Jayhawks Open The 2012 Season With South Dakota State Saturday

Aug. 28, 2012

Game Information
Game 1: Kansas vs. South Dakota State
Time 6 p.m. (CT)
Location Lawrence, Kan.
Stadium Memorial Stadium
Series Kansas leads, 1-0
Television Jayhawk Television Network
Radio Jayhawk Radio Network
Sirius 104
Live Audio AT&T Jayhawk All-Access
Live Video AT&T Jayhawk All-Access
Live Stats GameTracker
Live Blog Gameday Central
Notes Kansas
South Dakota State Get     Acrobat  Reader
Big 12 Conference Get     Acrobat  Reader
Depth Chart Kansas South Dakota State

Rally Towel Giveaway
Junior Jayhawks Free Admission

Top Performers*
Rushing (YPG-TDs)
KU – Tony Pierson 36.0 – 3
SDSU – Tyrel Kool 48.5 – 4
Passing (YPG-TDs)
KU – None
SDSU – Austin Sumner 238.2 – 16
Receiving (YPG – TDs)
KU – D.J. Beshears 36.4 – 3
SDSU – Aaron Rollin 82.4 – 7
Tackles (U-A-T)
KU – Bradley McDougald 67-23-90
SDSU – Andy Mink 25-50-75
Interceptions (No.)
KU – McDougald/Brown 2
SDSU – Winston Wright 3

*Stats from 2011 season, active players

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas football will open the 2012 season with a home tilt versus South Dakota State on Saturday, Sept. 1 at 6 p.m., in Memorial Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on the Jayhawk IMG Television Network.

Kansas fans can also watch Jayhawks’ season-opener vs. SDSU on AT&T Jayhawk All-Access, the next of nearly 400 events to air in 2012-13 on KU’s online network via kuathletics.com. This marks the ninth consecutive year that AT&T Jayhawk All-Access will broadcast Kansas Athletics events either with video, audio or both.

In addition to the football season opener, Kansas football fans who subscribe to AT&T All-Access can also see:
– Charlie Weis’ weekly press conferences – Football weekly television show

KU Football Fans who subscribe may also listen to:
– The complete radio broadcasts of KU football, including pre- and post-game shows and post-game interviews with Charlie Weis
– Hawk Talk with Charlie Weis

Kansas football fans can subscribe to Jayhawk All-Access by going to www.kuathletics.com and clicking on the AT&T Jayhawk All-Access button on the right. Jayhawk All-Access subscriptions are only $9.95 per month or $79.95 per year.

Kansas will open the Charlie Weis era returning 46 letterwinners, including 12 starters, from the 2011 season. The Jayhawks added 27 signees to the roster, including fifth-year transfers Dayne Crist (QB, Notre Dame), Anthony McDonald (LB, Notre Dame), Mike Ragone (TE, Notre Dame) and Josh Williams(DL, Nebraska).

What To Watch For …
– Kansas (0-0 overall, 0-0 Big 12) will open its 123nd season of college football, and its first under head coach Charlie Weis, when it hosts South Dakota State on Saturday, Sept. 1 at 6 p.m.
– The Jayhawks boast an all-time record of 572-569-58 (.501 winning percentage).
– Kansas is 68-47-7 (.586 winning percentage) in season openers. The Jayhawks are also 87-31-4 (.729 winning percentage) in season openers at home.
– Kansas is opening its season at home for the 10th-straight year (7-2 in last nine home openers).
– The Jayhawks have won seven of their last eight season openers dating back to the 2004 campaign.
– KU has won 24 of its last 26 non-conference home games dating back to the start of the 2003 season.
– KU is 23-11 in its last 34 home games, including a 2-4 home record in 2011.
– KU is 24-5 in its last 29 games against non-Big 12 opponents, including bowl victories against Houston (2005), Virginia Tech (2007 season) and Minnesota (2008).
– KU is 3-1 all time in games played on Sept. 1 with wins against Houston (1994), Missouri State (2001) and Central Michigan (2007) and a loss at Virginia (1990).
– Kansas has a 1-0 mark all-time versus South Dakota State having collected a convincing, 86-6, win over the Jackrabbits on Oct. 11, 1947 in Lawrence.

Kansas Head Coach Charlie Weis
Charlie Weis(Notre Dame, 1978) is in his first season at the Kansas helm, after being named the University’s 37th head football coach on Dec. 9, 2011. Weis arrives at Kansas after spending the 2011 season as the offensive coordinator at the University of Florida. Prior to that he spent the 2010 season in the same position for the Kansas City Chiefs, where he helped guide the team to a playoff appearance and mentor three Chiefs players to Pro Bowl Honors. Weis came to KC after spending five seasons as the head coach at his alma mater, Notre Dame. During his five seasons in South Bend, Weis compiled a 35-27 mark, leading the Irish to back-to-back BCS Bowl Games in 2005 and 2006. Weis has coached 16 years in the NFL and owns four Super Bowl rings, three as the offensive coordinator with the New England Patriots (2001, 2003, 2004) and one as a defensive/special teams assistant with the New York Giants (1990).

South Dakota State Head Coach John Stiegelmeier
Coach Stiegelmeier has led the Jackrabbits to an 93-72 record (.563 winning percentage) as he begins his 16th year at the helm of the program. SDSU has posted eight winning seasons in the last 10 years, including six of the school’s first eight campaigns at the FCS (formerly Division I-AA) level. The Jackrabbits have had a winning record in 11 of Stiegelmeier’s 15 years as head coach. The 2009 season proved to be a memorable one as Stiegelmeier led the Jackrabbits to their first FCS playoff appearance and the program’s first postseason appearance in 30 years. During the 2007 season, SDSU claimed its first conference title since 1963 by winning the Great West Football Conference championship. In leading SDSU to the GWFC title, Stiegelmeier was named conference coach of the year and was honored by the American Football Coaches Association as the Division I Football Championship Subdivision Region 5 Coach of the Year.

South Dakota State Scouting Report
The Jackrabbits return 16 starters — nine on offense, six on defense and one on special teams – from last year’s squad that tied for fourth place in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. They were picked sixth in the MVFC preseason poll. Sophomore QB Austin Sumner was named MVFC Freshman of the Year in 2011 after passing for 2,382 yards and 16 touchdowns. Senior nosetackle Andy Mink returns as the leading tackler for the Jackrabbit defense. Mink tallied 75 tackles in 2011, including 8.5 TFLs for minus 40 yards. Mink also forced two fumbles and had 6.0 sacks for minus 31 yards.

Kansas-South Dakota St. Connections
South Dakota State junior DL Doug Peete is a native of nearby Olathe, Kan. Peete was a high school teammate of KU sophomore linebacker Victor Simmonsat Olathe North HS. SDSU has five other players from the Kansas City area in Lee’s Summit, Mo., natives Aaron Rollin, Dom Wright and Winston Wright, Kansas City, Mo., native Auston LaBlance and Parkville, Mo., native Jay Carlson. Kansas does not have any South Dakota natives on its roster in 2012.

Returning Starters Highlight Jayhawk Roster
OFFENSE (6) (2011 starts/career starts)
RT Tanner Hawkinson (12/36) … Three-year starter … Spent his first two seasons as the starter at left tackle, but started all 12 games in 2011 at right tackle … Has started a team-best 36 consecutive games … Was a freshman All-America selection.
LG Duane Zlatnik (12/21) … Started 20-straight games at right guard after playing on the defensive line in 2009 … Also has one start at left guard … Earned 2011 Honorable Mention All-Big 12 Honors.
C Trevor Marrongelli (12/18) … Started all 12 games at left guard in 2011 … Named KU Offensive Player of the Week vs. Oklahoma … Earned Academic All-District honors and was named to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team for the third-straight year.
RB James Sims (12/16) … Started all 12 games as a sophomore, and led team with 727 yards and nine touchdowns on 182 rushes … His 60.6 ypg ranked ninth among Big 12 players in 2011.
WR D.J. Beshears (6/12) … Started six games at wide receiver … Led KU and ranked fourth in the Big 12 in all-purpose yardage with 132.2 ypg … Named Big 12 and KU Special Teams Player of the Week (9-10-11) after collecting 285 all-purpose yards and the game winning touchdown versus Northern Illinois.
FB Nick Sizemore(2/2) … Played in 10 games, starting two (due to formations) at fullback in 2011 … Missed the final two games of the season with an injury … Did not record any offensive statistics, but collected six tackles on special teams.

DEFENSE (6) (2011 starts/career starts)
DE/LB Toben Opurum (12/21) … Started all 12 games at the “Buck” (defensive end) position … Ranked sixth on the team in tackles with 45, including 27 solos … Led KU and ranked 10th in the Big 12 with 10.5 TFLs for minus 55 yards … Recorded 4.0 sacks and seven quarterback hurries … Moved to defense after leading KU in rushing in 2009.
CB Greg Brown (12/17) … Started all 12 games in 2011 and has now made 17-straight starts at CB … Ranked seventh on the team with 43 tackles … Tied for the team lead with two interceptions … Recorded three pass break ups.
S Bradley McDougald (12/14) … Played in all 12 games, starting nine at strong safety and three at free safety … Finished second on the team and 12th in the Big 12 with 90 tackles on the year … Tied for the team lead with two interceptions, including one for a return of 57 yards and a TD versus Missouri … Also has eight career starts at wide receiver.
DL Keba Agostinho (12/12) … Was KU’s starter in all 12 games at defensive end … Recorded 31 tackles on the year, including 1.0 TFL … Recorded one forced fumble.
DE/LB Darius Willis (12/12) … Started all 12 games at “Mike” linebacker … Finished third on the team with 81 tackles on the season … Recorded a season’s best 10 tackles versus Oklahoma … Ranked second on the team with 8.0 TFLs.
LB Tunde Bakare (6/6) … Played in all 12 games, starting at “Sam” linebacker in six contests (due to formation) … Was fifth on the team in tackles with 51 on the season … Recorded 1.0 TFL, one quarterback hurry and one pass break up … Had a career-best 11 tackles at Texas.
CB Tyler Patmon(7/16) … Played in all 12 games … Started at nickel back in seven contests … Recorded 43 tackles, while adding 10 pass break ups … Had one interception and returned it 42 yards versus Missouri … Recorded 2.0 TFLs and two quarterback hurries.

Team Captains
On April 24, Charlie Weis announced the team captains for the 2012 season. This year’s permanent team captains include: on offense, QB Dayne Crist and LT Tanner Hawkinson and on defense, DE/LB Toben Opurum. All three players are seniors and Opurum is one of just 15 players at Kansas to be named a team captain for more than one season. Opurum was also named a team captain for the 2011 season.

Early TV Slate
The time for Kansas’ first three games of the 2012 season have been set by the Big 12 Conference office. Kansas’ season-opener versus South State will be televised on the Jayhawk IMG TV Network, and will also be streamed live on AT&T Jayhawk All-Access and kicks off at 6 p.m. The Jayhawks’ Sept. 8 game versus Rice will have a 2:30 p.m., start time with a live broadcast on Fox Sports Net. KU will then kick-off at 11 a.m. (Central), when it plays host to Big 12 rival TCU on Saturday, Sept. 15. The KU-TCU game will be televised live on FX.

Potential First Time Starters
According to the depth chart, several Kansas players could be making their first career starts Saturday. Among them are QB Dayne Crist, TE Mike Ragone, TE Trent Smiley, OL Aslam Sterling, OL Gavin Howard, DL Jordan Tavai, DL Josh Williams and LB Ben Heeney.

Beshears’ Happy Returns
Kansas senior wide receiver D.J. Beshearshas had back-to-back outstanding seasons handling the kickoff return duties for the Jayhawks. Beshears led the Big 12 in kick return yards (1,014) and was third in all-purpose yards (1,587) in 2011. Additionally, he ranked 11th in the NCAA in kick return yards. His 1,014 kick return yards are the most by a Jayhawk in a single season, and he ranks second at KU in career kickoff return yards with 1,936 entering his final season in a Crimson and Blue uniform.

Jayhawks Making The Grade
The University of Kansas football team set a team record for the 2012 spring semester with a 3.0 grade-point average, and the department’s overall GPA of 2.99 was its fourth-highest in history. The football program’s previous high mark was a 2.75 in the spring of 2010. Four of the 35 KU student-athletes with a 4.0 were football players, heading the list of 36 football players who achieved a 3.0 or higher. Of those 36, 14 (including the four 4.0’s) earned head coach Charlie Weis’sdesignation of “Dean’s List” with GPA’s of over 3.5.

Son Of A Gun
Several members of the Kansas football team come from extremely strong football bloodlines. One Jayhawk is the son of a current collegiate head football coach and a second player’s father is an assistant coach at the collegiate level. Sophomore WR Connor Embree’s father Jon is in his second year as the head coach at Colorado. Additionally senior RB Ryan Burton’s father, Ron, is the defensive line coach at Air Force. Also to be noted is special teams quality control coach Kyle Brey is the son of Notre Dame head men’s basketball coach Mike Brey, while Charlie Weis, Jr., student-manager/offensive assistant, is the son of KU head coach Charlie Weis.

Wounded Hawks Return
A couple of veteran players did not play, or saw limited action due to injury in 2011, but are returning to the Jayhawk line up in 2012. The following are capsules for those players: – WR Daymond Patterson… Injured leg in 2011 season opener and sat out remainder of the season. – DL John Williams… Started first two games of 2011 season before suffering season-ending injury.

Rock Chalk Chant Tops Coolest Football Sayings
The world famous Kansas Rock Chalk Chant has been named the No. 1 coolest football saying according to the Bleacher Report. Bleacher Report columnist Alex Callos ranked the top 50 coolest football sayings and wrote this about KU’s: “The chant may be great at basketball games, but it is also goosebump-worthy at football games.” Part of Kansas Athletics tradition for more than 100 years, the Rock Chalk Chant was first followed by Notre Dame’s Play Like a Champion, Oklahoma’s Boomer Sooner, Alabama’s Roll Tide and Marshall’s We Are Marshall rounding out his top five.

Up Next
The Jayhawks will host Rice on Saturday, Sept. 8, at 2:30 p.m., in a game televised by Fox Sports Net. Prior to taking on KU, the Owls will open the season on Aug. 30, when they play host to UCLA.