Thursday, January 1, 2009

Reesing, Briscoe spark historic win

Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing takes off on a long run past the Minnesota defense during the fourth quarter of the Insight Bowl Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. The play set up a final Jayhawk touchdown for running back Jake Sharp.

Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing takes off on a long run past the Minnesota defense during the fourth quarter of the Insight Bowl Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. The play set up a final Jayhawk touchdown for running back Jake Sharp.


Audio clips

2008 Insight Bowl


2008 Insight Bowl

KU will face the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the 2008 Insight Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.

Jayhawks throttle Gophers

For the first time in school history, Kansas University wins bowl games in consecutive years.

Historic win shows big steps for KU

It may not have been the Orange Bowl, but KU's Insight Bowl victory was momentous for several reason.

— In the aftermath of the Kansas University football team’s historic 42-21 Insight Bowl victory over Minnesota — which long will be remembered as the day Jayhawks quarterback Todd Reesing and receiver Dezmon Briscoe essentially were unstoppable — the two players made their way to a news conference at Sun Devil Stadium, where dozens of reporters wanted to know how, exactly, they had managed to do what they had just done.

Reesing, ever the leader, stepped up and provided this detailed breakdown of the Jayhawks’ offensive plan.

“Here’s what happened,” said Reesing, leaning forward in his seat for emphasis. “They call a play, and Briscoe gets open. If I can throw it to him, then it works out. And it seems to have worked out a whole lot of times.”

Fourteen times, to be exact.

In the kind of performance that is becoming commonplace for the sophomore from Dallas, Briscoe shattered the Insight Bowl record for receptions with 14 and finished with 201 yards and three touchdowns to earn offensive-player-of-the-game honors.

From the opening play, a 60-yard touchdown reception from Reesing, Briscoe stood out for a Kansas offense that did the high-octane Big 12 Conference proud, piling up 446 yards of total offense and proving, at least for one night, that the conference is home to the nation’s most potent offensive attacks.

Said a dejected Minnesota coach Tim Brewster: “(They’re) as good an offensive football team as we’ve seen all year.”

Kansas, which earned its 20th victory in the past two seasons and will go down in history as the first Jayhawks team to play in — and win — consecutive bowls, did a little bit of everything Wednesday, throwing for five touchdowns, rushing for another and pulling off a wide-receiver-pass play in which Kerry Meier, who was unseated by Reesing as the team’s quarterback prior to the 2007 season, tossed his first touchdown of the ’08 season.

“I will put it to you like this,” KU coach Mark Mangino said, “no defensive coordinator is rubbing their hands together saying, ‘I can’t wait to play against (the Kansas) offense and Todd Reesing.’ There is nobody doing that.”

The defense wasn’t too shabby, either. Despite facing an offensive set the Gophers hadn’t run all season — in which quarterback Adam Weber took many snaps under center and the team appeared focused on power running — Kansas played one of its most complete games of the season.

After giving up 45 rushing yards in the first quarter, the Jayhawks, sparked by superb play from their senior linebacking corps, regrouped to hold Minnesota to just 80 for the game.

“We talked for a couple weeks here that we were going to get some surprises,” said Mangino, who improved to 3-1 in bowl games as coach at Kansas. “We knew that. We just had to keep cool and calm and keep our poise and do what we had to do.”

In case their own efforts weren’t enough, however, the Jayhawks got plenty of help from the Gophers, who finished with seven penalties — many of the untimely variety.

In the first half alone, the Gophers were flagged for roughing the passer, a late hit and a controversial one-yard pass-interference penalty that kept a Kansas drive alive and paved the way for Reesing’s six-yard touchdown pass to Briscoe three plays later.

The Gophers made a small run late, managing to shrink their deficit to 35-21 early in the fourth quarter after UM receiver Eric Decker caught a six-yard touchdown pass from Weber. But after Minnesota tight end Nick Tow-Arnett’s hauled in what appeared to be a 36-yard reception to move UM into Kansas territory on the Gophers’ next drive, the play was called back because of an illegal-formation penalty, and the team’s momentum dwindled.

With the exception of the linebackers, the Jayhawks return nearly every impact player next season, including the three — Reesing, Briscoe and Meier — who had the biggest impact in Wednesday’s victory.

And in the moments following the game, as players gathered on the field to accept their trophy, talk couldn’t help but drift toward next season and the promise it holds.

“I’m not really thinking about that right now,” Mangino said. “But I can say with a great deal of confidence that, (if we) stay healthy and stay on track, we have a chance to be a very good football team next year.”


shockhawk93 11 years ago

Way to go, Hawks! The guys played a great game, and I loved the Reesing/Meier/Briscoe touchdown. Happy new year and God Bless the Hawks!

Dyrk Dugan 11 years ago

Congrats to MM, his staff and players. whatever the expectations were this year, beating Moo and winning a bowl game was a great conclusion...and with 20 wins in two years, that's really special.Just keep 'er going, and don't get big heads...keep the hype in good perspective. you still have to play. and the hype will be there...i think we'll be projected to win the North......NU and MU both will have rookie QBs, and KSU may have as well. we may have the best offense in the Big 12. We'll be hard to beat. our own internals will be our biggest barriers to overcome...because we'll have the experience and talent to have a very good 2009.Go Jayhawks!

lance1jhawk 11 years ago

2008 will go down as the best year in KU athletics ever. A Orange bowl victory, a National Championship in basketball, and the Insight bowl victory. WOW! I can't wait to see what 2009 and beyond will hold for the Jayhawks. What a year. RCJHGKU!

just_another_ninja 11 years ago

Way to go Hawks!OK LWJ - talk about offense and defense and not a word about special teams. Tsk.

jayhawkintexas 11 years ago

Congratulations on a great win, guys!!! You are winners in every sense of the word.

Patrickulating 11 years ago

Dezmon takes his barrow to the marketplace!

LAJayhawk 11 years ago

I would like to say that I stated on at least 4 separate occasions that KU would win by 3 touchdowns. It is tough being prophetic. But I can handle it.Seriously though, great game. The big 3 -- Reesing, Briscoe, Meier -- were fabulous. With Briscoe's record setting, almost inhuman, day, it's was almost lost that Meier caught 10 receptions for 113 yards. 24 receptions and 314 yards between the two of them. Insane.I was actually quite proud of our defense. Granted Minnesota had terrible play-calling, but the D-Line especially really picked up their game after the first quarter. The running game was going nowhere, and they were consistently putting pressure on the QB. And the Linebackers really played up to their capabilities. Very good performance for those 3 quarters. Special teams... well, that's another story."Said a dejected Minnesota coach Tim Brewster: '(They’re) as good an offensive football team as we’ve seen all year.'"--While this is very true, and we have a scary-good offense, that probably also has something to do with the fact that Minnesota's conference absolutely stinks.Big Ten now 0 for 3.

LAJayhawk 11 years ago

I forgot to mention the great play of the O-Line. Certainly the unsung heroes yesterday. Todd got great protection which enabled him to hit the one-two punch of Meier and Briscoe over and over.Very nice job guys.

KUFan90 11 years ago

Great win and great year for KU! Although in addition to losing all 3 linebackers, I'm also worried about losing both guards and our center on the O line. We'll be very inexperience on the O line next year.

justanotherfan 11 years ago

Dezmon Briscoe proved again last night why he is KU's best player. He's a game changer. Last night, he destroyed any one on one matchup. When he wasn't doubled, he annihilated their corners. Next year, he will probably get doubled a lot, opening things up for our other receivers. As for the Big Ten, their offenses are stuck in the Woody Hayes-Bo Schembechler era. That is what has hurt them time and time again against the more explosive offenses in the Big 12, SEC and Pac 10.

Dr. Robert s. Mosser 11 years ago

Granted losing both guards and center in the O-line will need replacing but if one has watched the left side of the O-line, the left tackle who keeps Reesing safe, he/she will have noticed during the season that Spikes and Hatch have gotten better all the time.Those two will really determine how well the O-line performs next year.

LAJayhawk 11 years ago

Dezmon Briscoe = NFL StandoutI didn't realize until I saw the stat last night that Briscoe has more yards per game than Crabtree. How do you spell underrated?

ramsrevenge 11 years ago

Anyone else hearing the rumors about that being Manginos last game with KU? I heard him and Lew had a little argument? Just wondering what anyone else knows.

LAJayhawk 11 years ago

And now begins the rumor mill....Is it possible to enjoy this victory and season for at least 24 hours?

KGphoto 11 years ago

Briscoe is the most NFL ready, but Reesing is our MVP. He was basically perfect + amazing until the meaningless interception at the end. And Briscoe was one dropped pass from perfection. I still don't know how he dropped that one. He might have scored again if he'd pulled it in.The offensive line deserves some credit but they did break down several times, and Reesing saved their bacon (like the first play of the game). I think they should've given the MVP to Briscoe and Reesing. Mainly because without Briscoe we may still have won that game. But can you imagine the outcome without Reesing? The guy transcends. He's the best KU athlete since Danny Manning. And I'm a little giddy thinking about another year of this.

KGphoto 11 years ago

What could Lew and Mangino POSSIBLY argue about? Too much success? Office space? Who has more hair? Pullleeeeease!

Warren 11 years ago

Spikes and Hatch started slow, and did not learn as fast as I had hoped, otherwise KU would have won the Nebraska game. Imagine if KU would have won that game. Granted, they probably would have gotten beat in the Championship game, but you never know.

notigers4me 11 years ago

Way to go Hawks. We had our ups and downs this year but overall we were a very good team. Next year should be a good year for the Hawks. I hope we have adequate replacements for our senior linebackers. Don't worry about Mangino, he's not going anywhere. He's just getting started here and remember, he signed a new long term contract last year. Rock Chalk Jayhawks

KUAlum2000 11 years ago

Went to the game yesterday, it was a great time. Here is a link from the local paper with some pretty cool pics:

jhokfan 11 years ago

I never attended KU and have never lived in Kansas so perhaps my perspective on KU sports is a bit different but I have come to enjoy KU football more than KU basketball. I think it's because the expectations of the basketball team are so high year in and year out that anything short of a national title is a disappointment. Not the case with football. Just being competitive and getting to any bowl is exciting. Mangino is the best thing to ever happen to KU football and I pray for his health. If he continues along this trail he has blazed they will have to name something after him when he retires. Long live Mangino!

Kman_blue 11 years ago

AWESOME GAME FELLAS!! Simply AWESOME!!I'm not too worried about replacing the middle of our O-line next year because most of the replacements have gotten a lot of reps this year and that wasn't the case for our RS freshman tackles last year(duh, they were redshirting last year). They had to start out cold turkey so to speak. Also, the reps our replacement O-line guys have gotten this year have come in a lot of the bigger games and not just the blow out games, so they've gotten some quality reps in games.

jhokfan 11 years ago

Hope you're right Kman. Having Todd at QB might help negate some of the problems on the O-line as well. He seems to be at his best when he is scrambling in the backfield. It took all of 11 seconds to score yesterday when the pocket collapsed.

Lance Hobson 11 years ago

We made the Big 12 look good, especially after OSU's choke job and the clowny play of Nebraska today. I hope that performance was enough to get us in the top 25. Go Hawks!!

LAJayhawk 11 years ago

"Clowny play of Nebraska"??????They were underdogs and just beat Clemson.

Kman_blue 11 years ago

7 out of 8 "experts" on sportsline, espn, and picked NU to win that game. It seems only Vegas picked against them, and the spread was only 1 point. That game was close and kind of ugly at times, but hard fought. It wasn't really a ringing endorsement for the Big 12 or NU IMHO. It wasn't horrible or anything, just not all that great. KU's bowl win has SO FAR been by far the best of the Big 12.

Dirk Medema 11 years ago

Calling OSU's game a "choke job" also shows no knowledege of the game. The were making the ducks look like they had webbed feet - very similar to Reesing to Bricoe/Meyer, until Dez Bryant mesed up his knee. That was the difference in the game.Obviously, everyone has to play the game as it comes, and they lost, but to call it a choke job is ludicrous.The other thing that is lost on the Pac 10 being undefeated, and supposedly so strong is the fact that it was their #2 (OU) that beat our #4 (OSU). Stats can be so twisted.

Dirk Medema 11 years ago

As much as you've gotta love Reesing to Briscoe, over & over & ..., it is just wrong to leave Kerry out of the sentence. 10 receptions is significant in its own right, but the effect that his presence has on coverages and Briscoe's ability to get open has to be significance. Great Job Kerry.

Lance Hobson 11 years ago

  1. Ganz threw a ridiculous interception in the first half.2. Ganz threw tossed the ball right to a Clemson defender in the first half for a fumble and touchdown, similar to that joke of a fake field goal they tried against Colorado.3. Swift dropped an easy first down on the Clemson one yard line that would have led to a touchdown.4. All of that = clowny.OSU did choke. They had control of the game then let Oregon off the hook with Robinson's eratic throws. Watch the game again.

LAJayhawk 11 years ago

Well then I guessclowny = winKman_blue,I agree that NU's win was not a "ringing endorsement" and I don't think anyone was saying that. Certainly there were some ugly moments. I just think calling a hard fought win in a bowl against a good ACC team "clowny" is ridiculous.You can call mizzou clowny, but that's because they're mizzou. It's a clown school.

Lance Hobson 11 years ago

Mizzou is clowny. I can't wait to crush their basketball hopes this year.

LAJayhawk 11 years ago

I assume you use the term "basketball hopes" loosely....You know the golf courses in Columbia only have 14 holes? They never play the final four.

Lance Hobson 11 years ago

Ouch! That's hilarious - I need to start using that.

shoppaholic12 11 years ago

I think the head coach of KU is big fat selfish man!!!!, he do not play key players fair, I do not care how KU won this years bowl game, enjoy it, because next year they will not. You cannot be evil and heartless and continue to exceed.

Dr. Robert s. Mosser 11 years ago

After OSU QB got a late hit(not called) he had trouble hitting the ground with his passes and was no where near a receiver, whoever he was trying to throw to. I thought that Gundy surely must have another QB. A backup would have been better than the starter. Really disappointed as B-12 could well have gone undefeated in the bowls.

minnhawk84 11 years ago

Fun game in a beautiful spot. First bowl game for me ever. First time to see KU live in 8 years. Team looked great. I am from Minnesota, and was shocked the Goofers scored 21. I predicted to all who would listen going in on the light rail to ASU stadium KU would put up 42 points against a pretty bad team. 7-5, losing the last five was not impressive. Big Ten (11) pretty well sucks. Gophers looked like they prepared to play Indiana or Purdue instead of a real football team.

Matt Lacey 11 years ago

Fair?!?? LMAO. This isn't Pop-Warner-everyone-gets-to-play-for-7-year-olds. It's the NC-2A big time, and getting bigger for KU each year under Mangenius.

Blake Post 11 years ago

My plan for the Big 12 to take over the world is not coming to fruition. KU is the only team to dominate. KU rules. OSU and Tech do not rule. Now it is up to UT and OU to do their jobs. 5 of 7 bowls would rule. Anything less is not world domination. And I thought the south and KU would be the spark. So far it is only the poor step-brother North. Imagine that. It will be fun next year as KU has a chance to beat all North team, I believe. However, our stupid schedule still reeks as we get to play UT, OU and Tech again. It is not exactly what I would like to see for the senior year of Reesing and others. But MM and the gang will make it fun to watch as always.

jayhawkintx73 11 years ago

JustAnotherFan,Dezmon Briscoe proved again last night why he is KU's best player. He's a game changer. Last night, he destroyed any one on one matchup. When he wasn't doubled, he annihilated their corners. Next year, he will probably get doubled a lot, opening things up for our other receivers.As for the Big Ten, their offenses are stuck in the Woody Hayes-Bo Schembechler era. That is what has hurt them time and time again against the more explosive offenses in the Big 12, SEC and Pac 10.You bring up some good points but tell me, can they double Briscoe who had 92 catches when Meier had 97? And we all saw Jonathan Wilson's speed and with Sharp, and Sands, Jr., Crawford, and Quigley strengthening the depth with running backs, And will Patterson remain at DB or return to WR or do both? Reesing is going to have a field day barring any injuries. It could very well be the best Offense in the nation next season. Yeah, and we aren't losing too many guys on Defense either except for the Linebacker Core, but we know about Mangino's work ethics which is second to none. He'll get it under control and Bowen will be better for the mistakes he made this year as the coordinator, his first year at the helm. THings are looking up, and ya know what, thats saying something!

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