championship games, according to KU Athletics.
The Jayhawks will next travel to Lubbock to take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12.
The Texas Longhorns will come to Lawrence on Nov. 19, and the Jayhawks will close out the regular season with the Sunflower Showdown against K-State on Nov. 26 (both times TBD).
KU is hosting numerous events and activities in honor of veterans through the upcoming week. Read more at this link.
Photos by August Rudisell