Jayhawks Set to Face Missouri in Season Finale at Arrowhead Stadium
Nov. 21, 2011
LAWRENCE, Kan.–Kansas football will play its final game of the 2011 season when it faces Border Showdown rival Missouri at Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 26. Kickoff is slated for 2:30 p.m., with Fox Sports Net televising the game. Audio of the game will be available on the Jayhawk Radio Network or Sirius Satellite Radio channel 113.
What To Watch For …
– Kansas (2-9 overall, 0-8 Big 12) will host Border Showdown rival Missouri in the final meeting between the two teams as Big 12 Conference partners on Saturday, Nov. 26 under second-year head coach Turner Gill (5-18 at KU, 25-48 overall).
– Kansas is facing Missouri for the 120th time in its 122 years of college football. The Jayhawks are 55-55-9 all-time versus the Tigers, including a 1-3 mark in games played at Arrowhead Stadium.
– KU fell to the Tigers, 35-7, in Kansas City in 2010, and has lost four of its last five outings versus MU.
– Saturday’s game will mark the 14th meeting between Kansas and Missouri since the duo joined the Big 12 Conference. MU leads 7-6 in games played as Big 12 Conference partners.
– Kansas’ roster fields eight players from the Show Me State, however, none of the Missourians on the Jayhawk roster are natives of Columbia. Four of KU’s Missouri natives hail from the Kansas City area.
– KU is 7-3 all time in games played on Nov. 26. The Jayhawks last played on Nov. 26 vs. Iowa State in 2005, defeating the Cyclones, 24-21, in overtime in Lawrence.
– Kansas senior LB Steven Johnson has had double-figure tackles in seven of 11 games this season.
– Jayhawk WR/KR D.J. Beshears set the KU single-season kickoff return yards record in KU’s game at Iowa State. He needs 147 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 2-8 mark in 2011 and owns a 5-17 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.
Missouri Head Coach Gary Pinkel
Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel is 83-54 in his 11th season in Columbia. Following a successful 10-year run at Toledo, where he amassed a 73-37-3 record, Pinkel was named head coach at Missouri prior to the 2001 season. In his 11 seasons in Columbia, Pinkel has led the Tigers to six bowl appearances, including three seasons of 10 wins or more. The 2007 season was a banner year for the Tigers, who finished 12-2, and blew out No. 25 Arkansas, 38-7, in that year’s Cotton Bowl. Pinkel was named the FieldTurf National Coach of the Year in 2007 and also shared Big 12 Coach of the Year honors. Over the last five seasons, Missouri is 46-19 and has been bowl eligible each year. Pinkel is 6-4 against Kansas in his career, including wins in each of the last two meetings at Arrowhead Stadium.
Missouri Scouting Report
Missouri enters Saturday’s game with a 6-5 record, including a 4-4 mark in Big 12 play after defeating Texas Tech 31-27 in Columbia last week. The Tigers will be playing their first neutral site game of the season after going 5-1 at home and 1-4 away from Faurot Field. The Tigers lead the conference and rank 11th in the country in rushing offense with 242.18 rushing yards per game. Sophomore tailback Henry Josey rushed for 1,168 yards on 145 carries in the first 10 games of the season, but was injured in the team’s win over Texas and will miss the rest of the season. Quarterback James Franklin has rushed for 794 yards and thrown for 2,553 yards, which ranks him 14th in the country with 3,347 yards of total offense. Franklin has gone to wide receiver T.J. Moe (51 catches, 629 yards) and tight end Michael Egnew (46 catches, 467 yards) most often this season. On defense, the Tigers rank third in the Big 12, allowing just 24.7 points per game. MU has held three of its opponents without a touchdown this season. Linebackers Andrew Wilson (85 tackles, 7.0 TFL) and Luke Lambert (69 tackles, 10.5 TFL) are the team’s leading tacklers. Cornerback E.J. Gaines leads the team with two interceptions, while defensive end Jacquies Smith has a team high five sacks.
Kansas has eight players on its roster from the Show Me State, however none of the native Missourians on the Jayhawk roster hail from Coumbia. The following KU players are from the state of Missouri: Brandon Bourbon (Potosi), Tyler Hill (Lee’s Summit), Richard Johnson (Jefferson City), Dexter McDonald (Kansas City), Darrian Miller (Blue Springs), AJ Steward (St. Louis), Keeston Terry (Blue Springs) and Jordan Webb (Union). Kansas offensive line coach J.B. Grimes spent one year on the staff at Missouri. Grimes was a volunteer assistant coach at MU in 1984. He worked with the offensive line in his one season with the Tigers.
Follow Kansas Football on AT&T Jayhawk All-Access
Kansas fans were able to watch the Jayhawks’ football season-opener vs. McNeese State and last week’s Baylor game 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 the Baylor 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.
Texas A&M Leftovers
-Kansas received the opening kickoff for the 10th time in 11 games this season.
-Sophomore WR Christian Matthews recorded a catch in the first quarter marking his fifth-straight game with at least one reception.
-Matthews recorded a 10-yard rush in the first quarter, which marked his longest run of the season.
-Matthews collected four catches for 39 yards, which both set career highs.
-Freshman RB Tony Pierson recorded two receptions in the first half, which were a season-high.
-Sophomore RB James Sims gained 88 yards on 19 carries, which was his best game since rushing for 110 yards against Northern Illinois.
-Sims’ 88 yards rushing are his most against a Big 12 opponent this season.
-Sims scored his team-best ninth rushing touchdown of the season in the fourth quarter.
-Freshman WR JaCorey Shepherd hauled in an eight-yard reception in the fourth quarter, which marked his first reception since the Texas game.
-Sophomore MLB Darius Willis recorded 10 tackles, which matched a season high.
-Willis also matched a season high with two tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
-Senior LB Steven Johnson forced a fumble in the third quarter, which was recovered by senior CB Anthony Davis. It was Johnson’s second forced fumble of the year and Davis’ third fumble recovery.
-Junior S Bradley McDougald made five tackles, which snapped a streak of three-straight games with at least 10 tackles.
-Senior DT Patrick Dorsey made a tackle behind the line of scrimmage for the second consecutive game.
Matthews Makes His Mark
Kansas sophomore WR Christian Matthews found ways to make plays against Texas A&M from multiple positions. The sophomore lined up at wide receiver to start the game, but saw plenty of snaps out of the `Jayhawk’ formation as well. Matthews recorded career highs in receiving yards (39), catches (four) and rushing yards (18). His four catches also gave him five-straight games with at least one reception.
What You Talkin’ About Willis?
Kansas sophomore LB Darius Willis matched a career high with 10 tackles Saturday at Texas A&M. Willis was all over the field, making a pair of solo stops behind the line of scrimmage on A&M running backs. Despite some early season adjustments, Willis ranks 14th in the Big 12 with 78 total tackles, including 47 solo stops. He also ranks 14th in the league with 8.0 TFLs.
McDougald Stepping Up
Kansas junior S Bradley McDougald has come on strong over the past six games, recording 54 tackles, including 41 solo stops, versus Oklahoma, Kansas State, Texas, Iowa State, Baylor and Texas A&M. The Dublin, Ohio, native has also tallied 3.0 TFLs for minus six yards to go along with two forced fumbles, an interception and three pass breakups in those same six outings. Additionally, he has recorded 10 or more tackles in three of KU’s last four games, including back-to-back games with a career-best 11 stops.
Biere Honored Again
Kansas senior TE Tim Biere was honored by the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA), as he was named Honorable Mention Tight End of the Week following KU’s game vs. Baylor (Nov. 12). Biere hauled in three receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown versus the Bears. He scored on a 25-yard pass from QB Jordan Webb on KU’s first play in overtime.
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 mark 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 15 tackles versus McNeese State, including nine solo stops. He has gone on to record double figures in tackles in seven of 10 games this season, giving him 10 games in his career with 10 or more tackles. Johnson ranks first in the Big 12 and 13th in the NCAA in tackles with 10.4 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 1006 yards this season, he tops the KU single season return yards list. Beshears also ranks second at KU in career kick return yardage (1928), behind Marcus Herford (2075).
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 tied for second on the team with 32 receptions on the season. The Dodge City, Kan., native is averaging 10.1 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.
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 16.8 yards per catch on his 15 receptions.
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 15 receptions for 252 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 is second in the Big 12 and ranks 25th nationally in all-purpose yardage. The Denton, Texas, native has eight rushes for 67 yards, 38 receptions for 425 yards and 47 kickoff returns for 1006 yards. Beshears is averaging 142.2 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 31 touchdowns on the season, with 15 different players getting in on the action. Sophomore RB James Sims leads the way with nine 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, sophomore WR Christian Matthews, redshirt freshman RB Brandon Bourbon, freshman RB Tony Pierson (3) 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 10 outings, four have scored points. PK Alex Mueller leads the way among the freshmen in scoring as he has connected on 32-of-33 PATs and has also booted three field goals. Mueller ranks second on the team with 41 points. RB Darrian Miller has four TDs on the ground, while fellow RB Tony Pierson has found the endzone three times. WR JaCorey Shepherd has three TDs receiving. Out of Kansas’ 251 points, 84 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 10th in the Big 12 with 9.5 TFLs for minus 47 yards through the first 11 games of the season. Opurum ranks sixth on the team in tackles as he has recorded 42 on the season, including 24 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.
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 caused him to miss the remainder of the season, but he is applying for a medical redshirt. Williams, who injured his knee in KU’s win over Northern Illinois, had surgery to repair a torn ACL and will return to the KU lineup for the 2012 season.
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.