Kansas Opens 2013 Campaign Against South Dakota on Saturday
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas will open the 2013 season on Saturday, Sept. 7, when it plays host to South Dakota at Memorial Stadium at 6 p.m. The game will be televised live on the Jayhawk Television Network. Tickets are available by calling 800-34-HAWKS or by visiting the Kansas ticket office at KUAthletics.com.
Jayhawk Television Network
Gary Bender (Play-by-Play) Rich Baldinger (Analyst) KC Metro Area and State of Kansas Time Warner Cable – Ch 30 (310 Digital) Metro Sports HD – Ch 1310 Comcast Ch 44 and 258 (MO) Comcast Ch 68 and 258 (KS) Comcast HD Ch 913 Cox Kansas 22 Wow Lawrence – Ch 37 Out of Kansas DMA Coverage ESPN3.com ESPN Game Plan
Kansas-South Dakota Connections
Kansas does not have any South Dakota natives on its roster, however, South Dakota does field a few Sunflower State natives on its roster. Five Coyotes hail from Kansas in TE Kayl Barkley (Conway Springs), DB Dyllon Knox (Wichita), LB Jet Moreland (Wichita), FB Drew Potter (Basehor), QB Aaron Ramsey (Stillwell), while five more are from the Kansas City metro area in LB Ryan Hillier (Lee’s Summit), RB Khorey Kilgore (Blue Springs), OL Mike Meinert (St. Joseph), RB Jasper Sanders (Kansas City) and DL Chris Wiseman (Lee’s Summit). South Dakota wide receivers coach Matthew Middleton spent the 2012 season at Kansas as an offensive graduate assistant on KU head coach Charlie Weis’ staff.
Scouting The South Dakota Offense
The Coyotes used a heavy rushing attack to ground out a 10-7 win against UC Davis as three different backs, including quarterback Josh Vander Maten, logged at least 10 carries. Trevor Bouma, who earned USD’s Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year honor as a redshirting freshman last season, ran for a game-high 95 yards on 17 carries. Jordan Roberts, another redshirt freshman and former Gatorade Player of the Year in Wyoming, scorched UC Davis for 6.6 yards per carry en route to 66 yards and Vander Maten showed he’s a true dual threat with 42 yards on 16 carries, including a three-yard TD run in the second quarter. Vander Maten threw for 1,662 yards a year ago and ran for nearly 500, while leading the team in rushing attempts (138) and rushing touchdowns (6). In all, 195 of the Coyotes’ 286 offensive yards came on the ground in the first week. On special teams, freshman kicker/punter Miles Bergner was named the Missouri Valley Football Conference Special Teams Player of the Week after kicking the eventual game-winning 39-yard field goal and placed all five of his punts inside the 25, including two inside the 12.
Scouting The South Dakota Defense
South Dakota shutout UC Davis for three quarters and surrendered just one touchdown in a 10-7, season-opening win in Vermillion, S.D., last Saturday. The Coyotes limited UC Davis to 267 total yards, including just 110 yards through the air. The Coyotes feature an impressive linebacking corps in Tyler Starr, Keyen Lage and Auston Johnson. Starr, a member of the Buck Buchanan Award watch list was an All-MVFC performer a year ago and recorded a pair of tackles against UC Davis on Saturday. Lage, one of just two freshmen to letter for the Coyotes during the 2012 season, led USD with nine total tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss and proved to be ball disruptive with a forced fumble and pass break-up from the linebacker position. Johnson, a junior college transfer who was courted by FBS teams like BYU, Ohio State, UTEP and Texas A&M, recorded seven tackles at linebacker in his USD debut against UC Davis.
South Dakota Head Coach Joe Glenn
Joe Glenn finds himself in a similar spot to Kansas head coach Charlie Weis as both leaders enter the second year of resurrection projects. Glenn notched his 190th win as the Coyotes defeated UC Davis, 10-7, last weekend and the 29th head coach in USD history hopes to return his alma mater to glory with a rich well of successful experience at the the FCS level to draw from. Glenn is a two-time American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) National Coach of the Year honoree who has combined to win three national championships at the Division II and FCS levels. He entered 2013 with the ninth-most wins among active FCS head coaches. Glenn played both quarterback and wide receiver for the Coyotes under coach Joe Salem from 1967-71, served two years as an ROTC officer with the Army and returned to Vermillion in 1973 to begin work on his master’s degree and begin his coaching career. The 2013 campaign marks his 26th as a head coach. Glenn lost his only previous match-up with Kansas while at Wyoming, a 42-35 defeat in Laramie, Sept. 13, 2003.
Scouting The KU Offense
The Jayhawks return one of top rushing offenses in the country. Led by senior halfback James Sims, KU will look to again control the tempo of the game by using its powerful running game. Junior quarterback Jake Heaps will look to rejuvenate the KU passing attack. Heaps, who transferred to KU from BYU and had to sit out the 2012 season, is armed and ready to lead the Jayhawks through the air. He will be assisted by the versatility of junior H/F Tony Pierson, who is one of the most explosive playmakers in the Big 12. Additionally, Heaps will have junior tight end Jimmay Mundine, who is primed for a breakout season, at his disposal.
Scouting The KU Defense
The Kansas defense returns only four starters from the 2012 season, but fortunately the top player from last season is back. Junior linebacker Ben Heeney, who ranked second in the Big 12 with 112 tackles last season, returns as the leader of the Jayhawks. Up front, seniors Kevin Young and Keba Agostinho will anchor the line, along with junior Keon Stowers. Heeney will have help from fellow linebackers Samson Faifili and Jake Love, while Ben Goodman and Michael Reynolds will look to rush the quarterback from the Buck position. The KU secondary will feature four new starters; a group that will be a little short on experience is loaded with athleticism and speed.
This Day In Kansas Football History
The Jayhawks own a 1-1 overall mark in games played on Sept. 7. KU first played on Sept. 7 in 1991, taking a 30-7 win over Toledo on the road. The Jayhawks then dropped a 30-21 game at UNLV in 2002. Today’s game vs. South Dakota will mark Kansas’ first game in Memorial Stadium on Sept. 7.
KU In Season Openers
Kansas is 69-47-7 (.589 winning percentage) in season openers. The Jayhawks are also 88-31-4 (.731 winning percentage) in home openers. Kansas is opening its season at home for the 11th-straight year (8-2 in last 10 home openers). The Jayhawks have won eight of their last nine season openers dating back to the 2004 campaign.
KU vs. Non-Conference Opponents
KU has won 25 of its last 28 non-conference home games dating back to the start of the 2003 season. KU is 25-7 in its last 32 games against non-Big 12 opponents, including bowl victories against Houston (2005), Virginia Tech (2007 season) and Minnesota (2008).
KU vs. MVFC Foes
It’s safe to say the Jayhawks won’t be taking a game against a FCS opponent from the Missouri Valley Football Conference lightly after watching North Dakota State knock off K-State and Northern Iowa hold off Iowa State during KU’s bye week last weekend. Kansas has fared well against teams from the Valley, holding a 11-1 all-time record, including last year’s season-opening win against South Dakota State in Memorial Stadium.
Kansas was one of four schools in the NCAA that had three different running backs eclipse the 100-yard rushing mark in a game in 2012. Jayhawk HB James Sims recorded six 100-yard games, HB Tony Pierson had three 100-yard games, while fellow HB Taylor Cox had one 100-yard rushing game to his credit last season. All three Jayhawks return to the lineup in 2013, along with junior Brandon Bourbon and redshirt sophomore Darrian Miller, who each have recorded 100-yard games in their careers, giving Kansas arguably one of the top stable of runners in the NCAA this season.
Rushing Highlights Jayhawk Offense in 2012
Behind a stable of top-notch runners, the KU rushing attack finished the 2012 season ranked 22nd in the NCAA. Led by the Big 12’s top rusher in James Sims, Kansas averaged 211.6 yards per game on the ground, third in the Big 12 to Baylor (231.69) and Oklahoma State (215.31). Sims turned in 112.5 yards per game, 17th in the nation, while Tony Pierson added 69.1 ypg and Taylor Cox 38.7 ypg.
A Grand Season
Kansas running back James Sims became the 11th player in program history to surpass the 1,000 yard mark in a season during the 2012 campaign, needing just eight games to get there. The 1,000-yard plateau has been reached a total of 13 times, including two 1,000+ efforts by Tony Sands (1989, ’91) and June Henley (1993, ’96). This year, Sims will look to join that exclusive two-man club and become the first Jayhawk to rush for 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. Sims’ total rushing yardage last season (1,013) was the 13th-best, single-season effort and his 112.6 yards per game ranked as the fifth-best per game mark in KU history.
Heeney Makes Plays
Kansas junior linebacker Ben Heeney, a Hutchinson, Kan., native, is KU’s top returning tackler heading into the 2013 campaign and was named to the 2013 Rotary Lombardi Award preliminary watch list in July. Heeney burst on to the scene in 2012 with 112 tackles in his first season as a starter for the Jayhawks. His 112 tackles included 66 solo stops. He led KU with 12.0 tackles-for-loss and added one sack. He also was credited with two pass breakups, one quarterback hurry and one forced fumble. Heeney earned second team All-Big 12 honors following the 2012 season from the conference coaches, the Associated Press and Phil Steele Magazine. He is listed as a preseason first team All-Big 12 member entering the 2013 season by Athlon, Lindy’s and The Sporting News. Additionally, Heeney was named to the College Football Performance Awards watch list for the top linebacker in the NCAA.
The Second Century: Art of Passing
It’s no secret Kansas needs to be more successful moving the ball through the air to spell its stable of talented backs, but a competent aerial assault also greatly increases the team’s chances at winning. In the last five seasons, Kansas is 15-12 (.556) in games with its quarterback throwing for more than 200 yards and just 4-30 (.117) when the quarterback is held under that mark. Kansas managed just one game of more than 200 yards – a season-best 303 from Dayne Crist in a loss to TCU – last season, but help has arrived with Jake Heaps bringing 10 games of 200 yards or more over two seasons as a starter at BYU, including a career-best 305 through the air against Utah (9/17/11).
100 x 10
KU HBs Tony Pierson and James Sims each eclipsed the 100 yard rushing barrier in Kansas’ game at Texas Tech on Nov. 10, giving KU 10 such performances on the 2012 season. The 10 100-yard performances matched the school record set in 1974. Against Texas Tech, Kansas had two 100-yard rushers in the same game for the first time since the South Dakota State game when Pierson and Taylor Cox both gained 100-plus yards.
Jayhawk HBs Tony Pierson and James Sims teamed up for a 200-100 combination on the ground with Pierson going for 202 yards and Sims collecting 127 yards at Texas Tech in 2012. The 200-100 feat has only been accomplished one other time in KU history as Dennis Wright (113), Norris Banks (120) and LaVerne Smith (236) turned in a 200-100-100 outing vs. Missouri in 1975.
Heaps Ready to Let Loose
Kansas head coach Charlie Weis likes to joke about junior quarterback Jake Heaps being so anxious to get the 2013 season started that he had to convince him not to meet the plane at the airport when the team arrived after the 2012 season-ending loss to West Virginia. Heaps has good reason to be raring to go as his first start at Kansas on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, will come 658 days after his last collegiate start on November 19, 2011 as BYU’s starting quarterback. A lot can happen in 94 weeks, including birthing an elephant, which at roughly 645 days counts as the longest gestational period for any mammal. KU is hoping for a mammoth (closely related to an elephant) season from Heaps, who set every freshman passing record at BYU in 2010.
KU O-Line Looking to Overcome Lack of Starts
Kansas enters the 2013 campaign looking to replace three veteran offensive linemen who combined to start 109 games along the offensive front. In comparison, Kansas’ sum total of starts for every offensive lineman on the 2013 roster is 25, or 27 if counting Pat Lewandowski’s two starts at defensive tackle. Of those departed offensive linemen Tanner Hawkinson started 48 games, Duane Zlatnik started 31 and Trevor Marrongelli started 30 games. Based on starts, Randall Dent is KU’s most experienced lineman with 10 career starts, followed by Aslam Sterling at eight. Gavin Howard has six career starts and Damon Martin has one. Lewandowski, who figures to be the opening day starter at center, has no career starts on the offensive side of the ball.
Assignment Correct, Fundamentally Sound, Mentally Tough
Despite a losing record in 2012, Kansas embodied the athletic department’s mantra of assignment correct, fundamentally sound and mentally tough. In addition to being more competitive in year one under Charlie Weis, the Jayhawks were more disciplined and finished third nationally in penalty yards per game, being flagged for an average of 30.0 yards per game. That mark led the Big 12 and ranked below service academies Air Force (26.23) and Navy (29.08) and in front of Army (30.08). That was a stark improvement from 2011 when the Jayhawks were 45th in fewest penalty yards per game (45.92) and from 2010 when the Jayhawks were 83rd (56.75).
Junior quarterback Jake Heaps, junior linebacker Ben Heeney, senior running back James Sims and junior defensive lineman Keon Stowers were selected by their peers as the 2013 team captains, while nine other players were appointed as members of the team leadership council. Kansas conducted a players vote on August 18 during fall camp and head coach Charlie Weis announced the results at his weekly press conference on August 19. Members of the newly created leadership council include Jimmay Mundine, Christian Matthews, Tony Pierson, Pat Lewandowski, Keba Agostinho, Cassius Sendish, Dexter Linton, Darius Willis and Blake Jablonski.
Rewarded for their Contributions
Kansas head coach Charlie Weis awarded three scholarships to walk-on players in the fall based on their continued contributions to the program. Weis granted junior halfback Connor Embree a scholarship on August 15 and announced that junior holder/quarterback Blake Jablonski would receive a scholarship during practice on August 16. For the second consecutive year, Weis also extended a scholarship to senior defensive lineman Shane Smith. Embree, a Superior, Colo., native, who attended Blue Valley West High School in Kansas City, has been a member of the team for two years after transferring to KU from UNLV. Jablonksi, a graduate of Wichita Collegiate High School, was the Jayhawks’ holder in all 12 games a year ago and has been a member of the team for three seasons. Smith, from Albuquerque, N.M., played in all 12 games last season.
The Kansas Jayhawks will again feature one of the most talented scout team offenses in the country with quarterback transfer T.J. Millweard (UCLA) and wide receiver transfer Nick Harwell (Miami (Ohio)) sitting out due to NCAA transfer residency requirements. KU starters Jake Heaps and Justin McCay built repoire and tortured the first team defense while running the scout team last season. Millweard was slated to be the back-up in Westwood after redshirting as a freshman in 2012. The former top-100 Texas recruit from Colleyville, Texas, will be a redshirt sophomore in 2014 and have three seasons of eligibility remaining. Harwell, a 2011 Biletnikoff Award Watch List member and All-MAC First Team selection, brings an impressive resume to Kansas with 229 career receptions, 3,166 yards and 23 receiving touchdowns over three seasons with the Redhawks. The Missouri City, Texas native will have one year of eligibility remaining for next season.
Kansas Athletics and KU recycling partnering together for Rock Chalk recycle
Kansas Athletics, in partnership with KU Recycling, is helping to launch the Rock Chalk Recycle waste-diversion program this fall at all KU home athletics events. The waste diversion effort will include recycling and composting inside and outside all sports complexes, including Memorial Stadium. Rock Chalk Recycle will accept plastic, glass, aluminum and cardboard materials, as well as compostable items, both inside the stadium and at select locations on the Hill. Tailgaters and fans should look for waste stations with color-coded bags: blue for recycling, green for compost and grey for waste destined for the landfill. Tailgaters should be prepared to put their recyclables in blue bags that waste ambassadors will distribute throughout the major tailgating areas surrounding the stadium. Rock Chalk Recycle will have similar waste stations and waste ambassadors at soccer and volleyball matches this fall.
Radio Network Producer/Engineer Bob Newton to Receive Honor
If Bob Davis is the voice of Kansas Athletics, then Bob Newton is his hands and feet. Jayhawk IMG Radio Producer/Engineer Bob Newton usually spends his time behind the scenes but will be front and center when he receives the Kansas Association of Broadcasters’ Distinguished Service Award on Oct. 21 during the KAB Convention in Manhattan, Kan. The KAB’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award is given annually for exemplary service to the community, state and broadcast industry. Newton has been broadcasting in the state of Kansas for more than 40 years spending 32 of those years with KLWN in Lawrence as station manager, operations manager and program director. Since 1984, he has been producer/engineer for the Jayhawk IMG Radio Network and also currently serves as the engineer for the student radio stations at the KU and Baker University.
KUAthletics.com is the official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more. Visit the official digital hub today and connect with the Jayhawks. Book your audio ticket to Kansas Athletics with the Jayhawk Digital Passport and listen to live game feeds, press conferences, coaches shows and more on your computer, tablet or mobile device. Passport fees start at just $6.95 a month or stamp your permit for an entire year of Kansas audio for just $49.95.