Jayhawks Return Home to Host Iowa State
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas football team returns to the friendly confines of Memorial Stadium for the first time in nearly a month when the Jayhawks play host to Iowa State Saturday, Nov. 8.
Kansas looks to snap a five-game winless streak on the season and a four-game skid at the hands of the Cyclones when the two teams meet on the gridiron for the 2:30 p.m., kickoff live on FOX Sports Net.
- Kansas owns a 578-595-58 all-time record entering Saturday’s game versus Iowa State.
- Kansas is playing its eighth-straight mid-afternoon game. The Jayhawks kicked off at Duke and Texas Tech and at home against Central Michigan at 2:30 p.m. (CT) and faced Texas, West Virginia, Oklahoma State and Baylor at 3 p.m.
- Kansas leads the all-time series with Iowa State, 49-38-6. The Jayhawks have a 27-16-3 advantage in the series over ISU in games played in Lawrence. Iowa State has won four-straight games in the series, with three of those four outings coming in Ames. Prior to the four-game winless streak for Kansas, the Jayhawks reeled off five-consecutive wins over the Cyclones.
THIS DAY IN KANSAS FOOTBALL HISTORY
Kansas is 5-10-2 all-time in games played on Nov. 8. The Jayhawks played their first-ever game on Nov. 8 in 1896 when they defeated Nebraska, 18-4. Kansas played the Cornhuskers in eight of the 17 games it has played on Nov. 8, posting a 3-5 mark against NU in those games. The Jayhawks are 1-2-1 in Nov. 8 games versus Oklahoma. Kansas’ last outing on Nov. 8 came in 2008, with a 45-35 loss at Nebraska.
KANSAS-IOWA STATE CONNECTIONS
The Jayhawks have one player from the state of Iowa on their roster, senior offensive lineman Mike Smithburg. Smithburg hails from Fairfield, Iowa in the state’s southeast quadrant, nearly 150 miles from Ames. Smithburg and Kansas juniors safety Isaiah Johnson and offensive lineman Larry Mazyck each played at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on the state’s western border with Nebraska. Four Cyclones also played at Iowa Western Community College, with fellow Reivers including RB Aaron Wimberly, DB Drake Ferch, DE Cory Morrissey and DL Tyler Harmeyer. ISU starting TE E.J. Bibbs was a teammate of Kansas starting S Cassius Sendish at Arizona Western Community College in 2012. From 2002-09, Iowa State offensive coordinator/tight ends coach Mark Mangino and offensive line coach Brandon Blaney roamed the KU sidelines together. Mangino served as the head coach during that span, while Blaney was the offensive line coach. The duo helped Kansas football to its first ever Bowl Championship Series win in the 2008 FedEx Orange Bowl over No. 5 Virginia Tech. Under Mangino and Blaney, the Jayhawks played in four bowl games, winning three of them highlighted by 2007’s 12-1 season. Mangino recorded a 50-48 overall mark at the helm of the Jayhawk program. Current KU staffers–interim head coach Clint Bowen, co-offensive coordinator John Reagan and special teams coordinator Louie Matsakis–each were members of Mangino’s staff at Kansas.
SCOUTING THE IOWA STATE OFFENSE
Iowa State’s offense is averaging 25.8 points per outing and has accumulated 172 first downs on the season. The Cyclones move the chains more effectively by pass, evidenced by 98 first downs through the air compared to 57 by way of rush. ISU’s ground game has only accounted for 907 yards on 259 attempts through eight games this season, breaking down to a per carry average of 3.5 yards. The Cyclones have scored nine times on the ground compared to 15 touchdowns scored as a result of pass. Iowa State quarterbacks have completed 191-of-331 passes this season while only throwing six interceptions. ISU is averaging nearly 250 yards passing per game (246.9) and in total has thrown for 1,975 yards on the year. Throughout 2014, Iowa State has conducted exactly 590 offensive plays, putting up 2,882 yards of total offense grinding out 4.9 yards per play and 360 yards per game. Inside the 20-yard line, the Cyclones are effective putting points on the board scoring touchdowns on 19-of-27 attempts, while coming away with a score 25-of-27 times. Iowa State is most effective putting points on the board in the second quarter of games, scoring 68 total points in the 15 minutes before halftime.
SCOUTING THE IOWA STATE DEFENSE
Iowa State is allowing its opponents to score 38.2 points per game and has given up 214 first downs this season. Teams are having more success running the ball to move the sticks with 110 first downs by rush compared to 85 by way of pass in 2014. Teams have racked up nearly 2,000 yards rushing on the Cyclones’ defense (1,973) while scoring 29 touchdowns and averaging 246.6 yards on the ground per contest. Teams have rushed a total of 357 times and are averaging 246 yards over eight total games. Opponents’ aerial assaults have completed 177-of-287 passes while throwing eight interceptions compared to just seven touchdowns. Over the course of the season, the Iowa State defense is allowing teams to have 492.6 yards of total offense per game while giving up 3,941 yards of offense on the season. So far, the Cyclones have gotten off of the field 47 percent of the time on third down (57-122) and grow increasingly stout the further they are pushed back inside their own territory. Teams have scored 90 percent of the time inside of the ISU 20-yard line, but the Cyclones only give up a touchdown 69 percent of the time (29-of-42). The fourth quarter is ISU’s lowest scoring period, only giving up 63 points. The first half is when opponents do most of their damage, with 72 points in the first quarter of games and 103 in the second period.
IOWA STATE HEAD COACH PAUL RHOADS
Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads is in his sixth season in charge of the program after taking over in 2009. Rhoads has amassed a career-record of 29-42 in his six seasons at the helm for the Cyclones. He has led ISU to three bowl games including the 2012 Autozone Liberty Bowl, 2011 New Era Pinstripe Bowl and the 2009 Insight Bowl. During his time in Ames, Rhoads has recorded three victories over ranked opponents on the road, half of the school’s all-time total of road triumphs over rated teams (six). In all, Rhoads has registered four wins over ranked opponents in his five seasons. In the 17 seasons prior to Rhoads’ arrival (1992-2008), the Cyclones won just nine conference road games. The Cyclones have already recorded six conference road victories under Rhoads. Upon taking over, Rhoads became the first Cyclone football coach to win seven games in his initial campaign since 1907. He was the first coach in ISU history to post a winning record in his initial Cyclone season since 1931. Rhoads’ stingy defensive philosophy made him a notorious mind for calling plays from the defensive side of the ball. Prior to Iowa State, his resume includes a 2004 Big East Conference championship with the Panthers. Five of the defenses he coordinated ranked in the nation’s Top 30 for scoring and three in the NCAA’s Top 12 for fewest yards allowed. Rhoads’ last two defenses (Auburn in 2008 and Pitt in 2007) before coming to Ames ranked 15th nationally in scoring defense and fifth in total defense, respectively. The Sporting News named him the best defensive coordinator in the Big East Conference.
- Prior to the game interim head coach Clint Bowen promoted wide receivers coach Eric Kiesau to co-offensive coordinator. Co-offensive coordinator John Reagan remained in the coaching booth, while Kiesau called the plays from the field.
- With 11:29 to play in the first quarter, Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty found wide receiver Corey Coleman for a 72-yard touchdown pass, completing the longest play KU has given up from scrimmage in 2014.
- Baylor’s 60 points were the most given up by Kansas this season. The previous season-high was recorded when Duke scored 41 points on the Jayhawks on Sept. 13, 2014. Baylor’s 60 points marked the first time since 2011 against Texas A&M that an opponent has scored 60 or more points on the Jayhawks.
- Defensively, the Jayhawks gave up a season-high 669 yards of total offense, the highest total since it surrendered 743 yards of total offense to the Bears a season ago. Prior to today, Kansas had given up 500 or more yards three times on the year.
- Kansas’ run game had no effect on Baylor’s defense throughout the game. The Jayhawks posted 16 yards rushing, its lowest total since tallying 11 rushing yards against Oklahoma in 2005.
- Junior quarterback Michael Cummings finished the game with a career-high-tying 288 yards passing, notching the first time since 2009 that a Kansas quarterback threw for 200 or more yards over a span of three-straight games. In 2009, KU quarterback Todd Reesing threw for 241, 236, 256 and 498 yards in four-straight contests.
- Cummings found Harwell in the end zone with 2:12 to play in the third period for the duo’s second throwing touchdown of the game. Cummings’ two touchdown tosses gave him the second multi-passing touchdown performance of his career.
- Cummings’ second touchdown pass to Harwell gave the transfer receiver his second multi-touchdown game as a Jayhawk.
- With his two touchdown receptions versus Baylor, Harwell has posted two games with multiple touchdown receptions, the first Jayhawk wide receiver to do so in a season since both Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier accomplished the feat in 2009.
- Freshman running back Corey Avery recorded a career-long reception mark and set a new career-high with four receptions after a 49-yard catch and run with 3:04 to play in the third quarter. He finished with a career-high 92 receiving yards.
- Senior linebacker Ben Heeney lined up as a running back for the first time in his career and gained no yards on his first-career carry with 10:46 to play in the third quarter.
- Freshman running back Darious Crawley saw the most action of his career catching a pass for seven yards and running once for three yards midway through the third quarter.
- The Kansas defense held Baylor to three plays and a punt on its opening drive of the game. Prior to that three-and-out, Baylor had only been prevented from moving the chains for a first down one time this season on its opening drive against Iowa State on Sept. 27, 2014. The KU defense hasn’t allowed an opponent to get a first down on an opening drive in 4-of-8 games this season.
- Senior linebacker Ben Heeney notched the 17th double-digit tackling performance of his career after finishing the contest with 10 total stops.
- Sophomore linebacker Courtney Arnick surpassed his previous season-high five tackles with an eight-tackle performance against Baylor.
- With Baylor threatening to score inside of the KU two-yard line, senior BUCK Michael Reynolds stripped the ball loose for the third-consecutive game, marking his fourth forced fumble of the season and sixth of his career.
- Sophomore safety Fish Smithson set a career-high with nine tackles against the Bears. Smithson’s previous high has been five tackles which he recorded three times this season.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
- Senior punter Trevor Pardula averaged 44.4 yards on five punts giving him 47 career punts of 50-yards or more in just his second season as a Jayhawk.
- Senior cornerback JaCorey Shepherd returned a career-high eight kickoffs and registered a season-high 125 kickoff return yards.
CUMMINGS CONTINUES TO RISE
Kansas junior quarterback Michael Cummings has continued to lead the Jayhawk passing game to greater heights since being inserted into the starting lineup. In his three games as the starter, Cummings has completed 61-of-99 passes, good for a completion percentage of 61.6. He has tossed four touchdowns, compared to two interceptions, while accumulating 811 yards through the air. Kansas is averaging 270.3 passing yards per game in the Killeen, Texas native’s three starts. The Jayhawk offense was averaging just 154.6 passing yards per game in the five games prior to Cummings becoming the starter.
KU senior BUCK Michael Reynolds has been on a tear lately, disrupting opposing offenses with his pass rushing ability. Reynolds, who has a team-leading 11.5 tackles-for-loss, has recorded 6.0 of those TFLs during the past three outings. The Wichita, Kansas native has recorded a sack-caused-fumble in two of the last three contests and tallied 10.0 of his 11.5 TFLs in Big 12 play. Reynolds has collected all of his team-leading 5.0 sacks in the last six games, including 2.0 sacks against Oklahoma State (Oct. 11). He ranks fourth in the Big 12 and 18th in the NCAA in TFLs (1.4 per game) and sixth in the conference and 51st nationally in sacks (0.63 per game).
CAPTAIN HEENEY DOES IT AGAIN…AND AGAIN…AND AGAIN…
Ben Heeney led all FBS players on Saturday, Oct. 18 with a career-best 21 tackles in KU’s game at Texas Tech. Heeney’s 21 tackles are the most by any player in the Big 12 in 2014 and are the second most by any player in the NCAA this season. Heeney’s 21 total tackles are the most by a Big 12 player since Baylor’s Sam Holl posted 21 tackles against Kansas on Nov. 12, 2011. His 21 tackles are the most for a Kansas player since LeRoy Irvin, Sr., posted 21 stops against Missouri on Nov. 22, 1979. Among Heeney’s 21 stops, were 17 solo tackles—just three short of the FBS record of 20 in a game. His 17 solo stops are the second most in Big 12 history and are the most in the NCAA in a single game since Tyler Matakevich of Temple recorded 19 solos against Idaho on Sept. 28, 2013. Heeney was so dominant on defense against Texas Tech, at one point in the first quarter, he made tackles on 7-of-9 plays, spanning two defensive series. The other two plays resulted in incomplete passes for the Red Raiders. In addition to his 21 tackles, Heeney also snagged his first interception of the season, returning it 37 yards to set up Kansas’ first touchdown of the game. Heeney now has four career interceptions. As of Saturday, Nov. 1, Heeney ranks first in the NCAA and Big 12 in solo tackles (8.3 per game). He ranks first in the Big 12 and fifth in the NCAA in tackles per game (11.8 per game).
Kansas football plays its final home game of the 2014 season when it hosts TCU on Senior Day Saturday, Nov. 15. TCU leads the all-time series with KU, 18-8-4, including a 2-0 mark in games since joining the Big 12 Conference. The Jayhawks will honor its 21 seniors prior to kickoff.
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