Originally published November 28, 2009 at 12:50p.m., updated November 28, 2009 at 07:25p.m.
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FINAL: MU defeats KU, 41-39
Ressel’s 27-yard field-goal attempt sails through. A flag is thrown, but it’s on KU for roughing the center.
The MU players sprint across the field to celebrate their two-point victory.
KU 39/MU 38 — 4 seconds left in 4th quarter
Ressel’s try will be straight on from 27 yards out.
KU 39/MU 38 — 46 seconds left in 4th quarter
MU does the smart thing, as Gabbert takes the snap, center the ball, and then kneels at the KU 7. This game will end with a short field-goal try by Ressel to win the game. KU takes its final timeout.
KU 39/MU 38 — 51 seconds left in 4th quarter
After the free kick, MU will take over at its own 48.
Gabbert rushes for three yards on a draw up the middle, and Washington gains nine on second down to move the ball to the KU 40.
Gabbert is forced out of the pocket on first down and has to throw it away. Alexander gets a swing pass on second down, and he spins eight yards before getting tackled.
On third-and-2, Washington patiently picks his way through the hole 27 yards all the way to the KU 5. Though it sounds counterproductive, KU probably should have let Washington score on the play and taken its chances at scoring another TD on offense. Now, MU controls the clock and the game with 51 seconds left.
KU 39/MU 38 — 2:45 left in 4th quarter
From the KU 3, Reesing overthrows a deep ball to Briscoe for an incompletion. Briscoe slips on the turf and can’t come down with a second-down catch, and KU is in a hole on third-and-10.
The pocket collapses on Reesing on third down, and he’s tackled in the end zone for a safety. That’s bad for KU, but not horrible, as the Jayhawks will be able to kick the ball away from their own 20 instead of punting from their own end zone.
KU 39/MU 36 — 2:59 left in 4th quarter
After a false start, Alexander gains four on a pass to the sideline and 10 more over the middle on a slant. On third-and-one, Washington slips on the turf, losing three yards.
Pinkel elects to punt, and that’s an interesting call, as MU has just one timeout remaining. KU can ice this game with two first downs.
KU 39/MU 36 — 5:10 left in 4th quarter
KU picks up five much-needed yards on a first-down quarterback sneak. Rell Lewis rushes for no gain, but Reesing once again gets great protection on third down, finding Briscoe downfield for a 26-yard gain.
On second down, a swing pass once again is successful for KU, as Rell Lewis makes the first man miss on this slippery side of the field before bursting 42 yards down the sideline to the MU 27.
Reesing is sacked on first down, but Reesing follows it with a 17-yard toss to Briscoe on the sideline. Reesing is up to 498 yards passing.
On third-and-1, Lewis barrels his way through the middle, bashing two MU defenders backwards for an 11-yard gain to the MU 6.
Lewis runs for two yards on first down, and Meier never picks up a pass toward him in the end zone on second down.
On third down, Reesing is pressured but is able to get a throw away. After conferring, though, the officials flag Reesing for intentional grounding. That’s a questionable call at best, as Reesing was getting pulled down as he delivered the pass, which caused it to be short of its target.
The penalty doesn’t end up mattering, as Branstetter splits the uprights on a 39-yard field-goal attempt. KU regains the lead.
MU 36/KU 36 — 9:31 left in 4th quarter
Gabbert tries to scramble, but he’s pushed out of bounds two yards behind the line of scrimmage. A pass to Washington goes for no gain, and KU brings a successful blitz on third-and-12. Gabbert is forced to try to run, and he’s stopped well short of the first down.
Henry IV comes up with the special teams play of the day, though, getting his 53-yard punt to stop just inches short of the goal line. KU will take over at its own 1.
MU 36/KU 36 — 12:01 left in 4th quarter
Capra’s tough day continues, as he’s flagged for his third penalty — a holding call that moves KU back.
Just when things look hopeless, Reesing pulls out some more magic. The QB lofts a ball deep downfield for Briscoe, who comes down with the ball. A quick cut by Briscoe causes the MU defender to fall down, and Briscoe easily runs into the end zone for a 74-yard TD.
KU goes for two, and Reesing gets good protection from his line before rolling to his right and zipping a pass to Meier in the corner of the end zone. The two-point conversion knots the score at 36.
MU 36/KU 28 — 13:29 left in 4th quarter
Onyegbule comes around the edge for a sack on Gabbert, and KU blitzes to bring some pressure on third-and-long to force an incompletion.
Ressel’s 37-yard field goal attempt is true, but because of the two-point conversion decision, KU is still down just one possession.
Oh, and the official attendance for today’s game is 70,072.
MU 33/KU 28 — End of 3rd quarter
MU’s doing all it can to help the Jayhawks on their next possession.
A 15-yard unsportmanlike conduct penalty is stepped off on the kickoff, and on Reesing’s first pass, the Tigers are flagged for roughing the passer. Already, KU is up to the 50.
A short run by Sharp, followed by an incompletion and a delay of game puts KU in a tough spot. Reesing gets pressure, and a dump-off to Sharp on third down for six yards is well short of the chains.
Rojas punts, and MU takes over at its own 13.
It doesn’t take long for MU to find its hot hand, as Gabbert fires deep to Alexander for a 59-yard gain down the sideline. Anthony Davis was trailing the receiver by three steps. Alexander has 176 receiving yards this quarter and he's over 200 receiving yards for the game.
Gabbert scrambles forward for four yards on third-and-3, moving the ball to the KU 22.
Washington adds a 10-yard carry, stepping over two KU would-be KU tacklers.
MU will start the fourth quarter at the KU 12.
MU 33/KU 28 — 4:03 left in 3rd quarter
Like so many other games in this losing streak, turnovers might just cost the Jayhawks the game.
Briscoe makes a great catch on a low throw before breaking upfield, but after a 22-yard gain, Briscoe drops the ball, and it’s recovered by Gettis at the MU 27. KU’s losing the turnover battle, 3-0, today.
MU needs just three plays to make the Jayhawks pay, as on third-and-5, Alexander springs free over the middle, and no one is going to catch him. The big-play threat gallops 67 yards untouched into the end zone, and MU has its first lead.
That drive took just 55 seconds for MU.
KU 28/MU 26 — 5:45 left in 3rd quarter
MU must have watched the Texas Tech-KU gametape, as on third-and-2, it guessed right with a draw play. KU brought a blitz, and Washington ran right past the first line of defense for 21 yards and a first down.
Jerrell Jackson finishes the drive on the next play, taking an end-around 37 yards to the right side for a TD. The receiver did a great job of patiently following his lead block before sprinting down the sideline.
Once again, MU needs less than two minutes (1:45) for a scoring drive.
KU 28/MU 19 — 7:30 left in 3rd quarter
Sharp breaks his longest run, sprinting for 10 yards and a first down.
Wilson drops his second pass of the game, but on second down, Reesing hangs in to deliver a pass to Briscoe for eight yards. MU is flagged for a 15-yard facemask penalty, and the Jayhawks move to MU territory.
On a sweep, Sharp runs for 10 more yards to the right side before getting pushed out of bounds, and suddenly KU’s running game is having some success.
Sal Capra is whistled for his second false-start penalty, but the KU offense picks him up. Meier catches an eight-yard sideline pass, and Biere bounces off defenders for a 16-yard gain on third-and-3.
Sharp rushes for one yard on first down, and Wilson drops his third potential catch of the game. Briscoe can’t come back quickly enough for a third-down pass that falls incomplete, and Jacob Branstetter comes on for a field-goal attempt. He puts the try through, but KU once again is the beneficiary of a personal-foul, roughing-the-center penalty. Automatic first down for KU at the MU 6.
Reesing tries a QB draw, but his own lineman gets in his way and he’s tackled at the 2. Sharp is stuffed at the line, and Reesing calls timeout before a crucial third-and-goal from the 2.
Following the break, Reesing lofts a perfect fade route to Meier, who leaps up to bring it down over an MU defender in the end zone. Meier hops into his teammates’ arms to celebrate, and Branstetter’s all-important PAT puts KU ahead two possessions.
KU 21/MU 19 — 13:16 left in 3rd quarter
Well, that was quick.
MU made a statement right out of the locker room, marching immediately down the field for a TD in 104 seconds.
Alexander finally broke through with a big play, eluding tackles for a 29-yard pass play over the middle to the KU 26.
Washington did the rest, busting a run of 12 yards to the right before breaking free 14 yards up the middle for a TD.
MU coach Gary Pinkel’s two-point conversion decision-making will be questioned once again, as he elects to go for two with 28 minutes still remaining. Gabbert gets tackled behind the line by Stuckey, and KU maintains a two-point lead.
• Reesing 24-for-32, 256 yards, 2 TDs, INT; 3 rushes, 25 yards, TD
• Briscoe 8 catches, 89 yards, TD
• Sharp 7 catches, 72 yards
• Meier 7 catches, 40 yards, TD
• Stuckey 9 tackles
• Gabbert 12-for-25, 100 yards; 9 carries, 93 yards
• Derrick Washington 7 carries, 17 yards, TD
• Jerrell Jackson 5 catches, 54 yards
• Danario Alexander 5 catches, 30 yards
• KU outgained MU, 289-219. The Jayhawks also had more time of possession, holding the ball 15:15.
• KU was 4-for-6 on third-down conversions, while MU was just 1-for-7.
Some other notes, courtesy KU’s sports-information department
• KU is wearing a Jayhawk on its helmet for the first time since 1991.
• With his receiving yardage today, Meier has moved to second on KU’s all-time receiving list, ahead of Willie Vaughn (2,266).
• Meier’s seven first-half catches gave him 99 for the season, which broke his own school record of 97 catches set a year ago.
• Sharp’s seven catches are a career high and just two short of KU’s record for receptions in a game by a running back.
• KU’s 98-yard TD drive was its longest of the season.
• With his 89 receiving yards in the first half, Briscoe became the eighth player in Big 12 history to surpass 3,000 receiving yards.
KU 21/MU 13 — Halftime
Stuckey returns the kickoff to the KU 49, but Reesing misfires on KU’s next play, tossing an interception to Kip Edwards, who returns it to the KU 48.
KU’s defense comes up with yet another stop, though, forcing a three-and-out, with Harris defending another deep ball well on third down.
Following an MU punt, KU takes a knee, and the Jayhawks take an eight-point lead into the break.
KU 21/MU 13 — 53 seconds left in 2nd quarter
It’s turning into the high-scoring game we expected.
After picking up a first down, Gabbert breaks free for a 40-yard run down the left sideline before being shoved out of bound by Stuckey. Already, MU has advanced it to the KU 11.
The Jayhawks’ defense holds in the red zone, though, as a third-and-9 pass lofted toward Alexander is defended well by the shorter Chris Harris. Ressel puts through the short field goal, and MU closes to within a score.
KU 21/MU 10 — 3:03 left in 2nd quarter
KU goes back to its short-passing game.
Briscoe catches an eight-yard pass. Meier adds a six-yard grab on the sideline. Sharp follows by taking a shovel pass 13 yards up the middle into MU territory.
Briscoe might have ended the last two KU drives, but he’s the reason for a touchdown on this one. On third-and-9, he takes in a pass over the middle, then dodges a defender to take it 33 yards all the way to the KU 8. There aren’t many receivers better than Briscoe in yards after the catch.
The next play, Reesing pumps a few times before finding Meier alone in the back corner of the end zone. KU has immediately answered MU’s score to regain an 11-point lead.
KU 14/MU 10 — 5:49 left in 2nd quarter
A mistake by Briscoe swings the momentum back to MU’s side.
On a receiver screen, Briscoe is stripped, and MU’s Gettis recovers and rumbles down to the KU 5. After review, the call is upheld.
Gabbert runs for four yards on first down, and two plays later, Derrick Washington runs untouched through the middle for a 1-yard TD.
Suddenly, KU’s lead has dwindled to four.
KU 14/MU 3 — 7:53 left in 2nd quarter
Onyegbule brings pressure to force an incompletion on first down, and Gabbert’s throw is wide on second down.
On third-and-10, Gabbert fires deep down the field but overthrows Alexander, and MU punts it back to KU.
The Jayhawks will take over at their own 12.
KU 14/MU 3 — 8:17 left in 2nd quarter
KU picks up one first down, but on third-and-6, Briscoe drops a pass that hits him in the hands and then the helmet. The play would have gone for eight yards and a first down, but KU has to punt instead.
The Jayhawks don’t give Carl Gettis enough room to catch the punt, and KU is flagged for a 15-yard catch interference penalty.
MU will take over at its own 34.
KU 14/MU 3 — 10:51 left in 2nd quarter
MU is called for a block-in-the-back on the ensuing kickoff, and the Tigers will start their drive from their own 10. KU’s fans seem to sense the momentum shifting to the Jayhawks’ sideline.
MU picks up its first two first downs in 57 seconds, but the Tigers are moved back following a 15-yard personal foul leg-whip penalty.
Gabbert finds Alexander for 10 yards over the middle, and MU’s Wes Kemp drops a pass on the sideline that would have gone for 14 yards.
On third-and-15, though, Chris Harris is whistled for pass interference on an incompletion deep down the field. Harris is furious, and he has reason to be, as the replay showed minimal contact between him and the MU receiver Kemp.
KU stuffs an MU run, and Gabbert throws high on a pass out in the flat. On third-and-12, Gabbert completes to Alexander for eight yards, but Darrell Stuckey makes a form tackle to stop Alexander short of the first down.
MU goes for it on fourth-and-4 from the KU 32, and Alexander hangs on to an out-route for six yards and the first down.
KU’s defense forces a turnover on the next play, though, as Maxwell Onyegbule tackles Gabbert from behind to force a fumble. Drew Dudley falls on it for KU at the MU 26.
KU 14/MU 3 — 1:04 left in 1st quarter
Sharp runs for five yards on KU’s first running play to a running back, and MU decides to ignore the KU back on consecutive plays. Reesing swings the ball to an uncovered Sharp for 19 yards down the left sideline before slinging it to an uncovered Sharp on the right sideline for 20 more yards.
KU is moved back after being called for a 15-yard chop-block penalty on a first-down running play. The KU offensive line already has racked up some penalty yards today.
Reesing tries to hit Sharp underneath, but the pass hits an MU defensive lineman. Reesing scrambles for seven yards on second down.
Reesing doesn’t miss a wide-open Biere this time. On third-and-18, Reesing dropped back deep and lobbed it deep down the field to the tight end, who snatched a nice catch away from an MU defender. The play went for 33 yards to the MU 1, and Reesing snuck in from a yard out on the next play to extend KU’s lead.
KU 7/MU 3 — 3:52 left in 1st quarter
MU’s offense isn’t wasting any time.
Following a five-yard pass, Gabbert breaks free and scrambles 30 yards up the middle all the way to the KU 41. Justin Thornton finally dragged him down after the long gain.
KU’s Caleb Blakesley was helped off the field after getting injured on the play.
MU runs a funky option play, as Gabbert pitches to his receiver Danario Alexander for a 10-yard gain.
KU forces a third-and-4, and Drew Dudley brings heavy pressure up the middle. Gabbert releases the throw, but his pass to the end zone is overthrown by a step.
Grant Ressel booms his 43-yard field-goal attempt, as the kick sails high through the uprights to cut KU’s lead to four.
KU 7/MU 0 — 6:40 left in 1st quarter
Reesing blows the chance at a big play on first down. Off a play-action, Tim Biere ran wide, wide open down the middle of the field, but Reesing chose to fire to a well-covered Dezmon Briscoe down the sideline instead. The pass sails 10 yards overthrown for an incompletion, and even a poor throw to Biere would have netted KU at least 25 yards.
Reesing tries to force another throw to Briscoe that falls incomplete, but on third-and-11 (after a 1-yard false-start penalty), Reesing finds Sharp over the middle, with the catch and run going for 17 yards.
Bradley McDougald breaks an MU tackle on a receiver screen, and he breaks up the sideline for a 22-yard gain. Tack on 15 yards for a late hit out of bounds, and KU has moved into MU territory.
Reesing delivers a nice throw on a timing route, and Briscoe turns around just in time to bring in an 18-yard reception.
KU overcomes another false-start penalty, as after hesitating, Reesing followed his blocks on a planned quarterback draw and swerves 17 yards up the middle for a first down to the MU 11.
An out route to Briscoe gains four, and on second down, Reesing backpedals to buy time before firing across the middle to Briscoe for a seven-yard TD. That brought out an emphatic Todd Reesing fist-pump.
KU’s offense comes away with an impressive 98-yard touchdown drive to take the early lead.
KU 0/MU 0 — 9:50 left in 1st quarter
Blaine Gabbert shows his accuracy early, completing a 16-yard pass to Jerrell Jackson on MU’s first play. Gabbert runs a QB draw for eight yards, and Derrick Washington follows with an eight-yard run up the middle.
After one more MU first down, KU’s defense gets a stop. The Tigers are moved back with a delay-of-game penalty, and on third-and-long, Gabbert’s pass sails high over the middle and incomplete.
Jake Henry IV’s punt is downed at the KU 2, and the Jayhawks will be backed up to start their next drive.
KU 0/MU 0 — 12:32 left in 1st quarter
MU’s Tanner Mills kicks away from KU kick returner Dezmon Briscoe, and Darrell Stuckey returns the pooch kick to the KU 34.
Johnathan Wilson can’t hold on to a first-down pass, and Todd Reesing hits Kerry Meier in the flat for six yards on second down.
MU brings some pressure on third down, but Reesing delivers a quick pass over the middle to Meier for eight more yards and a first down.
KU offensive coordinator Ed Warinner looks to have the same gameplan as he had last year against MU — try to dink and dunk passes to tire MU’s defense. Reesing throws to passes out in the flat to Jake Sharp, who gains a combined four yards.
On third down, Reesing has all day in the pocket, but he underthrows Bradley McDougald deep down the field, and the pass is batted away.
Alonso Rojas’ punt bounces into the end zone, and MU takes over at its own 20.
It's hard to know how many KU fans are in seats behind the press box, but I'd say the two teams' fans are about split 50-50 here. The cheer when KU entered the field seemed to be a just a tad louder than the ovation when MU came out.
KU wins the toss and will receive.
It's hard to remember that this is the same time of year that the last two Border War games were played at Arrowhead Stadium because of the difference in the weather.
It's delightful here right now: 66 degrees under clear skies with 10-mile-per-hour winds out of the south.
Oklahoma State isn't doing KU any favors yet, as the Cowboys trail the Oklahoma Sooners, 10-0, in the third quarter.
Thanks to KU football sports information dude Mike Strauss for this link.
Everyone must check out this Nike link that talks about MU's new uniforms. Be sure to turn the sound up to listen to the smack talk.
In case you haven't seen yet, these are the Nike "Pro Combat" uniforms that MU will be wearing today.
KU is breaking out some (new) throwback uniforms today, coming out with blue helmets with a Jayhawk on the side. KU's players also are dressed in red tops and blue pants with a red stripe down the side.
Welcome back to the Newell Post Live, coming to you from Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., where the Kansas Jayhawks are getting set to take on the Missouri Tigers.
Yesterday, I had a pregame question-and-answer discussion with Bill Connelly of the Missouri fan site, Rock M Nation. I've referenced Connelly's great statistical analysis work in the past, and if you get the chance, be sure to check out his Beyond the Box Score preview of today's KU-MU game.
Anyways, Connelly was nice enough to answer some of my questions about MU. His answers are below.
For a full transcript of our chat, including my answers to his KU questions, check out his discussion thread on Rock M Nation.
1. I haven't been able to watch Danario Alexander much in the last few weeks. What has been the main reason for his unbelievable success in the last month? KU's corners aren't the tallest, but they've also given up their share of big plays. Alexander seems to have a rare blend of size and speed, so would you say KU should be more concerned with him going above the corners in jump-ball situations or beating KU's corners down the field?
The thing about Danario is, he's been so good over the past few weeks that he has ended up replacing both Jeremy Maclin AND Chase Coffman. He can beat defenders on the long routes, and he can take a swing pass 70 yards. His yards after catch have been staggering. His 63-yard TD against Iowa State came on about a 2-yard sideline route. His 80-yarder against K-State was on about a 10-yard route. Meanwhile, his 54-yarder against K-State was caught at the 5. I try to avoid hyperbole, but he has started to look more and more like Randy Moss in recent weeks, with great all-around ability and ridiculously long strides. Knowing what he has fought through (a broken wrist early in 2007, followed by a torn-up knee in the Big 12 title game, which required three surgeries and about 18 months of recovery time to get back to 100%), it has been extremely heart-warming to see him come this far. And if he can duplicate what he did against KU in 2007, he could send KU home a loser.
2. Derrick Washington should be able to play against KU after suffering a concussion. Is this significant for MU? Or do you believe the Tigers will mostly stick to their passing game against the Jayhawks?
Derrick Washington is easily MU's most physical back. He really hasn't shown the top-end speed that he showed in the first half of last season, but if it's 3rd-and-2, I'd much rather D-Wash be getting the handoff instead of De'Vion Moore or Kendial Lawrence, both of whom are relatively capable speed backs but aren't bangers. As I mentioned in the preview, Tony Temple's success against KU in 2007 was a very underrated facet of MU's win, and since MU's running game was all but nonexistent for three quarters in last year's game, having Washington is certainly a good thing. KU's D-line has been statistically unimpressive, and if MU can run the ball well, they up their chances of winning considerably.
3. Again, I haven't seen much of the Tigers lately, so what is the scouting report on Blaine Gabbert? What are his greatest strengths? What have other defenses done to slow him down? In what situations is he least effective?
Gabbert's pocket presence is still a work in progress, but he has shown massive improvement in the recent weeks. And for the season, taking the sprained ankle into account (he was not even half the QB against NU, OSU, and Texas), his numbers have potentially been as or more impressive than Chase Daniel's were in 2006. I think KU's best strategy against him will be to confuse him. Mix coverages, mix how many you rush, etc. He has improved by leaps and bounds since the Bowling Green game, when BGSU dropped seven into coverage and he started rushing his throws, feeling a pass rush when there was none, but that's still his biggest weakness. He's got the prettiest deep ball you'll ever see, and if KU's secondary suffers lapses, they'll pay.
4. I expect KU to pass quite a bit in this game, so can you evaluate how MU's pass defense has performed lately? Who are a couple MU defensive players that have emerged as of late?
MU's secondary is extremely matchup- and injury-dependent. They handle bigger, more physical WRs pretty well (the first two quarters against OSU's Hubert Anyiam aside), but they are vulnerable to pure speed. Baylor's Kendall Wright and David Gettis are only decent in terms of route-running and hands, but they are burners, and they burned Mizzou both short and deep. Iowa State had some early luck with the dink-and-dunk passes (Mizzou's defensive philosophy has always been to give large cushions to WRs and allow the short pass, but avoid getting burned deep), but the success only lasted a while because their WRs weren't fast enough to burn Mizzou deep when the Tigers adjusted. This is why Dez Briscoe scares me much more than Kerry Meier does, despite what Meier did at the end of last year's game. Briscoe can get behind them.
Regarding injuries, Mizzou's two biggest breakdowns of the season, in the fourth quarter against Nebraska and the second half against Baylor, both happened when Carl Gettis was injured and on the bench. Gettis is not quite the all-conference caliber CB we thought we had a couple of years ago, but he is by far Mizzou's most steady DB, and with him on the field, Mizzou's secondary is much less vulnerable to breakdowns. Plus, safety Jasper Simmons was injured against Baylor too, which didn't help, as he's been by far Mizzou's best safety. Mizzou's secondary isn't great, and the Briscoe-Meier combo still scares the daylights out of me, but as with most teams, if they are full-strength, they are much, much better.