Sharp Leads No. 15 Kansas to 30-14 Victory Against Colorado
Oct. 11, 2008
LAWRENCE, Kan. - Kansas junior Jake Sharp rushed for 118 yards on a career-high 31 carries and scored a personal-best three touchdowns to lead No. 15 Kansas to a 30-14 victory against Colorado at Kivisto Field at Memorial Stadium on a sunny Saturday.
The win makes Kansas 5-1 on the season and 2-0 in Big 12 play for the second straight year. A crowd of 49,566 saw the Jayhawks win their 13th straight home game and improve to 9-1 in their last 10 Big 12 contests. Colorado dropped to 3-2 on the year and 0-2 in league play.
Sharp's 118 rushing yards were a season high for a KU running back and the second highest of his career behind his 127 yards against Toledo last season. His 31 attempts were the most by a Jayhawk since Jon Cornish also had 31 attempts against Nebraska in 2006 and his three touchdowns tied for sixth-best in school history. Sharp has now rushed for 197 yards in his last two games.
Not to be overshadowed by Sharp's performance was the effort of KU's defense, which held Colorado to 233 yards total offense, nearly 100 yards shy of its 325 per game average. The defense also came up with two interceptions on the day.
KU quarterback Todd Reesing completed 27 passes on 34 attempts with one touchdown and no interceptions for 256 yards. The junior moved into second on the KU total offense career list, currently with 6,084 yards. Junior wide receiver Kerry Meier caught nine Reesing passes for 94 yards to mark the fourth game this season he has nine or more receptions in a game.
Kansas scored 14 fourth-quarter points on two Sharp touchdowns to extend a 16-14 lead en route to the victory.
Reesing orchestrated a seven-play, 76-yard scoring drive to make the score 23-14 with 13:07 to play. Reesing threw for 33 yards on the drive and rushed for nine, while Sharp ran for 19 yards including the final eight where he fought through CU defenders for his second score for the game.
Following a Colorado punt in which senior Dexton Fields returned the ball 36 yards to the CU 43 yard-line, KU went on a six-play drive in which Sharp covered the final seven yards for his third score of the game to make it 30-16 with 10:29 to play.
Early in the game, Colorado took advantage of great field position to take a 7-0 lead with 3:15 to play in the first quarter. Following a KU interception by senior Kendrick Harper at the CU four-yard line, the Buffs pinned KU deep in its own territory. After a short punt, CU then went 28 yards in five plays and sophomore quarterback Cody Hawkins hit senior wide receiver Cody Crawford on an 11-yard pass to put the first points on the board for either team.
Kansas tied the game at 7-7 when the Jayhawks went on a 76-yard drive in seven plays on a Sharp one-yard run with 8:56 before half. Sharp rushed for 33 yards on the drive, including a 21-yard rush up the middle. Todd Reesing was 2-for-2 in the air on the scoring drive, including a 27-yard strike to Fields which took the ball down to the CU four-yard line.
KU took a 9-7 lead on the next drive when sophomore defensive end Jake Laptad sacked Hawkins for a 16-yard loss in the end zone for a safety with 8:07 left in the half.
Colorado would later mount what would be a go-ahead drive which was halted when junior defensive back Darrell Stuckey intercepted a Hawkins pass at the KU 10-yard line.
On Kansas' second drive of the third quarter, Reesing hit sophomore wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe at the back of the end zone on a third and goal from the five-yard line to make the score 16-7. KU's scoring drive covered 78 yards in 12 plays and took 5:25 as Briscoe caught his sixth touchdown of the season.
Colorado's Josh Smith returned the ensuing kick 59 yards, giving CU's offense another short field as it drove 41 yards in four plays to make the score 16-14 with six seconds remaining in the third quarter. In the drive Hawkins connected with Cody Smith on a 38-yard pass play to set up a Hawkins one-yard quarterback sneak for the touchdown.
KU hits the road to face Oklahoma on Saturday, Oct. 18. The game from Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium will be televised by ABC and will start at either 2:30 p.m. or 7 p.m. Kickoff will be announced Sunday.