Colorado defeats Kansas, 34-30

  • 6 p.m., Oct. 17, 2009
  • Folsom Field, Boulder, CO

Sunday, October 18, 2009

KU rallies, but suffers first loss

Colorado quarterback Tyler Hansen congratulates a dejected Todd Reesing after the Buffaloes' 34-30 win over the Jayhawks Saturday, Oct. 17, 2009 at Folsom Field.

Colorado quarterback Tyler Hansen congratulates a dejected Todd Reesing after the Buffaloes' 34-30 win over the Jayhawks Saturday, Oct. 17, 2009 at Folsom Field.


Audio clips

2009 KU-Colorado football

— Kansas University’s football team came back from the dead Saturday night.

Trouble was, so did Colorado.

Despite overcoming a three-touchdown first-half deficit to regain the lead — and a trailer-sized load of momentum — in the fourth quarter, the Jayhawks couldn’t overcome a late Buffaloes surge, falling 34-30 to break up what had been an undefeated season.

“The Big 12 Conference is a slugfest every week,” said Kansas coach Mark Mangino, whose team fell to 5-1 (1-1 in the Big 12). “Anybody can beat anyone.”

That was evident when the lowly Buffaloes, who entered the game just 1-4 and with a new starting quarterback, took advantage of a number of Kansas miscues to score 24 consecutive points in the second quarter and put the Jayhawks into a 24-10 hafltime hole that would have been even deeper had KU not concluded the half with a touchdown drive.

For the first time all season, the Kansas offense turned the ball over with frequency: a bumbling play in which Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing ran into one of his own lineman and fumbled, giving the Buffaloes the ball on the Kansas three-yard line and setting up a four-yard Rodney Stewart touchdown; a Reesing interception three drives later — just his fourth of the season — that was returend 35 yards to the Kansas one and set up another score.

“You can’t spot a team 14 points on the road,” said Reesing, who finished with 401 yards passing and two touchdown, but was sacked five times for a loss of 48 yards. “You just can’t.”

Still, the Jayhawks came storming back.

Following a Colorado field goal to start the second half, they reeled off 20 straight points to take a 30-27 lead with 13:02 to go in the fourth quarter. And even when Colorado running back Rodney Stewart scored with 8:36 remaining, to give the Buffaloes a 34-30 lead, Kansas seemed to possess the momentum.

But an offensive-pass-interference call stalled the team’s next drive, resulting in a turnover on downs, and following a subsequent Colorado punt, the Jayhawks took over on their own 25 with 59 seconds to go trailing 34-30.

The drive started prominsingly enough, as Reesing completed his first three pass attempts of the drive, and the Jayhawks moved the ball to the CU 20. But a last-second heave to receiver Dezmon Briscoe fell harmlessly to the turf as time expired, giving Colorado its second victory of the season.

“The second half, we battled back hard,” Briscoe said. “It’s one of the greatest efforts of a team I’ve ever played on.”

In the end, however, it wasn’t enough.

The Jayhawks finished with an embarrassing -8 rushing yards, thanks largely to five Colorado sacks that resulted in a loss of 48 yards, and special teams play — with the exception of kicker Jacob Branstetter — was especially unproductive.

The loss, meanwhile, spoils what would have been a 6-0 start for the Jayhawks, who will host No. 20 Oklahoma next weekend in a game in which both teams will be looking to rebound from recent setbacks (The Sooners fell 16-13 to Texas on Saturday).

“We don’t sit around doing a whole lot of feeling bad for ourselves,” Mangino said. “We’ll be back on the practice field tomorrow, working on our mistakes, working on Oklahoma stuff, and we’re looking forward to playing OU in our stadium.”

Reader poll

Which unit deserves the most blame for KU's 34-30 loss to Colorado?

  • Offense 45% 776 votes
  • Defense 51% 872 votes
  • Special Teams 3% 58 votes

1706 total votes.


palewhale 10 years, 7 months ago

I'm usually not a fan of second guessing coaching decisions but I was absolutely shocked we didn't kick a field goal late in the 4th qtr on 4th down to make the game 34-33.

If we would have made it in the end-zone we still would have to stop Colorado, so to win, we would have to get the ball back. KU had no problem getting the ball into FG position in the 2nd half and Branstetter was on a roll.

I'm guessing the coaching staff felt they would have two chances to get it in the end-zone but..

Andy Hess 10 years, 7 months ago

I'm absolutely shocked that we couldn't beat the WORST team in the Big 12.

kuhawksr1 10 years, 7 months ago

We owned the Buffs all game and they know it. We handed them 14 points and still had multiple opportunities to win it on two different possessions late. Coaching was not the problem last night. I sensed trouble after watching the Buffs against Texas in Austin following our defensive performance against the Clones. To my surprise, it wasn't the Defense that killed us (although I was disappointed in the D for a good part of the game). It was turnovers.

Briscoe is a stud. Meier is 'ole reliable. Reesing led the comeback. We still control where we end up as I doubt the Buffs will protect their tie-breaker against us.

jayhawkboogeyman 10 years, 7 months ago

Kicking the fg would have been insane. Our kick coverage team was horrible all night. If not for Branstetter saving us, they had two kick returns that were going to the 50 or beyond. As it was, they had the ball around the 40. No way we could take a chance at stopping them around midfield and getting pinned inside the 10, if we managed a stop. Going for the win was the wise thing to do, and a stupid penalty cost us.

Clarence Haynes 10 years, 7 months ago

I look back at those QB sacks. If a coach praises the FB all week for his blocking prowess and not insert him in critical pass situations, something is missing! Moreover, if the FB has a more than decent running average, why not use him while Sharp gets back into the full swing of things?

redlegger 10 years, 7 months ago

I do wish we would have seen more of Toben Opurum. It was a tough loss on the road against a team that KU should have beaten. I thought the defense played pretty well - they were getting to the quarterback, it was just that Hansen was doing a good job of eluding the rush and making plays when he had to. The defense forced two fumbles and got a pick that really helped get us back in the game and swing the momentum our way.

Very impressed with the effort to keep fighting and come back. Glad to hear that we are moving on and starting the needed preparation for the OU game. I look forward to a good contest at home next week.

Scott Smetana 10 years, 7 months ago

Defense was lucky for the Turnovers. Coaching is good on defense. Very weak talent. We're slow and poor tacklers.
Opurum should have been in on short yardage. Sharp is quick, but not powerful Offensive Pass interference was huge.. I was at the game and didnt' see the replay. Was it a penalty?

Satchmo_KU 10 years, 7 months ago

I'm not really sure why people are moaning about the pass interference call. Sure it's not something that gets called very often but what Wilson did was pretty blatant. It's frustrating because he didn't need to literally start blocking the guy, a simple bump would have been enough to get Meier open. Another really costly 4th quarter mistake was allowing them to convert on 3rd and 15 on what would end up being Colorado's game winning drive.

This loss is devastatingly disappointing but Texas Tech did us a huge favor by beating Nebraska. I feel like all KU has to do to win the North is get 5 wins with 2 of those including MU and NU. Initially I thought those 5 would all come from the North, now it looks like we're gonna have to steal one from the South. I guess we'll get our chance this Saturday.

FriscoKU 10 years, 7 months ago

What a horrible loss. I heard Shrevport is nice in Dec. Mangino is an average coach. When Reesing graduates, this program will go back to the 5 - 7 days.

babyjay1 10 years, 7 months ago

Wow - FriscoKU... I hope you don't actually go to games... I feel honored to be watching Reesing and his awesome receivers! RockChalk!!!!

Rodney Stice 10 years, 7 months ago

Frisco KU will enjoy man years of winning seasons under HCMM. You appear to be ready to abandon ship when we are still docked at the marina. I was at the game yesterday and the CU crowd was electrified to start the game, then KU gave them 14 points they made mental mistakes offensively.

Our road is now a little bit harder, but we cannot view one loss as the end of the world. Now go and beat OU.

Tim Orel 10 years, 7 months ago

I, too, was very surprised that we didn't kick a field goal on fourth and six for the lead TD. Closer, maybe there's some more options and it would have allowed for a run or pass, even if Reesing got flushed from the pocket. Six yards, though, is a ways to go. Three points, and then all we need is a stop over the next five minutes and enough time for a long field goal at altitude. It would have given options, and without the option, we had to go for the touchdown the final drive.

A field goal was needed, but it was not chosen. It's going to be hard at work Monday morning, though the person I chat with most is a Nebraska fan, so we'll both be miserable. Still hope KU goes to a nice bowl while CU is home for the holidays, and then I'm looking forward to KU's BB visit to Allen Field House further west.

Larry Smith 10 years, 7 months ago

1st and goal from the 3 yd line. Should have run it 4 times for the go ahead score. Bad play calling cost us this game.

Sparko 10 years, 7 months ago

I am moaning about the Pass Interference non-calls. Must have been 10 or more. They were not fast or athletic enough to stop Briscoe so they held him. The two interferences that followed the terrible OPI "call" hurt big time too. The referees were lousy in the secondary the entire game. I hate to see a great game brought low by refs. And it was. They took seven points off the board, and another potential 14-21 by allowing defensive holding and face-guarding.

Lance Hobson 10 years, 7 months ago

Looking forward to playing OU in our stadium - where the students will be gone by halftime? Pathetic.

hawkone 10 years, 7 months ago

It is amazing how a team with only one win has more fan support than a 5-0 team that has gone bowling repeatedly over the past 5 years.

jhokfan 10 years, 7 months ago

I disagree on the field goal strategy. We kick a field goal on the second to last drive and our defense doesn't get us the ball back fans would be in an uproar for not going for 6. Mangino did the right thing. Whether Wilson interfered or not, it was the right call.

Joe Baker 10 years, 7 months ago

They need to get their heads up now and focus on ou. Let this horrible loss go in the history books. We have other games to play. This loss is not the end of the world! We still have a good season and a tough road ahead.


Spencer Goff 10 years, 7 months ago

Colorado, somehow, has the easiest possible schedule you could ask for and still play in the Big 12. I actually feared this scenario happening when I saw Tech just hand it to Nebraska in Lincoln.

Nebraska, Mizzou, and Kansas (the cream of the Big 12 North) all play at Colorado. They don't play Oklahoma, and they don't play Texas Tech (the team I have been saying is the second best in the South if not the Big 12).

They are on the road to Manhattan and Ames (both winnable), and then down to Stillwater. Only one of those teams are having a strong showing thus far.

If CU just wins the games they should, they win the North on tiebreakers. How sad is that? Is this the first time that has happened? Nope, maybe third.

But at least maybe they will be dumb enough to keep Hawkins employed.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 7 months ago

Look who'se in first place in the North...the Purple Kitty Kats...YIKES!!!!!!

Please all of you, don't slit your wrists just yet...Missouri has two league losses and looks pathetic,, Nebraska got crushed at home and looked pathetic...albeit a very, very steep climb, KU still has a chance.

As the pre-alzheimer's Al Davis of Oakland used to say "just win, baby."

That being said, this was a costly loss in that with everyone losing a game, KU had a margin for error. That margin is gone now. We absolutely have to beat MU, NU, KSU and somehow beat one of our three South opponents.OU, TX, TT { with Bradford hurt and being at home, the whole season may ride on next week's OU game, because I sure don't see us beating Texas or TT on the road.}

Meanwhile, Nebraska will play ISU, BAY, OU, KS, CO and KU. We've got to hope OU beats NU.

Missouri will play TX, CO, BAY, KS, ISU and KU. With two losses already, I think Texas will take care of MU.

With KU taking care of the North, that would leave KU and NU at 5-3 with KU owning the tie breaker and MU 4-4 and out of it.

But I repeat, we have virtually no chance if we don't win out on the rest of the North Division and that's why this loss really, really, really SUCKS!!!

Tony Bandle 10 years, 7 months ago


Crap, you just exploded my whole scenario...and most frighteningly, you are 100% correct. AW GEEZ that would totally suck!!!

Spencer Goff 10 years, 7 months ago


Sorry man, just speaking of what I see ahead for Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas. I don't even consider Mizzou a player, they are a spoiler and somewhere in their hillbilly fan conscious they know it but won't admit it. With that said, look at our upcoming schedule opponents (not in order of appearance):

Oklahoma Nebraska @Texas @Texas Tech @Kansas State Missouri (at Arrowhead)

That reads like a "who's who" of the Big 12 in the last decade. Throw in our in-state rivalry game, tough road ahead.

Nebraska still has OU at home (like us) and then here in Lawrence. But other than that Colorado game in Boulder at the end of the year, they have a pretty nice slate of winnable ballgames the rest of the way. And Colorado I explained earlier, easiest schedule I can recall in the Big 12. Basically they exchange two road south losses for everything else that matters at home. Disgusting.

I don't think our team really took this game as serious as it was, and I think the first half was an indication of that.

This team reminds me of John Cornish's last season. Talented team that just didn't quite win some of the games they could (Toledo and Nebraska). Meier and Briscoe are as good a pair of receivers in college football today. Reesing is the best scrambling QB in the nation. But something is missing, and it changes from game to game, so I am reluctant to say just one thing.

Our O-line was not leet last night, they got owned by four man fronts for most of the game. Reesing spent 80% of his time running, which thankfully, he excels at. Our defense has yet to "wow" me in a game, but I cannot place where the problem is. Is it our interior line or linebackers that are not staying at home on inside rushes?

This is the second week in a row that a small back has really taken it to us, and not from just beating us to the corner, what do you guys think is the major contributor?

Steve Brown 10 years, 7 months ago

Opurum has been playing great for Sharpe, picking up blitzes and power short yardage running...he has game speed timing and we have been undefeated using him....Sharpe is special, super quick, yet didn't have mid season game reactions, not his fault, the coaches should have worked him into partial series from the gun...

the touchdown called back for interference is also a coaching problem...if that block isn't trained right it will be called a penalty....coaches step it up..

Watch the tape of the florida game, they have some nice two back sets when 3-4 yards are a must ....

PS thanks for the fake punt...loved it... TTech did us a favor...

troutsee 10 years, 7 months ago

Guys, Colorado is not that bad. Yes, they looked miserable the first two games, and they got two huge breaks in the first half against us. But they are coming. College FB is unpredictable, especially if you don't take care of the ball. Look what happened to Ohio State. If we play error free, we can beat OU.

We also need to open the offense in the first half and please special teams coach, improve the KO coverage before Branstetter gets his brains beat out.

We can do it. Our defense looked much better against CU.

SoonerNation1 10 years, 7 months ago

I am a huge OU football fan.... Been that way since birth.. I am also a KU graduate.... Lets face it ... Although all is not lost .... There is a good chance KU will go 7-5 on the season....KU fans are tired of seeing KU lose games that they should win ......... You cant get down by that many points and expect to come back like against Iowa State last year...Trust me...... My Sooners were upset a few years back in Colorado. Its always a trap game for alot of Big XII teams...I just dont think KU has the MENTAL edge to win games they should win... Hopefully they prove me wrong

RockChalk83Grad 10 years, 7 months ago

Well, troutsee, I agree with you - the defense looked better... eventually. The defense that let those 24 points on the board for CU in the 2nd quarter looked a lot like last week's defense against ISU. Not sure what changes the coaches and team made after the ISU game as promised last week by Coach Mangino... but it was hard to tell what was for the better. I don't mean just Reesing's fumble and interception. Even when they were turning it around offensively and defensively, they couldn't get it right. At least one of those two field goals in the 3rd or 4th quarter should have been a touchdown.

As I drove home from the game last night, I was wondering what excuse Coach Mangino would offer us this week after promising to "simplify" last week. All we've gotten so far today is "Anybody can beat anyone." and "We don’t sit around doing a whole lot of feeling bad for ourselves." Though I suppose they can't dwell on it for too long with OU coming to Lawrence next Saturday, even with Bradford out again they'd still better not look past OU the way they may have been looking past CU.

On the subject of fans leaving: I read that too, which was one of the reasons I stayed after halftime. But when the team came back out of their locker room, running in front of the visitors' sections filled with cheering KU fans, only two or three players out of the whole team looked up at the fans and waved or lifted their arms to encourage us to get louder. I don't know if they did the same when coming out for the first half, as I missed most of the team running onto the field because of several people changing seats right in front of me. But how disappointing is that... to not acknowledge us when we're there and cheering, but complain about it when they noticed we've left.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 7 months ago

Let's simplify the equation...when your defense gives up an average of 33 points to two of the "non-top echelon" schools in your league, there is a basic dysfunction and it's hard to truly take the school's title hopes seriously.

Krohnutz's sumnmary is quite acccurate. Based on timing, location and rivalry intangibles, KU not winning another game this year is a possibility. Do I think that is going to happen...NO!!
Do I think KU can win the North...Yes, but only if the "D" improves and the "O" eliminates half it's turnovers. Do I honestly think that is going to happen.......??????????????????????????

Larry Smith 10 years, 7 months ago


You cannot put this one on the D. If you hold a team to 325 total yards and get 3 turnovers, you should be able to win the game. Your offense cannot put you in that kind of hole. Colorado had to go 5 yds to get 14 pts.

Eurekahwk 10 years, 7 months ago

I think this game proved that the team is NOT Todd Reesing. In fact, this is one of the few losses in his caeer that was solely of his making. He gift wrapped two touchdowns. I was actually beginning to wonder near the end of the 1st half if it was time for us to work our next QB. Pick couldn't do any worse than to fumble the ball in Colorado territory or to give up an almost pick six. I will say it again, Todd Reesing lost us this game. Not the defense, not the refs.

kvskubball 10 years, 7 months ago


Saying that Todd lost the game is WAY TO HARSH. Did he have a bad day? Yes. Did he turn the ball over? Yes. Did he contribute to the loss? Yes.

He also put the ball in Dez's hands with time expired. If Dez catches that pass, or the other one in the endzone that he had knocked away, we win the game, and you can't say that Todd lost the game.

But he has a bad game and you place ALL the blame on him. That is unkind as well as untrue. It also shows a lack of appreciation for how much he did right to help bring the team back from a really bad first half! Your comment is a kick in the groin when the guy is down on the ground.

I saw defenders that grabbed at and missed the CU offensive players. I saw missed assignments. I saw Todd having to scramble around in and out of the pocket because his pass protection wasn't holding up.

I fully expect you to responsibly retract and apologize for your saying that Todd lost the game. If you don't then you're not a true KU fan, you're just someone who is a fair weather fan. If you don't apologize, then you're just a punk who feels letdown because our team couldn't win this game, so you want everyone else to know how much pain you're in and you want everyone else to hurt too. Nice going!

It's tough that Todd had a bad game, but it happens to the very best. It hasn't happened many times, if ever before, by Todd. He's won games we should have lost too. IMO, your comment is degrading to Todd, the football team, and to other KU fans. Your comment is that of a total boor. If you can't man-up then I recommend you stop being a 'fan'....

KGphoto 10 years, 7 months ago

Eureka: If that TD to Kerry on the last drive hadn't been called back, You'd be singing his praise. You know this.

And now a word for our CO sponsor.


Anybody else at the game notice the fuzzy boot, shorts or tights combo. Throw in a skinny headband, tear and re-attach your t-shirt, wear oversized sunglasses and generally act like Paris Hilton meets someone with even less intelligence and you can rush a CU sorority too.

We call them Buffahoes. And they travel in twos and threes. They are rampant on campus and seem to serve absolutely no purpose other than to impress frat-boys and accumulate facebook fodder. What an incredible display of depravity. Anybody in Lawrence that thinks the Jayhawks mis-behave and act afool need only to travel to Boulder to examine the root of a lost society.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry anymore. They all rushed the field for their second victory. Although they would do that if they beat Lawrence High too. Football is not really appreciated in Boulder. It's just a reason to be loud and obnoxious. And if they win, all the more reason to spaz out. No real game knowledge at all. Some of them know Reesing. Even fewer know Dez.

CU Alumni do act with class and throw a nice and expansive tailgate. We had a great time mingling with KU and CU alumni. But the students are glorified dropouts and their parents should be embarrassed.

Spencer Goff 10 years, 7 months ago


Dude, Buffahoes, adding that to the permanent repertoire of names, that is classic.

And yeah, I couldn't believe they stormed the field after beating us. Seriously, we are on a nice five year run. But they have won the Big 12 conference title once, been to the title game four times. They have won a national title for gods sake. How far have they fallen?

To put that in proper light, that would be like the Duke basketball team rushing the court after "upsetting" say.... Florida State. It just felt strange, I think it gave me gas.

jhokfan 10 years, 7 months ago

I disagree Soonernation. It takes a tough mental edge to get back into a game on the road when you’re behind. We did it last year against Iowa State and if you saw the Missouri game I think you would agree this team is tough mentally. In 2004 we lost 5 games by 6 points or less. In 2006 we lost 2 games in OT and 2 games by 3 points or less. It may sound as if I’m making your point but those were games we would have never been in during Mangino’s early tenure and certainly not with his predecessors. The margin of defeat is narrowing and we win more of those close games than we lose. It’s been a slow and sometimes painful process but Mangino is slowly but surely getting it done.

gardenjay 10 years, 7 months ago

I was really proud of the can-do comeback attitude of KU players at CO. It has not been an easy year for sports at KU, was really proud of you guys for battling back in the fourth. Looked like you could do anything - like you could eat up the field, such that I fully expected to see KU win in the last 5 seconds. Really thrilling stuff.

Will be looking forward to doing my telecommute fan thing this Saturday, but sure wish I could go to the game. One of the greatest joys in my student days at KU was attending KU football games, and even though those were technically losing seasons, I never stopped being a fan. RC!

shelleysue 10 years, 7 months ago

2 Kansas turnovers = 14 points

2 Colorado turnovers = 6 points

That's the difference. Colorado gave us their best game and on that day it was enough.

I am mildly upset about the interference call but the stat above says it all I think. I actually thought the defense looked better. Our special teams however need to figure something out - and now. When our kicker is getting as many tackles as anyone else (before you call me on this I don't mean literally), you know you have a problem.


Let's beat Oklahoma! Rock Chalk!

Great Buffalo game yesterday. Love seeing a former KU player doing well in the NFL. Derek Fine is a great player.

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