Jayhawks to Host Wildcats in Sunflower State Showdown Saturday on FSN
Oct. 17, 2011
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas will host 12th-ranked Kansas State on Saturday, Oct. 22. Kickoff is slated for 11 a.m., with a live telecast on Fox Sports Net. An audio broadcast of the game will be available on the Jayhawk Radio Network, AT&T Jayhawk All-Access or Sirius Satellite Radio channel 113.
What To Watch For …
– Kansas (2-4 overall, 0-3 Big 12) will host in-state rival Kansas State looking for its first Big 12 Conference win in 2011 under second-year head coach Turner Gill (5-13 at KU, 25-43 overall).
– Kansas is taking on Kansas State for the 109th time in its 122 years of college football. The Jayhawks are 65-38-5 all-time versus the Wildcats, including a 37-16-2 mark in games played in Lawrence.
– Kansas fell to the Wildcats, 59-7, in Lawrence in 2010, and has lost two-straight in the series with KSU. Prior to that, Kansas won three-straight in the series (2006-08).
– Saturday’s game will mark the 101st consecutive meeting between Kansas and Kansas State. That ranks as the fourth-longest uninterrupted series in the nation behind Kansas-Nebraska (105), Minnesota-Wisconsin (104) and Clemson-South Carolina (102). The teams have met every year beginning in 1911. The schools played each other eight-straight years from 1902-1909 before not playing in 1910.
– KU head coach Turner Gill is 13-6 all-time in games versus Kansas State. He was 4-0 during his playing career as the quarterback at Nebraska. Additionally, he compiled a 9-5 mark against the Wildcats as an assistant with the Cornhuskers. Gill is facing KSU for the second time in his Kansas coaching tenure.
– KU is 5-9-1 all time in games played on Oct. 22. The Jayhawks last played on Oct. 22 versus Colorado in 2005, falling 44-13 to the Buffaloes in Boulder.
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 2-4 mark in 2011 and owns a 5-13 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.
Kansas State Head Coach Bill Snyder
Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder is 155-80-1 in his 20th 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 partcipate the inaugural Pin Stripe Bowl. Snyder has KSU off to an impressive 6-0 start in 2011, including a 3-0 record in Big 12 play. KSU has defeated Baylor and Missouri at home and Texas Tech on the road.
Kansas State Scouting Report
Kansas State enters Saturday’s game with a perfect 6-0 mark after knocking off Texas Tech, 41-34, on the road in its last outing. No. 12/16 KSU has one of the most stout defenses in the Big 12. The Wildcats are giving up just 345.7 yards per game and are holding their opponents to just 19.5 points. KSU is especially tough on run defense as it is only allowing 96.8 rushing yards per game. Junior LB Arthur Brown leads the Wildcats in tackles with 45 on the season. Brown also has 4.5 TFLs for minus 18 yards. Nigel Malone has a team-best four interceptions to go along with 27 tackles. On offense, KSU is run oriented, averaging 206.0 yards per game on the ground and just 130.2 yards per game through the air. Junior QB Collin Klein leads Kansas State on offense. Klein is averaging 4.2 yards per carry as he has gained 578 yards rushing on 138 attempts. Klein has also completed 70-of-119 passes on the year, good for 739 yards and seven TDs. HIs top target is junior WR Chris Harper who has pulled down 21 receptions for 251 yards and three TDs. Sophomore WR Tramaine Thompson is explosive in the return game as he has returned five punts for 70 yards, while freshman WR Tyler Lockett has a 100-yard kick off return for a TD.
Kansas has 24 Sunflower state natives on its roster, while Kansas State fields 61 native Kansans on its roster. Eight Jayhawk players played on high school teams with some of their KSU counterparts. KSU head coach Bill Snyder was the Iowa Offensive Coordinator when KU Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach Chuck Long played quarterback for the Hawkeyes. Kansas Linebackers Coach Vantz Singletary played linebacker for the Wildcats during the 1988 and 1989 seasons and received his degree from KSU in 1990. Kansas Director of Football Operations George Matsakisstarted his career in football at Kansas State under Snyder, working in the video department from 1993-96.
DID YOU KNOW?
When Kansas hosts Kansas State Saturday, it will be facing its seventh-straight undefeated opponent on the season.
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.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Jayhawks are taking on a team ranked in the Top 12 for the third-straight week. Additionally, four of the seven teams on KU’s schedule to date are ranked in both of this week’s polls. Following the Kansas State game, three of the Jayhawks’ next five opponents are either ranked or receiving votes in the polls.
-Freshman JaCorey Shepherd made his first career start at wide receiver against Oklahoma. He is the second true freshman to start a game for KU this year. Marquis Jackson also started at wide receiver against Oklahoma State.
-Senior C Jeremiah Hatch left the game in the first quarter with an injury. Junior Trevor Marrongelli handled snaps from scrimmage for the remainder of the game.
-Sophomore RB James Sims scored KU’s first touchdown on a 56-yard run on a fourth-and-one play. It was Sims’ longest run of his career and the longest run from scrimmage by a Jayhawk since the 2006 season.
-Senior RB Rell Lewis caught a 26-yard pass from Jordan Webb in the second quarter, which marked the longest reception of his career.
-Freshman RB Darrian Miller scored his fourth rushing touchdown of the season and the team’s 14th rushing touchdown of the year. Last year, KU recorded 14 rushing touchdowns all season.
-Senior LB Steven Johnson recorded 13 tackles in the game, which marked the fourth time this season had reached double-digits in stops.
-Johnson intercepted Landry Jones in the fourth quarter, marking his first career interception and second INT of the year for KU.
-Freshman CB Victor Simmons recorded a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in the second quarter, marking his first in each category.
-KU’s defensive backs recorded six pass breakups in the game, which is the most by a Jayhawk team since the Oklahoma State game last season.
-Kansas gave up just three points in the third quarter, marking the first time the Jayhawks have held their opponent without a touchdown in the third quarter.
-Sophomore P Ron Doherty had three punts downed inside the 20-yard line, which doubled his total for the year.
-Freshman K Alex Muellerconnected on a 36-yard field goal in the second quarter, which marked his longest of the season.
Biere on Midseason Mackey List
The 2011 John Mackey Award midseason watch list was released by the Nassau County Sports Commission on Oct. 17, with Kansas senior tight end Tim Biereearning a nod on the list. Biere leads Kansas with 21 receptions on the season. He has accumulated a career-best 246 receiving yards and one touchdown. Biere, a native of Omaha, Neb., had his best outing of his career versus Oklahoma State on Oct. 8 when he set career bests with seven receptions for 93 yards and a TD. Given annually to the best collegiate tight end, the award recipient is selected by vote of the John Mackey Award Selection Committee and the 2011 John Mackey winner will be presented live at the Home Depot ESPN College Football Awards Red Carpet Show on December 8, 2011 on ESPNU.
Beshears’ Great Returns
Kansas junior WR/KR D.J. Beshearsis having another outstanding season in the return game. He currently has five-straight games in which he has accumulated over 100 yards in kick returns. With 779 yards this season, he ranks third on KU’s single season return yards list behind himself (922 in 2010) and Marcus Herford (888 in 2007). Beshears also ranks third at KU in career kick return yardage (1701), behind Herford (2075) and Greg Heaggans (1885).
Johnson Fills Up Stat Sheet
Jayhawk senior LB Steven Johnsonwas all over the field in Kansas’ loss to top-ranked Oklahoma. The Media, Pa., native recorded 13 tackles, including six solo stops. He also had one TFL for minus three yards. Johnson snagged his first career interception by picking off OU Heisman Trophy candidate Landry Jones in the fourth quarter. Additionally, Johnson had a pass breakup and quarterback hurry in the game.
DID YOU KNOW?
The last time KU had a 200-yard rusher was against Kansas State when Jon Cornish carried 25 times for 201 yards in the 2007 matchup.
Biere Honored By CFPA
Kansas senior tight end Tim Bierewas honored by the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA), as he was named the National Tight End Performer of the Week following KU’s game at Oklahoma State. The 6-foot-4 senior from Omaha, Neb., recorded career bests in catches (seven) and receiving yards (93), to go along with his first touchdown of the season versus the Cowboys. Biere’s 21 catches this season surpass his season total from a year ago, while his 246 receiving yards this season are a career high. He was named to the CFPA Preseason Watch List in July and was an honorable mention honoree versus Texas Tech.
Shepherd Goes Long
Kansas freshman WR JaCorey Shepherd continues to make big plays for the Jayhawks. Shepherd recorded his third TD of the season in the game at OSU. He hauled in the pass from QB Jordan Webband raced 68 yards to pay dirt, marking KU’s longest TD of the season. Shepherd now has TD receptions of 68, 56 and 48 yards on the season. The Mesquite, Texas, native is averaging 20.5 yards per catch on his eight receptions.
Webb Hitting The Mark
Kansas sophomore QB Jordan Webbhas been extremely efficient in running the Jayhawk offense through the first half of the 2011 season. Webb ranks second in the Big 12 and 16th nationally in passing efficiency. The Union, Mo., native has completed 93-of-142 passes on the season, good for 1,238 yards and 11 TDs. Additionally, Webb has thrown just six interceptions, giving him a rating of 157.8. Webb is leading a Jayhawk offense that is averaging 8.7 yards per pass.
Young Receivers Making Plays
Kansas has had 17 different players record a reception on the season, with nine of the 17 players being in either their first or second season with the program. True freshman JaCorey Shepherdleads the way with 11 receptions for 226 yards and three TDs. Shepherd also owns the longest reception of the season with a 68-yarder to his credit. Four of KU’s 12 receiving TDs have been hauled in by a freshman or sophomore.
Go D.J. That’s My D.J.
Kansas junior wide receiver/kick returner D.J. Beshears has been all over the field for KU. Beshears leads the Big 12 and ranks fourth nationally in all-purpose yardage. The Denton, Texas, native has four rushes for 34 yards, 20 receptions for 293 yards and 35 kickoff returns for 779 yards. Beshears is averaging 186.3 all-purpose yards per game and has recorded two TDs, both on receptions. He, along with teammate Bradley McDougald, are both on the Paul Hornung Award fan ballot available at www.votepaulhornung.com.
Johnson Leading Tackler in Big 12
Jayhawk senior LB Steven Johnsonopened 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 seven double-figure tackle games in his career, including four in 2011. Johnson ranks tied for first in the Big 12 and 14th in the NCAA in tackles with 10.5 per outing.
Diversity on Display
Kansas has scored 26 touchdowns on the season, with 13 different players getting in on the action. Sophomore RB James Sims leads the way with six TDS and freshman RB Darrian Miller has four scores on the ground. Freshman WR JaCorey Shepherd has three receiving TDs, while junior WR D.J. Beshears has made two TD grabs. Also scoring TDs on the ground have been senior RB Rell Lewis, redshirt freshman RB Brandon Bourbon, freshman RB Tony Pierson (2) and sophomore QB Jordan Webb, while senior TE’s Tim Biere and AJ Steward, junior WR Kale Pick, redshirt freshman WR Andrew Turzilli and senior WR Daymond Pattersonhave 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 27 plays of more than 20 yards, nine 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 nine plays that have gone for 20 or more yards. Freshman WR JaCorey Shepherdowns the team’s longest play of the season with a 68-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 fourth in the Big 12 and 23rd nationally after six games as it is averaging 206.8 yards per game. Sophomore RB James Simsranks 11th in the Big 12 and 66th nationally in rushing yards per game with his 75.8 per game average.
Newcomers Put Up The Points
Of the 10 true freshmen who have made their career debuts in KU’s first six outings, four have scored points. PK Alex Mueller leads the way among the freshmen in scoring as he has connected on 25-of-26 PATs and has also booted three field goals. Mueller ranks second on the team with 34 points. RB Darrian Miller has four TDs on the ground, while fellow RB Tony Pierson has found the endzone twice. WR JaCorey Shepherdhas three TDs receiving. Out of Kansas’ 190 points, 78 have been scored by true freshmen.
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 Webbin 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.
Shepherd Shines In Opener
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 Webbin 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).
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 third in the Big 12 with 7.5 TFLs for minus 27 yards through the first six games of the season. His 7.5 TFLs ranks 37th in the NCAA. Opurum ranks fourth on the team in tackles as he has recorded 29 on the season, including 18 solo stops. He is one of five Jayhawks to have recorded a sack, along with DE Keba Agostinho, S Bradley McDougald, LB Darius Willis and DE Pat Lewandowski.
First Time Starters
Several Kansas players have made their first career starts in KU’s first six games of the season, including DE Pat Lewandowski, WR JaCorey Shepherd, WR Marquis Jackson, WR Christian Matthews, FB Nick Sizemore, DE Keba Agostinho, LB Darius Willis, LB Tunde Bakare and FS Keeston Terry.
Kansas has had 24 players participate for the first time in their collegiate career. In addition to first-time starters DE Pat Lewandowski, WR JaCorey Shepherd, WR Marquis Jackson, WR Christian Matthews, FB Nick Sizemore, DE Keba Agostinho, LB Darius Willis and LB Tunde Bakare, the following players have played for the first time in their Kansas careers: LB Collin Garrett, P/H Victor McBride, WR Andrew Turzilli, TE Jimmay Mundine, TE Trent Smiley, RB Darrian Miller, RB Tony Pierson, RB Brandon Bourbon, LB Michael Reynolds, S Victor Simmons, LB Ben Heeney, CB Dexter McDonald, LB Isaac Wright, S Tyler Hill, S Ray Mitchell, LB Malcolm Walker, PK Alex Mueller and LS Tanner Gibas.
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 Williamssuffered 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.
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 in his 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 Breyis the son of Notre Dame head men’s basketball coach Mike Brey.
Kansas head coach Turner Gill announced four 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 Opurumearned 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.
Kansas will travel to Austin, Texas to take on the Texas Longhorns on Saturday, Oct. 29. The Jayhawks and Longhorns will kick off at 6 p.m., with a live telecast on both the Jayhawk TV Network and the Longhorn Network. Following the game at Texas, KU will stay on the road for a game at Iowa State on Saturday, Nov. 5.