A Sharp Comeback Propels KU over Iowa State

AMES, Iowa – Behind 186 all-purpose yards from Jake Sharp and an impressive second-half passing performance from Todd Reesing, the University of Kansas football team turned a 20-point halftime deficit into a 35-33 win over Iowa State in its Big 12 opener at Jack Trice Stadium.

The come from behind victory tied the third biggest comeback in school history behind only a 26-point deficit at Iowa State in 1992 and a 21-point deficit vs. Colorado in 1950.
Kansas improved to 4-1 overall and 1-0 in the Big 12, while Iowa State fell to 2-3 overall and 0-1 in the league.
A sea of 47,847 Cyclone fans were riding high as Iowa State jumped out to a fast 14-0 lead in the first quarter.  By halftime KU was down 20-0 and had mustered just 93 yards and only five first downs.  KU went three and out on each of its first three possessions.  Everything changed in the second half when Kansas scored touchdowns on five of its six drives, before sitting on the ball to end the game.
Iowa State’s first touchdown came on its first possession, which started at its own 45-yard line.  The Cyclones needed just five plays to reach the endzone and lead 7-0.
After another KU three and out, the Cyclones started their second drive on the KU 39-yard line and scored nine plays later.
KU managed just 24 yards on 11 plays in the quarter, while ISU ran up 110 on 20 plays.
ISU put together two drives in the second quarter which resulted in field goals.  ISU quarterback Austen Arnaud ended the half hitting 15 of 19 passes for 126 yards.  Reesing was eight of 14 for 59 yards and one interception.
In the difficult first half for Kansas, ISU controlled the ball for 18:53 and ran 38 plays (for 181 yards) compared to KU’s 28 plays for 93 yards and three turnovers.
No sooner had those happy Iowa State fans returned to their seats in the second half when Kansas forced an ISU three and out. Two plays later, Reesing hit a streaking Jake Sharp down the left sideline for a 67-yard touchdown pass.
Four minutes later KU scored its second touchdown on an Angus Quigley one-yard dive, and with just over eight minutes left in the third quarter the Jayhawks were within striking distance with the score 20-14.
On its third drive of the quarter, Reesing hooked up with Kerry Meier on fourth down for the go-ahead score from 23-yards out to give KU a 21-20 lead.
Kansas looked to be driving for its fourth-straight score to open the fourth quarter when Reesing fumbled at the ISU 11-yard line.  However, four players later, Kansas DE Max Onyegbule stepped in front of an Arnaud pass and took the ball back to the six yardline.  Sharp punched the ball in on a two-yard run and the Jayhawks went up 28-20.
Iowa State was able to reach the endzone two more times, both through the air, but a second Reesing-to-Meier touchdown pass with 3:39 on the clock was enough to hold off ISU.
Reesing was 10-of-12 for 260 yards and three TDs in the second half to finish the game 18-of-26 for 319 yards.  Meier hauled in seven catches for 125 games.  He now has 26 catches for 381 yards and three TDs over the last three games and tied the school record with his third-straight game with over 100 yards receiving.
Linebackers James Holt and Joe Mortensen each had eight tackles to lead the KU defense, while four different players broke up passes including Jake Laptad, who batted down a crucial pass at the line in the final minute. Laptad and Mortensen each posted one sack.
Kansas returns to Kivisto Field Oct. 10 when it hosts Colorado at 11:30 a.m. on ESPN2.

Box Score

Story courtesy:  KUAC

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