for this game

South Florida stuns Kansas at gun

Sep 13, 2008 - 6:16 AM TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- In the first half, South Florida was stunned. By game's end on Friday, Kansas was in shock.

Freshman Maikon Bonani kicked a 43-yard field goal with no time left to give the 18th-ranked Bulls a 37-34 victory over the 11th-ranked Jayhawks in a wild game.

Kansas appeared to be driving for its own game-winning score when Todd Reesing was intercepted by Nate Allen in the final minute. The defensive back returned the ball 40 yards to the Kansas 27, setting the stage for the winning kick by Bonani, a true freshman.

"That is a good win. That is an understatement," South Florida coach Jim Leavitt said. "I knew that if he hit the ball right, that would be the deal. I told them I wanted a timeout with two seconds left. Maikon went in there and hit a good kick. That was something we really needed."

Kansas coach Mark Mangino was not about to fault Reesing, who brought the Jayhawks back to tie the game at 34-34 with two fourth-quarter touchdowns.

"He played really well," Mangino said of his quarterback, who was 34-of-51 for 381 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. "At the end of the game there, we were trying to make a play, get in field-goal position. You play to win the game. You're on the road, you're not playing for overtime. Those things happen, that's not the issue. There are other issues that we need to deal with. One of them is not Todd."

The interception marred a great effort by Reesing, who was unstoppable in the first half and rallied the Jayhawks in the final 15 minutes.

"I just threw it off my back foot a little bit, and it just didn't get there," Reesing said. "If I had to do it again, I'd probably make the same decision."

There could not have been more opposite halves. The Jayhawks dominated the first 30 minutes, rolling to a 20-3 lead before the Bulls' Matt Grothe scored on a 28-yard run just 2:14 before intermission to cut the deficit to 10.

That ignited a run of 31 unanswered points as Grothe threw two TD passes and Jamar Taylor rushed 13 yards for another score. Bonani also booted a 23-yard field goal in the surge.

"We have to be able to get to the quarterback with the four-man rush," Magino said. "We're not getting there. When we have to bring five or six, that means we have to man-up in some situations. We really don't want to man-up with a couple younger kids that are in the secondary. They aren't ready for that."

Kansas (2-1) clawed back within seven when Reesing found Jonathan Wilson for an 18-yard TD pass that capped a 13-play, 78-yard drive. The Jayhawks tied the game at 34-34 as Reesing shoveled a pass to Angus Quigley, who ran it into the end zone from 13 yards out.

"They are an outstanding team, and their quarterback is as good as I've seen," Leavitt said. "They're just a very disciplined football team."

Reesing and Wilson had teamed for a 36-yard touchdown strike midway through the first quarter to give Kansas a 7-0 lead.

After the teams exchanged field goals, the tandem hooked up again for a 56-yard completion that led to a 28-yard field goal by Jacon Branstetter to make it 13-3. Wilson had five catches for 123 yards in the first half.

Reesing then capped a six-play, 65-yard drive with a four-yard TD run to make it 20-3 with 3:24 left in the half.

Grothe, who was 32-of-45 for 338 yards and two touchdowns, drove the Bulls (3-0) down the field and called his own number, scoring on a 28-yard run with 2:14 to go before intermission.

"He did a great job keeping his composure out there," South Florida wide receiver Taurus Johnson said. "He was a real leader out there today. He was great."