Wrapping Up Mizzou

News, notes and quotes on Missouri's thrilling 41-39 victory over Kansas Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium in front of 70,072 fans. KU ended the season 5-7, losing its last seven games. Fifteen seniors played their last game.

Among their accomplishments:

*posting a 31-18 four-year record for the second-most wins by a four-year senior class in school history.

*consecutive bowl seasons (and victories) in 2007 and 2008 for the first time in KU history.

*leading KU to its two best Big 12 North finishes, tying for first in 2007 and placing third in 2008.

"I told our seniors that they've already left a legacy with some of the things they've done," KU coach Mark Mangino said. "More people will remember all the good things they've done than the negatives, especially our fan base. They should be proud that they fought and gave their very best. You can't ask for anything from a player but their best effort, and they gave their best effort every single week. They should be proud of the fact they gave their best every day."

Mangino answered several questions from reporters after the game about his job status. He is currently under internal investigation regarding his inappropriate behavior towards his players. One reporter asked Mangino if he had anything to say to the decision makers.

"I have nothing to say to those people," Mangino said. "That's not my place to say that. I'm confident in my ability and I feel good about everything I've done. When I was hired at Kansas (by then athletics director Al Bohl), they told me they desperately needed structure and discipline in the football program. They said that was the key point, and I've done that the right way and I feel good about it and am proud of the way I've dealt with our players in the program. I think in some areas we've had a lot of success stories of guys that came here and just weren't ready for college or college football and now they carry diplomas under their arm and they're having successful lives and building families.

"So I don't have anything to say to any decision makers. A friend of mine told me something one time that I think is a very good way to go about life. That is, ‘I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees.'"

Mangino thinks the final decision will come "pretty soon." He said he's yet to talk to KU associate athletics director for risk management Lori Williams, who is heading the investigation.

*Senior quarterback Todd Reesing completed 37 of 55 passes for four touchdowns and a school record 498 yards. Reesing's 37 completions tied his own KU record and his 55 attempts gave him the school season record with 496. Reesing's 506 yards of total offense are the second most by a KU player in a game, just three yards shy of Mike Norseth's 509 against Vanderbilt in 1985.  

The Austin, Texas, native finished his career first in numerous categories:

*passing yards (11,194)
*attempts (1,461)
*completions (932)
*touchdown passes (90)
*300-yard passing games (18)
*200-yard passing games (31)
*total offense yards (11,840)
*plays (1,796)
*touchdowns responsible for (105)

Reesing reflected about the game and his career in the postgame interview room.

"It was an emotional time, especially for us seniors," he said. "The reality hasn't really set in yet, but that was the last time we're going to play in a KU uniform. It hurts that it happened that way, but we're holding our heads high because we played hard the entire game. We gave it the best we had, and we fell short. Things didn't go our way just as they haven't this whole season.

"I started 11-0 and finished 0-7, so I've had an up-and-down career. We've been through a lot as a senior class."

*Senior receiver Kerry Meier caught 10 passes for 54 yards and two touchdowns. He set the school's single-season receptions record with 102, breaking his own record set last year with 97 catches. He also moved into second place in the KU career receiving yardage list with 2,309 and second place in career touchdowns with 18. Meier's 226 career receptions are a school record and seventh most in Big 12 history.

His 10th catch of the game and 102nd of the season came on a two-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter. That gave Kansas a 28-19 lead.

The Jayhawk fans started chanting, "Kerry Meier, Kerry Meier!"

*Senior running back Jake Sharp recorded a career-high eight receptions for 78 yards, one shy of the school record for receptions in a game by a running back.

He was emotional in postgame interviews.

"I feel very lucky to have played with the guys I played with," Sharp said. "I will remember these guys for a long time and I'm blessed to have had the opportunity to play with them."

*Junior receiver Dezmon Briscoe caught 14 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns. His 242 yards ranks second on the KU single-game list behind his 269 at Oklahoma last season. That marked his third 200-yard career game. He's the eighth player in Big 12 history to record 3,000 career receiving yards; Briscoe finished the season with a school record 3,240 career receiving yards. His 1,337 receiving yards this season is the second-best total at KU behind his 1,407 yards set last year.

*KU's 98-yard scoring drive on its second possession was its longest drive of the season. Kansas recorded five first downs on the drive, capped by a seven-yard touchdown pass from Reesing to Briscoe.

*Sophomore tight end Tim Biere caught a career-long 33-yard pass late in the first quarter down to the MU one-yard line, setting up a rushing touchdown by Reesing.

*Senior defensive end Maxwell Onyegbule forced his first fumble of the season in the second quarter, while junior linebacker Drew Dudley recovered for his first one of the year.

*KU wore a Jayhawk logo on their helmets, marking the first time the logo has appeared on the team's helmet since the 1991 season (6-5). The Jayhawks also wore crimson uniform tops, marking the eighth time KU's worn the alternate jerseys in the Mangino era. The Jayhawks are now 7-2 in those games.

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