Kansas crushes Iowa State, inches closer to bowl eligibility

AMES, Iowa (AP) -- Kerry Meier threw two touchdown passes in his return to the starting lineup and backup Todd Reesing led Kansas to two more scores in the Jayhawks' 41-10 victory over Iowa State on Saturday.

Kansas (5-5, 2-4 Big 12) followed up a come-from-behind victory over Colorado with an even stronger performance. It needs only one win its final two games to become bowl-eligible for the second straight season.

The Jayhawks, who beat Houston in the Fort Worth Bowl last year, have never gone to bowl games in consecutive seasons.

Iowa State (3-7, 0-6) won't be going anywhere. The loss is sure to turn up the heat on embattled coach Dan McCarney, whose team appears headed for its second 0-8 conference finish in four years unless there's a miraculous turnaround in the last two games.

The Cyclones managed only 213 yards against the Big 12's worst defense, muffed a punt that led to Kansas' first touchdown and gave up an easy touchdown when punter Mike Brandtner fumbled the snap at his own 1-yard line.

And even when the Cyclones caught a break, they couldn't stand prosperity. When Alvin Bowen recovered Meier's fumble at the Kansas 26 on the game's third play, Iowa State had only 8 yards in three tries and had to settle for Bret Culbertson's 36-yard field goal.

Later, Shawn Moorehead intercepted Reesing at the KU 12, but Josh Johnson fumbled it back to the Jayhawks on the next play. Kansas then marched 90 yards in 12 plays to get its final touchdown, a 1-yard run by Brandon McAnderson.

Meier, bothered much of the season by an injured right shoulder, was 17-of-22 for 199 yards and no interceptions. He threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to Brian Murph, and tossed a 3-yarder to Derek Fine.

Fine also caught a 29-yard TD pass from Reesing, who scored on a 1-yard run. Reesing, who gave up a red-shirt year in leading the Jayhawks past Colorado, went 3-for-5 for 35 yards.

Moorehead's sack of Meier on Kansas' second series forced a punt, but Ryan Baum muffed the kick and Joe Mortensen recovered for the Jayhawks at their own 46. Meier threw a short pass to Murph three plays later, Chris Singleton missed a diving attempt at a tackle and Murph outran the pursuit down the right sideline for a touchdown.

Kansas made it 13-3 with Reesing's TD pass on fourth-and-6 at the ISU 29. Reesing lofted the ball to the end zone, Fine and Singleton leaped at the same time and both had a piece of it as they tumbled to the ground. Three officials huddled to talk about it before signaling a touchdown. A review upheld the call.

Fine was covered by 295-pound defensive tackle Brent Curvey when he caught Meier's perfect lob in the back of the end zone to make it 20-3. The Jayhawks made it 27-3 just before halftime when McAnderson took a handoff, looked as if he was going to throw back to Meier and then ran it in untouched from the 4.

Iowa State lost three of its five fumbles, and Bret Meyer was intercepted once. He finished 16-of-31 for 180 yards.