Football Fall Camp: Jayhawks Scrimmage in Front of Fans at Memorial Stadium
Kansas football gave fans a sneak peak of the upcoming season during a 100-play scrimmage at Memorial Stadium as part of Fan Appreciation Day, Saturday.
Expected starting quarterback Jake Heaps shined early as he capped the opening series with a 20 yard pitch-and-catch to tight end Jimmay Mundine, who ran free for a 49-yard touchdown. James Sims also showed off his quickness and agility as he scored on the next drive, carving through the line and scampering for a 63-yard score.
The Kansas defense wasn’t going to let the offense have all the fun. On the third drive, the defense forced a 55-yard field goal try from Trevor Pardula, which had the distance but sailed wide right. Later in the scrimmage, defensive lineman Andrew Bolton sacked freshman quarterback Jordan Darling, then picked off a batted ball on the same drive.
Other offensive highlights included a 33-yard touchdown run by Brandon Bourbon, a 55-yard scoring connection between freshman quarterback Montell Cozart and Andrew Turzilli, and a pair of field goals by Matthew Wyman.
Following the game, the Jayhawks greeted fans in Memorial Stadium and signed autographs for those who attended.
After the scrimmage, Coach Charlie Weis made the team’s specialists available to the media, with selected quotes below:
Michael Mesh, Jr., Kicker
On the competition of the kicking job…
“The kicking job is ultra-competitive, everybody is pushing each other. It’s really fun to compete against each other, we’re just making ourselves better right now. It’s been pretty back-and-forth (through camp), each kicker is just trying to be consistent.”
Trevor Pardula, Jr., Kicker/Punter
On if he’s focused most on field goals, punting or kick-offs…
“I’m focused on whatever I need to do. I’ve been working hard on all three.”
On how he feels about all the competition going on in camp…
“Competition is nice, I think we’re all enjoying it. (The kicker) are a pretty close knit group and we all know the competition is there, but it doesn’t get too intense. We aren’t out there knocking people out like the defensive lineman.”
Reilly Jeffers, So., Long Snapper
On common misconceptions about long snappers…
“That we’re not athletic. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not Dexter McDonald flying around out there. But I would be able to play another position if I had to.”
On the highlight of his offseason…
“Really just seeing the guys come together as a team. I think when you go 1-11 it can really run a team down and I don’t think that happened with this team at all. We became closer together as a team and worked harder together as a team, and you could really see things start to mold together.”
In the Pros
Five former Jayhawks participated Friday night in the professional ranks. Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL defeated the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, 37-18, thanks in part to former Kansas receiver and defensive back Raymond Brown who snagged an interception in the victory.
In the NFL, Mike Rivera and Aqib Talib saw action as the New England Patriots took on the Tampa Buccaneers in Foxboro, Mass. Rivera recorded four tackles and stuffed a fourth down attempt in the fourth quarter to help preserve the Patriots, 25-21, victory. Talib had one solo tackle after an 11-yard Buccaneer rush. Bradley McDougald and Toben Opurum took the field in Kansas City’s 15-13 loss against the San Francisco 49ers at Arrowhead Stadium. Opurum caught one pass for 12 yards and McDougald did not record any stats.
Four Jayhawks are slated to compete Saturday night in both NFL and CFL action.
| CFL – Stampeders vs. Lions (ESPN3)
Saturday, 8 p.m. (CT)
Jon Cornish (RB, Calgary Stampeders)
| NFL – Bengals vs. Titans
Saturday, 6 p.m. (CT)
Anthony Collins (OL, Cincinnati Bengals)
Tanner Hawkinson (OL, Cincinnati Bengals)
| NFL – Broncos vs. Seahawks (NFL Network)
Saturday, 9 p.m. (CT)
Steven Johnson (LB, Denver Broncos)
| CFL – Eskimos vs. Argonauts (ESPN3)
Sunday, 6 p.m. (CT)
Marcus Henry (WR, Edmonton Eskimos)
| NFL – Redskins vs. Steelers (ESPN)
Monday, 7 p.m. (CT)
Dezmon Briscoe (WR, Washington Redskins)
Kansas will open the 2013 football season by hosting South Dakota on Saturday, Sept. 7 in Memorial Stadium. Game time is slated for 6 p.m. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by contacting the Kansas Ticket Office at 1-800-34-HAWKS or via the web at KUAthletics.com.
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