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Sunday, October 22, 2000

Too tough for Buffs, KANSAS 23, COLORADO 15

Jayhawks claim back-to-back Big 12 victories for first time since 1997

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The scope of Kansas University football coach Terry Allen's crackdown has grown again.

First, Allen cracked the whip over the Jayhawks.

Then he cracked down on the sideline hangers-on.

On Saturday, Allen trained his guns on the KU faithful, or at least the few dozen or so who tried to tear down the goalposts after Kansas remained undefeated in its second season with a 23-15 homecoming victory over Colorado at Memorial Stadium.

"Hopefully we're beyond celebrating when you beat a 1-5 football team," Allen said. "I appreciate our crowd booing them off the goal posts. Let's get real."

After David Winbush shrugged off a couple of bouts of how to put this mildly intestinal distress to gain 181 total yards, KU shrugged off the first-half loss of fullback Moran Norris and the Jayhawks shrugged off enough mistakes to keep the Buffs close, several Kansas fans spilled on the Memorial Stadium AstroPlay in a futile, if overzealous, attempt to tear down the south goal posts.

Allen acted the wet blanket, urging the few who managed to haul themselves onto the crossbar to the dismay of many of the 32,600 fans on hand for homecoming to cease and desist.

"The kids were happy and excited," Allen said after the Jayhawks won consecutive Big 12 games for the first time since 1997, Allen's first year. "Maybe a little intoxicated, but happy and excited."

So, too, was Allen, who, the last time he was on the sidelines at Memorial Stadium, watched helplessly as the Jayhawks dropped a 52-13 stinker to Kansas State.

That loss prompted Allen's tauter ship. He tinkered with the Jayhawks' practice routine, reintroduced live, full-contact scrimmaging and declared a do-over on the first five games of the season. That resulted in a convincing victory at Missouri in the first game of Kansas' "new" season.

Allen cracked down on the sideline distractions this past week, limiting the numbers of players and other personnel deemed unnecessary for the Jayhawks (4-3 overall, 2-2 Big 12).

The result was a nerve-wracking victory over the Buffs (1-6 overall, 1-3 Big 12), who were mathematically eliminated from the postseason and assured only their second losing season since 1984.

"This was real big," said Winbush, who, despite two bouts of vomiting in the second half caused, he said, by reaction to pain medication he took at halftime, rushed for 84 yards and caught five passes for 97 yards. "That win at Missouri doesn't mean much if we lose this game, but we've come out with a win twice. This is huge for us."

Again the Jayhawks did it with defense. Kansas didn't allow an offensive CU touchdown; Colorado's only TD of the day was a 66-yard punt return by Roman Hollowell that gave the Buffs their only lead of the day at 9-3.

KU's bend-but-don't-break defense surrendered 336 total yards but just three field goals.

"I'm pleased with the play of our defense," Allen said. "The confidence level there is immense."

On the other side, Kansas gained 414 total yards but had just two offensive touchdowns and three Joe Garcia field goals, including a career-long 52-yarder late in the third quarter.

With the victory, the Jayhawks moved two wins away from bowl-eligibility, a concept that seemed out of reach after the Jayhawks lost their real opener at Southern Methodist, then opened Big 12 play with back-to-back losses to Oklahoma and K-State.

"We have a six-game season," KU senior quarterback Dylen Smith said after throwing for 152 yards and rushing for 84. "This one was big, but we need two more."

For the second straight week, the Jayhawks turned the opening possession into a 3-0 lead, but Colorado responded with a field goal of its own for a 3-all tie with 7:30 left in the first quarter.

Then Hollowell's punt runback made it 9-3, CU, after Kansas' Jamarei Bryant blocked Mark Mariscal's point-after kick try.

Winbush gave KU the lead for good with a three-yard TD run just three seconds into the second quarter, and Garcia drilled a 28-yarder field goal in a beat-the-clock drive with just two seconds before halftime.

At the break, the Jayhawks had outgained the Buffs, 266 total yards to 134, and led, 13-9.

"We needed to take care of things right from the start," said KU nose guard Nate Dwyer, who was credited with six total tackles and a sack. "We needed to let them know they were a 1-5 football team."

That football team pulled within 13-12 on its first second-half possession on a 21-yard Mariscal field goal, but the Jayhawks responded in kind with Garcia's 52-yarder on the ensuing possession.

A fake CU punt and two three-and-out CU possessions later, Kansas set sail on an 80-yard touchdown drive highlighted by a 38-yard run by Winbush's replacement, Reggie Duncan, and capped by Duncan's six-yard touchdown run to make it 23-12.

Colorado pulled to 23-15 on Mariscal's 40-yarder with 6:45, and drove from its own 23-yard line to the KU 14 on its last possession, but Algie Atkinson sacked QB Craig Ochs for an eight-yard loss, then Ochs threw two incomplete passes to turn over on downs.

Smith took a knee to run out the final 1 minutes, 19 seconds.

"We're 2-0 right now," KU senior safety Kareem High said. "It's a brand-new season. It's homecoming. You can feel the excitement in Lawrence. It was a huge win for us, and it's only going to boost our hunger for the next one."

That'll come soon enough. KU will play host to Texas Tech next Saturday. Kickoff is 1 p.m.

Kansas 23, Colorado 15
TEAM STATISTICS
CU KU
First downs 20 23
Rushes-yards 32-90 51-262
Passing yards 246 152
Total offense 336 414
ReturnYards 0 0
Passing 20-36-0 10-22-0
Punting 5-39.0 6-34.2
Fumbles-Lost 2-0 1-1
Penalties-Yards 8-70 7-82
Time of possession 27:58 32:02

SCORE BY QUARTERS
Colorado 9 0 3 3 15
Kansas 3 10 3 7 23

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING
Colorado: Marcus Moore 6-23, Bobby Purify 3-19, Roman Hollowell 2-17, Corlen Johnson 6-15, Vince Reed 5-15, Scott Nemeth 1-1, Craig Ochs 9-0.
Kansas: Dylen Smith 11-84, David Winbush 22-84, Reggie Duncan 7-42, Byron Gasaway 1-24, Moran Norris 4-18, Roger Ross 1-14, Termaine Fulton 2-3, team 3-(-7).

PASSING
Colorado: Craig Ochs 20-36-246.
Kansas: Dylen Smith 10-22-152.

RECEIVING
Colorado: John Minardi 5-81, Dan Graham 4-77, Javon Green 4-40, Roman Hollowell 3-17, Cedric Cormier 2-23, Marcus Moore 2-8.
Kansas: David Winbush 5-97, Roger Ross 3-38, Byron Gasaway 1-11, Harrison Hill 1-6.

PUNTING
Colorado: Jeremy Flores 5-39.0.
Kansas: Joey Pelfanio 6-34.2.

TACKLING LEADERS
Colorado: Robbie Robinson 13, Jashon Sykes 10, Michael Lewis 9, Phil Jackson 6, Anwawn Jones 5. SacksJones.
Kansas: Marcus Rogers 11, Carl Nesmith 10, Tim Bowers 7, Algie Atkinson 6, Matt Jordan 6, Kareem High 6, Nate Dwyer 6, Andrew Davison 5, Chaz Murphy 4. SacksAtkinson, Dwyer, Murphy.

Officials: Steve Usechek (R), John Davidson (U), Don Kapral (HL), Mike Weir (LJ), Randy McAnally (BJ), Phil Laurie (SJ), Brad Van Vark (FJ).
Attendance: 32,600 (est.)
Time of game: 3:16.

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