Kansas Hits The Road For Game At Texas
Oct. 24, 2011
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas football hits the road the first of two-straight road games when it travels to Texas on Saturday, Oct. 29. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m., with a live telecast on Jayhawk Television Network. An audio broadcast of the game will be available on the Jayhawk Radio Network, AT&T Jayhawk All-Access or Sirius Satellite Radio channel 117.
What To Watch For …
– Kansas (2-5 overall, 0-4 Big 12) will look to snap a five-game losing streak when it travels to Texas for the first time under second-year head coach Turner Gill (5-14 at KU, 25-44 overall).
– Kansas is taking on Texas for the 11th time in its 122 years of college football. The Jayhawks are 2-8 all-time versus the Longhorns, including an 0-4 mark in games played in Austin.
– Kansas fell to the Longhorns, 50-21, in Austin in 2009, and has lost eight-straight in the series with UT. Prior to that, Kansas won two-straight to open the series (1901, 1938).
– Saturday’s game will mark the ninth meeting between Kansas and Texas since the duo joined the Big 12 Conference. Texas leads 8-0 in games played as conference partners.
– Kansas’ roster fields 38 players from the Lone Star state, including Austin native Trevor Marrongelli. Texas does not have any native Kansans on its roster.
– KU is 9-6-1 all time in games played on Oct. 29. The Jayhawks last played on Oct. 29 versus Missouri in 2005, claiming a 13-3 win over the Tigers in Lawrence.
– Kansas senior LB Steven Johnson has recorded double-figure tackles in five of seven games this season.
– Jayhawk WR/KR D.J. Beshearsneeds 96 kick return yards to set the KU single-season kickoff return yards record. He also needs 327 kick return yards to set the KU career kickoff return yards record.
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 2-5 mark in 2011 and owns a 5-14 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 Head Coach Mack Brown
Texas head coach Mack Brown is 137-36 in his 14th season in Austin. A member of the Longhorn Hall of Honor, Brown is only the second coach in UT history to reach the 100-win plateau, joining Darrell Royal. He is also one of only six active coaches at NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools who have won 100 games at their current school. Brown became the head coach at UT in 1998, and led the Longhorns to nine-straight 10-plus win seasons. In the midst of that stretch, he led Texas to the 2005 BCS National Championship in a thrilling win over USC. He has been named national coach of the year three different times in his Texas career. Brown has led the Longhorns to a 4-2 record this season with a 1-2 mark in Big 12 play.
Texas Scouting Report
Texas enters Saturday’s game with a 4-2 mark after falling to then-No. 6 Oklahoma State, 38-26, two weeks ago. Texas is ranked No. 24 in the latest BCS rankings and receiving votes in both the AP and USA Today polls. Texas boasts one of the top defenses in the Big 12, allowing just 25.3 points per game as well as 338.2 total yards per contest. The Longhorns have been especially tough against opposing quarterbacks, holding their opponents to 216.3 passing yards per game and a 54.6 completion percentage. Sophomore cornerback Carrington Byndum leads the conference with nine pass breakups and has an interception. Senior linebacker Emmanuel Acho leads the team with 47 total tackles, including six stops for a loss. On offense, UT has averaged 30.0 points per game and 385.3 yards per game. Quarterbacks David Ash and Case McCoy have split time behind center this season. Ash is 49-for-76 passing with 459 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions. McCoy is 35-of-53 for 451 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. UT’s backfield is led by the two-headed rushing attack of freshman Malcolm Brown (516 yards on 103 carries) and senior Fozzy Whittaker (220 yards on 43 carries). The tandem has combined for seven of the team’s 11 rushing touchdowns this season. Freshman Jaxon Shipley leads the receiving corps with 391 yards on 28 catches and three scores, while sophomore Mike Davis has 414 yards on 25 receptions.
Kansas has 38 players on its roster from the Lone Star State. KU junior OG Trevor Marrongelli hails from Austin, Texas. Texas does not have any players from the state of Kansas. UT wide receivers coach/co-recruiting coordinator Darrell Wyatt served in the same role on Turner Gill’sstaff at KU last season.
DID YOU KNOW?
When Kansas faces Texas on Saturday, it will mark the Jayhawks’ fifth-straight contest against a team ranked in this week’s BCS standings. KU opened conference play with No. 20 Texas Tech and has since faced No. 3 Oklahoma State, No. 9 Oklahoma and No. 8 Kansas State. Texas is ranked No. 24 in this week’s BCS standings.
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?
Prior to the Texas game, Kansas faced seven-straight undefeated opponents. Dating back to 1980, it marked the first time a team had faced seven-straight teams with perfect records. Research prior to 1980 is not complete.
Kansas State Leftovers
-Sophomore QB Jordan Webb was 21-for-28, his third game of the season with more than 20 completions.
-Ten different receivers caught passes for KU vs. KSU, the first time the Jayhawk quarterbacks have hit double-digit receivers this season.
-Junior WR Kale Pick caught a career-high six passes. He finished with 51 receiving yards, four shy of his career high.
-Sophomore RB James Sims’ two-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was his team-high seventh rushing touchdown of the season.
-Junior WR D.J. Beshears caught a 13-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, his third of the season and fourth of his career. The score was his first touchdown reception since snagging two against Northern Illinois on Sept. 10.
-Freshman TE Jimmay Mundine recorded his first career TD with a two-yard pass from QB Quinn Mecham on the final play of the game. Mundine is the 14th different player to score a TD this season and the 15th KU player to score points.
-Senior LB Steven Johnson recorded 13 tackles against the Wildcats, the fifth time this season he has reached double-digit stops.
-Junior DE Toben Opurum recorded his third QBH of the season in the second quarter, his first since hurrying the quarterback twice against McNeese State in the season opener.
-Sophomore DT Randall Dent collected a tackle for a loss in the third quarter, the first of his career.
-Redshirt freshman RB Brandon Bourbon tied a career high with four kickoff returns. His 36-yard return was a career long, as were his 79 kickoff return yards for the game.
-The 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown surrendered to KSU’s Tyler Lockett marked the first the Kansas defense has allowed in four years (Baylor, 2007).
The Gridiron Wins An Emmy
The Kansas football series “The Gridiron” was awarded a regional EMMY award by the Mid-America chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences on Saturday, Oct. 22. “The Gridiron”, an all-access reality show that airs weekly during the college football season at www.coachturnergill.com, was a winner in the category of sports programming regularly scheduled daily or weekly.Produced by former Jayhawk wide receiver Micah Brown (2007-08), “The Gridiron” takes fans inside the huddle with the Kansas football program. The show uses one-on-one interviews as well as footage from practice, the locker room, games, team meetings and other activities with KU coaches and players to tell the story of Kansas football for the week. Each show is between 15-20 minutes in length.
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 eight double-figure tackle games in his career, including five in 2011. Johnson ranks first in the Big 12 and 10th in the NCAA in tackles with 10.8 per outing.
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 career outing 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 Dec. 8, 2011 on ESPNU.
Beshears’ Great Returns
Kansas junior WR/KR D.J. Beshearsis having another outstanding season in the return game. He has five games in 2011 in which he has accumulated over 100 yards in kick returns. With 826 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 (1748), behind Herford (2075) and Greg Heaggans (1885).
Pick Picking Up The Pace
Jayhawk junior WR Kale Pickis having a solid year in his first full season as a wide receiver. Pick, who arrived at KU as a quarterback before switching to wide receiver midway through the 2010 season, ranks third on the team with 19 receptions on the season. The Dodge City, Kan., native is averaging 10.7 yards per catch and has two TDs. He had a career-best six receptions for 51 yards in Kansas’ loss to Kansas State.
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.
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 (Oct. 8). 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 (Oct. 1).
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 Oklahoma State. 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 19.2 yards per catch on his 13 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 114-of-170 passes on the season, good for 1,407 yards and 12 TDs. Additionally, Webb has thrown just five interceptions, giving him a rating of 153.9. Webb is leading a Jayhawk offense that is averaging 8.1 yards per pass.
Young Receivers Making Plays
Kansas has had 18 different players record a reception on the season, with 10 of the 18 players being in either their first or second season with the program. True freshman JaCorey Shepherdleads the way with 13 receptions for 249 yards and three TDs. Shepherd also owns the longest reception of the season with a 68-yarder to his credit. Five of KU’s 14 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 eighth nationally in all-purpose yardage. The Denton, Texas, native has four rushes for 34 yards, 23 receptions for 328 yards and 38 kickoff returns for 826 yards. Beshears is averaging 172.1 all-purpose yards per game and has recorded three TDs, all on receptions. He, along with teammate Bradley McDougald, are both on the Paul Hornung Award fan ballot available at www.votepaulhornung.com.
Diversity on Display
Kansas has scored 28 touchdowns on the season, with 14 different players getting in on the action. Sophomore RB James Sims leads the way with seven TDs and freshman RB Darrian Miller has four scores on the ground. Freshman WR JaCorey Shepherd and junior WR D.J. Beshears have three TDs through the air. 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 freshmen WR Andrew Turzilli and TE Jimmay Mundine 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 28 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 31st nationally after seven games as it is averaging 188.1 yards per game. Sophomore RB James Simsranks 10th in the Big 12 and 75th nationally in rushing yards per game with his 69.3 per game average.
Newcomers Put Up The Points
Of the 10 true freshmen who have made their career debuts in KU’s first seven outings, four have scored points. PK Alex Mueller leads the way among the freshmen in scoring as he has connected on 28-of-29 PATs and has also booted three field goals. Mueller ranks second on the team with 37 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’ 211 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. This marked 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 seventh in the Big 12 with 7.5 TFLs for minus 27 yards through the first seven games of the season. Opurum ranks fifth 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 seven games of the season, including RB Darrian Miller, 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 RB Darrian Miller, 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 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 is 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.