After a bad week of workouts leading up to Friday's Aloha Bowl, Kansas kicker Dan Eichloff connected on two field goals, including a game-deciding 48-yarder with 2:57 to play, as the Jayhawks beat Brigham Young, 23-20.
"That was the first time I ever had a chance to win a game for us," Eichloff said. "It was a big kick for me, because I started off bad."
Coach Glen Mason said Eichloff had not only kicked poorly in recent practices, but "looked awful" during pregame drills.
It was another story for BYU kicker David Lauder, who looked good in practice but missed all three of his field-goal attempts, including a 42-yarder with 12:49 to play.
"He's been good all year. He just missed them," BYU Coach LaVell Edwards said. "I was disappointed we didn't score more points. We had our chances and didn't do the job."
After Eichloff's kick capped a 15-play drive that consumed 7:17, the Cougars (8-5) moved to the Kansas 35 before quarterback Tom Young's pass was intercepted by safety Charley Bowen.
The Jayhawks (8-4) closed within 20-18 with 11:26 left when quarterback Chip Hilleary ran over right tackle from a yard out. Hilleary then called a play-action fake and rolled right into the end zone for the two-point conversion to tie the score.
BYU, which led, 14-12, at halftime, extended the advantage when split end Otis Sterling fought off defensive back Dorian Brew to pull down a 10-yard pass from Young in the right side of the end zone.
The Cougars had several chances to add to their lead, but Lauder missed a 31-yard attempt with 3:50 left in the third quarter after a BYU drive stalled at the Kansas 13.
The Cougars wasted no time taking the lead, as Hema Heimuli returned the opening kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown. Heimuli started up the middle of the field, then cut to the right sideline around midfield and scampered untouched to the end zone.
Kansas tied it less than a minute later when Matt Gay took a lateral from Hilleary and connected with Rodney Harris on a 74-yard touchdown pass play. Harris was standing alone at the BYU 40 and ran untouched for the touchdown.
Harris finished with four catches for 142 yards and Hilleary completed 11 of 23 passes for 126 yards.
Kansas went ahead, 9-7, when Chris Maumalanga tackled Jamal Willis for a two-yard loss and a safety with 6:28 left in the first quarter.
The Cougars pulled ahead, 14-9, when Willis ran in from 29 yards with 10:47 left in the second quarter.
Kansas closed out the first-half scoring when Eichloff booted a 42-yard field goal 5:47 before halftime.
Young, a descendant of Brigham Young and brother of San Francisco 49er quarterback Steve Young, completed 15 of 31 passes for 262 yards and one touchdown in his first college start.
Young was sacked six times, with tackle Dana Stubblefield getting three sacks. Stubblefield was selected as the game's most valuable player.
"We knew that if we put pressure on him that he would make bad decisions like he did," said Stubblefield, who spent most of the game stuffing the line and terrorizing Young. "They set their guards and tackles so far off the line that it gives me a chance to get a good running start."