The Jayhawks started off strong, jumping to a 10-0 lead propelled by great defense and a poor showing by Missouri quarterback James Franklin. Gill’s Jayhawks went into the locker room at halftime with a 10-3 lead.
Then the wheels came off.
The Tigers rattled off 24 straight points, gaining 214 more offensive yards than Kansas.Gill’s inability to make successful halftime adjustments is probably what spurred Zenger to fire him with 3 years remaining on his contract.
The Tigers had struggled early with the blitz. In fact, Missouri has had many offensive line issues all year. Franklin was looking rattled by the pressure, and the Tigers were having very little success in the running game. However, Gill made the indefensible decision to play a soft coverage, dropping seven or eight into coverage on most plays, allowing the Tigers to establish the run game. Once MU started having success running the ball, the game was decided.
One has to think that a win against Missouri, winning Kansas the War Drum for years to come, would have been enough to save Gill’s job. Especially considering that it may have been the last Border War game, and the fact that according to Kansas, a win would have won them the all-time series.
“As a legacy, people are always going to talk about the last game played,” Gill said. “I think that’s what brings about the significance of this game. It’s the last opportunity for us to play in this type of situation. It’s going to be very, very meaningful.”
Unfortunately for Gill, when people talk about the last Border War game, they will talk about how it was his final game as coach of the Jayhawks.