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Archive for Saturday, October 21, 1989

TURNOVERS DOOM KANSAS AT COLORADO, 49-17

October 21, 1989

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— Every little bit helps, but Kansas really should have been a bigger contributer to the Sal Aunese Fund.

Many Coloradoans pledged money for every point scored in Saturday's Kansas-Colorado football game as part of a "Points for Sal" promotion to alleviate the medical expenses of the late CU quarterback.

Colorado was most generous by scoring 49 at Folsom Field. Kansas saved its generosity for the game four turnovers and consequently chipped in with only 17 points for the good cause.

"I would have liked to have a few more points from us for Sal," Kansas senior tight end John Baker said afterward, "but it didn't happen. Our problem is putting the ball in the end zone right now."

Kansas entered this one as a 42-point underdog, yet actually compiled more total offense in the first half 250 yards to 231 than the Buffs.

Unfortunately, for Kansas, Colorado led 21-3 at intermission.

HOW COULD that be? Easy. The Jayhawks coughed it up three times and misfired on a sure touchdown pass that coach Glen Mason counted as a turnover.

Without a doubt, the most glaring mistake occurred on the second play of the second quarter when quarterback Kelly Donohoe threw a pass into the end zone and CU cornerback Dave McCloughan intercepted.

At the time, Kansas was on the Buffs' three-yard line and trailing 7-0.

"When we get close enough to SEE the goal line we've gotta score," Mason said, lamenting the turnovers.

Mason chewed on Donohoe pretty good after that one, but the senior quarterback had an excuse. He was hit, he said, while trying to throw that crucial pass intended for wide receiver Kenny Drayton away.

"Kenny was covered so I wanted to throw it out of the end zone," Donohoe explained. "But when I threw I was hit. . .I'd rather throw an honest interception. It's so much more frustrating when you try to throw it away and that happens. It was a big mistake. It hurt us."

Donohoe, who threw for 171 yards Saturday and moved past Mike Norseth into third place on KU's career passing chart, had been intercepted in the first quarter, but that theft was as much of a factor as the aerial before it.

DRAYTON WAS streaking down the middle of the field ahead of the CU defense and Donohoe's pass flew inches past his outstretched hands.

"That's like a turnover," Mason said. "When you're wide open, you've gotta complete that."

For his part, Donohoe was as astonished after the game as he was after he overthrew Drayton.

"Holy cow, it must have been the altitude, I don't know," Donohoe exclaimed. "That was just inches, another time when we were inches from a big play."

Turnover No. 3 the Jayhawks, incidentally, are dead last in the Big Eight in turnover margin wasn't an interception. It was a fumble by tailback Frank Hatchett with 2 minutes left until halftime.

Colorado converted that gaffe into a touchdown and a 21-0 lead a little more than a minute later on a tandem run by quarterback Darian Hagan and tailback J. J. Flannigan.

Flannigan received credit for all 41 yards on the down-the-sideline play, but Hagan lateraled to him at about the 25.

Flannigan, subbing for the injured Eric Bieniemy, ran past the Jayhawks all day. Flannigan wound up with 178 yards; Hagan with 118.

Neither was around in the fourth quarter thanks, in part, to Turnover No. 4 a fumble by Tony Sands late in the third quarter that came on the heels of a 64-yard TD jaunt by Flannigan.

SANDS' FUMBLE was followed minutes later by still another CU touchdown. In the span of seconds on the scoreboard clock, Colorado's lead had grown from 28-3 to 42-3.

"We made far too many mistakes," Mason said, sounding a familiar refrain. "Where we are we can't make mistakes against teams we're equal with."

Kansas clearly isn't in the same league with the unbeaten and third-ranked Buffs, but it didn't seem that way in the first half when Kansas controlled the ball six minutes longer than Colorado.

"We had a lot of kids play hard, baby," Mason stressed. "I thought we had a chance to go in at halftime down 14-10. Our kids played hard."

Someone suggested Kansas should be proud that Colorado punter Tom Rouen had to kick four times after punting just once in the Buffs' last two games against Missouri and Iowa State.

"I don't want anybody to think we got a moral victory because the Colorado punter got a lot of work," Mason said, "or because Colorado had to wear pads in the second half.

"We played hard, but I'm greedy. I don't want to say we played great and had three turnovers. I want to say we played great and didn't have any turnovers."

Those turnovers contributed to the most points ever scored by Colorado against a Kansas team. And the 32-point margin was the largest in the 49 games played between the two schools.

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