Border War Ouch

KANSAS CITY, MO — Grant Ressel hit four field goals, the last a 27-yarder as time expired, to help Missouri to a 41-39 triumph over Kansas in the 2009 edition of the Border War.

The loss, which came despite a school-record 498 passing yards from Kansas senior quarterback Todd Reesing, ended Kansas's season on a seven-game losing streak, and left the Jayhawks without bowl eligibility for the first time since 2004.

As with last year's edition, the pace quickened throughout the game, played in front of an announced attendance or 70,072.

After exchanging punts, the Jayhawks were pinned deep on their two yard line. A false start penalty moved the Jayhawks back another yard to the 1. But Reesing went to work. First, he found Jake Sharp over the middle, and the running back sprinted for 17 yards and a first down. On the very next play, Reesing hit Bradley McDougald, who broke a tackle and ran for a 22-yard gain, with a late hit penalty giving the Jayhawks a first down at the Missouri 45. A sideline pass to Dezmon Briscoe netted 18 yards, and a short pass to Meier gained another four. After another false start penalty, Reesing ran for 17 yards and another first down. He then used passes of four and seven yards to Dezmon Briscoe to put the ball in the end zone. Reesing had a hand in every offensive yard put up on the 98-yard drive, while completing six of eight passes.

A 30 yard rush by Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert and a 10-yard run by receiver Danario Alexander put the Tigers in field goal position, and kicker Grant Ressel nailed a 43-yarder to cut into the Jayhawk lead, making it 7-3.

Kansas drove right back down the field, traveling 70 yards in seven plays and scoring on a one-yard Reesing sneak.

The two defenses then stepped up for stops on the next three possessions before Briscoe snagged an eight-yard pass and was stripped by Missouri's Jacquies Smith. Cornerback Carl Gettis scooped up the ball and returned it to the five. Three plays later, running back Derrick Washington dove in from the one.

It took the Jayhawks less than three minutes to respond with an eight-yard pass from Reesing to Meier. A second Ressel field goal, this one from 28 yards, closed out the half's scoring with a 21-13 Kansas advantage.
The Tigers came out for the second half with a vengeance. The Tigers used just 1:44 to record their first touchdown on a 14-yard Washington run. A two-point conversion attempt, a run by Gabbert, was stuffed by Darrell Stuckey, leaving the score at 21-19.

The Jayhawks answered, albeit with a little help. Kansas drove down the field, and apparently ended the drive with a 29-yard Jacob Branstetter field goal. But Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon received a personal foul for hitting the center before he lifted his head, and the Jayhawks were back in business at the Missouri six. Three plays later, on third and goal from the two, Kerry Meier snagged his second touchdown pass of the game from Reesing, putting the lead up to 28-19.

Missouri scored the game's next 17 points on a 37-yard Jerrell Jackson run, a 68-yard pass from Gabbert to Alexander and a 37-yard Ressel field goal to take a 36-28 lead.
Then it was Kansas's turn to put up a points streak. On a third-and-12, Reesing hit Briscoe, streaking down the sideline, for a 74-yard touchdown. Reesing hit Meier for the two-point conversion. Branstetter then added a 39-yard field goal with 5:10 remaining to give Kansas a 39-36 lead.

The defense held, forcing Missouri to punt. But Jake Harry IV unleashed a doozy, pinning Kansas at the three with 2:59 left. The Jayhawks called two pass plays — both incomplete — then gave up a safety when Reesing, on a quarterback draw, was stuffed just shy of the goal line.

The ensuing kickoff gave Missouri the ball at the Missouri 48. The Jayhawk defense was able to put Missouri in a third-and-2 at the Kansas 32, but Washington broke through, running 27 yards to the five. Gabbert then took two knees to center the ball in the middle of the field before Ressel's winning boot.

Reesing threw for 498 yards and four scores, with a large part of that production coming courtesy of Briscoe. Briscoe snagged 14 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns, but had two costly fumbles, one which set up a Tiger score and one that ended a Kansas possession inside the Missouri 30. Meier had 10 catches for 54 yards and two touchdowns, while Jake Sharp had 78 yards receiving and 29 yards on the ground.

Missouri was led by Gabbert's 303 passing yards and 94 rushing yards, and Alexander's 233 receiving yards on 15 catches. A whopping 203 of Alexander's receiving yards, and 203 of Gabbert's passing yards, came in the second half. Gabbert completed 11 of 16 passes in the second stanza, with 10 of those passes completed to Alexander. The 11th was a pass of no gain to Washington. Washington ran for 111 yards and two scores.
As always, the series record is up for debate.

Scoring Summary:
Kansas — Dezmon Briscoe 7 pass from Todd Reesing (Jacob Branstetter kick), 6:40 1Q
Missouri — Grant Ressel 43 FG, 3:52 1Q
KU — Reesing 1 run (Branstetter kick), 1:04 1Q
MU — Derrick Washington 1 run (Ressel kick), 5:49 2Q
KU — Kerry Meier 8 pass from Reesing (Branstetter kick), 3:03 2Q
KU — Ressel 28 FG, 1:01 2Q
MU — Washington 14 run (run failed), 13:16 3Q
KU — Meier 2 pass from Reesing (Branstetter kick), 7:30 3Q
MU — Jerrell Jackson 37 run (Ressel kick), 5:45 3Q
MU — Danario Alexander 68 pass from Blaine Gabbert (Ressel kick), 4:03 3Q
MU — Ressel 37 FG, 13:29 4Q
KU — Briscoe 74 pass from Reesing (Meier pass from Reesing), 12:01 4Q
KU — Branstetter 39 FG, 5:10 4Q
MU — TEAM Safety, 2:45 4Q
MU — Ressel 27 FG, 0:00 4Q

Game notes:
  • While both offenses were superb, combining for exactly 1,100 yards between them, the Tigers had a decided edge on special teams. Ressel hit all four of his field goal attempts, while punter Jake Harry IV not only averaged 49.4 yards per punt on his five punts, but also had all five downed inside the 20 with no touchbacks. Harry punts started Kansas drives at the 12, 11, 3, 2 and 1.
  • Reesing's 498 yards broke the school mark set by Mike Norseth in 1985, when he threw for 480. Dezmon Briscoe's 242 yards was the second-highest mark in school history, behind only the 269 yards Briscoe put up at Oklahoma last season. Reesing finished the season with the school record for passing attempts with 496, one past his mark set last season. Reesing ended his career ranked first in school history in passing yards (11,194), attempts (1,461), completions (932), touchdown passes (90), 300-yard passing games (18), 200-yard passing games (31), total offensive yards (11,840), plays (1,796) and touchdowns responsible for (105). As a starter, Reesing was 25-13.
  • The Jayhawk logo on the helmet marked the first time the logo has appeared on the team's helmet since the 1991 season. Top Stories