Todd Reesing hopes Kansas learned two big lessons in its last game. The first is never take any opponent lightly, and the second is never to give up.
After overcoming a 20-point deficit on the road to win their Big 12 season opener, the 16th-ranked Jayhawks will try to win their 13th straight at home as they face Colorado on Saturday.
Kansas (4-1, 1-0 Big 12) trailed 20-0 at halftime last week against Iowa State before pulling off the third-biggest comeback in school history. Reesing threw three TD passes after the break -- two to Kerry Meier -- and Jake Sharp and Angus Quigley added scoring runs to lift Mark Mangino's team to a 35-33 win.
"On the positive side, we were able to fight back from a 20-point deficit and that shows a lot about our team and the makeup we have," Reesing said. "On the other side, we can't start games like that. Especially on the road, you can't come out and play that bad for a half and still expect to be able to win."
Reesing was 18-of-26 for 319 yards, and Meier finished with seven catches for 125 yards as Kansas completed its biggest comeback since 1992, when it erased a 26-point deficit to beat the Cyclones 50-47.
The rally also caught the eye of Colorado coach Dan Hawkins.
"They did a nice job," he said. "Again, that was one of those games were it was turnover, after turnover, after turnover. Normally Kansas is a really good team, in terms of that, but it doesn't matter who you are, when you turn the ball over that much it's really hard to win. ... They have a good football team, so once they took care of the ball they were a lot better off."
The combination of Reesing-to-Meier continues to be key to Kansas' success in 2008. Reesing, a junior, is second in the conference with 344.8 yards passing per game, trailing only Texas Tech's Graham Harrell (405.4).
Meier, also a junior and converted quarterback, leads the Big 12 with 44 receptions and is tied for third with 102.8 yards per game. He has already tied the school record with three consecutive 100-yard receiving games.
The Jayhawks have won the last two games in the series by a combined 10 points, and cannot afford fall into the trap of looking ahead. A week from Saturday, Kansas will travel to face Oklahoma, which is ranked No. 1 heading into its annual Red River Rivalry game versus Texas this week.
First, the Jayhawks return to Lawrence looking to win their 13th straight -- the fourth-longest active home field winning streak behind BYU (15), Boise State (16) and Oklahoma (20). Kansas also is looking to open Big 12 play with consecutive wins for the second straight season, and third time since the conference's formation in 1996.
"This game is a good challenge for us and we will have a good week here and we will be ready for that challenge," Mangino said.
Colorado won its first three games this year -- including one over a ranked West Virginia club -- but now is looking to avoid its third consecutive loss.
The Buffaloes (3-2, 0-1) dropped their Big 12 opener, 38-14 at home to then-No. 5 Texas last Saturday. Colorado trailed 28-0 before scoring on Cody Hawkins' 7-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. Backup Matt Ballenger closed the scoring by tossing a 28-yard TD in his first career appearance.
"We're a resilient team, we're not going to stay down on this loss," said Patrick Williams, who caught Ballenger's TD pass. "We have a lot of football in front of us, we're in it for the long run. We understand that there's going to be some bumps and bruises along the way."
Cody Hawkins has been solid, but unspectacular, completing almost 60 percent of his passes for 926 yards with 10 TDs and four interceptions. He's also received little protection from a banged-up offensive line, having been sacked 10 times this year compared to 15 in 13 games in 2007.
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Kansas shoots for its 13th straight win at home as it hosts Colorado. The Jayhawks needed a furious rally to beat Iowa State last week while the Buffs were trounced by Texas. Colorado won its first three games this year but now is looking to avoid its third consecutive loss.