Kansas beats Minnesota 42-21 in Insight Bowl
Tempe, Ariz. (AP) — Dezmon Briscoe caught a game-record 14 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns, and Todd Reesing threw for four scores in Kansas' 42-21 victory over Minnesota in the Insight Bowl on Wednesday.
Reesing completed 27 of 35 passes, hitting on a school-record 14 straight passes in the first half. He threw for 313 yards and improved to 20-6 as a starter, and he was intercepted once.
Kerry Meier caught one touchdown pass and threw another for the Jayhawks (8-5), who have won three straight bowl games for the first time.
Eric Decker caught eight passes for 149 yards and a touchdown for the Golden Gophers (7-6), who finished the season on a five-game losing streak and have lost their last three bowl games.
Minnesota was hoping to erase memories of its last Insight trip, two years ago. The Gophers led Texas Tech 38-7 midway through the third quarter, only to watch the Red Raiders rally for a 44-41 overtime victory - the biggest comeback in major-college bowl history.
This time, Minnesota found itself down by a touchdown after 11 seconds on a sparkling 73-degree afternoon. On the game's first snap, Reesing rolled away from pressure and found Briscoe down the left sideline for a 60-yard score.
It was the first of two one-play scoring drives for the Jayhawks. The second came in the third quarter, when KU receiver Kerry Meier hit Briscoe for a 32-yard scoring play to give the Jayhawks a 35-14 lead.
Meier, Kansas' starting quarterback for part of the 2006 season, has completed all three of his pass attempts this season. He caught 10 passes for 113 yards against the Gophers.
The Golden Gophers responded quickly to the early deficit. On their first offensive snap, receiver David Pittman hit Eric Decker for a 75-yard pass to the KU 12, and three plays later Jon Hoese bulled over from a yard out to tie it at 7.
It was the first collegiate carry for Hoese, a sophomore. Nine minutes later, he scored again, on a 2-yard run, to give Minnesota a 14-7 lead.
KU tied it at 14 on a 4-yard pass from Reesing to Meier late in the first quarter. Reesing added two more touchdown passes - a 6-yarder to Briscoe and a 4-yarder to Johnathan Wilson - to give Kansas a commanding 28-14 halftime lead.
Minnesota cut it to 35-21 on a 6-yard pass from Adam Weber to Decker early in the fourth quarter, but the Gophers' offense stalled after that. Weber was 19-of-34 for 176 yards and a touchdown.
Jake Sharp scored on a 2-yard run late in the fourth quarter to end the scoring, and KU's fans filled Sun Devil Stadium with the Rock Chalk Chant.
Minnesota's loss dropped the Big Ten to 0-3 in bowls, while the Big 12 improved to 2-1, with both victories coming against Big Ten schools.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)