KU Football Claims Third Straight Governor's Cup, Downing K-State, 52-21
Nov. 1, 2008
LAWRENCE, Kan. - Behind a career-high 181 yards rushing and a school-record-tying four touchdowns by Jake Sharp and a stout defense, the Kansas football team defeated state rival Kansas State, 52-21, on a sunny Saturday at Kivisto Field at Memorial Stadium.
The win improves Kansas to 6-3 on the season and makes the Jayhawks bowl eligible for the fourth consecutive year. KU kept pace atop the Big 12 North standings improving to 3-2 in conference play. Kansas State fell to 4-5 on the season and 1-4 in league action.
The win marks the third straight year Kansas has won the Governor's Cup and the 31-point margin of victory was the widest in a KU win over KSU since a 38-7 win in 1985. Additionally, KU's 52 points was the most for KU against KSU since a 55-0 victory in 1947.
A Kivisto Field at Memorial Stadium record crowd of 52,230 saw Sharp's 152 rushing yards in the first half surpass his previous game career high of 127 rushing yards set against Toledo last season. Sharp was also effective as a receiver with five receptions for 76 yards. For the game he had 257 all-purpose yards in the victory. Sharp became the sixth Jayhawk to score four touchdowns in a game with the last being Brandon McAnderson last season against Nebraska.
In addition to Sharp's performance, the Kansas defense was solid, forcing a season-high five K-State turnovers, including two interceptions by senior defensive end Russell Brorsen. Kansas amassed 468 yards total offense to K-State's 355.
Kansas scored the first 31 points of the game, all in the first half, to put the game away. KU took the opening drive 81 yards in 11 plays to take an early lead on a four-yard rush by Sharp up the middle. It marked the first opening drive touchdown of the season for the Jayhawks in 2008. KU junior quarterback Todd Reesing was 4-for-6 on the drive for 45 yards as KU converted all three of its third down tries. Reesing ended the game 14-for-23 yards with one touchdown. He also rushed for a season-high 47 yards and one touchdown.
Up 7-0, Brorsen intercepted a Josh Freeman pass and returned it 13 yards to the KU 48 yard line. Sharp then capped the four-play drive with a 20-yard touchdown run to make the score 14-0 with 6:03 left in the first quarter.
Following a Kansas State punt, KU made the score 21-0 on Sharp's third touchdown of the game, a 47-yard jaunt to cap a three-play 56-yard drive. Sharp rushed for 118 yards on nine carries with three touchdowns in the opening quarter.
Kansas made the score 24-0 on a 33-yard field goal by freshman Jacob Branstetter early in the second quarter. The field goal capped a nine-play drive that covered 41 yards.
K-State then mounted an 11-play, 60-yard drive and was on the verge of scoring before Freeman fumbled at the one-yard line. KU senior Mike Rivera recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchback. On the next drive, KU went 80 yards in 10 plays with Reesing going the final 15-yards on an option to make the score 31-0 with 1:24 left in the half.
Junior safety Darrell Stuckey intercepted a Freeman pass on the final play of the first half. It was Stuckey's third interception of the season and fifth of his career.
Kansas State notched its first points of the game midway through the third quarter when the Wildcats went 70 yards in nine plays. Sophomore running back Lamark Brown went the final four yards for the score to make it 31-7 in favor of the Jayhawks.
KU scored on the next drive going 78 yards in nine plays to make the score 38-7. Sharp had 70 of the 78 yards with 26 rushing and 43 receiving, including a 44-yard shovel pass from Reesing. Reesing hit sophomore wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe on a three-yard touchdown pass.
After Kansas stopped K-State on fourth down, the Jayhawks went up 45-7 going only 29 yards in two plays with Sharp going the final two yards for his fourth touchdown of the game. Sharp set up his score by catching a 27-yard pass from Kerry Meier on a reverse pass by wide receiver-back up quarterback.
On the ensuing drive, Kansas State made the score 45-14 on an 80-yard, 11-play drive with Brown going the final four yards for his second touchdown of the game.
Following Brorsen's second interception of the game, Angus Quigley rushed 19 yards for a score in one play to make the score 52-14 with 10:41 to play. Brorsen has three career interceptions, all against Kansas State.
Kansas State scored a late touchdown on a Brown one-yard run capping a nine-play, 62-yard drive with 39 seconds remaining to make the score 52-21.
Kansas hits the road for a league contest at Nebraska next Saturday, Nov. 7. Game time has yet to be determined and will be announced Sunday.