Kansas Football Erases 21-point Deficit But Comes Up Short At CU

Oct. 17, 2009

Final Stats | Notes |

Postgame Video: Mangino

BOULDER, Colo. – Despite erasing a 21-point victory, the University of Kansas football team could not pull off the win as Colorado escaped with a 34-30 victory over the Jayhawks in front of 51,146 fans Saturday night in Boulder. KU dropped to 5-1 overall and 1-1 in the Big 12, while Colorado improved to 2-4 overall and 1-1 in the league.

All 51,146 fans hearts were racing in the fourth quarter as the lead changed two times and Kansas had the chance to win on the final play of the game. In the end, it wasn’t meant to be for KU.

Kansas opened the scoring on its third drive on a Jacob Branstetter 37 yard field goal. The boot was a career-long and the three points stood as the only points of the quarter as KU led 3-0 after the first 15 minutes.

The second quarter belonged to the Buffaloes as they rolled off 24-straight points, thanks largely to field position. On the first play of the quarter, Colorado tied the game on a 45-yard field goal. Less than 30 seconds later, the Buffs had the ball on the three yard line going in after a KU fumble. Buff RB Rodney Stewart ran the ball in from the three and in the blink of an eye, KU trailed 10-3 with 14:31 on the clock in the second quarter.

Colorado added two more touchdowns, the first coming on an eight-play, 79-yard drive capped by a 12-yard pass from Tyler Hansen to TE Riar Greer. The second came on a one yard drive (Hansen rush) after another KU turnover.

As a result of all the scoring, Colorado fans came alive. But despite the noise, Kansas orchestrated an 11-play, 80-yard drive to narrow the margin to 24-10 at halftime in favor of Colorado. On the final drive, QB Todd Reesing hit WR Kerry Meier four times for 58 yards including the four-yard scoring pass.

Despite five players seeing their first action of the season on defense (DT John Williams, CB Lubbock Smith, LB Angus Quigley, CB D.J. Beshears and DE Quintin Woods) and the scoreboard showing 24 points for Colorado, the defense was able to hold CU to just 167 yards in the first half.

Offensively, KU had 140 yards in the first half, all of them through the air. Reesing was 10-of-18 passing for 141 yards and a touchdown. RB Jake Sharp returned to action with 10 carries for 15 yards. KU finished with minus one rushing yards due to 17 yards in losses off of sacks.

Colorado picked up its second field goal by Aric Goodman to open the second half after a 10-play, 47-yard drive that resulted in a made 39-yard kick.

Kansas answered with an impressive eight-play, 80-yard touchdown drive to bring the score to 27-17. The touchdown came on a two-yard run from RB Toben Opurum. It marked his eighth TD of the season as he has scored at least once in every game.

On the ensuing Colorado drive, KU DE Jeff Wheeler forced a fumble that was scooped up by DT Richard Johnson. Kansas set up shop at the 41-yard line in Colorado territory. After stalling, the Jayhawks got a second life after a successful fake punt on a pass from P Alonso Rojas to TE Tim Biere. KU had to settle for another field goal as Branstetter lengthened his career-long to 43 yards, and Colorado led 27-20.

CU’s next drive had the same result. A sack and forced fumble by LB Arist Wright was recovered by CB Ryan Murphy to give KU the ball in Buff territory for the second straight drive. Again, Kansas had to settle for a field goal as Branstetter booted one in from 42 yards. Moments later the third quarter ended with CU ahead 27-23.

Two minutes into the fourth quarter the comeback was complete. After trailing by 21 at one point in the second quarter, KU clawed all the back and took the lead 30-27 after an incredible four-play, 58-yard drive capped off by Reesing hitting Briscoe on a perfect strike from 25 yards for the TD.

For Kansas fans, it seemed momentum had shifted. But Colorado had other ideas as it drove right back down the field to reclaim the lead 34-30. A 13-yard scoring run from Stewart punctuated a 10-play, 76-yard drive that ate up 4:21 of clock.

KU threw for the endzone on its next possession on fourth down but a pass to Briscoe was broken up. After holding the Buffs, KU got the ball back with 59 seconds remaining. Kansas drove down to the 19 yard line. With three seconds remaining, Reesing threw the ball up to Briscoe in the middle of two Colorado defenders and the ball fell to the ground to give Kansas its first loss of the season.

Reesing finished 30-of-51 for 401 yards and two touchdowns. Meier recorded his third straight game with double-digit catches with 11 grabs for 103 yards. Briscoe had eight catches for 154 yards. Both Meier and Briscoe had one touchdown.

Kansas next returns to Memorial Stadium to host Oklahoma at 2:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 24, on ABC.