Coach Charlie Weis, who's been urging people to attend his Kansas team's games, was left marveling at the ones who decided to stick around.
No. 20 Texas Tech scored 54 unanswered points and routed the Jayhawks 54-16, extending their winless streak in the Big 12 to 22 games, or, as Weis kept reminding everyone all week, 1,063 days.
"If I were at the game, I probably would have left, too," Weis said. "They should get combat pay for just sticking around to the end."
Two years ago, the last time Kansas hosted Texas Tech, the Jayhawks raced to a 20-0 lead late in the first quarter, only to see the Red Raiders reel off 45 points and put the game out of reach by the third quarter.
This time, Kansas grabbed an early 10-0 lead. Quickly this lead disappeared, too, and really by halftime it felt as though the game had already been decided.
"We're going to have to critically evaluate everything that happened," Weis said. "From the coaching and play calling on one end, to performance on the other end. Then we're going to have to go down to a nucleus of players that we believe will all give us the best chance at competing."
The Jayhawks know exactly how many days have fallen away from the calendar since that last conference win.
"He drummed it in our head," said defensive end Keon Stowers. "We've still got that stat in our head. Obviously, there's going to be more days added to that. But we're not going to go down the same road we went down last year."
The win may have been costly for Texas Tech. After passing for 368 yards, freshman quarterback sensation Baker Mayfield was helped off the field favoring his right leg.
"I just saw him limping off and he wasn't putting much weight on that (right) leg," said coach Kliff Kingsbury. "I've got to talk to the docs and see."
Mayfield was hurt when tackled while passing. There was no penalty. He hobbled very slowly off the field with someone helping him under each arm.
He was 33 of 51 with one interception.
With Mayfield in command after Kansas took a 10-0 lead, the Red Raiders surged, and went to 14-1 all-time against the Jayhawks (2-2, 0-1 Big 12). The Red Raiders went to 5-0, 2-0.
Weis said the Red Raiders didn't change anything to ignite their offense.
"No, they didn't. And that's what bothers you the most," Weis said.
Backup Davis Webb threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Eric Ward and a 4-yard scoring pass to Dylan Cantrell. The Red Raiders also scored twice on short runs by DeAndre Washington while rolling up 518 total yards on an exhausting 100 plays.
The turning point may have come with about 5 minutes left in the second quarter when the score was tied 10-all and Kansas punter Trevor Pardula, facing a fourth-and-12 from the Kansas 17, fielded the snap but took off running. The junior kicker, who two weeks earlier averaged a school-record 57.6 yards on five punts, was tackled on the 16 and a moment later Mayfield scored on a 19-yard quarterback draw.
"It was based on whether something happens, you have to take it," Weis said. "And he kind of got caught in that gray area. In hindsight, he wouldn't do it. But if he had a certain look, he was able to do that."
Eric Ward caught seven balls for 122 yards, tight end Jace Amaro caught nine for 96 and Jakeem Grant added seven catches for 92 yards for Tech.
Tech tied it 10-all on Kenny Williams' 1-yard run midway through the second quarter on a 42-yard drive aided by two key Kansas penalties. A roughing-the-passer infraction on defensive end Kevin Young gave Tech a first down on the 14,ans then Dexter McDonald was flagged for pass interference in the end zone.
Bustin made a 23-yarder to get the Red Raiders going in the second. He also had a 25-yarder as time ran out in the second quarter, giving Texas Tech a 20-10 halftime lead.
The Jayhawks seized a 10-0 homecoming lead in the first quarter on a 36-yard field goal by Matthew Wyman and Jake Heaps' 25-yard TD pass to Jimmay Mundine. It was the first points the Jayhawks had scored in the first quarter all year and the first time the Red Raiders trailed.
On the 79-yard touchdown drive, the Jayhawks were flagged five yards for false starts on back-to-back plays, resulting in a third-and-12 from the 50. But Heaps hit Tony Pierson for a 25-yard gain and then connected with Mundine on the next play.
Mike Cummings had a 28-yard TD pass to Andrew Turzilli late.