Toledo 37, Kansas 31, 2OT
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP)—The misery away from home just won’t end for Kansas.
This time it was Toledo’s turn to add to the road woes of the Jayhawks, who have won just six times away from home in the last 10 years.
The Rockets’ Bo Martin intercepted Kerry Meier’s pass in the end zone on the first possession of the second overtime, and Jalen Parmele scored on a 25-yard run on the next play to give Toledo a 37-31 victory Friday night.
Parmele ran up the middle before cutting right and racing into the end zone to give Toledo its first victory in three games this season. In the Rockets’ opener, they fell 45-43 in three overtimes at Iowa State—another Big 12 team.
Meier finished with 243 yards passing, but he also had four interceptions— all of which proved costly.
“Takeaways were the name of the game tonight,” Toledo coach Tom Amstutz said.
Toledo (1-2) has won 34 of its last 36 home games. The Rockets have a history of playing well at home against teams from major conferences, knocking off both Minnesota (Big Ten) and Pittsburgh (Big East) in the last five seasons. But this was their first win against a Big 12 opponent.
A year ago, Kansas won all six of its home games but lost five times on the road.
“I’m not obsessed with this road thing,” Kansas coach Mark Mangino said. “There is no way you can win a game with that many turnovers.”
It was a sloppy game on both sides.
Toledo quarterback Clint Cochran was just 15-of-47 passing for 136 yards. But he didn’t have any turnovers.
“In a football game like this, when you make a bad play you have to have a short memory,” Amstutz said.
The Rockets started on offense in the first overtime and drove to the 8-yard line, but a pair of penalties forced the Rockets out of field goal range. A long pass into the end zone on fourth down fell incomplete.
Kansas (2-1), which routed Toledo 63-14 in 2004 in Lawrence, took over and Jon Cornish promptly fumbled away the handoff on the first play, sending the game to a second overtime.
“The defense made a lot of stops, but the offense didn’t perform as well as it should have,” Cornish said.
With 3:55 left in regulation, Meier leapt into the end zone on a two-point conversion to tie it at 31 after he threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Dexton Fields.
Meier came through on the tying 69-yard drive, completing a key third-down pass and hitting Fields twice for long completions.
On the drive prior to that, Toledo freshman Barry Church picked off Meier’s pass and raced untouched down the left sideline for an 84-yard touchdown, giving Toledo a 31-23 lead with 7:19 left.
Kansas appeared to be on the verge of going in for a go-ahead touchdown, but Meier telegraphed his pass to Derek Fine, allowing Church to get the easy interception.
Toledo took the lead on a 1-yard run by Richard Davis, who twisted into the end zone and stretched out just enough to score on fourth down, putting Toledo ahead 24-23 with 11:49 to play.
Kansas could only muster one first down on its first three possessions of the second half.
The Jayhawks then got the ball at midfield and Meier threw to a wide-open Marcus Henry, who made a diving catch in the end zone for a 33-yard touchdown, giving Kansas a 23-17 lead with 4:26 left in the third quarter.
Cochran led Toledo on a pair of long drives in the second quarter despite coming up limping after a pair of hard hits.
He completed four consecutive passes on a 69-yard drive that was capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by Jalen Parmele, giving Toledo its first lead at 9-7.
The Jayhawks answered with a 74-yard scoring drive. Cornish caught an 18-yard shovel pass and then ran for 33 yards to the Toledo 2, setting up Brandon McAnderson’s 2-yard touchdown run.
With less than a minute left in the half, Toledo gambled on fourth-and-15. Cochran lofted a pass into the end zone that slipped between two defenders and into the hands of Stephen Williams for a 37-yard touchdown.
That put the Rockets ahead 17-14.