LAWRENCE, Kan. - Freshman quarterback Todd Reesing started the second half and threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score Saturday to rally Kansas past Colorado 20-15.
The 5-11 Reesing, who had not played at all in the first eight games, came into the game after the Jayhawks managed only 90 yards in the first half and fell behind 9-0. He was 7-for-11 for 106 yards passing, and ran for 90 yards on just seven carries.
With Kansas leading 20-9, Reesing reached the 2-yard line with a dodging, weaving 63-yard scamper. However, after a 5-yard penalty, Reesing fumbled and Colorado's Ryan Walters picked the ball out of the air and sped 95 yards for a touchdown to make it 20-15. It was the second-longest return in Buffaloes' history.
Alvin Barnett dropped the ball at the goal line on a 2-point conversion try, and Jeff Foster recovered the ensuing onside kick for Kansas (5-5, 1-4 Big 12).
Jon Cornish had 80 yards on 23 carries and became the Jayhawks' first running back in 10 years to rush for 1,000 yards.
Reesing, who was supposedly being redshirted, connected with freshman running back Jake Sharp for a 42-yard gain midway through the third. Then, after a 15-yard pass interference penalty on Colorado (1-8, 1-4), he tossed the ball to an unguarded Cornish for a 22-yard touchdown play.
A few minutes later, Aqib Talib made the first of his two second-half interceptions and returned it 59 yards to the 24. Reesing picked up 14 yards, then scored on a 3-yard quarterback draw to put the Jayhawks on top 14-9.
Reesing connected with Foster for 31 yards midway through the fourth quarter and capped the 7-play, 53-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Derek Fine on third-and-goal.
Colorado, the Big 12 North champion four of the past five years, is in danger of going winless on the road for the first time since the 1984 team finished 1-10. The Buffs' only remaining road game is at Nebraska.
Mason Crosby had three field goals in the first half to give Colorado a 9-0 lead at halftime.
Reesing then started the second half in place of struggling senior Adam Barmann, who was subbing for injured redshirt freshman Kerry Meier.
With about 90 seconds left in the first half, the Buffaloes appeared to make a critical error of their own when Lionel Harris banged into Kyle Tucker as he punted out of the Jayhawks end zone.
So instead of getting the ball in great field position, the Buffaloes set up Kansas with a first down on their own 27 with about 90 seconds left. But Brad Jones immediately intercepted Barmann's pass and Crosby wound up hitting a 32-yarder.
Crosby also hit from 37 and 26 yards.
James Cox, Colorado's second-team quarterback, broke his right thumb in the second quarter while spelling starter Bernard Jackson on a play, leaving tight end Patrick Devenny as the Buffs' backup.