Boulder, Co. Kansas senior quarterback Jason Swanson gave KU's struggling offense a sign of life Saturday night in Boulder, Co. -- but that still wasn't enough to lift the Jayhawks to their first Big 12 victory of the season.
Colorado, which led only 16-13 at halftime, put up 28 unanswered points (14 via CU's special teams) in the second half to secure its 44-13 victory at Folsom Field.
"Our team showed some improvement on offense," said KU coach Mark Mangino, who team slipped to 3-4 on the season and 0-4 in the Big 12. "Defensively, we didn't defend the pass well and that's something we need to do.
"The part that disappointed me the most tonight was special teams," Mangino continued. "It's usually been pretty solid for us, as we're a good special teams football team. But tonight I think we accounted for 23 points for Colorado and when special teams does that, it's going to be a long night."
Indeed it certainly became that way starting when Colorado's Brendan Schaub blocked Kyle Tucker's punt at the start of the third quarter and Buff Dominique Brooks returned the football 18 yards for a score that put CU ahead.
On KU's ensuing possession Charles Gordon fumbled the football, giving the ball right back to Buffaloes who quickly added to their advantage.
Colorado got a 21-yard gain by Nick Holz on a fake field goal situation on fourth-and-four from the Kansas 24-yard line.
The very next play CU senior quarterback Joel Klatt made school history when he again connected with tight end Joe Klopfenstein.
The three-yard touchdown not only gave the Buffaloes a 30-13 lead with 6:47 to go in the third, but it gave Klatt CU's all-time touchdown passes thrown record with 41, breaking Koy Detmer's mark; and gave Klopfenstein the school's all-time touchdowns received mark for a tight-end with 12.
"We would not be 5-2 without Joel Klatt," CU coach Gary Barnett said of his senior signal-caller, who needs 175 yards to become the Buffaloes all-time career passing yards leader.
"We woudl not have been 8-5 a year ago without Joel Klatt. You don't get a quarterback like that very often."
Just for good measure, Klatt connected with wide out Dusty Sprague for a 62-yard touchdown pass that increase CU's lead to 37-13 with 13:16 left in the fourth.
"It feels really good to be considered in the class with all the great quarterbacks before me," said Klatt, who completed 16-for 27 pass for 193 yards and four scores. "I've always said that those type of records take longevity and a little bit of luck."
CU teammates Stephone Robinson and Brooks might feel a little lucky too -- especially when it comes to playing Kansas.
Much like Brooks, who returned a fumble for a touchdown last year in Lawrence to spark Colorado's rally, Robinson got his second score in two years against the Jayhawks.
Last season in Lawrence, Robinson returned a punt for a touchdown. He did so again on Saturday, making an electrifying 81-yard return to give the Buffaloes their final margin of victory.
"I think the whole game turned around with specials teams," Barnett said. "It's amazing how he (Brooks) had a fumble return for a touchdown last year against Kansas and gets one this year. I think the biggest play was the fake field goal, which let us get on the board early."
Getting on the scoreboard at all, had to be a success for a Kansas team that had not scored a touchdown in 10 quarters of play.
But a seven-yard touchdown pass from Swanson to Charles Gordon with 1:44 before the half, ended the Jayhawks drought.
"I felt I played okay," said Swanson, who completed 26-of-50 passes for 291 yards after replacing starting quarterback Brian Luke on KU's third offensive series.
"I had an injury and I just haven't been 100 percent," continued Swanson, who also threw three interceptions Saturday. "I'm just as comfortable as the last time that I played. I'm not rusty because I've been practicing a lot. I'm a football player."
So too is KU wideout Mark Simmons, but he might also be remembered as the Jayhawks all-time receptions leader considering his five catches set the new Kansas mark at 137.
"It's nice to get the record for myself, but I would always rather have wins," Simmons said. "Wins don't get erased from the books, but records will always be broken. All I really want to do is win this year and get into a bowl game."
Despite the latest setback the Jayhawks still have that opportunity, needing three wins with four conference games remaining.
"We have to let this game with CU go behind us because coming up this week is a huge rivalry game for us versus Missouri," defensive end Charlton Keith said. "We have to be ready for that game and we have to get back on track."
Kansas kicker Scott Webb certainly seemed like he was right on track from the last couple of weeks as his second field goal of the game, a 28-yarder, cut KU's deficit to 16-6 with 8:14 left in the half.
KU, which at halftime had outgained CU 128-125 and also had the football nearly two minutes longer, moved the ball 63 yards on nine plays -- and got a bit of help from two CU defensive penalties.
Kansas got on the scoreboard thanks to a 25-yarder by Webb with 3:07 left in the first quarter.
But before the field goal things were snowballing quickly.
A fumbled snap on a first-quarter punt made KU kicker Kyle Tucker throw the football through the end zone for a safety.
Moments earlier, Colorado got on the scoreboard first when Klatt found Quinn Sypniewski for a 20-yard touchdown pass.
Colorado has won the last five meetings in the series and also has emerged victorious the last five times the two teams have played in Boulder.