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Rapid Reaction: Kansas 27, TCU 26

It actually happened.

NCAA Football: Texas Christian at Kansas Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas beat TCU 27-26 on Saturday in a game of American football.

In the end — appropriately enough — it ended on a buttfumble.

Darius Anderson ran smack-dab into Austin Myer’s backside with 58 seconds left on the five-yard line and dropped the ball, and the Jayhawks recovered it. TCU had mounted a beautiful drive to get to that point, and it was all for naught.

TCU did its best to lose this game, and succeeded. On their first drive of the game, the Frogs had 1st and goal from the six-yard line and came away with zero points. They allowed Kansas to convert 10 of 16 third downs — and two of the Jayhawks’ three touchdowns came on third downs. TCU let Pooka Williams run for 33 yards and catch seven passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns, including a 28-yard score with 6:13 remaining to put the Jayhawks up 27-24. It looked for a moment as though Williams was stripped of the ball before crossing the end zone, but Julius Lewis was standing directly in the way of the best camera angle, and the referees allowed the touchdown to stand.

So it came to Michael Collins to lead a drive down the field, and he did. He scrambled for a short gain, then found Taye Barber for a long pass. Anderson ran left and picked up a first down, part of a 95-yard day for the junior. Jalen Reagor came through again for a 16-yard gain on a low pass over the middle from Collins, and the Frogs had 1st and 10 from the Kansas 21 with 3:17 remaining.

An Anderson run went backwards, and left the Frogs facing second and long. Collins scrambled for a few yards, and with 2:11 left TCU had 3rd and 9 trailing by three. Barber then ran a perfect comeback route two yards ahead of the marker and Collins found him, giving the Frogs 1st and goal with 1:30 remaining.

Then came the fumble. The referees ruled Anderson down by contact originally, but on replay it was clear what happened. The Frogs had all their timeouts left, but when Kansas got a first down on the second play from scrimmage, the game was over. Payton Bender took an intentional safety with a second left, and the Jayhawks squibbed the ensuing kickoff to seal the win.

Collins was above average in his first start in a TCU uniform. He put up 351 yards, one touchdown and one interception on 23-33 passing, and showed toughness by bulling his way into the end zone for two touchdowns on the ground. Reagor led the Frogs in receiving with 177 yards and a score on eight catches, and generally looked like the best player on the field for either team. Both of those guys played good enough to win.

It didn’t matter.

In an unthinkably bad year for TCU football in so many ways, the most unthinkable result was sure to follow.

We are now Texas.