Jayhawks Host Texas Tech for Homecoming Game Saturday on FSN
Sept. 26, 2011
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas will enter Big 12 Conference play on Saturday, Oct. 1, when it plays host to Texas Tech at Memorial Stadium at 11 a.m. The Jayhawks are 2-1 on the season after, while Texas Tech enters the game with a 3-0. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Net with Bill Land and Dave Lapham on the call and Emily Jones reporting from the sidelines. An audio broadcast of the game is also available on AT&T Jayhawk All-Access or Sirius Satellite Radio channel 117.
Kansas will also be hosting Homecoming during the weekend with several activities planned. The K Club is holding its annual weekend with two former Jayhawk greats, baseball All-American Don Czyz and NCAA champion pole-vaulter Amy Linnen, being inducted into the Kansas Athletics Hall of Fame.
On Friday, Sept. 30, Czyz and Linnen will be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame and their pictures will be unveiled in a ceremony at the Booth Family Hall of Athletics at 11:45 a.m. The induction ceremony is open to the public. The following day, the duo will be recognized on the field during Kansas’ homecoming football game.
Additionally, the K Club will host a golf tournament at Alvamar Country Club Friday afternoon, followed by a social at The Oread Hotel. K Club members will meet for a tailgate on The Hill before attending the Kansas-Texas Tech football game.
Kansas Head Coach Turner Gill
Turner Gill (North Texas, 1990) is in his second season at the Kansas helm, after being named the University’s 36th head football coach on Dec. 13, 2009. He has guided KU to a 2-1 mark in 2011 and owns a 5-10 overall mark in his second season with the program. In his first year at Kansas, Gill took over a team that had lost its last seven games of the 2009 season. After a season-opening loss, Gill guided the Jayhawks to a 28-25 upset victory against then-No. 15 Georgia Tech. KU would win three games in his first year, including a thrilling 52-45 victory against Colorado in a game that KU trailed 45-17 in the fourth quarter. Gill came to Lawrence after spending the previous four seasons as the head coach at Buffalo (2006-09) where he turned a down program into a conference champion in his third year. Gill was a highly successful player and assistant coach at Nebraska for a combined 18 seasons before spending one year with the Green Bay Packers and then taking over at Buffalo.
Texas Tech Head Coach Tommy Tuberville
Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville has the Red Raiders off to a 3-0 mark in his second season with the program. In year one, Tuberville led the Red Raiders to an 8-5 record and became the first coach in school history to win a bowl game in his first season. Prior to arriving at TTU, Tuberville spent 10 seasons at Auburn, where he led the Tigers to 85 overall wins. Tuberville led Auburn to seven straight bowl appearances, including New Year’s Day bowl games in four of those years. Tuberville spent four seasons at Ole Miss in his first head coaching position, guiding the Rebels to a 25-20 mark during his time in Oxford. He had assistant coaching stops at Miami and Arkansas State after opening his coaching career at Hermitage (Ark.) High School. Tuberville is a 1976 graduate of Southern Arkansas University where he lettered as a free safety and also earned two letters as a member of the golf team.
Texas Tech Scouting Report
Texas Tech enters Saturday’s game with a 3-0 mark after knocking off Nevada, 35-34, in its last outing. The Red Raiders also have wins over Texas State and New Mexico. The Red Raiders have a potent offense that is averaging 523.3 yards per game. Seth Doege leads the TTU passing attack as he has completed 89-of-115 passes on the season, good for 949 yards and 11 TDs. Darrin Moore is the leading TTU receiver with 21 receptions for 339 yards, including four TDs. Fellow receiver Eric Ward has 16 catches for 144 yards and five TDs. Eric Stephens leads the Red Raider ground attack with 61 carries for 344 yards and five TDs. D.J. Johnson is the leading tackler for Texas Tech with 23 tackles through three games. Blake Dees ranks second on the team with 15 tackles including 3.0 TFLs.
Kansas has 38 Texas natives on its roster, however none of the Jayhawks hail from Lubbock. Texas Tech does not have any Kansas natives on its roster.
Follow Kansas Football on AT&T Jayhawk All-Access
Kansas fans were able to watch the Jayhawks’ football season-opener vs. McNeese State on AT&T Jayhawk All-Access, the first of more than 200 events to air in 2011-12 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:
-Turner Gill’s weekly press conferences
-Football weekly television show
KU Football Fans who subscribe may also listen to:
-The complete radio broadcasts of KU football, including the Jayhawk Network pre-game show, which starts 30 minutes prior to kickoff, and the 30-minute post-game show which includes an interview with Head Coach Turner Gill
-Hawk Talk with Turner Gill
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.
Georgia Tech Leftovers
-Freshman WR Marquis Jackson made his first career reception in the first quarter on a third-down play.
-Redshirt freshmen WR Andrew Turzilli and TE Jimmay Mundine recorded their first career catches in the fourth quarter.
-Turzilli’s 10-yard touchdown catch from Quinn Mecham with 2:24 left in the fourth quarter was the Jayhawks’ lone score in the second half and Turzilli’s first career touchdown.
-The Jayhawks went 7-for-10 on third down in the first half after going 13-for-18 on third down against Northern Illinois. The Jayhawks finished 9-of-17 for the game on third down.
-Freshman RB Darrian Miller scored both of KU’s first two touchdowns of the game, marking his first game with multiple scores.
-Junior WR D.J. Beshears recorded a 43-yard catch late in the first half, marking his longest career reception.
-Senior TE Tim Biere recorded a 28-yard reception late in the first half, which marked his longest of the season. It was his longest since a 32-yard catch against Texas A&M in 2010.
-Kansas was limited to a season-low 151 rushing yards and 362 yards overall.
-Junior S Bradley McDougald recorded his first career sack in the first quarter.
-Sophomore P/K Ron Doherty recorded a 44-yard punt which was downed inside the 10-yard line, marking his first of the year downed inside the 20.
Current Jayhawks vs. Texas Tech
Here is a look at current Jayhawks and their stats in games versus Texas Tech in 2008 and 2009: 2008–CB Daymond Patterson (1–2 punt returns, 1-0-1 tackles), CB Corrigan Powell (3-2-5 tackles); 2009–RB Toben Opurum (6-11 (1TD) rushing, 2-8 receiving), CB Daymond Patterson (3-2 punt returns, 2-0-2 tackles), WR/S Bradley McDougald (1-2 receiving, 1-0 punt returns, 5-76 kickoff returns, 1-38 interception return, 3-0-3 tackles, 1 INT), CB D.J. Beshears (4-0-4 tackles, 1 PD), S Lubbock Smith (3-1-4 tackles, 1 FR, 1 PD), Richard Johnson (3-0-3 tackles, 2.0-4 TFLs).
Webb Hitting The Mark
Kansas sophomore QB Jordan Webb has been extremely efficient in running the Jayhawk offense through the first three games of the 2011 season. Webb ranks second in the Big 12 and fifth nationally in passing efficiency. The Union, Mo., native has completed 39-of-59 passes on the season, good for 575 yards and six TDs. Additionally, Webb has yet to throw an interception, giving him a rating of 181.5. Webb has been especially impressive on third and long situations as he is 4-for-5 passing for 89 yards and two TDs on third down plays of 10 or more yards. All four of his completions have gone for 15-plus yards.
Two Jayhawks Lost For The Season
Kansas will be without the services of two starters for the remainder of the season as senior WR Daymond Patterson and junior DT John Williams suffered season-ending injuries. Patterson was injured late in the first half of KU’s season-opening win over McNeese State. The injury will cause him to miss the remainder of the season, but he will apply for a medical redshirt. Williams, who injured his knee in KU’s win over Northern Illinois, recently had surgery to repair a torn ACL and will return to the KU lineup for the 2012 season. Patterson entered the 2011 season as KU’s leading returning receiver and recorded three catches for 34 yards, including a TD in the season-opener before getting injured. Williams recorded four tackles prior to his injury.
Kansas is one of two teams in the nation that has played three games without recording an interception or throwing one. Only five other teams haven’t recorded an interception, while four haven’t thrown one. Utah State also has no interceptions offensively or defensively.
Beshears Doing It All
Kansas junior wide receiver/kick returner D.J. Beshears has been all over the field for KU. Beshears leads the Big 12 and ranks ninth nationally in all-purpose yardage. The Denton, Texas, native has three rushes for 29 yards, 12 receptions for 135 yards and 18 kickoff returns for 387 yards. Beshears is averaging 183.7 all-purpose yards per game and has recorded two TDs, both on receptions.
Johnson Dominates on D
Jayhawk senior LB Steven Johnson opened the 2011 season right where he left off at the end of the 2010 season, collecting double figures in tackles. Johnson was credited with a career-best 15 tackles versus McNeese State, including nine solo stops. He also had 2.0 TFLs for minus three yards and forced a fumble. Johnson has five double-figure tackle games in his career, including 11 in the Jayhawks’ last game versus Georgia Tech, giving him 10 or more tackles in three of his last four games. Johnson added five tackles in KU’s win over NIU, giving him 10.3 tackles per game on the season. He ranks second in the Big 12 and 18th in the NCAA in tackles.
Diversity on Display
Kansas has scored 15 touchdowns on the season, with nine different players getting in on the action. Sophomore RB James Sims and freshman RB Darrian Miller lead the way with three scores on the ground, while junior WR D.J. Beshears and freshman WR JaCorey Shepherd have each made two TD grabs. Also scoring TDs on the ground have been freshman RB Tony Pierson and sophomore QB Jordan Webb, while junior WR Kale Pick, redshirt freshman WR Andrew Turzilli and senior WR Daymond Patterson have each tallied a receiving TD.
Kansas second-year head coach Turner Gill has gone on the record in saying this year’s Kansas team will feature a more explosive, speedy attack and the Jayhawks have backed up his words. KU recorded five plays of 20 or more yards in its season-opening win over McNeese State and added five more in its win over Northern Illinois. Of KU’s 12 plays of more than 20 yards, four have resulted in TDs. The Jayhawks only managed 31 plays of more than 20 yards during the entire 2010 season, with only five of those plays going for touchdowns. Sophomore RB James Sims leads the way with seven plays that have gone for 20 or more yards. Freshman WR JaCorey Shepherd owns the team’s longest play of the season with a 56-yard TD catch.
Kansas recorded 301 yards on the ground in its season-opening win over McNeese State, marking its first 300 yard rushing game since it tallied 334 yards rushing in the 2008 season opener versus Northern Colorado. The Jayhawks followed that up with 253 yards rushing in their win over Northern Illinois. The KU rushing offense ranks third in the Big 12 and 10th nationally after three weeks of action as it is averaging 235.0 yards per game. Sophomore RB James Sims ranks 10th in the Big 12 and 59th nationally in rushing yards per game with 84.7 per game average.
Newcomers Put Up The Points
Of the nine true freshmen who have made their career debuts in KU’s first three outings, four have scored points. PK Alex Mueller leads the way among the freshmen in scoring as he has connected on all 15 of his PATs and has also booted two field goals. Mueller ranks first on the team with 21 points. RB Darrian Miller has three TDs on the ground, while fellow RB Tony Pierson has found the endzone one time. WR JaCorey Shepherd has two TDs receiving. Out of Kansas’ 111 points, 57 have been scored by true freshmen.
Third Down Efficiency
KU’s offense is sixth in the NCAA in third-down conversion at 57.45 percent. Kansas has converted on 27-of-47 third downs. Two of the three teams Kansas has played this season also rank in the top six nationally (Georgia Tech, first; Northern Illinois, third). Additionally, this week’s opponent, Texas Tech, ranks second in the NCAA in third-down efficiency.
Beshears Stars Against NIU
Kansas junior wide receiver/kick returner D.J. Beshears earned weekly honors from both the Big 12 and the Paul Hornung Award on Sept. 13 following the Northern Illinois game. Beshears was named the conference’s Special Teams Player of the Week and was one of six national honorees on the Paul Hornung Award Weekly Honor Roll. Beshears recorded 285 all-purpose yards and scored the game-winning touchdown in the final seconds as Kansas outlasted Northern Illinois, 45-42. He set career highs in kick return yardage (197), receptions (seven), receiving yards (70) and touchdown receptions (two). His 51-yard kickoff return set up KU’s final scoring drive. Beshears scored KU’s first touchdown of the game – a 15-yard pass from Jordan Webb in the first quarter – and also had an 18-yard run on KU’s decisive drive. The Kansas junior leads the Big 12 with 382 all-purpose yards, which includes a conference-best 283 yards in kick returns. This marks the second time that Beshears has been named Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week, also taking the honor on Sept. 27, 2010 after KU’s win over New Mexico State.
Kansas freshman WR JaCorey Shepherd had an outstanding game versus McNeese State as he caught three passes for 107 yards to lead the Jayhawks in receiving yards and tie for the team lead in receptions. Shepherd caught a 56-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Webb in the third quarter, which marked the longest pass play for the Jayhawks since 2009, when Dezmon Briscoe caught a 74-yard touchdown from Todd Reesing against Missouri. Shepherd’s 107 yards receiving made him the first Jayhawk freshman to record 100-plus receiving yards in a game since 1997 (Termaine Fulton, 138 vs. Texas). He followed that performance up with two catches for 29 yards in the first half against Northern Illinois, before sitting out the second half of play with an injury.
Opurum Turns Up The Pressure
Kansas junior DE Toben Opurum is off to a great start in his first full season playing at the Buck Linebacker/Defensive End position. Opurum leads KU and ranks second in the Big 12 with 5.5 TFLs for minus 14 yards through the first three games of the season. His 5.5 TFLs ranks eight in the NCAA. Opurum ranks second on the team in tackles as he has recorded 18 on the season, including 12 solo stops. He is one of four Jayhawks to have recorded a sack, along with S Bradley McDougald, LB Darius Willis and DE Pat Lewandowski.
Punt Team Shows Improvement
After struggling for much of the 2010 season with the punt team unit, Kansas has opened the 2011 campaign with great performances in that phase of the game in its first three outings. Led by sophomore P/K Ron Doherty, the Jayhawks lead the Big 12 and rank 11th nationally in net punting averaging 42.20 yards per punt. Doherty recorded a career-best 56-yard punt in Kansas’ win over Northern Illinois. Additionally, KU junior CB Greg Brown and redshirt freshman S Ray Mitchell have been named the team’s Special Teams Player of the Week for their performances on punt coverage.
First Time Starters
Several Kansas players have made their first career starts in KU’s first three games of the season, including FB Nick Sizemore, DE Keba Agostinho, LB Darius Willis, LB Tunde Bakare and FS Keeston Terry.
Through three games, Kansas has had 22 players participate for the first time in their collegiate career. In addition to first-time starters FB Nick Sizemore, LB Darius Willis and LB Tunde Bakare, the following players have played for the first time in their Kansas careers: WR Marquis Jackson, WR Andrew Turzilli, TE Jimmay Mundine, TE Trent Smiley, WR JaCorey Shepherd, RB Darrian Miller, RB Tony Pierson, RB Brandon Bourbon, LB Michael Reynolds, S Victor Simmons, LB Ben Heeney, DE Pat Lewandowski, CB Dexter McDonald, LB Isaac Wright, S Tyler Hill, S Ray Mitchell, LB Malcolm Walker, PK Alex Mueller and LS Tanner Gibas.
Son Of A Gun
Several members of the Kansas football team come from extremely strong football bloodlines. Two Jayhawks are the sons of current collegiate head football coaches and a third player’s father is an assistant coach at the collegiate level. Redshirt freshman WR Connor Embree’s father Jon is in his first year as the head coach at Colorado, while fellow redshirt freshman LB Jake Farley is the son of Mark Farley, who is beginning is 11th year as the head signal caller at Northern Iowa. Additionally sophomore 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.
On August 28, Turner Gill announced the team captains for the 2011 season. This year’s permanent team captains include: on offense, C Jeremiah Hatch and TE Tim Biere and on defense, LB Steven Johnson and DE Toben Opurum. Hatch, Biere and Johnson are seniors, while Opurum is a junior.
Wounded Hawks Return
A number of veteran players did not play, or saw limited action due to injury in 2010, but have returned to the Jayhawk line up in 2011. The following are capsules for those players:
– RB Rell Lewis… Injured leg in 2010 preseason and sat out all season.
– OL Trevor Marrongelli… Started first four games of 2010 season at OG this year before suffering season-ending injury.
– OL Jeff Spikes… Missed all of 2010 due to off-season lower leg injury after starting 23 games first two years.
– LB Huldon Tharp… 2009 freshman All-American missed all of 2010 with a lower leg injury.
Kansas fields one of the youngest rosters in the country in 2011 as it counts 71 one of its players as underclassmen. The 71 players who are either freshmen, redshirt freshmen or sophomores account for 70 percent of the squad. Of the 22 players listed as starters on offense and defense, seven Jayhawks are underclassmen, including sophomores DT Kevin Young, DE Keba Agostinho, LB Darius Willis, QB Jordan Webb, RB James Sims and FB Nick Sizemore along with redshirt freshman S Keeston Terry.
Kansas junior DE Toben Opurum earned honorable mention Defensive Linemen of the Week honors by the College Performance Awards for his efforts against McNeese State. Opurum tallied 11 tackles, including seven solo stops, versus the Cowboys. He led KU with 3.5 TFLs for minus eight yards, which included one sack for minus two yards. Additionally, Opurum was credited with two quarterback hurries. Opurum’s 3.5 TFLs leads the Big 12 and ties him for second nationally in the category.
The Jayhawks will hit the road as they travel to Stillwater, Okla., to face Oklahoma State in their Big 12 Conference road opener. The KU-OSU series is tied at 29-29-3. Following the game in Stillwater, KU will return to Lawrence to host Oklahoma (Oct. 15) and Kansas State (Oct. 22).