Sunday, October 18, 2009


Off the unbeaten path

Call costly, but so were 2 turnovers

A last ditch pass to Kansas receiver Dezmon Briscoe falls incomplete as he is surrounded by Colorado defenders Cha'pelle Brown (29) Benjamin Burney (42) and Anthony Perkins (46) during the final seconds Saturday, Oct. 17, 2009 at Folsom Field.

A last ditch pass to Kansas receiver Dezmon Briscoe falls incomplete as he is surrounded by Colorado defenders Cha'pelle Brown (29) Benjamin Burney (42) and Anthony Perkins (46) during the final seconds Saturday, Oct. 17, 2009 at Folsom Field.


Audio clips

2009 KU-Colorado football

— Makeup calls by officials don’t happen in football games. That’s a basketball thing.

Or is it?

A makeup call indeed might have played a role in Kansas University losing to Colorado University, 34-30, Saturday night at Folsom Field, where the students stormed the field to celebrate an upset.

A controversial offensive-pass-interference flag that nullified a Kerry Meier touchdown midway through the fourth quarter was preceded by the absence of an offensive-pass-interference call that had CU coaches and players hot.

Midway through the fourth quarter, with Kansas trailing by the final score, Todd Reesing scrambled in a way eerily similar to the most famous play of Doug Flutie’s career. Reesing launched a bomb that Dezmon Briscoe grabbed out of the sky for a 41-yard gain. Briscoe appeared to clear a little room for himself with a subtle shove, but no flag was thrown.

Three plays later, on second-and-goal from the one-yard line, Reesing hit Meier for an apparent touchdown, but Johnathan Wilson was flagged for an illegal pick. The contact was minimal, not the sort that normally draws a penalty.

Any questioning of the call by Kansas quickly was followed by an explanation that the Jayhawks had nobody to blame but themselves because of two turnovers — a Reesing fumble and interception — that led to touchdowns and put them in arrears 24-3 in the first half.

“They didn’t explain it,” Kansas coach Mark Mangino said of the controversial call. “... I think they called the pick. That’s a routine play. I don’t know. No comment.”

No comment often says more than any comment, and it’s a lot cheaper because it doesn’t draw a fine.

Kansas came up empty on that possession on fourth-and-six and had just 59 seconds of game clock left and 75 yards of real estate to cover when next it had the ball.

Even so, it came down to the final play. Football’s a game measured in yards, but the difference between a victory that would have vaulted Reesing to the head of the Heisman Trophy class and kept Kansas undefeated heading into Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. kickoff against Oklahoma in Memorial Stadium came down to about an inch. If Dezmon Briscoe had been able to get one more inch of his fingers on the ball, if he had held onto it for one more second, he could have come down with a dramatic game-winning catch.

To start the drive, Reesing hit Briscoe (14 yards), Meier (nine yards) and Briscoe (26 yards) to advance the ball to the Colorado 19 with 10 seconds left. Reesing spiked the ball, then had a pass intended for Meier batted away with three seconds left. Reesing put the final pass right where it needed to be, high enough for only Briscoe to reach it. Surrounded by defenders, Briscoe (154 receiving yards, one touchdown), way up there, got his hands on the ball, but couldn’t hold onto it.

“I think there were about six or seven defenders around him, and it seemed like he closed the elevator and got to the top, and he was above everybody,” Meier said. “It’s tough when you’ve got that many guys around you. It’s tough to come down with the ball. Briscoe played a great game.”

Yes, he did, but he didn’t have enough company in doing so.

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.


jman18562 10 years, 11 months ago

I didn't see it. Worst football call ever. But even the best of us gotta admit.... At the very least, it's time for the real sport to begin.

Basketball haters commence.

yates33333 10 years, 11 months ago

Seems like old times. If you love nostalgia, you love yesterday, literally. BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES! STORM COMING: OKLAHOMA, TEXAS, TEXAS TECH, NEBRASKA, MISSOURI. Oh, well, wait til basketball!!!!

Rick Arnoldy 10 years, 11 months ago

BS to both of you. You are the ones who leave at half time.

meastland 10 years, 11 months ago

Disappointed to see the comments of the first two fair-weather fans. While I'm not sure we can still win the North now, there is still a lot to play for on the football field.

cwag 10 years, 11 months ago

There were also 2 times on the final drive the clock should have stopped but didn't, costing us at least 15-20 seconds. These were not judgement calls, just more blatent dishonesty from Colorado / Big XII.

Michael Leiker 10 years, 11 months ago

Heartbreaking, but you have to appreciate the way KU came back. The defense was on the balls of their feet yesterday, playing going forward which was nice to see. There are only good things to come from that group. I like this team against OU. I just hope people don't give up on them. The best of the best sometimes have a hard time at Boulder. It will take a couple of upsets, but I think they're capable of pulling those upsets.

Kevin Long 10 years, 11 months ago

KUhawkhead had some good stuff. You two should be ashamed giving up on your team because of a tough road loss.

John Brown 10 years, 11 months ago

This was a tough, heartbreaking loss. However, it was the one of the most exciting games ever played by KU. My hat goes off to the team for the great effort. If they play their remaining games like they did the second half of this game, then I see us winning the Big 12 North and upsetting some giants.

Blake Post 10 years, 11 months ago

Indeed. I sat through bad seasons at KU, but I was still there, and have been ever since. This is a great, fun team to watch. Reesing, Meier, Briscoe, Wilson, Sharp, Opurum... Call the bomb squad.

I still hate referees. Early in the game a key pass was interrupted by interference causing Briscoe to be unable to catch the ball. No call. Guy was all over him at the key moment with contact. Hate refs.... and corndogs too.

I knew NU was vastly overrated and T Tech now proved it. AN idiot on tv said nu was one play away from top 5. I was astonished. NU must die. I would love to see KU put them under. Hope our D can improve more.

kumama 10 years, 11 months ago

I also agree with KUhawkhead very good points made. It was a tough and heartbreaking loss but it is over and now we need to focus on the game at hand and that is the Sooners, they will still be tough they gave the Longhorns who by the way is #2/3 in the nation all they could handle yesterday and you can bet they will be coming to our house straving. We have got to be ready on both sides of the ball. This game will be shown on natioal TV it would be great if those fans who "think" they can coach better than the one we got; either join Coach Mangino on the field or better yet stay in the paking lot with your tailgate party that way those of us who want to watch the game can do so in peace. That also means NO booing that sounds really good on TV for a class school such as ours. See ya saturday Rock-Chalk Jayhawks!

Jory Collins 10 years, 11 months ago

I put this one on Reesing and Mangino. Todd still tries to make too many highlight plays and when they don't work it's big trouble. His fumble in the first gave CU 7 points, and when he gets sacked it's for 10 yards at least because he runs backwards. Of course, he makes great plays the majority of the time so this may be something you just have to live with.

However, I think the coaches panicked last night. How else would you explain 6 guys getting their very first plays of their college career on defense? Breshear? Smith? Williams? Quigley? The real kicker was McDougald switching to DB on the 77 yard go ahead TD by Colorado. Now, if they had been getting the reps all week that's one thing. But it seemed we panicked a little and just started throwing guys in there that hadn't played all year.

I think they have a quick hook. How does Anthony Davis win the starting job through spring ball and fall 2 a days, have a rough first outing and then never see the field the rest of the year? If he proved he was the best corner through all those practices I would think he deserved some benefit of the doubt after a tough first ball game. Instead we have Chris Harris and Justin Thornton changing positions almost weekly. We ought to know who our best guys are by now.

dirtybirdman 10 years, 11 months ago

There is always calls that go both ways, and calls each team can complain about each game. The fact is, we got it handed to us in the first half. We had to make comebacks the last two weeks, and that is a very disturbing sign. I'm sure there are calls CU would complain about during the 2nd half also. We need to suck it up, let Mangino figure out why we feel the neew to play comback ball all the time and move on. Being realistic, I'm hoping for 7-5. We've got a tough road to hoe, and I think we have had a lot of flaws exposed the last two weeks. Nothing is going to be easy from here on out.

Jory Collins 10 years, 11 months ago

Just read the other article on the defensive changes. So at least they were practicing all week. My bad, jumped the gun.

FairgroveJayhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

The loss will help KU be more focused for oklahoma. I can't wait to see the okies leave with their tails between their legs.

troutsee 10 years, 11 months ago

Bravo Hawkhead and you too Hawkman. My assessments, and, of course some of these are obvious.

1) Early turnovers, gift wrapped 14 points.

2) Offensive play calling was horrible in the first half. It was obvious that our run game was not going to work. Yet we persisted, putting Todd in tough situations. We have gotten off to slow starts most of the year. We are going to have to get off to faster starts.

3) Kick off coverage HORRIBLE and has been all year. Thank heavens we have a very gutty guy kicking off or we would have given up several long KO returns both last year and this year. Thanks, Jacob. You are something.

4) L Smith had a very good game on defense and also looked good on punt coverage. Also was pleased to see Angus in there a few times. Putting McDougald on defense is probably not such a bad idea either. He's an athlete.

5) Probably our best defensive performance of the year. Hansen is an athlete. We should have pinched him more but over all, going into the contest, his attributes were basically unknown. Obviously, he is an escape artist and a pretty good runner but only a fair passer.

6) The guy above who said Wilson lost the game does not know what he is talking about. First, of all, Wilson barely touched the CU back. Secondly, the team lost the game. And, finally Wilson had a hell of a game and made a couple of outstanding catches.

7) The first two commentors have their heads where the sun doesn't ever shine.

DoubleDD 10 years, 11 months ago

Man losing sucks especially when you lose one that you should've won. I'm not going to make accuses but that was just a bad call. I know in the course of the game refs will have makeup calls but you don't do it on TD's with the game on the line. I watched that Florida game and wow the refs really gave that one to the home team. You would think with replay (the whole country can see it) that someone would whisper in their ear your making some bad calls.

Anyways it doesn't look good for KU the rest of the way. I was really hoping for a North championship, but the chips needed to fall a certain way and the CU chip blew up in our faces. I think now they have to win a least one of the next 3 games just to have a chance. With OU, then 2 road games with TX, TT it's not looking good. No matter I'll continue to cheer them on even with the beat downs that are coming. Who knows maybe KU was a little puffed up and CU game brought KU and its fans back to the realm of reality.

babyjay1 10 years, 11 months ago

Been reading too long... finally had to sign up to post! SO tired of fair weather fans... Rough game yesterday but wish I could have been in Colorado to yell/cheer/scream at the refs!!! I'll be doing that next Sat and WON't be leaving early! Reesing/Briscoe/Meier are amazing but they can only goes as far as the defense allows... No matter what, I'll be anxiously waiting to see what Mangino brings us next year. Rock Chalk !!!!!!!

JHWK 10 years, 11 months ago

It was a great comeback that came up short. Clearly, the boys are going to have to play much better defense to continue to have a shot at competing.

Still, I'm disappointed in the LJW's poll about who is to 'blame' for the loss. What kind of support is that for the team? Certainly, there are errors in every loss and every win. To have the paper put such a demeaning poll in here, after a game as exciting as that, adds more credence to the point that media is stirring up S&*%, rather than reporting facts, which should be their job. Who cares who is to blame, it is a team sport, as some of the astute readers have stated above.

LJW, get onboard with supporting and promoting the stellar athletes KU has, not pointing fingers.

Sparko 10 years, 11 months ago

Briscoe was interfered with or held about 10 pther times. The officiating was simply terrible and all of them should be relieved. Their ability to hold receivers played a huge part in the First Half debacle.

okiedave 10 years, 11 months ago

K.U. players got behind early and showed some real grit coming back and taking it down to the wire. There is no quit in our players. We have some good talented kids. This team can beat Oklahoma at Lawrence. We can beat Nebraska at Lawrence and beat Missouri in Memorial Stadium East. We will go to a bowl. Next year we will have a young but talented quarterback and other talented players coming back. The future this year and next is bright. Did you notice that Colo. fans stormed the field after the game? Did you notice that K.U. fans did not storm the field after beating I.S.U.? That should tell us something about how far we have come.

kansas22 10 years, 11 months ago

I like hearing all the comments of "we lost a tough road game" and "we showed some fight coming back in the game," but look at this in reality. KU is not a good football team and just lost to a horrible team. Yes, we have a good offense but if they even hiccup, we will lose. We lost to the worst team in the Big 12. The only team that may be worse is Iowa State... And we were an overthrow away from losing to them! I know all the preseason hype said we should contend for the North and what not, but now I think we should just face the fact that this team was just highly overrated. Winning the North is not going to happen. Finishing the season 6-6 seems WAY more likely than us contending for the North at this point. Unless we can bring in Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, and Julius Peppers this is going to be a completely disappointing season considering all the preseason hype. I'm still going to be there to cheer them on the rest of the way, just like pre-2007 when they were consistently bad, I'm just trying to be realistic.

johnsont1 10 years, 11 months ago

kuhawkman - what sports do you support at KU besides men's basketball and football? You say we should support football because it 'bankrolls' basketball, and from that you conclude that we should support all KU athletics. That doesn't make sense. It shouldn't matter if football brings in more money - what I hear you really saying is that KU men's basketball is the only one you really care about.

spenc1324 10 years, 11 months ago

After reading all of these coments not only from this week but the whole year, and especially after this week i find myself asking do we really have any TRUE fans. the answer i've come up with is NO!!! for a couple of reasons the first being the fact that win or lose it always seems like were 1 bad play away from all of you people posting end of the world comments on how bad we are and blah blah a bunch of crap!!!! college football is 1 of if not the most competitive sports just because of all the teams and fan bases you have and the coaching for the most part is solid so when teams game plan against us to take certain things away and do yes we should be able to adjust last night we didnt plus we hurt ourselves with poor play but trust me coach and players alike both know we left alot out there and will play better as a TEAM next week. but all you people automatically are saying bring on basketball or bring on next year and my response to that is F@%# that and please excuse me but i am really pissed at the jayhawk nation for abandoning our team so soon and after a tough game. its obvious that most of you are NOT true fans and thats NOT what this team needs especially now. Im sure that florida, usc, ohio st, and all those other power house football teams or even our basketball team did not become powerhouses by the fans questioning everything they do abandining them after any and every loss and the one that pisses me off the most is leaving at halftime or at anytime during a game whether or not its close or a blow out and plain and simple Not supporting our team!!!!! So please for all you people ive just described please stay away from memorial stadium, allen field house and this site in paticular because our team reads this site and we do not need you FAKE A@@ fans posing anything so please go back to manhattan because im sure they were your team before you abandoned them so please please go back to them because we do not need or WANT you as fans!!! so with that Lets go givem hell Hawks im in Cali and i will ALWAYS have yalls back lets beat Oklahoma

hawkone 10 years, 11 months ago

I seem to remember a certain OU team stumbling at Colorado. It looked bad but didn't derail their season. In fact, it electrified them even more to prove they were better than that loss. This is colege football where upsets happen every week. This is also a different Colorado team. Does anyone remember what a change in the dynamic of the KU team occured when Sparky pulled off his red-shirt.

This should not be anything more than motivation. We have gotten alot of sloppy wins to cover up where we are falling short. This loss will remind the players and coaches that nothing comes easy and despite high expectations placed on KU, expectations don't win games.

We need to show the world that KU is not ready to lie down and also ruin the hopes of the KSU fans who suddenly feel they are in the race to win the Big 12 North.

honk_for_hawks 10 years, 11 months ago

Why do I always miss the majority of games we lose? All I saw was that last drive. If Briscoe had made that catch though, it would have been the clutch play of the year. At least we will be mad and focused going into the OU game. That's kind of what we need going into that stretch.

jhokfan 10 years, 11 months ago

Disappointing loss and disappointing comments from first two posters.

I don’t know if Wilson interfered or not but the comeback was impressive and you can’t use bad calls as an excuse. We spotted them 14 points and that is why we lost.

We’re 5 & 1 and in the hunt for the north. The season is not over.

FriscoKU 10 years, 11 months ago

No more Heisman discussion for Todd Reesing. There is no way this team we will win in Lubbock or Austin. This team will be lucky to go 4-4 in the Big 12 this year. This loss will cost KU the Big 12 north champions.

FlaHawk 10 years, 11 months ago

KU hung in their and did not fold. They have to have much better 1st Qtr and not give away so many points. This game reminded me of the ISUgame last year. Sparky started very slow and KU goes as he goes. At least COach Mangino is trying to fix the defense. THey did not play great but they played much better than last few games. Some more hope for improvement vs OU.


okiedave 10 years, 11 months ago

Kansas 22 -- C.U. is far from a horrible team. They were beating Texas for 2 1/2 quarters at Austin. C.U. would have won that game if Hawkins, who was not a Division I quarterback, had remembered Texas wore burnt orange and not thrown a pass right to a D-back wearing that color. Hanson's red shirt came off the last quarter of the Texas game. Hanson is a Division I quarterback and from what I saw in the Kansas game, can pass with accuracy, can run the ball and has something Hawkins did not have, the support of the team. C.U. was the worst football team in the Big XII during the pre-Hanson days. But not now. C.U. will win a lot of games and I hope they beat Nebraska and M.U. and K.S.U. C.U. has some very good athletes and will be a contender for the Big XII North. A lot of very good teams have gone into Boulder and lost. We just went on the weekend of a quarterback change when they were hyped and extra motivated. Just like K.U. came back from being down 9-0 to C.U. in 2006 when Reesing's red shirt came off and underdog K.U. came from behind to beat C.U.

mr_jhawk4477 10 years, 11 months ago

Defense looked a lot better I thought. Two of Colorado's scoring drives were a combined 4 yards thanks to our offensive mistakes. I feel like our offense is too good to let that happen again and that the defense will only continue to improve. Very disappointing loss but I am optimistic about the future. I predict KU WILL beat Oklahoma and WILL win the North.

IBRONNIEB 10 years, 11 months ago

I was upset at KU in the first half, as it seemed they underestimated Colorado. Yet when they got down by 21, they never quit. They kept fighting, and they came back. Yes the defense made too many mistakes, and they were out of position at times. But the young players on this defense are improving. They played hard and even came up with some turnovers for the offense. What our offense was doing in the first half, I cant say. That wound up being the difference in the game. And the 3's instead of 7's on the two turnovers, did'nt help. If you are a true fan, you don't give up on your team. You can cuss them, and such, but you never, ever, give up on them! The Seniors on this team deserve our support. They have been the foundation, with which we will build a program. This season is far from over! RCJH!

kranny 10 years, 11 months ago

I agree with many of the posters that this game was a heartbreaker but I also commend their guts to make the comeback. Three things that I question: The amount of defensive switches although the defense played a lot better and with their backs against the wall after the turnovers. #2-The complete go away from Opurum. I understand going back to Sharp, but how about easing into it. Opurum is able to pick up blitzes better at this point and him being able to plow up the middle keeps a defensive line and the linebackers honest at the line of scrimmage. By the time Opurum came in their D was confident and our backs were against the wall. #3-Why did we run a pass play on 2nd and goal from the frickin' 2 yard line!!? Opurum has scored maybe 5-6 times this year from inside the 5. We could have run 3 plays in row and he would have scored. More times than not nothing good happens on a pass play inside the 5.

cg1029 10 years, 11 months ago

Not going to debate refs / calls you have to be able to overcome those things and win. My biggest problem with this game was the play calling... Col was dropping 7-8 in coverage all night long and we never even tried to use Toben Opurum... He had two carries the whole game, and had there not been a review of the spot of the ball after the Meier to Reising pass he would not have been in for that play. The Col defense was leaving the middle of the field wide open all night and we never even tried to take advantage of it... The safties for Col were covering over the top on Meier and Brisco all day and they were using one LB in a Zone cover or a Blitz... I just dont understand why no Opurum running between the tackles or at the least Play action to make the safty stay at home... It seems as though we played right into there game plan.

Scott Smetana 10 years, 11 months ago

Great article Keegan.

I was there.

The crowed booed like crazy when Briscoe caught the long bomb a few plays earlier. HOWEVER, they are really not that smart of fans and booed at most things that didn't go their way. The worse it was for them, the more they booed.

The ref who made the correctly named "make-up" call was FIRED UP to the crowd (right in front of the student section) when he made the call. He was like Hightower... in a CU cheerleader skirt. Refs should be like Robots. He DEFINITELY got caught up in the moment. The crowd loved their "make-up" call. It likely cost us the game.

yates33333 10 years, 11 months ago

Wonder what the person who thinks football funds basketball at KU smokes? Is it sold in Lawrence or must you go to KC?

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