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Originally published October 11, 2008 at 08:24a.m., updated October 11, 2008 at 05:06p.m.

Sharp’s 3 TD runs lead KU to 30-14 victory over Colorado

Kansas' Jake Sharp drags Colorado's Shaun Mohler into the end zone on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2008 at Memorial Stadium.  Sharp scored three touchdowns in the game.

Kansas' Jake Sharp drags Colorado's Shaun Mohler into the end zone on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2008 at Memorial Stadium. Sharp scored three touchdowns in the game.

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KU surges past Colorado, 30-14

The Jayhawks improved to 5-1 on the season with Saturday's win over Colorado at Memorial Stadium.

4:12 p.m.

Audio clips have been posted on the left. Some of the most interesting comments came from Kansas coach Mark Mangino, who was extremely upset with the play of his special teams.

Podcast episode

Spodcasters

Spodcasters Postgame: Colorado

The guys (Tom Keegan, Jesse Newell) give their observations following KU's 30-14 victory over Colorado. They also look ahead to next week, when the Jayhawks will take on an angry group of Oklahoma Sooners.

Download podcast

Audio clips

2008 KU-CU football

Reader poll

Which KU unit played better on Saturday against Colorado?

  • KU offense 33% 191 votes
  • KU defense 66% 373 votes

564 total votes.

Reader poll

Who was KU's first-half MVP against Colorado?

  • Darrell Stuckey 7% 1 vote
  • Jake Laptad 15% 2 votes
  • Jake Sharp 38% 5 votes
  • Todd Reesing 30% 4 votes
  • Dexton Fields 7% 1 vote
  • Other 0% 0 votes

13 total votes.

Reader poll

Will Jake Sharp run for 100 or more yards against Colorado?

  • Yes 40% 10 votes
  • No 60% 15 votes

25 total votes.

Reader poll

Will Marcus Herford average 30 yards or more on kickoff returns against Colorado?

  • Yes 38% 8 votes
  • No 61% 13 votes

21 total votes.

Reader poll

Will KU's defense record four sacks or more against Colorado?

  • Yes 57% 16 votes
  • No 42% 12 votes

28 total votes.

Final, KU wins 30-14.

Jake Sharp rushed 31 times for 118 yards and three touchdowns, leading Kansas to a 30-14 victory over Colorado on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

The Jayhawks led just 16-14 heading into the fourth quarter before putting together consecutive touchdown drives.

KU's defense had one of its best performances of the year, allowing just 234 yards. CU starting quarterback Cody Hawkins finished 8-for-22 for just 90 yards with a pair of interceptions.

Both of CU's touchdown drives started in Kansas territory.

Todd Reesing finished 27 of 34 for 256 yards and a touchdown. Kerry Meier added nine receptions for 94 yards to lead the Jayhawk wideouts.

6:14 left in fourth quarter, KU leads 30-14.

KU grabs a couple first downs to milk the clock before punting it away. This one looks to be in hand.

9:00 left in fourth quarter, KU leads 30-14.

Matt Ballenger comes in at quarterback for CU, but it doesn't help. The Buffaloes go four yards on three plays before a punt. Fields fumbles the punt, but luckily for KU, it rolls out of bounds.

10:29 left in fourth quarter, KU leads 30-14.

It's amazing how KU's offense goes on runs like this. The Jayhawks make it look easy on a 43-yard drive, with Sharp taking an option left seven yards into the end zone. Sharp now up to 109 yards on 25 carries. Looks like I'm going to go 0-for-3 on my pre-game predictions.

13:07 left in fourth quarter, KU leads 23-14.

KU's defense steps up to force a three-and-out, and the Jayhawks finally get a positive play from special teams, as Dexton Fields returns the punt 36 yards into CU territory.

13:07 left in fourth quarter, KU leads 23-14.

Reesing is really something to watch. Right when the Jayhawks needed it, he led them 76 yards on seven plays in less than two minutes. Sharp capped the drive with an eight-yard touchdown run up the middle, but Reesing was the catalyst, passing for a 15-yard gain to Briscoe, an 18-yard gain to Meier and rushing for another 10-yard gain.

:06 left in third quarter, KU leads 16-14.

Just like that, Colorado comes right back. Hawkins throws a 38-yard strike down the middle to Smith, and on the next play, Hawkins plunges in for a one-yard score. The Smith kick return ends up being a killer for KU.

1:09 left in third quarter, KU leads 16-7.

Smith comes up with his second big play, returning the kickoff 59 yards to the KU 41. The Jayhawks' special teams have been a glaring weakness over the last two weeks.

1:18 left in third quarter, KU leads 16-7.

The Jayhawks make a switch to the hurry-up offense, and the change pays dividends immediately. Reesing fires a 20-yard pass over the middle to Meier, then rockets another 23-yard strike to Briscoe. Reesing later completes the drive with a five-yard touchdown pass to Briscoe off play action. KU finally gets a little breathing room.

6:55 left in third quarter, KU leads 9-7.

KU's special teams continue to be an adventure. Following a CU punt, Daymond Patterson falls down while trying to catch the kick, fumbling the ball momentarily before recovering it. Darrell Stuckey also is called for a block in the back, pushing the Jayhawks back farther.

9:54 left in third quarter, KU leads 9-7.

The Jayhawks' offense continues to be out of sync, as Reesing short-hops Dezmon Briscoe on a third-and-four and the Jayhawks are held to another three-and-out. Alonso Rojas follows with his best punt of the year - 77 yards - to pin Colorado back inside its own 10.

11:29 left in third quarter, KU leads 9-7.

Kansas defense starts the second half strong, forcing a Colorado punt after stuffing Stewart on a third-and-two run. Following a good punt, KU will take over inside its own 10-yard-line.

HALFTIME LEADERS

Kansas

Passing

Todd Reesing 12-for-15, 105 yards

Rushing

Jake Sharp 14 rushes, 52 yards, TD

Reesing 3 carries, 9 yards

Receiving

Dexton Fields 4 catches, 45 yards

Tim Biere 2 catches, 26 yards

Kerry Meier 2 catches, 24 yards

Colorado

Passing

Cody Hawkins 5-for-14, 38 yards, TD, 2 INTs

Rushing

Rodney Stewart 11 carries, 62 yards

Hawkins 3 rushes, 6 yards

Receiving

Cody Crawford 4 catches, 33 yards, TD

Patrick Williams 1 catch, 5 yards

KU's offense, much like last week, looked sluggish in the first half. We'll see if the halftime adjustments help once again. The scary thing for KU fans has to be that Colorado has started to run the ball effectively. Rodney Stewart is averaging 5.6 yards per rush, and if he continues that pace, the Buffaloes could conceivably control the clock in the second half of a close game.

Halftime, KU leads 9-7.

KU survives some weird coaching decisions at the end of the half to keep a 9-7 lead at halftime. The Jayhawks elected to run the ball three times (for nine yards), then took a timeout with seven seconds left on the playclock to leave 12 seconds on the game clock. After a punt out of bounds, an incomplete pass from Hawkins ended the half.

56 seconds left in second quarter, KU leads 9-7.

Colorado puts together an impressive drive at the end of the half, gaining 48 yards on the ground to move inside the KU 30. Darrell Stuckey halts the drive, though, intercepting a pass before tiptoeing inbounds to secure the turnover.

6:24 left in second quarter, KU leads 9-7.

Kansas fails to take advantage of the good field position, going three-and-out. After a punt to the end zone, CU will take over at its own 20.

8:07 left in second quarter, KU leads 9-7.

Another huge play from the KU defense. Jake Laptad corrals Cody Hawkins in the end zone for a 16-yard loss and a safety. The streaky Jayhawks look to be on one of their patented runs.

8:56 left in second quarter, game tied 7-7.

The kickoff chant is alive and well, much to the chagrin of those on the west side of the stadium.

8:56 left in second quarter, game tied 7-7.

All of a sudden, KU seems to have found its running game. Jake Sharp rips off consecutive runs of 21 and 10 yards, and quickly, KU moves in CU territory. Reesing shows no hesitation in completing a 27-yard pass to Dexton Fields, and two plays later, Sharp bowls in from a yard out to give KU its first score.

12:00 left in second quarter, CU leads 7-0.

KU's defense shows some life, stopping Colorado on a third-and-two to force a punt from the CU 45. KU will take over from its own 24. Amazingly, out of five possessions, this is KU's best starting field position.

14:09 left in second quarter, CU leads 7-0.

A third-down pass sails on Reesing, and KU has to settle for a 39-yard field-goal attempt, which sails wide right from Jacob Branstetter. Great start for Colorado, which has to believe now that it can hang with the Jayhawks.

End of the first quarter, CU leads 7-0.

Kerry Meier has been sitting out with what appears to be a leg injury, as he has been jogging up and down the sidelines. It doesn't look serious, but one of KU's best playmakers isn't in there. The Jayhawks are finally starting to move it, driving from their own 20 to the CU 27. Reesing, though, doesn't look like himself, hesitating and double-pumping on almost all this throws. He just hasn't looked comfortable in the earlygoing. Meier just came back in, so good news for KU.

3:15 left in the first quarter, CU leads 7-0.

Kansas' offense goes backwards in three plays, and after a poor punt, CU takes over at the KU 28. The Jayhawks get burned on a blitz, and Hawkins completes a 16-yard pass to Crawford on a third-and-nine to move the ball to the 11. Two plays later, Crawford catches an 11-yard pass in the end zone to put the Buffaloes up by a TD.

6:35 left in the first quarter, game tied 0-0.

Huge play by Kendrick Harper, who stripped Colorado's Cody Crawford after a reception at KU's 4-yard-line. The Jayhawks' offense needs to get out of this hole.

7:42 left in the first quarter, game tied 0-0.

The two teams trade punts. KU's offense is starting slow for the second straight week, now with three rushes for two yards. Josh Smith comes up with a big play, returning a punt 37 yards to the KU 35. The Jayhawks' defense, like last week, is backed up on its own end early.

12:00 left in first quarter, Game tied 0-0

Kansas punts it away after stalling on offense. Four passes and one run (for negative one yard) on the first possession.

11:18 a.m.

No surprises with the starting lineup. Dezmon Briscoe, Dexton Fields, Kerry Meier and Johnathan Wilson are the starting receivers. After Briscoe's key block last week that helped spring Todd Reesing on his nine-yard, game-changing scramble inside the 10, Briscoe has more than earned his starting spot back.

10:58 a.m.

The Jayhawks have come out to do warmups in their blue uniforms. I know there was a lot of speculation that this might be the game that they broke out the red jerseys. I guess nothing would stop them from changing before kickoff, but as of now, it looks like it KU will be in its standard blue.

10:44 a.m.

Credit to nycbackpage on the KUsports.com message board for this.

I couldn't help but laugh when I saw his post on the football board.

Does this man, from the '70s and '80s Christian band Sonseed, look like anyone to you?

8:20 a.m.

Welcome to the Newell Post Live, 8 a.m. edition. I have to admit, it's a little harder to get amped for a game when your alarm clock has just gone off. I'm sure we'll all shake off the Z's as the next few hours pass.

Just like past weeks, let's get to some true/false, fill-in-the-blank questions. Don't forget to give your score predictions and/or answers to the questions in the comments section below. Also, if you haven't yet, make sure you sign up for Kream Keegan. You have until 11 a.m. to register.

True or false: Jake Sharp will run for more than 100 yards against Colorado.

False. While Colorado's rush defense is not good (allowing 171.4 yards per game, ninth in the Big 12), it's hard to imagine Kansas changing up from what has been effective on offense. That means lots of passing and lots of Todd Reesing. Sharp should get most of the carries after his performance against Iowa State, but if he does struggle early on, the coaches have shown a tendency to give the quick hook in favor of one of the other two backs. Expect 60-70 yards for Sharp and 110-120 rushing yards as a team for Kansas. The majority of the offense should still come through the air.

True or false: Marcus Herford will average 30 yards per kick return.

True. Here's a stat for you: Marcus Herford's longest kick return this year (26 yards) is more than two yards shorter than his average kick return last year (28.6 yards). The senior is due for a good game, and there's no better time to break out than today. Coming in, Colorado is ranked last in Division I in kickoff return defense, giving up 31.4 yards per return. A good day from Herford would be a welcome sight for KU, which will need more contributions from its special teams in the coming weeks if it hopes to compete with the big dogs of the Big 12.

True or false: Kansas' defense will post four or more sacks against Colorado.

True. Colorado has some major issues on offensive line, as three players in the unit have suffered season-ending injuries and two others have been ruled out because of eligibility issues. Times have become so desperate that CU coach Dan Hawkins has moved redshirt freshman defensive tackle Eugene Goree over to offensive guard this week and said he might play there as soon as this week (Goree has never played on offense in his life). It all adds up to a long day for CU's offense, and if Kansas gets an early lead (which I think will happen), the Buffs will be forced to pass to try to get back in it. The Jayhawks had success in the second half blitzing Iowa State quarterback Austin Arnaud, and look for them to stay aggressive against a makeshift offensive line today. I'll say Jake Laptad, Joe Mortensen, Mike Rivera and Russell Brorsen all come away with a sack. There, no one can accuse me of making safe predictions.

If KU wins, it will be because ...

the Jayhawks are able to pass the ball effectively against Colorado's defense. Looking back to last year, Hawkins might have come up with the best gameplan all year to stop KU's offense. KU struggled to move the ball all game before eventually coming away with a 19-14 victory, helped in part by a long run by Reesing when he was flushed from the pocket. CU's pass defense has been good this year (182.8 yards allowed per game, 36th nationally) but KU didn't have much problem moving the ball in the second half last week against a strong ISU pass defense (which was ranked 30th in the nation at the time). The biggest advantage the Buffaloes have coming in probably will be their defensive line (led by George Hypolite) against KU's inconsistent offensive line. If Reesing is protected and can move the football through the air, the Jayhawks shouldn't have any problem improving to 5-1.

If CU wins, it will be because ...

the Buffaloes somehow find a way to score 30 points. Colorado's offense has some major issues. The offensive line is in shambles, quarterback Cody Hawkins is struggling (he hasn't thrown for more than 200 yards in any of his last three games) and the Buffaloes can't run the ball (in fact, they only average two more rushing yards per game than the Jayhawks). As we know, to beat KU, teams will have to outscore the Jayhawks. CU will need to get plenty of special teams help and will also need a big game from playmaker Josh Smith if it hopes to get the points needed to overpower the Jayhawks.

Prediction: KU 41, CU 20 I predicted last week's game against ISU would go down to the final possession, but this one shouldn't be close. If Kansas would have played Colorado two weeks ago, I would have said this game could have gone either way, but the Buffaloes don't have much confidence coming in after a pair of blowout losses to Florida State and Texas. Expect KU to jump out to an early lead before making life miserable on Cody Hawkins by blitzing the heck out of an inexperienced CU offensive line. The Jayhawks pass defense should play better against a bad offense, and KU should roll to its 13th straight win at home.

Comments

cwag 11 years, 4 months ago

Good thing this game didn't come down to special teams, cuz we ain't gettin' it done.

thiknthinhawk 11 years, 4 months ago

Sharp is proving himself.....the coaches must know something- imagine that! I'll be the first to eat crow- I jumped off of his bandwagon earlier this year- I was just wrong. Good game, Jake. Good game O-line- you guys are definately making progress.

Lance Hobson 11 years, 4 months ago

We need Meier to get healthy, he looked like he was really struggling out there. OU is going to be tough next week, hopefully we can shock them. Big, big win today. We really needed it to get to a bowl game.

cwag 11 years, 4 months ago

JakeSharpRun1yardJakeSharpRun1yardJakeSharpRun1yardJakeSharpRun1yardJakeSharpRun1yardJakeSharpRun1yardJakeSharpRun1yardJakeSharpRun1yardJakeSharpRun1yardJakeSharpRun1yardJakeSharpRun1yardJakeSharpRun1yardJakeSharpRun1yardJakeSharpRun1yardJakeSharpRun1yardJakeSharpRun1yardJakeSharpRun1yardJakeSharpRun1yardThis is the definition of a rut! GIVE THE FRICKIN' BALL TO ANGUS!!

Brandon Perkins 11 years, 4 months ago

So since you are saying that Jake Sharp will not rush for over 100 yards, would you compare the speed of his rushing attempts to a snails pace or that of a caterpillar?

cwag 11 years, 4 months ago

What does this effort get us? A matchup with an angry Sooner team that just lost to UT 45-35 at the Cotton Bowl. In Norman. Hope we can compete.

rockchalkAZ 11 years, 4 months ago

AND ku takes control of the big XII north. OSU just downed Mizzou

JJHAWK 11 years, 4 months ago

This is one of our very important bowl play-in games. We need this one and the other two bowl play-in games so we don't have to win one of our opportunity games (ranked opponents) to go bowling.Would be nice to go bowling in back to back years - a first in KU football history. Go Hawks!

Jonathan Briles 11 years, 4 months ago

Can someone please tell mangino that sharpe is a 2nd half rusher. He SUCKS at finding holes, reading blocks, and breaking tackles. He has speed late in the game and NOTHING more. We need to quite pussy footing around and start to run this offense like we usually do. Throw some short passes to get in stride and bring up the defense and then air it out and get on the board. We look TERRIBLE right now. We are MUCH better than we are playing and I dont blame one person but I think sharp needs to get out of the game until the 2nd half.

Lance Hobson 11 years, 4 months ago

Hey, the band is back to their old uniforms. Good call!

Matt Lacey 11 years, 4 months ago

Is Sharp 2007 back, or is CU this bad? Nice TD run.

OklahomaJayhawk5 11 years, 4 months ago

Jayhawks by 21 or more. This game is not going to be close.

OklahomaJayhawk5 11 years, 4 months ago

I should ask you Jesse! Why arent either of these guys seeing the field in any capacity?

OklahomaJayhawk5 11 years, 4 months ago

cwag-Completely agree with you about Herford. He just looks slow. Where is Xavier Rambo or Rell Lewis?? I agree, get someone else in there that can make people miss.

cwag 11 years, 4 months ago

What's up with this chickens#!t play-calling? AIR IT OUT!

cwag 11 years, 4 months ago

Dexton in place of Patterson = good call!

Jesse Newell 11 years, 4 months ago

cwag - Good prediction on the score. I think we think alike.

Jesse Newell 11 years, 4 months ago

I think a lot of Herford's problems have come because teams have pinned him toward a sideline on kickoffs. We'll see today. He hasn't shown the explosiveness from last year as of yet, but if he was going to break out, this would be his best chance to do it.

NH_JHawk 11 years, 4 months ago

agree cwag. OU will be looking for a revenge game. We better be prepared and then some.

Cowgirl1920 11 years, 4 months ago

Ok, I have nothing against Sharp. He did have a really good game today. However, Quiqley or Crawford could have had the same amount or more yards if they played the whole game and had 31 carries come on. Magino, should have been allowing all of them to play an entire game from the beginning, thats how you give running back rythm. Not 6 and 7 carries a game. Until I see the same respect given to the other running backs, I dont think that Sharp deserves to be the featured running back.

Jesse Newell 11 years, 4 months ago

Neither. Jake Sharp is fast. But I do like caterpillars.

flipborder02 11 years, 4 months ago

How many times has Harris been burnt this year he sucks @$$.

Jesse Newell 11 years, 4 months ago

OklahomaJayhawk5 - I asked Coach Mangino about his kick returns two weeks ago, and his answer can be found here (about one-third of the way through).http://www2.kusports.com/podcasts/press_conferences_postgame_interviews/2008/oct/01/ku_coach_Mark_mangino/To summarize, Mangino says he believes the poor returns are a product of short kicks. He said in that interview that he was happy with Herford. I don't see a change coming. Also, on the depth chart, Sharp is listed as the backup kickoff returner.Rambo was a scout team player of the week at one point earlier this year, so he isn't being ignored. Mangino hasn't really addressed (or been asked specifically) about why those two aren't playing, so it's a tough question to answer.

kvskubball 11 years, 4 months ago

KanFan...I agree, Coach definitely was trying to force our running game early on. It's not good enough for that to work. I agree that short out patterns and crossing patterns would help soften the D better than trying to smack our running game against a wall. Gotta remove a few bricks first.cwag...You are right on. Watching the game I'm like ouch, when our special teams are in. The punt and kick coverage is not good. We don't keep contain very well, and we don't seem to have enough speed. So we should do a better job with our pursuit angles.Today our kickoff and punt receiving, ugh, couple of dropped balls which we were extremely lucky to keep, one we covered and the other bounced out of bounds. Our technical work sucks. On the return ball that we dropped and covered, our return man didn't make sure he stayed behind the ball and then tripped himself backing up. On the one that was fumbled out of bounds, bad hands...the return man pushed his hands away from his body instead of making sure to bring the ball in.I hope Kerry is OK. I know Coach's policy is not to comment on injuries, but it was obvious he wasn't 100%.Our defense was fairly solid today. It was mostly good against the run. Some really good work on the 2 interceptions! The two miscues I noticed were: First, that our OLB overpursued a couple of times, once allowing the back to escape outside for first down yardage. Then we seemed to be caught in a zone and whoever was playing centerfield wasn't deep enough. Lucky for us the FIRST attempt was dropped. Then the very next play, they run the play from the other side of the field and once again we're not deep enough. Ball is caught at the one yard line.Overall, I think this game is a pretty fair indication of where our team is. We are a good team and this was a definite improvement over our game against USF, the only other game that we've played against fairly decent competition. We're not a great team. Team speed, we'll have to recruit, but the technical mistakes can and must be improved on, for the team to make progress.Some serious good work by:Always Super TR!Jake the little train that can!Rojas ~ super punt man! or was it Superman punt? 77 yards!!! Yeah it got a 22 yard bounce, but man way to change the field position war. We were losing the war and then BOOM shaka-a-lacka!I had fun watching the game. This is a game that we should have won and we did it. We took care of business!Now let's go down to Norman and see if we can scratch and claw our way to victory over Choke-lahoma!

cwag 11 years, 4 months ago

Nice drive - let's get a stop & get back to work.

kvskubball 11 years, 4 months ago

Hey!!!!!!! I'm happy we took care of business today. Others didn't so we're in better position at the end of the day than at the beginning!We're currently in 1st place by ourselves in Big XII North, and after our game next week, we will AT LEAST be tied for the lead no matter what happens!Way to go TEAM!ROCK CHALK!!!

Hawkish4bigM 11 years, 4 months ago

Well, Jayhawk Nation, I am encouraged. OU loses and it was clear that their young QB does not have near the poise that Todd Reesing has. Second, NU should have beaten Tech. They dominated the stats, especially no. of first downs. I predicted the Texas win. I am also predicting an OSU win tonight. Ball-control is the factor with these explosive teams. Keep their offense off the field, let them get cold. All this to say that if KU comes out doing what it does best next week and against the better teams, they can win. D was very good today.KU may very well be atop the North Division by late today.

cwag 11 years, 4 months ago

  1. False - today belongs to Angus; Warinner / Mangino turn him loose. FINALLY.2. True - Marcus Herford WILL average 30 yards per kick return. Problem is, they will be east to west yards. Time to try someone else.3. True - led by Rivera & LaptadBottom line - KU has better talent & coaching.KU 38CU 20

OklahomaJayhawk5 11 years, 4 months ago

Thanks Jesse for the response! I knew Rambo was showing promise, so thats why I was wondering. JJHawK-We are going bowling for sure in my opinion. I think we win at LEAST 3 more games(Colorado,K-State,Nebraska). And I think we steal one of the two against Texas and Tech!

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