(Saturday, November 29th)
Final Score: Kansas 40, (12) Missouri 37
Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Todd Reesing threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Kerry Meier on fourth down with 27 seconds remaining, as Kansas pulled out a 40-37 victory over 12th-ranked Missouri in the regular-season finale for both teams at Arrowhead Stadium.
Missouri (9-3, 5-3 Big 12), already headed to the Big 12 title game next week as the winner of the North Division, had a chance to tie it in the closing seconds, but Jeff Wolfert's 54-yard field goal try was partially blocked and came up well short in snowy conditions.
"We got in a position where I could make that kick, and I felt like I put myself there," said Wolfert. "I made the right contact. They just got a hand in there, someone was at the right place at the right time and was able to make the deflection. It's a long hit, so I didn't have the normal trajectory. I don't feel like I mishit it, though."
Reesing completed 37-of-51 passes for 375 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions in the wild contest that featured four lead changes in the final seven minutes of the fourth quarter.
"We believed in ourselves," said Reesing. "We kept going until the final click of the clock and we pulled away with it (a win). We beat a good team today, they're going to go play for the Big 12 (title) for the second consecutive year and they have talented players, offense and defense, and if you get a win against them, a win against a ranked team, it's a good momentum swing for us to take into the bowl game."
Meier finished with 14 catches for 106 yards and two scores, while Dezmon Briscoe hauled in nine passes for 115 yards with a touchdown for Kansas (7-5, 4-4). The Jayhawks halted a two-game losing streak and won for just the second time in their last six games after a 5-1 start.
Chase Daniel connected on 25-of-41 passes for 288 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions in defeat. He also ran for 103 yards on nine carries, while Jeremy Maclin totaled 241 all-purpose yards with nine catches for 123 yards, three carries for 32 and four kickoff returns for 86.
"We felt like we had a good chance to win the ball game," said Daniel. "But Reesing is a scrapper, he has a never-let-die attitude, and obviously he brought them back to win the ball game."
The Tigers trailed 26-10 early in the second half, but scored twice in a span of just under a minute to pull within three and make it a contest.
Daniel finished a five-play, 56-yard drive with a 26-yard scoring strike to Maclin with 8:14 left in the third quarter. The two-point pass attempt failed, but Reesing was intercepted just two plays after the kickoff and Daniel threw a 35-yard scoring pass to Tommy Saunders on the first play after the turnover to make it a 26-23 game with 7:17 to play in the period.
After a series of punts, Daniel was picked off by Darrell Stuckey early in the fourth quarter. The Jayhawks were unable to capitalize and punted it back to Missouri.
Daniel then put his team ahead for the first time with a six-yard touchdown pass to Chase Coffman, capping a 12-play, 79-yard drive with 6:52 left in the fourth.
A 40-yard kickoff return by Briscoe put the Jayhawks in business at the Missouri 49 and Reesing needed just five plays to regain the lead, finding Meier with an eight-yard touchdown pass for a 33-30 edge with 4:26 remaining.
Daniel engineered a seven-play, 73-yard drive in just 2 1/2 minutes to put the Tigers back on top, as Derrick Washington scored on a six-yard run for a 37-33 lead with 1:50 to play.
Reesing was unfazed and completed a pair of passes to get the Jayhawks past midfield. A nine-yard strike to Meier set up a first down at the Missouri 29 and a three-yard hook-up between the two followed. After a pair of incomplete passes, Reesing stepped up in the pocket in the face of a blitz on fourth down and found Meier behind the Missouri secondary for the winning score.
Maclin returned the kickoff 36 yards to the Missouri 39 and a 25-yard pass from Daniel to Jared Perry gave the Tigers a chance, but Phil Strozier got a piece of Wolfert's kick and the ball fluttered harmlessly to the turf as time expired.
The teams combined for 916 total yards, 478 by Missouri and 438 by Kansas.
Kansas took a 3-0 lead on a 34-yard field goal by Jacob Branstetter after Stuckey intercepted Daniel on the third play from scrimmage. The Tigers then went three-and-out, and Reesing had the Jayhawks in position at the Missouri six-yard line, but was intercepted in the end zone.
Stuckey then forced a Daniel fumble after a 48-yard run on Missouri's next series and Reesing made it count with a nine-yard touchdown pass to Briscoe for a 10-0 lead in the first minute of the second quarter.
Daniel followed with a five-yard touchdown pass to Coffman to put Missouri on the board, but he was sacked in the end zone on the next Tiger possession to give Kansas a safety and a 12-7 lead.
Reesing took advantage of a short field after the free kick and threw a 25- yard touchdown pass to Dexton Fields with 1:54 left in the half, but Wolfert drilled a 48-yard field goal in the closing seconds to send the Tigers into the break down 19-10.
Kansas took the opening kickoff of the second half and marched 75 yards in 10 plays for another score, as Jake Sharp scored on a 19-yard run for a 26-10 lead.
The all-time series is now even at 54-54-9...The teams announced earlier this week that the "Border Showdown" would remain at Arrowhead Stadium through the 2012 season.
11/29 19:46:59 ET