Jayhawks Host Memphis for Family Weekend/Band Day

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LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas football team looks to get back on track as it plays host to Memphis, Saturday, Sept. 12, at Memorial Stadium. The game, that takes place on Family Weekend and Band Day, comes one week after the Jayhawks nearly came from behind to beat South Dakota State. Kickoff for Saturday’s contest is slated for 6 p.m., and can be seen on the Jayhawk Television Network throughout the state of Kansas and Kansas City Metro Area, and on ESPN3 outside the coverage area.

Saturday marks the first time the Jayhawks and Tigers will square off on the gridiron. In the 125-year history of the program, Kansas has played 25 games against current American Athletic Conference foes dating back to 1933. In those contests, KU holds a record of 13-12, with its last win coming in 2006 in 13-7 fashion over South Florida (Sept. 23).

Memphis is coming off arguably one of the best seasons in school history that included a 10-3 mark and a program-best seven wins in conference play en route to the American Athletic Conference title. Memphis returns eight starters from a 2014 squad that scored a school-record 471 points (36.2 ppg) compared to the 234 points scored all of 2013. Of those starters returning is quarterback Paxton Lynch. The redshirt-junior has racked up 5,165 yards passing and completed 61-percent of his passes (470-of-774) since being named the starter in 2013. On the receiving end of 47 of those passes in 2014 was wide receiver Mose Frazier. Returning for a fifth year as a redshirt-senior, Frazier led all Memphis receivers with 47 catches and ranked second with 506 yards and three touchdowns. Against Missouri State (Sept. 5), Frazier caught six passes for a game-high 89 yards and two touchdowns. The ground assault returns running backs Jarvis Cooper and Sam Craft, who combined for 709 yards a year ago. In the season-opening bout with Missouri State (Sept. 5), Cooper paced the offensive attack with 102 yards rushing and two touchdowns.  

Stat Leaders:
Passing – Paxton Lynch – 8-12-0, 78 yards, 1 TD
Receiving – Mose Frazier – 6-89 yards, 2 TD
Rushing – Jarvis Cooper – 18-102 yards, 2 TD

Memphis returns just three starters from a defense that allowed just 19.5 points and 349.5 yards of offense per game and has been on the rise the last three seasons since head coach Justin Fuente took the reins. Among those returning is DAWG Jackson Dillon who finished 2014 with 43 tackles (33 solo, 10 asst), 9.0 TFLs for a loss of 50 yards and 3.5 sacks. Safety Reggis Ball returns in the secondary where he recorded 35 stops, one interception and recovered two fumbles in 2014. In week one against Missouri State (Sept. 5), the Tigers had 27 different players record a tackle, with the SAM linebacker position turning out most of the production with six stops, 1.0 TFLs and a fumble recovery combined between Phillip Sumpter and Wynton McManis. 

Stat Leaders:
Tackles – Four tied – three solo stops
TFLs – Latarius Brady, Phillip Sumpter, Donald Pennington – 1.0 TFL
Sacks – Latarius Brady – 1.0, 6 yards

On December 8, 2011, the University of Memphis named Justin Fuente the program’s 23rd head coach after the Tigers had won just five combined games between 2009-11. Since taking the reins, Fuente and the Tigers have made momentous strides in his first three seasons, including the school’s first conference title in more than 40 years, along with a come-from-behind bowl victory against BYU in the 2014 Miami Beach Bowl. In 2014, Fuente led the Tigers to a school-record 471 points (36.2 ppg) and matched a program-best 10 wins that was established in 1938. He guided the Tigers to close out the year with a seven-game winning streak, and ranked among the top-25 in both the AP and USA Today/Amway Coaches Polls, a first for the program. He was named the 2014 American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year unanimously by his peers, as well as the College Football Coach of the Year by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association.

After a rough first three series to start the 2015 season, junior quarterback Montell Cozart regrouped and led a high-powered offensive attack to nearly complete the come-from-behind victory over South Dakota State (Sept. 5). During the first three possessions of the game, Cozart managed just 57 yards in the air with an interception, ran for 14 yards with a fumble and posted a three-and-out in the other series.  However, following the fumble, Cozart was lights out. He completed 70 percent of his passes (21-of-38) for 234 yards and a touchdown. If that wasn’t enough, Cozart legged out 16 rushes for 80 yards. As a result, Cozart set career highs in completions (25), attempts (38), passing yards (291) and rushing yards (94). He had his hands involved in 65 percent of the offensive production for a combined 385 yards.

Since day one, head coach David Beaty has wanted to run as many offensive plays as possible over the course of a game. In his first game at the helm Saturday, Sept. 5, the Jayhawks ran 90 plays. Kansas was one of seven teams in college football during week one that ran 90 or more plays in a game, that amounts to just five-percent of all the FBS schools. Since 2006, the Jayhawks have ran 90 or more plays in a single game six times, with two of those contests playing into overtime. 

Most Plays in College Football Week One:
96 Florida Atlantic
95 Middle Tennessee, Ball State, UTSA
93 Duke, Colorado
90 Kansas
89 Cincinnati
88 San Jose State, California, Texas Tech, Louisiana-Lafayette
87 Tennessee, Arkansas State, Tulsa, TCU, Charlotte
85 Bowling Green

Most Snaps in a game since 2006:
94 at No. 21 Nebraska  (OT) Sept. 30, 2006 L, 32-39
91 vs. Iowa State Nov. 8, 2014 W, 34-14
91 vs. Baylor (2OT) Nov. 12, 2011 L, 30-31
90 vs. South Dakota State Sept. 5, 2015 L, 38-41
90 vs. Northern Illinois Sept. 10, 2011 W, 45-42
90 vs. No. 8 Nebraska Nov. 3, 2007 W, 76-39

Against South Dakota State (Sept. 5), 22 Kansas players made their debuts, including 12 first-time starters. Among the 22 were seven freshmen, including five true freshmen, two of which found themselves in the starting lineup.

Kansas Debuts:
DE Dorance Armstrong, Jr. (Fr.); OL D’Andre Banks (Jr.); K Nick Bartolotta (So.); S Bazie Bates IV (Jr.); OL Jacob Bragg (R-Fr.); DT Jacky Dezir (So.); LS Jordan Goldenberg (So.); DT Corey King (Sr.); RB Ke’aun Kinner (Jr.); CB Tyrone Miller, Jr. (Fr.); LB Osaze Ogbebor (Fr.); DE Anthony Olobia (Jr.); WR Tyler Patrick (R-Fr.); LB Marcquis Roberts (Jr.); LB Cameron Rosser (Jr.); RB Ryan Schadler (R-Fr.); WR Steven Sims, Jr. (Fr.); WR Joshua Stanford (Jr.); CB Brandon Stewart (Jr.); TE Kent Taylor (Jr.); QB Ryan Willis (Fr.); and DT Daniel Wise (R-Fr.).

Kansas First-time Starters:
OL D’Andre Banks (Jr.); WR Bobby Hartzog, Jr. (So.); TE Ben Johnson (So.); DT Corey King (Sr.); RB Ke’aun Kinner (Jr.); CB Tyrone Miller, Jr. (Fr.); DE Damani Mosby (Jr.); LB Marcquis Roberts (Jr.); WR Steven Sims, Jr. (Fr.); S Fish Smithson (Jr.); CB Brandon Stewart (Jr.); and DT Daniel Wise (R-Fr.).

The Jayhawks will take advantage of a bye week during week three of the college football season. Kansas will then hit the road for one final non-conference matchup at Rutgers (Sept. 26) before the Big 12 gauntlet begins. Kickoff at High Point Solutions Stadium is set for 11 a.m.

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