LAWRENCE, Kan. – When Missouri beat Kansas 36-12 in 2002, the Tigers and their fans charged the field, goal posts fell and general mayhem ensued in Columbia.
Goal posts fell again Saturday, but this time the location and cast were different.
Kansas students and fans rushed the field as soon as the clock expired and immediately began rocking the goal posts in the south end zone. About five minutes later, the fans had their prize and marched toward Potter Lake, where they gave the posts a proper burial.
The goal posts in the north end zone came down a few moments later and were taken to downtown Lawrence, where the fans sawed the posts and distributed the pieces.
Jayhawks fans tore the goal posts down for the first time since a 1998 win against Colorado.
Kansas quarterback Bill Whittemore said watching Missouri players help fans last year upset the Jayhawks.
“We felt like it’d be more classy if we let our fans take care of the goal posts coming down,” Whittemore said. “That’s what the fans enjoy doing and it was neat to let them do it.”
Jayhawks coach Mark Mangino used the Missouri celebration from last year to encourage his team. Pictures of the goal posts falling in Columbia adorned the Kansas locker room for most of the week.
Kansas’ celebration didn’t end with the goal posts. The Jayhawks watched the goal posts fall and went to the locker room. After about 10 minutes, the team came back onto the field to revel in the win with fans and have its picture taken with the scoreboard in the background.
Mangino said he wanted to give his team a chance to capture the memory.
“I think that it’s a big game and I want our kids to have something they can have in their hand, a photo of the scoreboard with them out there,” Mangino said. “It’s something I got from our days at Oklahoma. I thought it was pretty neat, and I still have those pictures hanging in my basement. I wanted them to have something to remember this game by.”
RUSH TO THE RECORDS: Missouri tailback Zack Abron was one of few bright spots on a gloomy day for the Tigers. Abron’s 112 yards moved him within 11 yards of Corby Jones for fourth on Missouri’s career rushing list.
Abron has 2,523 yards. It was his ninth 100-yard day rushing.
Kick returner Marcus James set the career record for kick returns in the fourth quarter. James’ 13-yard kickoff return was his 112th return, which broke Mike Fink’s record of 111.
FRESH FACES: Freshmen Xzavie Jackson and Brad Ekwerekwu made their debuts for the Tigers.
Jackson, a defensive end, made no tackles in limited action. Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said at the beginning of the week that he expected Jackson to play. Jackson suffered a broken left foot in preseason practice.
Ekwerekwu, a wide receiver, entered the game on Missouri’s second possession and made no catches.
Both players are no longer eligible for redshirts.
POTPOURRI: A sellout crowd of 50,071 was the 13th-largest home crowd in Memorial Stadium’s history.
Missouri trailed at halftime for the first time this season when it went to the locker room down 13-7.
The Tigers won the coin toss for the first time and elected to kick.
Receiver Darius Outlaw caught his fourth touchdown pass of the season; he had three last season.