KANSAS CITY – For the third straight year, the winner of the Missouri-Kansas game wasn't determined until the final minutes.
Saturday in Kansas City, senior defensive lineman Brian Coulter tackled Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing for a safety that cut the Jayhawk lead to one point with less than three minutes to go.
The following Missouri drive set up sophomore Grant Ressel's game-winning 27-yard field goal as time expired.
Missouri beat Kansas 41-39.
"It was wonderful," Ressel said. "I was a little nervous. I was trying not to think about it too much and just make it like a normal kick for me. It's kind of hard not to think about the consequences if you miss."
Missouri's defense, which struggled to contain the Kansas passing game early, got big plays late. Before Coulter's safety, an intentional grounding penalty against Kansas was forced by linebacker Andrew Gachkar's pressure in the fourth quarter.
Kansas was forced to kick a field goal instead of going for a touchdown that might have put the game out of Missouri's reach.
"It was a big play just to get our defense off the field," cornerback Carl Gettis said. "When we needed a big play, Andrew came through."
The Tigers trailed 21-13 at the half.
"It was real frustrating," defensive end Aldon Smith said. "You get so close and then he keeps throwing the ball, throwing the ball.
Missouri wideout Danario Alexander and Kansas receiver Dezmon Briscoe put on a show. Alexander had 181 yards of receiving in the third quarter alone.
- Alexander: 15 catches for 233 yards.
- Briscoe: 14 catches for 242 yards.
Alexander gave Missouri its first lead of the game by shifting away from a defender after a catch and sprinting downfield for a score, to the delight of his fans.
Later in the third quarter, Briscoe did the same thing.
Missouri improved to 8-4 and will await selection for a bowl game. Kansas (5-7) ended its season with its seventh straight loss.