Reesing, Meier, Briscoe fuel Kansas' aerial attack

BY foxsports • October 14, 2009

For example, Dezmon Briscoe was the leading pass receiver in Kansas history last week for about 15 minutes.

Then teammate Kerry Meier caught up in the second quarter against Iowa State and Meier became the leading pass receiver in Kansas history.

But Meier may not hold the record long, given Briscoe's big-play ability and the way the ball is being flung around by Todd Reesing, the leading passer in Kansas history.

The Jayhawks (5-0, 1-0 Big 12) occupy a unique position in college football these days. Their quarterback and top two wide receivers are the most productive the school has ever had - and they're all on the field at the same time.

"It's hard to believe there's a better pitch-and-catch group in the country than those guys," said coach Mark Mangino. "I'd be hard-pressed to find a better one."

In the entire country? That's bold talk coming from a program that only last year made back-to-back bowl appearances for the first time.

Yet Reesing, a 5-foot-11 senior who got scholarship offers from only two schools, is coming off his second career 400-yard passing day and ranks fourth among active quarterbacks with a career average of 269.3 yards per game. He holds the school record with 9,157 yards passing and 81 touchdowns.

And he's throwing to a couple of big, athletic seniors who rank in the nation's top 10 in receptions per game and in the top 21 in yards receiving. No other school has two receivers so high up the charts.

"I don't think you can find a duo who's better than them," said Reesing. "If you do, I'll challenge and say that they're not."

Meier, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound native of Pittsburg, Kan., started eight games at quarterback as a freshman but was beaten out in 2007 by Reesing, who happens to be one of his closest friends.

A few weeks later, Mangino decided Meier was "too good an athlete to stand next to me," and began teaching him how to play wide receiver.

While Meier was becoming - at least temporarily - the Jayhawks' all-time leading receiver last week with 167 receptions, the 6-3, 202-pound Briscoe was becoming the school's career leader with 2,420 yards receiving.

Going into their game this week at Colorado, Briscoe is second in the country with 129.25 yards receiving per game and Meier is fourth with 8.60 receptions.

He and Meier had shared the school record for catches in a game with 14 until Meier caught 16 against the Cyclones.

It's a friendly duel the two look forward to waging all year long and will lead, they hope, to Kansas' first Big 12 championship.

"Sometimes it's my drive and they're hitting me a bunch of times," Meier said. "And sometimes it seems that it's (Briscoe's) drive and he's getting a bunch of balls. One guy sees the other guy do one thing, and then he's going to try to step up and do something better. I think that's good for us. Anytime we're going to try to push each other to make bigger and better plays, that's going to make our offense grow."

Safety Darrell Stuckey has been playing against the two in practice for four years and describes the task of stopping them as "containing the beast."

"They're both very competitive and they complement each other," said Stuckey.

"Dez is very explosive. He's going to be a receiver who confuses you, gets you to flip your hips too early or too late. He's going to try to humiliate you every single play.

"Kerry is that receiver who's going to find a hole in your defense. He's going to take advantage of that mismatch with linebackers or inexperienced players. Any time you have a vertical threat, which is Dez, and a lateral threat like Kerry who works in the middle of the field a lot, you're going to get those safeties to back up and work right in between them."

Week after week, the Jayhawks see different defensive plans and schemes.

"We have seen several different types of approaches from dropping eight, blitzing play after play, man concepts, two-deep zones, cover four," said Mangino. "We have seen a three-man rush and a lot of other things."

But so far, nobody has been able to "contain the beast."

"There's a lot of stuff left on the table for us to go and get individually and as a team collectively," said Meier. "We're excited where we're at. It's good for both of us. We're going to keep pushing each other and make ourselves better."

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