Jayhawks Travel To Manhattan For Sunflower Showdown Saturday
Oct. 2, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas (1-3 overall, 0-1 Big 12) looks to snap a three-game losing streak when it travels to #7/8 Kansas State (4-0, 1-0 Big 12), for the Sunflower Showdown under first year head coach Charlie Weis, on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 11 a.m. The game marks the 110th meeting in the series and will be televised live on FX from Bill Snyder Stadium in Manhattan.
What To Watch For …
– KU’s defense has forced 13 turnovers in the first four games. The Jayhawks have recovered seven fumbles and picked off six passes. Kansas leads the Big 12 in forced turnovers after four games and is tied for fifth in the NCAA.
– Kansas ranks ninth in the NCAA in turnover margin at +1.50 per game–tops in the Big 12.
– Jayhawk senior FS Bradley McDougald is forcing plays all over the field for the KU defense. Through four games McDougald leads KU with 34 tackles (27 solo), 3.0 TFLs, 2 FF and 2 INTs.
– Kansas leads Kansas State, 65-39-5, in the all-time series between the two schools. KSU has won three-straight in the series, but the two teams have split the last eight 4-4.
– KU leads the all-time series vs. KSU in Manhattan 28-23-3–with its last win coming in the form of a 30-24 win in 2007.
– KU is 7-9-2 all time in games played on Oct. 6. KU first played a game on Oct. 6 in 1897 with a 22-8 win over KC Medical. The Jayhawks most recently played on Oct. 6 in 2007, defeating Kansas State, 30-24.
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 is 1-3 in his first season 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).
Kansas State Head Coach Bill Snyder
Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder is 163-83-1 in his 21st season in Manhattan. He returned to the sidelines in 2009 after taking a three-year hiatus. Snyder was named KSU’s 32nd head coach prior to the 1989 season and then returned as the 34th head coach in late November of 2008. Prior to Snyder joining the program, the Wildcats were in the midst of an 0-26-1 run. With him at the helm, KSU attended 11-straight bowl games between the 1993-2003 seasons. Snyder returned the Wildcats to a bowl game in 2010 as KSU was selected to play the inaugural Pin Stripe Bowl. They followed that up with a 10-3 season in 2011 and a trip to the Cotton Bowl. Snyder has KSU off to an impressive 4-0 start in 2012, including a 1-0 record in Big 12 play. KSU defeated Oklahoma on the road in its last outing and Snyder is 16-4 all-time versus Kansas.
Kansas State Scouting Report
Kansas State is off to a 4-0 start for the second-consecutive season after winning at Oklahoma, 24-19, in its last outing. The Wildcats are led by All-American and Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback Collin Klein. Klein is a dual threat as he has completed 56-of-80 passes on the season, good for 758 yards and five TDs. He has also rushed for 289 yards and five TDs on 63 carries. KSU is led on the ground by running back John Hubert with 426 yards and four TDs on 66 carries. Hubert ranks second in the Big 12 in rushing. Tramaine Thompson is Klein’s top target through the air as he has hauled in 16 receptions for 260 yards and three TDs. Thompson is also averaging 50.5 yards per return on two punt returns. He returned one punt 89 yards for a TD. Chris Harper follows Thompson with 11 catches for 138 yards and Tyler Lockett has 10 grabs for 108 yards. Lockett also has five kickoff returns for 195 yards and a TD. Linebacker Arthur Brown leads the KSU defense with 36 stops on the season, including 20 solos. Brown has 3.0 TFLs for a loss of 11 yards and two pass breakups. Nigel Malone is the leader of the Wildcat secondary with 20 tackles, two pass breakups and one interception.
Kansas has 24 Sunflower state natives on its roster, while Kansas State fields 56 native Kansans on its roster. Eight Jayhawk players played on high school teams with some of their KSU counterparts. KU Director of Athletics, Dr. Sheahon Zenger, earned both a bachelors and masters degree from Kansas State. At age 23, Zenger joined Bill Snyder’s staff at Kansas State as one of the nation’s youngest full-time football staff members; he served in key roles as assistant recruiting coordinator and director of football operations for the Wildcats. Kansas Assistant to the AD George Matsakisalso started his career in football at Kansas State under Snyder, working in the video department from 1993-96. KSU head strength and conditioning coach, Chris Dawson, previously served in the same capacity at KU.
Matthews Shines in the Jayhawk Formation
KU junior WR Christian Matthews saw extended time as the `Jayhawk’ formation quarterback in KU’s last outing at Northern Illinois. Matthews had a lot of success at NIU, rushing for 43 yards on five carries, while also completing his first pass of the season–a three yard shovel pass to HB James Sims. It marked the first time Matthews had seen extended time in the formation since the 2011 season finale vs. Missouri. Against the Tigers Matthews had six rushes for 31 yards and also completed one pass for 12 yards.
Linebackers Making Plays
Starting LBs Ben Heeney and Anthony McDonald both had career days in KU’s game at NIU–each collecting double digits in tackles. Heeney had a personal best 12 tackles, while McDonald was right behind him with 11 stops–also a career best. Four linebackers have recorded nine or more stops in a game on the season as Tunde Bakare and Huldon Tharpboth had nine stops against Rice.
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 and tied for fifth in the NCAA with 13 miscues forced–six interceptions and seven fumbles. Eight different players have been involved in the turnovers forced as seniors S Bradley McDougald, DE/LB Toben Opurum and DE Josh Williams and junior CB Tyler Patmon have each been involved in more than one of the turnovers forced. McDougald has two interceptions and two forced fumbles. Opurum has two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries, while Williams has forced one fumble and recovered two. Patmon has two interceptions, one of which he returned 54 yards for a touchdown. Other players having recorded an interception are CB Greg Brown and CB Corrigan Powell. LB Anthony McDonald and CB Tyree Williams have each recovered a fumble and WR Josh Fordhas caused a fumble through the first four games.
Red Zone Defense Stout
The Jayhawk defense has found a niche not only in forcing turnovers, but in slowing down opposing offenses in the red zone. Of note–KU became the first team to hold TCU to 20 points or less since the Horned Frogs’ 17-10 Fiesta Bowl loss to Boise State (Jan. 4, 2010). TCU had scored at least 21 points in its last 27 contests prior to being held to 20 against the Jayhawks Sept. 15. Over the past two seasons, TCU averaged 41.2 points per game.
Rushing Down The Field
Jayhawk halfbacks Tony Pierson and Taylor Cox each rank in the top 10 in the Big 12 in rushing through the first four games of the 2012 season. Pierson ranks 68th nationally and fifth in the Big 12 with 77.3 yards per game, while Cox is not far behind him ranking 91st in the NCAA and eighth in the Big 12 with 66.5 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 and led KU on the ground versus TCU with 47 yards on 11 carries. The KU running game was enhanced by the addition of junior RB James Sims, who returned to action against Northern Illinois after missing the first three games of the season due to suspension. Sims was KU’s leading rusher at NIU with 91 yards and two TDs on 18 carries.
Tight Ends Playing Big In KU Offense
Despite entering the season without a player on the roster who had started at a game at KU, the Jayhawk tight ends are quietly having a successful 2012 campaign. Both of KU’s receiving touchdowns this season have been caught by tight ends Mike Ragone and Jimmay Mundine. Additionally, the KU tight ends–which also includes Trent Smiley and Charles Brooksthrough four games–have been instrumental in helping the Jayhawk running game have success. On the season, KU tight ends have combined for six catches for 55 yards and two TDs.
Turzilli and Omigie Give Jayhawks Added Dimension
KU wide receivers Andrew Turzilli and Chris Omigie each had impressive performances versus TCU. Turzilli, who started for the first time in his Jayhawk career, recorded his first 100-yard receiving game and became the first KU player to have 100 or more yards receiving in a game since the 2011 season-opening win over McNeese State. Turzilli hauled in three catches for 100 yards, including receptions of 42 and 41 yards. Omigie also had the top game of his career with three catches for 51 yards. Both receivers stand 6-foot-3 or taller, providing Jayhawk QB Dayne Cristwith big targets in the passing game.
The Jayhawks will host Oklahoma State on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 2:30 p.m., on FSN. Kansas will be hosting the Cowboys for the first time since the 2010 season. OSU holds a slight 30-29 edge in the series history, which also includes three ties. The Cowboys are 17-15-1 all-time against the Jayhawks in games played at Memorial Stadium. A portion of all tickets sold to the game will be donated to the Jayhawks for a Cure program. The Jayhawks for a Cure fund supports cancer treatment and prevention at the KU Cancer Center and Lawrence Memorial Hospital. For every ticket sold until Friday, Oct. 12, $5 will go directly to the Jayhawks for a Cure fund.