CINCINNATI (AP) — Jason Bean returned from injury and threw a pair of touchdown passes and ran for two more, helping Kansas snap a two-game losing streak with a 49-16 victory at Cincinnati.
Bean who was injured two weeks ago in a loss to Texas Tech and missed last week’s loss to Kansas State, passed for 250 yards and rushed for 90. He had touchdown runs of 43 and 50 yards to seal the game in the fourth quarter.
“It felt good to get back out there with the boys,” Bean said. “Last week was tough just sitting on the sideline watching. I wanted to come out and make a statement this week.”
Devin Neal rushed for 106 yards and two TDs for the Jayhawks (8-4, 5-4 Big 12) who had their first winning season since 2008.
“I’m very proud of our guys and their perseverance after losing two (straight) and get a road win to cap the season,” Kansas head coach Lance Leipold said. “It’s a testament to how far this program’s come in a very short two and a half years.”
Kansas will learn its next destination when bowl pairings are announced on Sunday, Dec. 3.
“I sure hope we get a great destination because these guys deserve it,” Leipold said.
Corey Kiner ran for 106 yards on 18 carries and has 1,047 yards rushing this season, one of few bright spots for the Bearcats (3-9, 1-8 Big 12) in a very difficult season.
Cincinnati used a pair of quarterbacks in the first half.
Emory Jones started, then Brady Lichtenberg's first pass attempt was intercepted by Cobee Bryant early in the second quarter, leading to Neal's 13-yard TD to put the Jayhawks ahead 7-3.
With 5:31 left in the first half, Neal found tight end Jared Casey in the end zone for a 15-yard TD, making the score 14-3.
There was a big momentum swing just before halftime
Jones returned to toss an 11-yard TD pass to Ryan Montgomery to cut the deficit to 14-10 with 22 seconds left in the half.
The Jayhawks responded by driving 56 yards in two plays in 17 seconds. Bean's 26-yard TD pass to Mason Fairchild made the halftime score 21-10.
“We've been able to that ... answer a score really late in the half,” Leipold said. “It kind of took a little wind out of them.”
Neal took a direct snap and ran 30 yards untouched for a touchdown making the score 28-10 early in the third quarter.
“We had some really high goals for this team this year,” Bean said. "I’m just really proud of this team for what they’ve done this season. We still have more to accomplish.”
Kansas: Neal now has 3,006 rushing yards for his career, placing him fifth all-time on the school's list. He needs 69 yards to pass Laverne Smith for fourth place.
Cincinnati: The Bearcats, two years removed from a College Football Playoff appearance under Luke Fickell, finished Scott Satterfield's first season as head coach with their worst record since 1999.
“This is going to be a hard winter," Satterfield said. "We are going to have a meeting to see who is staying then we get back to work. We had some undisciplined play that cost us a lot of games. We have 22 recruits coming in. When the transfer portal opens up on December 4, we will hit that hard.”
Kansas: The Jayhawks will play in a bowl game for the second straight year.
Cincinnati: Season is over.
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AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-football