Jayhawks Travel To West Virginia For Season Finale
Nov. 27, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas (1-10 overall, 0-8 Big 12) will travel to new Big 12 Conference member West Virginia (6-5, 3-5 Big 12), on Saturday, Dec. 1. The Mountaineers lead the all-time series 1-0, but the two teams have not met since 1941. KU and WVU will meet up at 1:30 p.m. (CT), at Milan Puskar Stadium in a game that will be televised on Fox Sports Net.
What To Watch For …
– Kansas HB James Sims continues to put together an outstanding season. Sims leads the Big 12 and ranks 14th nationally in rushing with 119.5 yards per game.
– Sims needs just 44 yards to become the 11th KU player to record 1,000 yards in a season and the first to do so since Brandon McAnderson went over 1,000 yards during the 2007 season.
– KU OL Tanner Hawkinson can set the school record for games started as he is schedule to make his 48th career start on Saturday vs. West Virginia. Hawkinson has started every game of his Jayhawk career and recently set the KU school record for consecutive games started–a record he will extend on Saturday.
– KU is 1-1 all time in games played on Dec. 1. KU first played a game on Dec. 1 in 1951, claiming a 41-28 win over Missouri. KU’s last outing on Dec. 1 came in 1956 with a 15-13 loss at Missouri.
– Saturday’s game versus West Virginia will mark KU’s 11th-straight national broadcast as the game will air on Fox Sports Net. The game will also be KU’s seventh-straight outing on FSN.
– The Jayhawks have an all-time record of 573-580-58 (.497 winning percentage).
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 1-10 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).
West Virginia Head Coach Dana Holgorsen
West Virginia’s Dana Holgorsen is in his second year as the head coach of the Mountaineer football program and has compiled a 16-8 overall mark. Under his direction in 2011, the Mountaineers finished with an overall record of 10-3, earned their sixth BIG EAST Conference championship since 2003 and seventh overall and was awarded the league’s BCS Bowl bid for the third time. The 2011 first-year head coach of the year honoree by the Football Writers Association of America was one of seven first-year head coaches to lead his program to a BCS Bowl game. Holgersen was just one of three first-year head coaches to win the BCS bowl game and the only first-year WVU head coach to win a BCS Bowl game. Before coming to Morgantown, Holgorsen spent the 2010 season as the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State. He was a finalist for the 2010 Broyles Award, given to the nation’s top assistant football coach, and also named the rivals.com Offensive Coordinator of the Year. Prior to OSU, Holgorsen was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Houston. Before his two-year stint with the Cougars, Holgorsen was a member of the coaching staff at Texas Tech from 2000-07, serving as the inside receivers coach from 2000-04, before being elevated to co-offensive coordinator in 2005 and offensive coordinator in 2006-07. Holgorsen also spent time at Valdosta State (1993-95) as the quarterbacks, receivers and special teams coach, Mississippi College (1996-98) as the quarterbacks, receivers and special teams coach and at Wingate (1999) as the quarterbacks and receivers coach. During his coaching career, his teams have earned 11 bowl appearances.
West Virginia Scouting Report
West Virginia enters Saturday’s game with a 6-5 overall mark and a 3-5 ledger in Big 12 action. The Mountaineers are coming off of a win at Iowa State that snapped a five-game losing streak. WVU is one of the most dynamic offenses in the country as the Mountaineers rank sixth nationally in passing offense and 11th in the NCAA in total offense. Senior QB Geno Smith leads the charge. Smith has completed 327-of-466 passes on the season, good for 3,597 yards and 37 touchdowns. Smith has a pair of outstanding receivers to throw to in Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey. Austin has hauled in 106 receptions, tops in the NCAA. Austin has 1,149 receiving yards and 12 TDs. He has also rushed for 521 yards on 49 carries, including a 344-yard rushing performance vs. Oklahoma. Bailey ranks third in the NCAA in receiving yards with 1,342 yards on 95 receptions. He has 21 TDs. J.D. Woods has caught 52 passes for 513 yards and three TDs. Austin also leads WVU in punt returns with an 11.0 yards per return average. Additionally, he is the top Mountaineer kick returner averaging 26.4 yards per return. Austin has one 100-yard return to his credit in 2012. Free safety Karl Joseph leads the West Virginia defense with 88 tackles on the season. Joseph has 6.5 TFLs to his credit, five pass breakups and two forced fumbles. Linebacker Isaiah Bruce has 85 tackles, 6.5 TFLs and two fumble recoveries, while linebacker Terence Garvin has 66 tackles, 7.5 TFLs and an interception.
Kansas-West Virginia Connections
Kansas does not have any West Virginia natives on its roster, and likewise, West Virginia does field any Sunflower State natives on its roster. West Virginia assistant director of strength and conditioning, Mark Smith, served as in a similar capacity for football at Kansas in 2002-03.
Toughest Schedule In College Football
Kansas officially has the toughest strength of schedule in the NCAA according to the Sagarin rankings. Each of the Jayhawks’ 11 BCS opponents have gained bowl eligibility and their lone FCS opponent, South Dakota State, is currently preparing for the second round of the playoffs.
Rushing Highlights Jayhawk Offense
Behind a stable of top-notch runners, the KU rushing attack is ranked 19th in the NCAA. Led by the Big 12’s top rusher in junior HB James Sims, Kansas is averaging 216.6 yards per game on the ground, second in the Big 12 to Baylor (217.0). Sims is turning in 119.5 yards per game, while sophomore HB Tony Pierson adds 73.0 ypg and junior HB Taylor Cox is picking 41.9 ypg.