Kansas Opens Big 12 Play Hosting New Member TCU Saturday
Sept. 11, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas (1-1 overall, 0-0 Big 12) will attempt to pick up its first Big 12 Conference win under first year head coach Charlie Weis, when it hosts #15/16 TCU (1-0, 0-0 Big 12) on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 11 a.m. Saturday’s game versus TCU will mark the Horned Frogs’ first outing as a member of the Big 12 Conference and, likewise, KU’s first meeting against TCU as conference rivals. The Jayhawks and Horned Frogs will meet up at Memorial Stadium in a game televised by FX.
What To Watch For …
– KU’s defense has forced eight turnovers in the first two games. The Jayhawks have recovered three fumbles and picked off five passes. Kansas leads the Big 12 in forced turnovers after two games.
– Jayhawk senior FS Bradley McDougald recorded two interceptions in KU’s season-opening win over SDSU, giving him three picks in his last three outings. McDougald ranks first in the Big 12 and third nationally in INTs with two in 2012.
– KU has two halfbacks (Tony Pierson and Taylor Cox) averaging 100 or more yards per game. Kansas and Nevada are the only two programs in the country to have multiple players average 100+ yards rushing per game.
– KU is 3-4 all time in games played on Sept. 15–including back-to-back games versus Toledo in 2006 and 2007.
– Kansas trails in the all-time series with TCU 8-16-4, however, the Jayhawks have been victorious in each of the last three meetings with the Horned Frogs. TCU leads the series 7-6 in games played in Lawrence, but has not recorded a win at Memorial Stadium since claiming a 6-3 victory on Sept. 22, 1962.
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, who 1-1 in his first two outings at the helm of the program, arrived 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).
TCU Head Coach Gary Patterson
Despite losing 26 seniors to graduation off his Rose Bowl championship team, Patterson led a 2011 TCU squad to a third-consecutive Mountain West championship. Patterson will look to continue the momentum when he guides TCU into Big 12 play in 2012. With a 11-2 record in 2011 and a season-opening win over Grambling, Patterson has 110 career victories to pass Dutch Meyer as TCU’s all-time winningest coach. Patterson’s .785 winning percentage (110-30) is fourth among active coaches nationally with a minimum of five years of experience. He is also one of just eight active coaches to have won at least 100 games at their current school. In 2010, Patterson guided the Horned Frogs to an undefeated season and Rose Bowl championship. TCU finished second in the final polls with a 13-0 record, its first perfect campaign since winning the national championship in 1938. In 11 seasons as a head coach, Patterson has coached 149 All-Conference selections, 14 first-team All-Americans, 13 Freshman All-Americans and two Academic All-Americans. A Rozel, Kan., native, Patterson graduated from Kansas State in 1983.
TCU Scouting Report
The Horned Frogs enter Saturday’s contest at Kansas with a 1-0 mark after dominating Grambling, 56-0, in their season opener on Sept. 8. TCU’s defense held the Tigers to just 70 yards of total offense, while the Horned Frog offense put up 531 yards of offense in the win. The TCU offense is led by QB Casey Pachall. Pachall did not record a miss versus Grambling, completing all nine of his passing attempts for 201 yards and three TDs. He connected with WR Josh Boyce for a 66-yard score as Boyce led the TCU receivers with four catches for 102 yards and two TDs. The Horned Frogs used a balanced rushing attack as Waymon James had five carries for 69 yards and a TD and B.J. Catalon had 13 rushes for 63 yards. Deante’ Gray opened up the scoring for TCU with a 70-yard punt return for a TD. Gray finished the game with five punt returns for 160 yards. The Horned Frog defense was led by Paul Dawson with six stops, while Devonte Fields, Kenny Cain and Joel Hasley each had five tackles. TCU had 6.0 TFLs for minus 29 yards in the win, including 3.0 sacks for a loss of 24 yards. Elisha Olabode recorded an interception for the Horned Frogs’ lone turnover forced, but the secondary had four other pass break ups on the night.
TCU head coach Gary Patterson is a Kansas native–calling his hometown Rozel, Kan. Additionally, there are three Horned Frogs who are native Kansans in Blaize and Brady Foltz of Rose Hill and Tyler Matthews of McPherson. Kansas assistant coach Buddy Wyattis a 1990 graduate of TCU. Wyatt earned four letters as a defensive lineman for the Horned Frogs, while picking up his degree in education. Wyatt began his coaching career as a graduate assistant working with the defensive line at TCU in 1991.
Fort Worth Jayhawks
Kansas has one player from Fort Worth, in sophomore halfback/fullback Marquise Jackson. Jackson attended Arlington Heights High School. A total of 35 Jayhawks hail from the state of Texas, with five others coming from the Arlington and Irving areas between Dallas and Fort Worth. Dexter Linton, Damon Martin and Christian Matthews are each from Arlington, while Ray Mitchell and James Simsare Irving natives.
-Pierson became the first Jayhawk to rush for 100-plus yards in back-to-back games since James Sims did it the first two games of the 2011 season.
-Sophomore TE Jimmay Mundine’s first quarter touchdown catch was his first TD reception of the season and second of his career. He caught at TD pass last year against Kansas State (10.22.11).
-Freshman LB Schyler Miles’ touchdown in the second quarter was the first of his career.
-Kansas entered Saturday’s game tied for the NCAA lead with four interceptions and had one against Rice. Dating back to last season, in KU’s last three games the Jayhawks have had six interceptions.
-In just two games, Kansas has five interceptions. KU only had eight INTs in all of 2011.
-Senior CB Greg Brown’s interception in the first quarter was his first of the season and fourth of his career. His previous INT was against Missouri in the 2011 season finale.
-Senior DE/LB Toben Opurum’sfumble recovery in the first quarter was the first of his career. He also forced the same fumble, his first FF of 2012 and third FF of his career.
Opurum and Doherty Honored By CFPA
Kansas senior DE/LB Toben Opurum and junior K/P Ron Dohertywere honored for their play in KU’s game versus Rice. For their efforts, Opurum was honored by the College Football Performance Awards as an honorable mention defensive lineman of the week, while Doherty was cited by the CFPA as an honorable mention punter of the week. Opurum recorded three tackles in the game, including a sack for a loss of seven yards. He also forced and recovered a fumble on the sack. Doherty only punted twice during the game, but nailed both of them as he averaged 50.5 yards per punt versus Rice.
Punt Team Performing Well
KU’s special teams have showed improvement in several areas, in particular the punt team. Kansas junior punter Ron Dohertyhas performed well, booting the ball eight times for an average of 46.9 yards per punt. He recorded a new career long punt with a 63 yarder in the first half of KU’s win over South Dakota State. Doherty ranks eighth in the NCAA in punting. Additionally, KU has only given up four punt returns for a combined zero yards.
Defense Turning It Over
The Kansas defense is off to a good start in regards to forcing turnovers. KU ranks first in the Big 12 with eight miscues forced–five interceptions and three fumbles. Seven different players have been involved in the turnovers forced as senior free safety Bradley McDougald is the only player to double up as of yet with two interceptions. Other players having forced an interception are CB Greg Brown, CB Tyler Patmon and CB Corrigan Powell. DE/LB Toben Opurum, DL Josh Williams and WR Josh Fordhave each caused a fumble through the first two games.
Thunder And Lightning
Jayhawk halfbacks Tony Pierson and Taylor Coxare each averaging 100 or more yards on the season after the first two games. Pierson ranks 17th nationally and fourth in the Big 12 with 122.0 yards per game, while Cox is not far behind him ranking 34th in the NCAA and sixth in the Big 12 with 100.0 yards per game. Both players eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark in the season-opening win over South Dakota State as Pierson had 124 yards and Cox had 121. Pierson turned in a second 100-yard rushing performance as he had 120 yards against Rice, while Cox had 79 versus the Owls.
When halfbacks Tony Pierson and Taylor Coxeach rushed for more than 100 yards versus South Dakota State, it marked the 18th time in KU history two or more players had hit the century mark in rushing in the same game. Pierson and Cox combined for 245 rushing yards, which ranks 10th among Kansas’ 18 games with multiple 100-yard rushers. On one occasion KU had three players rush for more than 100 yards. In 1975, Dennis Wright (113), Norris Banks (120) and Laverne Smith, Jr. (236) joined forces to account for 469 rushing yards in a win over Missouri.
It had been nearly eight seasons since KU had recorded multiple blocks in the kicking game, but the Jayhawks came storming out of the gates in the special teams–recording two blocked punts in the 2012 season-opening win over SDSU. Junior WR Chris Omigie was able to get to the punter in the first quarter, while junior WR Josh Fordwas able to block a punt in the second quarter and recover it at the SDSU seven yard line. Ford’s block and recovery led to a KU field goal just before the end of the first half. The Jayhawks scored a TD on the ensuing possession following Omigie’s block.
Kansas has had 17 players see game action for the first time in a Jayhawk uniform in 2012. Seven offensive players, seven defensive players and three specialists have made their way on to Kivisto Field first time in their KU careers. The following are the players who have made their official Jayhawk debut: Offense – Dylan Admire (OL), Taylor Cox (HB), Dayne Crist (QB), Josh Ford (WR), Aslam Sterling (OL), Tre’ Parmalee (WR), Mike Ragone (TE)–Defense – Ben Goodman (DL), Jake Love (LB), Schyler Miles (LB), Keon Stowers (DL), Jordan Tavai (DL), Josh Williams (DL), Tyree Williams (CB)–Specialists – Blake Jablonski (H/QB), Nick Prolago (K) and Reilly Jeffers(SN).
McDougald Honored By CFPA
Kansas senior free safety Bradley McDougald had an outstanding game in KU’s win over South Dakota State. For his efforts, McDougald was honored by the College Football Performance Awards as an honorable mention defensive back of the week. McDougald hauled in two interceptions in the win over the Jackrabbits, becoming the first KU player have more than one pick in a game since Darrell Stuckeygrabbed two in KU’s season finale in 2008. McDougald also had six tackles, including five solo stops, and one TFL for minus one yard.
First Time Starters
Nine Jayhawk players have picked up their first career start at KU in 2012. The following players have opened the game on the field in a game this season: Offense – Dayne Crist (QB), Aslam Sterling (RG), Gavin Howard (RT), Trent Smiley (TE), Mike Ragone (TE)–Defense – Jordan Tavai (N), Josh Williams (DE), Ben Heeney (MLB) and Prinz Kande(SLB).
Follow Kansas Football on AT&T Jayhawk All-Access
Kansas fans will be able to watch the Jayhawks’ football season-opener vs. South Dakota State on AT&T Jayhawk All-Access, the first of more than 200 events to air in 2012-13 on KU’s online network via kuathletics.com. This marks the eighth 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
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.
Crist In Rare Company
Kansas quarterback Dayne Cristis one of just five signal callers who are starting at quarterback for a school where there are no returning players with starts at that position. Crist, who started 10 games at Notre Dame, is the only player on the KU roster with any starting experience at the QB position. San Diego State, SMU, Tulsa and Wisconsin are the other four schools whose only starting experience at QB comes from a player who has transferred into its program.
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. A fourth captain will be selected for each game–aside from the season opener–based on special teams play from the previous game.
Kansas football has seven players on its roster in 2012 who already have one undergraduate degree in hand. Three players have already earned a degree from KU, as Brandon Hawks, Trevor Marrongelli and Daymond Patterson each walked down the hill in either the spring or summer of 2012. Four other Jayhawks earned degrees at their previous institutions before arriving at KU–Notre Dame grads Dayne Crist, Anthony McDonald and Mike Ragone and Nebraska grad Josh Williams.
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.
Strength of Schedule
Kansas’ 2012 schedule is widely considered one of the toughest in the NCAA. According to multiple media outlets, KU has one of the top five toughest schedules in the nation. The Jayhawks’ entire October schedule is filled with teams ranked in the preseason Top 25, while nine of its 12 opponents are either ranked or receiving votes.
Hawkinson Anchors Experienced Line
Senior LT Tanner Hawkinson is returning to the left side of the offensive line after starting all 12 games at the right tackle position in 2011. After redshirting in 2008, Hawkinson has been a mainstay for KU’s line, starting 36-straight games entering Saturday’s contest versus South Dakota State. He is joined by fellow seniors Duane Zlatnik (RG) and Trevor Marrongelli(C) as the veterans up front. Zlatnik has 21 starts to his credit, while Marrongelli has 18 starts.
Jayhawk Melting Pot
The 2012 Kansas football roster features players from 20 different states. Texas is the largest supplier of players, as 35 Jayhawks call it their home. There are 24 Sunflower State natives on the KU roster, while California ranks third with six Jayhawks hailing from the Golden State. Five different states (Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio and Oklahoma) have produced three or more Jayhawks on the 2012 roster.
Four Jayhawks Awarded Scholarships
At the conclusion of 2012 Fall Camp, head coach Charlie Weis had a few scholarships remaining of the team’s total of 85 and he decided to reward a quartet of KU’s hard working walk-ons with one-year grants. Seniors Ryan Burton (RB) and Brandon Hawks (S) and juniors Justin Carnes (SN) and Shane Smith(DL) were each put on scholarship for the 2012-13 school year.
Kansas head coach Charlie Weis, who has 16 years of NFL coaching experience, has an amazing record of sending his collegiate players to the NFL. Weis has had 24 of the players he coached collegiately get drafted by an NFL team. Additionally, one of his top players from his time at Notre Dame, Jeff Samardzija, was drafted in the fifth round of the 2006 MLB Draft and is currently a starting pitcher fo rthe Chicago Cubs.
The Jayhawks will hit the road for the first time during the 2012 season as they will travel to DeKalb, Ill., for a battle at Northern Illinois. KU edged NIU, 45-42, in 2011 as D.J. Beshears hauled in the winning TD with nine seconds left on the clock. Game time is slated for 2:30 p.m., with a live telecast on ESPN3.