Kansas Jayhawks Bowl Game: Jayhawks Cap Off Best Season In Years

Fact Checked by Thomas Leary

The Kansas Jayhawks capped off a renaissance season with gusto on Tuesday night, pulling off a wild 49-36 victory across Kansas sports betting in the 2023 Guaranteed Rate Bowl over UNLV to secure the program’s first bowl game win in 15 years. Behind backup quarterback Jason Bean’s 449-yard, six touchdown passing performance and 142 rushing yards by a stable of running backs, the Jayhawks managed to avoid the upset against an upstart Rebels team that punched their way off the ropes from a 28-10 halftime deficit to make it a 28-24 game entering the night’s final stanza.  

When it was all said and done, KU didn’t just win outright, but covered the 8.5-point pregame spread across Kansas betting apps, putting a triumphant final note on what’s been a yearlong symphony of success in Lawrence.  

Now that the dust has settled in Phoenix and the Jayhawks’ football team can officially say they’re bowl game champs, it’s worth breaking down the odds on where this year’s KU football collective went in 2023.  

BetKansas.com has been breaking down the odds on the Jayhawks’ bowl game odds all year, from the meteoric highs of upsetting OU to the lows that come from losing to in-state rivals Kansas State for a 15th consecutive season. With that in mind, here’s what to know about where the Jayhawks flew in 2023.

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Kansas-UNLV Guaranteed Rate Bowl Result

Date/Time/Stadium Matchup Final Score
Dec. 26, 8 p.m. (ESPN), Chase Field, PhoenixKansas vs. UNLVKansas 49 UNLV 36
Odds provided by ESPN BET Kansas.

Jayhawks Flew to New Heights in 2023

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Kansas’ 8-4 record this fall was how they did so while playing three different quarterbacks due to injuries. Starter Jalon Daniels, who entered the year as a Heisman trophy darkhorse candidate, missed most of the year with nagging back injuries. Backup Jason Bean shined for the team before he too battled injury issues.

That led to freshman Cole Ballard starting games against Texas Tech (on Nov. 11) and Kansas State (on Nov. 18), both of which KU lost, which ultimately kept it from capturing the program’s first 10-win season since 2007.

Running back Devin Neal was the star for KU, with the junior out of Lawrence racking up 1,209 yards and 15 touchdowns, while averaging 6.6 yards per carry. Neal now has 3,006 yards across three seasons to go with 32 rushing touchdowns and three more receiving scores for Leipold and company for good measure.

Daniels and Neal have already announced they’ll be back at KU for 2024, which should provide some level of stability, though offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki is leaving the program to take the same position at Penn State. Despite Kotelnicki leaving Lawrence for State College, it seems the future should still be bright next fall, as Leipold brings in the 45th-ranked recruiting class in the nation, per 247 Sports.

Keep it here at BetKansas.com for all Kansas odds

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Christopher Boan is a lead writer at BetKansas.com specializing in covering state issues. He covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years.

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