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MU's Ressel kicks game-winner against rival Kansas
The Jackson High School graduate kicked four field goals, including the game-winner as time expired
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The 117th version of the Border Showdown was arguably the wildest in the nation's second most-played rivalry.
No. 118 topped it nearly every way.
Missouri tackled Todd Reesing for a safety with 2:39 remaining and Grant Ressel hit a 27-yard field goal as time expired, giving the Tigers a 41-39 win over Kansas on Saturday in another wild rivalry game at Arrowhead Stadium.
Kansas won 40-37 last year, scoring a touchdown with 27 seconds left and blocking a field goal at the buzzer.
These bitter rivals somehow one-upped that epic game, trading big plays, scores and momentum seemingly with every snap, putting on a show no one from either team likely will ever forget.
"I'm kind of numb right now," Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said.
Missouri (8-4, 4-4 Big 12) had 553 total yards, but needed a safety and Ressel's fourth field goal of the game to beat its rival and potentially end coach Mark Mangino's eight-year stint at Kansas (5-7, 1-7) with a seven-game losing streak.
Danario Alexander caught 15 passes for 233 yards, the third time he's eclipsed 200 yards in four games, and Derrick Washington ran for 111 yards and two scores for the Tigers. Blaine Gabbert threw for 303 yards and a score, and ran for 94 more yards to boost Missouri's bowl prospects.
"It would have been disappointing to lose to them two years in a row," Missouri cornerback Carl Gettis said.
Reesing was spectacular in his final collegiate game, throwing for a school-record 498 yards and four touchdowns. He finishes as Kansas' all-time leader in nearly every significant category, but goes out with seven consecutive losses after starting his career with 11 straight wins.
Briscoe had 14 catches for 242 yards in what may be his final game -- the NFL could be next -- but lost two fumbles that led directly to Missouri touchdowns. Kerry Meier caught two touchdown passes and Kansas finished with 547 total yards.
None of it was good enough against Missouri, the team the Jayhawks want to beat most. It also might not be enough to save Mangino, who's under investigation by the university for allegations of harsh treatment of players.
"I don't have anything to say to any decision-makers or anything," Mangino said. "A friend of mine told me something one time I think is a very good way to go about life. That is: I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees."
Just like last year, the Jayhawks had a chance at the end.
Jacob Branstetter hit a 39-yard field goal with 5:10 left to put Kansas up 39-36, then the Jayhawks forced Missouri to punt.
Starting the drive at its own 3, Kansas opted to pass instead of milking the clock. After two failed passes, Brian Coulter and Aldon Smith converged on Reesing in the end zone for a safety to cut Kansas' lead to 39-38. Worse yet, the Jayhawks ran just 14 seconds off the clock, giving Missouri plenty of time to move into position for the winning score.
The Tigers did just that, getting a 27-yard run from Washington to set up Ressel's attempt. He split the uprights and, after a brief delay for a penalty on Kansas, the Tigers rushed the field for one of their wildest wins against their biggest rival.
"I saw the flag go up and I was alarmed at first because I thought we were going to have to kick it again," Ressel said. "Once I saw it was on KU, I was really happy."
Kansas and Missouri spent the second half of last year's game trading scores. They were at it again this year.
Trailing 21-13, Missouri marched down the field on its opening drive of the second half for Washington's 14-yard touchdown run up the middle. Kansas answered with a 2-yard pass from Reesing to Meier after Missouri's Sean Weatherspoon was called for running into the center on a made field goal.
Missouri scored next when Jerrell Jackson got the right corner on an end-around and scored on a 37-yard run. The Tigers needed just 55 seconds to score again, following Briscoe's second fumble with Alexander's catch-and-run 68-yard touchdown. Ressel's third field goal, from 37 yards, put Missouri up 36-28 early in the fourth quarter.
Kansas and Briscoe weren't done. Streaking up the sideline, Briscoe pulled down a long pass from Reesing, wobbled safety Jasper Simmons' knees near the 20, then went in for a 74-yard touchdown. Reesing hit Meier for the 2-point conversion, tying the game at 36-36.
Kansas got the ball back, starting inside its 1, and drove down for Branstetter's field goal to set up the final flurry.
Unlike last year, Missouri came out on top -- and ended a difficult season at Kansas.
"We learned a lot about life this season," Kansas senior running back Jake Sharp said. "I learned when you think you think you know what you've got going on, when you think you've got it figured, that's when life shows you how small you are and what you really know. The way the season went, it obviously is a very big disappointment to our team."