Kansas Hosts Baylor For Senior Day On AT&T Jayhawk All-Access
Nov. 7, 2011
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas football return to Memorial Stadium for the final time during the 2011 season when it plays host to Baylor for Senior Day on Saturday, Nov. 12. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m., with a live webcast on AT&T Jayhawk All-Access. An audio broadcast of the game will be available on the Jayhawk Radio Network or Sirius Satellite Radio channel 93. The KU-BU game marks the second webcast on AT&T Jayhawk All-Access this season.
What To Watch For …
– Kansas (2-7 overall, 0-6 Big 12) will return home to host Baylor as it honors its 15 players on Senior Day under second-year head coach Turner Gill (5-16 at KU, 25-46 overall).
– Kansas is taking on Baylor for the 11th time in its 122 years of college football. The Jayhawks are 4-6 all-time versus the Bears, including a 4-1 mark in games played in Lawrence.
– Kansas fell to the Bears, 55-7, in Waco in 2010, and the two teams have split each of the last six games with the home team prevailing in each of the six contests.
– Saturday’s game will mark the eighth meeting between Kansas and Baylor since the duo joined the Big 12 Conference. Baylor leads 4-3 in games played as conference partners.
– Kansas’ roster fields 38 players from the Lone Star state, however, none of the Texans on the Jayhawk roster are natives of Waco.
– KU is 7-9 all time in games played on Nov. 12. The Jayhawks last played on Nov. 12 versus Texas in 2005, falling to the second-ranked Longhorns, 66-14, in Austin.
– Kansas senior LB Steven Johnson has recorded double-figure tackles in six of nine games this season.
– Jayhawk WR/KR D.J. Beshears needs 12 kick return yards to set the KU single-season kickoff return yards record. He also needs 243 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 2-7 mark in 2011 and owns a 5-16 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.
Baylor Head Coach Art Briles
Baylor head coach Art Briles is 20-25 in his fifth season in Waco. Following a highly successfull career in the high school coaching ranks, Briles entered the college coaching fraternity in 2000 as he joined the staff at Texas Tech as the running backs coach. He took over as the head coach at the University of Houston in 2003, leading the Cougars to a 34-28 record and a Conference USA title in 2008 in five seasons at the helm. Briles then left UH to become the 25th head coach in Baylor history prior to the 2008 season. He led the Bears to consecutive 4-8 seasons before having a breakthrough season in 2010. Briles guided BU to a 7-6 overall record and an appearance in the Texas Bowl. It marked the Bears’ first bowl game in 16 seasons. For his efforts Briles was named the AFCA Region 4 Coach of the Year. He is 1-1 all-time versus Kansas. His Baylor Bears defeated KU in 2010, while the Jayhawks handled Briles’ Houston team in the 2006 Fort Worth Bowl.
Baylor Scouting Report
Baylor enters Saturday’s game with a 5-3 mark, including a 2-3 ledger in Big 12 play, after defeating Missouri, 42-39, in Waco in its last outing. Baylor is undefeated at home, but winless on the road heading into the match up with Kansas in Lawrence. Baylor leads the nation in passing efficiency (189.55), ranks second in first downs (29.00) and total offense (577.13), ninth in scoring offense (41.50), fifth in passing offense (362.50), 22nd in rushing offense (203.71) and 34th in punt returns (10.45). Heisman Trophy candidate QB Robert Griffin III has completed 73.9 percent of his passes (202-of-273), which ranks third nationally. He has thrown only four interceptions in his last 334 pass attempts. Griffin ranks second nationally in total offense (395.88). Baylor is the only FBS school averaging 300+ yards passing and 200+ yards rushing. IR Kendall Wright ranks fifth nationally in both receptions (9.12) and receiving yards per game (121.38). Mike Hicks leads the Bears on defense with 63 tackles and two interceptions. Elliot Coffey has 59 tackles, while Ahmad Dixon has 54 for the BU defense.
Kansas has 38 players on its roster from the Lone Star State, however, none of native Texans on the Jayhawk roster hail from Waco. Baylor does not have any players from the state of Kansas. KU head football strength and conditioning coach John Williams served as the Director of Strength and Conditioning at Baylor from 2002-09 and was promoted to Assistant A.D. in 2006. Kansas assistant strength coach Shaun McPherson served on the Baylor staff in the same capacity for 10 years, from 1999-2009 and earned his master’s degree from BU in 2001.
DID YOU KNOW?
Of the last six meetings between Kansas and Baylor, the home team has been victorious in each game. In the entire 10-game series history, the visiting team has only come away with a win on one occasion–with Baylor defeating Kansas, 27-14, in Lawrence in 1988.
Follow Kansas Football on AT&T Jayhawk All-Access
Kansas fans were able to watch the Jayhawks’ football season-opener vs. McNeese State and will be able to see this week’s game versus Baylor on AT&T Jayhawk All-Access, another 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 and this week’s game, 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.
McDougald Stepping Up
Kansas junior S Bradley McDougald has come on strong over the past four games, recording 39 tackles, including 29 solo stops, versus Oklahoma, Kansas State, Texas and Iowa State. The Dublin, Ohio, native has also tallied 3.0 TFLs for minus six yards to go along with a forced fumble, an interception and a pass breakup in those same four outings. Additionally, he has recorded 11 tackles in each of Kansas’ last two games, which marks his career high in tackles.
Doherty Honored By CFPA
Kansas sophomore P/K Ron Doherty was honored by the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA), as he was named Honorable Mention Kicker of the Week following KU’s game at Iowa State (Nov. 5). Doherty recorded four punts for a 40.5 per punt average, including a long punt of 49 yards. He pinned two punts inside the 20 yard line. Additionally, he recorded his first career field goal with a 19-yard make. He handled kickoff duties for KU in the second half, and recorded the Jayhawks’ first touch back of the season.
Steven Johnson Bright Spot at UT
Jayhawk senior LB Steven Johnson was one of just a few bright spots for Kansas in its loss at Texas (Oct. 29). Johnson, who leads the Big 12 and ranks eighth nationally in tackles, racked up 18 tackles in the game. Johnson’s 18 tackles marked the most in a single game for a Jayhawk since Nick Reid registered 19 stops versus Kansas State in 2003. Johnson has now recorded 10 or more tackles in six games this season and nine times in his Kansas career. The Media, Pa., native has 99 stops on the season.
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 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 has gone on to record double figures in tackles in six of nine games this season, giving him nine games in his career with 10 or more tackles. Johnson ranks first in the Big 12 and eighth in the NCAA in tackles with 11.0 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 Biere earning 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. Beshears is 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 910 yards this season, he ranks second on KU’s single season return yards list behind himself (922 in 2010). Beshears also ranks third at KU in career kick return yardage (1832), behind Herford (2075) and Greg Heaggans (1885).
Pick Picking Up The Pace
Jayhawk junior WR Kale Pick is 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 22 receptions on the season. The Dodge City, Kan., native is averaging 10.9 yards per catch and has two TDs. He had a career-best six receptions for 51 yards in Kansas’ loss to Kansas State.
Johnson Stellar vs. Sooners
Jayhawk senior LB Steven Johnson was all over the field in Kansas’ loss to top-ranked Oklahoma. He 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 Biere was 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 Webb and 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 17.4 yards per catch on his 14 receptions.
Webb Hitting The Mark
Kansas sophomore QB Jordan Webb has been extremely efficient in running the Jayhawk offense throughout the 2011 season. Webb ranks fifth in the Big 12 and 33rd nationally in passing efficiency. The Union, Mo., native has completed 134-of-207 passes on the season, good for 1,583 yards and 12 TDs. Additionally, Webb has thrown just six interceptions, giving him a rating of 142.3.
Young Receivers Making Plays
Kansas has had 19 different players record a reception on the season, with 11 of the 19 players being in either their first or second season with the program. True freshman JaCorey Shepherd leads the way with 14 receptions for 244 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 15th nationally in all-purpose yardage. The Denton, Texas, native has seven rushes for 62 yards, 29 receptions for 378 yards and 42 kickoff returns for 910 yards. Beshears is averaging 153.2 all-purpose yards per game and has recorded four TDs, three on receptions and one on the ground. 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 29 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 Beshears, 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 Patterson have each tallied a receiving TD.
Newcomers Put Up The Points
Of the 10 true freshmen who have made their career debuts in KU’s first nine outings, four have scored points. PK Alex Mueller leads the way among the freshmen in scoring as he has connected on 29-of-30 PATs and has also booted three field goals. Mueller ranks second on the team with 38 points. RB Darrian Miller has four TDs on the ground, while fellow RB Tony Pierson has found the endzone twice. WR JaCorey Shepherd has three TDs receiving. Out of Kansas’ 221 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 Webb in 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 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).
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 fourth in the Big 12 with 9.5 TFLs for minus 47 yards through the first nine games of the season. Opurum ranks sixth on the team in tackles as he has recorded 39 on the season, including 22 solo stops. He is one of seven Jayhawks to have recorded a sack, along with DT Randall Dent, BU Malcolm Walker, 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 nine games of the season, including DT Shane Smith, 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 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.
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 Brey is 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.
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.