WATCH: SDSU's Zach Lujan leads the upset over Kansas
One of the biggest upsets in the first weekend of college football action came in Lawrence, Kansas on Saturday afternoon, as the Kansas Jayhawks fell to the South Dakota State Jackrabbits despite a late rally. Much of the reaction after the game centered around Kansas quarterback Montell Cozart fumbling the ball while attempting to spike it and stop the clock for a game-tying field goal attempt, but that didn’t tell the whole story.
Sure, Kansas gave themselves a fairly substantial hole to dig out of with too many mistakes, including an awful early game interception on a wide receiver screen, on a throw that Cozart should have never attempted, but a big reason for the Jackrabbits victory was the play of their own quarterback, Zach Lujan.
Lujan threw for 293 yards and, while he had some questionable throws in the second half, he made several key throws in the game. The first came with 4.39 left in the first quarter, with South Dakota State already up 10-7. As you’ll see from the vine below, Lujan’s throw was on the money with plenty of zip. One of the best throws of the weekend, and it put the Jackrabbits up 17-7 to set them up for a big day.
Kansas would come back however, but with the Jackrabbits still up by three on 4th-and-5 with 7.34 left in the 4th quarter, Lujan found tight end Dallas Goedert on the sideline for a 23 yard gain, setting South Dakota State up inside the Jayhawks 10-yard line.
It wasn’t a perfect throw, but it was still good enough, dropping the ball in there and taking a big risk on fourth down. Had he missed, Kansas would have got the ball back on their own 29 and had the chance to take the lead — instead the drive continued, leading to a Jackrabbits touchdown shortly after.
The headlines may have been all about the Jayhawks slipping up, but Lujan was as big a reason for the victory as any and all of Kansas’ errors.