Thursday, November 18, 2004

X-Factor Week 11: Kansas 49, Missouri 35


Fresh off an unexpectedly great performance against Texas last week, Brian Luke kept up his hot play in this week's X-Factor virtual simulation against Missouri.

With no fully healthy quarterback behind him on the depth chart, Luke completed 23 of 47 passes for 469 yards and five touchdowns in KU's 49-35 victory over MU in the final X-Factor of the season.

Luke wasted no time in showing last week's game wasn't a fluke, leading KU on a six-play, 81-yard opening drive that culminated with a five-yard touchdown to Lyonel Anderson.

Missouri quarterback Brad Smith led the Tigers on an equally long drive on the ensuing possession, tying the game at 7-all with a 17-yard pass to Thomson Omboga.

The Tigers missed a chance to take a 10-7 lead late in the period when Joe Tantarelli missed a 38-yard field goal wide left.

Kansas failed to capitalize and was forced to punt after Tantatrelli's miss, but Missouri turned the ball over three plays later on a Smith fumble. Donnie Amadi recovered for the Jayhawks, who scored six plays later on a 20-yard pass from Luke to Mark Simmons.

Smith again tied the game three minutes later with a touchdown pass to Damien Nash. Smith threw a screen pass to Nash, who cut back to the middle of the field before outrunning Banks Floodman 66 yards to the end zone.

Luke answered with another six-play drive, hitting Brandon Rideau for two third-down conversions. Rideau's second catch went 36 yards for a touchdown and a 21-14 lead with just more than three and a half minutes left in the second quarter.

After a three-and-out by Missouri, KU kicker Scott Webb missed a 43-yard field goal wide left. Tantarelli hit a 34-yarder on the Missouri's next drive, bringing the Tigers within four points with 1:21 left before halftime.

Kansas extended its lead to 11 points just 12 seconds before halftime on a one-yard run by Clark Green, but Missouri closed to 28-20 less than three minutes into the second half on 20-yard field goal by Tantarelli.

Luke appeared to have another answer on KU's next drive, but Nino Williams II intercepted him in the end zone.

Nash rushed for a first down on Missouri's first play of the next drive, but a holding penalty negated his run. Smith then threw three straight incompletions, forcing the Tigers to punt.

Luke found Simmons for the junior wide receiver's second touchdown of the day moments later, giving KU a 35-20 lead with 1:54 left in the third quarter.

Smith and the Tigers wouldn't lie down, though. The talented signal-caller hit Omboga for a 20-yard gain on fourth-and-10, and Lee Ewigman scored on a three-yard run on the next play. Smith hit Alvin Newhouse for the two-point conversion, bringing Missouri within a touchdown, 35-28, early in the fourth period.

Once again, though, Luke matched the more-heralded Smith by going 4-of-4 passing on the next drive, including an 18-yard scoring pass to Rideau for a 42-28 lead.

The teams traded punts before Missouri scored on a 31-yard pass from Smith to William Franklin, but Kansas scored on a one-yard plunge by Austine Nwabuisi with just more than a minute left in his final game, sealing the victory.

Rideau had a career game in his final contest, grabbing nine catches for 217 yards and two touchdowns, and Simmons added six receptions for 109 yards and two scores. Gary Heaggans also caught five passes for 113 yards. Green finished with 96 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries.

Smith finished 22-of-43 passing for 400 yards and three touchdowns, and rushed 11 times for 49 yards.

Nash carried the ball 20 times for 102 yards and caught seven passes for 123 yards. Omboga had 133 yards and a touchdown on five catches, and Brad Ekwerekwu caught five passes for 65 yards.

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