Colorado running back Rodney Stewart (5) runs for a touchdown during the second half Saturday.
Colorado running back Rodney Stewart (5) runs for a touchdown during the second half Saturday. ( Orlin Wagner )
LAWRENCE, Kan. -- The best performance in what is becoming a standout career for Colorado running back Rodney Stewart was somewhat lost amid the rubble of an epic collapse on the football field here Saturday.

Stewart was a big factor in leading the Buffs to a 35-10 halftime lead and a 45-17 advantage early in the fourth quarter, but the junior nicknamed "Speedy" wasn`t able to provide the kind of tough yardage a team has to have when the opponent knows what coming.

Stewart finished with a career best 175 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns in the loss, but only 14 of those yards came in the fourth quarter and eight of them came on the first play of the quarter when he scored his third touchdown.

"We was trying to get a big play," Stewart said when asked why the Buffs didn`t stick more with the run when Kansas began to rally. "We needed a momentum shifter. If throwing the ball was going to get it, you know I was fine with that.

"... It`s not my decision."

Stewart moved into 10th place on the Colorado career rushing list with 2,338 yards to his credit. He passed former CU rushing stalwarts such as Cortlen Johnson, Lamont Warren and Lee Rouson.

He also had 44 receiving yards in the game, giving him 219 all-purpose yards. It was the first time in his career he has eclipsed 200 yards in that category.

"We`re mad, we`re pretty upset," Stewart said, describing the mood in the locker room following a historic come-from-behind win by the Jayhawks. "A lot of guys in tears. Nobody likes losing, especially when you should have had the game won."

Hawkins passes

Kordell Stewart

Cody Hawkins completed 29 of 44 passes for 322 yards against the Jayhawks and moved into second place in career passing yardage ahead of Kordell Stewart.

Hawkins also passed Joel Klatt in career passing attempts to become the program`s all-time leader in that category. Hawkins is already CU`s career leader in touchdown passes and interceptions. He added to those marks Saturday as well.

Klatt is the only player remaining ahead of Hawkins in career passing yards. Hawkins has 6,778 passing yards. Klatt has 7,375.

Statistic of note

Kansas converted 11 of 16 third down attempts becoming the first CU opponent in 22 games to convert more than 50 percent.

Notable

Freshman place-kicker Justin Castor returned to action kicking off several times against the Jayhawks. His only previous action was a blocked field goal attempt a month ago at Missouri. ... Tight end DaVaughn Thornton made his first career reception for a touchdown with 3 seconds remaining in the first half. ... Scotty McKnight extended his streak of consecutive games with at least one reception to 45 consecutive regular season games and 46 games overall.