Jayhawks open Big 12 play Thursday at Texas Tech
Sophomore defensive tackle Daniel Wise leads Kansas with 4.0 TFLs.
at Texas Tech
September 29, 2016
Snapchat @ku_footballLAWRENCE, Kan. – After honing its skills during a bye week, the Kansas football team hits the road to open up Big 12 play Thursday, September 29, under the lights at Texas Tech.
The contest at Jones AT&T Stadium marks the 57th time the Jayhawks (1-2, 0-0 Big 12) have played a game on Thursday and the first since October 14, 2010 against Kansas State.
SERIES HISTORY VS. TEXAS TECH
Overall Record: 1-16
Current Streak: Lost 9
Longest Win Streak: 1, (2001)
Longest Winless Streak: 9, (2004-15)
Last 10 Games: 1-9
In Lawrence: 0-9
In Lubbock: 1-7
Neutral Sites: 0-0
Under David Beaty: 0-1
First Meeting: Sept. 18, 1965 (L, 28-7)
Last Meeting: Sept. Oct. 17, 2015 (L, 30-20)
vs. Big 12 Opponents: 187-253-24
First: W, 11-6 vs. Iowa State (Oct. 15, 1898)
Last: L, 45-14 vs. K-State (Nov. 28, 2015)
On September 29: 6-4-3
First: L, 16-5 vs. Ottawa (1901)
Last: L, 31-17 at Oklahoma (1990)
On Thursday: 29-20-7
WRAPPING UP BEHIND THE LINE
For the second-straight game, the Kansas defense tallied 10 or more tackles-for-loss at Memphis (Sept. 17), finishing the game with 10 TFLs. That double-digit mark pushed the Jayhawks season total to 29, tying for the most TFLs in a three-game span since 2007 when KU posted 38 tackles behind the line of scrimmage against Southeastern Louisiana (Sept. 8), Toledo (Sept. 15) and Florida International (Sept. 22). The 9.7 TFLs per game ranks the Jayhawks seventh in the nation and second in the Big 12 Conference behind Baylor (10.3 per game).
The Kansas defense has posted 29 TFLs through three games in 2016 with 16 different Jayhawks joining in the effort. Senior linebacker Marcquis Roberts and sophomores defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. and defensive tackle Daniel Wise lead the way with 4.0 TFLs each. Among his four TFLs, Armstrong also leads KU with two sacks, both at Memphis (Sept. 17) to tie his career best.
Freshman running back Khalil Herbert posted a career effort at Memphis (Sept. 17) after tallying a personal best 35-yard reception only to follow that up with a career-long 66-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. That score was the longest rush by a freshman in the last 10 years with Todd Reesing setting the mark to beat at 63 in 2006 against Colorado (Oct. 28). That 66-yard run was also the longest rush for the Jayhawks since Tony Pierson sprung loose for a 74-yard touchdown against Central Michigan in 2014 (Sept. 20). Herbert finished the day responsible for 35 percent of the Kansas offense as he finished with 109 yards (74 rushing and 35 receiving).
Of the 153 combined rushes and completions, Kansas averages 7.3 yards per play. When freshman running back Khalil Herbert (8.5 yards per touch), sophomore wide receiver Steven Sims Jr. (23.0 yards per touch) or junior wide receiver LaQuvionte Gonzalez (8.3 yards per touch) have the ball, the Jayhawks average 11.9 yards per play compared to the 5.3 yards by the rest of the team. Herbert has rushed 12 times and caught three passes for a combined 128 yards. Gonzalez has had the ball 20 times on offense for 165 yards while Sims has hauled in 11 receptions for 253 yards. In addition to carrying the majority of the yards, the trio has combined for over half of Kansas’ touchdowns, reaching the end zone six times.
THE GO-TO GUY
Through three games in 2015, sophomore wide receiver Steven Sims Jr. caught just eight passes for 54 yards without a touchdown. After three games in 2016, Sims finds himself among the nation’s best averaging 23.0 yards per receptions. Only seven other Power Five receivers average more yards than Sims. The Houston, Texas native finished his rookie campaign with 30 receptions for 349 yards and two touchdowns. Experience seems to have helped as Sims has almost surpassed all those numbers with 11 grabs for 253 yards and four touchdowns just three games in to 2016.
Kansas had one of its toughest years defensively in 2015, but that didn’t deter head coach David Beaty and defensive coordinator Clint Bowen as they each reiterated to trust the process and laid the foundation for a young team. That sentiment held true as the Jayhawks have seen growth on the defensive side of the ball through the first three games in 2016 compared to last season. KU ranked 100 or worse in seven of eight defensive categories in the FBS a season ago, but turned it around to rank in the top 35 in six of those same categories compared equally through the first three games of each season.
When Kansas plays at Texas Tech Thursday night at 7:30 p.m., no current Jayhawk that steps on the field after kickoff will have experienced a victory away from Memorial Stadium. Kansas will look to snap a staggering winless streak of 39 games played outside of Lawrence.
In the Jayhawks’ last road victory – a 34-7 bout over UTEP on Sept. 12, 2009, running back Jake Sharp engineered two touchdowns and 104 yards, while quarterback Todd Reesing threw 25-of-41 passes for 260 yards and a score. Wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe turned in 154 yards on eight catches.
*KU is 0-36 in true road games dating back to 2009. Adding three neutral-site losses to Missouri in 2009, 20 and 11 gives Kansas its 39-game winless streak in games played outside of Memorial Stadium.
Kansas returns to Memorial Stadium to continue Big 12 play against TCU, Saturday, October 8 for the annual “Jayhawks for a Cure” game.