Jayhawks set for 114th Sunflower Showdown


Sophomore defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr., leads the Big 12 Conference in TFLs (17.0) and sacks (10.0). 

Nov. 26, 2016 

Location Manhattan, Kan.
Venue Bill Snyder Family Stadium
Time 11 a.m.
TV Fox Sports 1
Listen Jayhawk Radio Network
Video Weekly Presser
Notes Game Notes


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Snapchat @ku_footballLAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas football team wraps up the 2016 campaign at Kansas State in the 114th rendition of the Sunflower Showdown presented by Dillons on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 11 a.m. on FOX Sports 1.

KU (2-9, 1-7 Big 12) snapped a 19-game conference winless streak when it defeated Texas, 24-21, in overtime and looks to carry that momentum with it to Manhattan, Kansas, where the Wildcats (6-4, 4-3 Big 12) have won seven straight against the Jayhawks.

For the first time since 2008, Kansas saw two players earn distinction from the Big 12 Conference as the league’s Player of the Week. Senior kicker Matthew Wyman (special teams) and sophomore defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. (defense), earned their honors after leading the Jayhawks to a 24-21 overtime win against Texas on Senior Day. Armstrong boasted a career-best 11 tackles, including 2.0 sacks and 3.0 TFLs, forced a fumble and picked up a loose ball to return it seven yards against the Longhorns. Wyman showed perfection with a 3-for-3 effort on field goals including the game tying 36-yard field goal with seven seconds left in regulation and the winning 25-yard strike in overtime. KU has now had three players earn weekly honors from the Big 12 this season, as junior punter Cole Moos took home Special Teams Player of the Week honors on Oct. 17.

Fresh off its 24-21 overtime win over Texas (Nov. 19), Kansas was named the National Team of the Week by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). The come-from-behind win marked KU’s first over UT since 1938 and snapped a 19-game Big 12 Conference winless streak. The Jayhawk defense shined in the win and combined for 94 tackles, eight TFLs, six takeaways, had five defenders with double-digit stops and scored a touchdown. The Football Writers Association of America’s National Team of the Week was created as part of the Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll in 2002. Since then, it has been awarded each Monday during the regular season by various committees that have included members of the FWAA All-America Committee, the association’s board of directors and its past presidents. Kansas has won the award on two previous occasions: following a win over Missouri on Nov. 29, 2008 and following a road win at Texas A&M on Oct. 27, 2007.
In its 24-21 overtime victory against the Longhorns (Nov. 19), Kansas saw five different defensive players record at least 10 stops. Sophomore linebacker Keith Loneker Jr., recorded a career-high 16 tackles, senior safety Fish Smithson wrapped up 12, and freshman safety Mike Lee, sophomore defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. and senior safety Tevin Shaw each had 11. That was also a personal-best for Armstrong. The last time KU saw three different Jayhawks tally at least 10 stops came earlier this season against Ohio (Sept. 10).

With his three tackles-for-loss against Texas (Nov. 19), sophomore defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr., passed Willie Pless and moved into a two-way tie in seventh place with Stanley Gardner for most TFLs in a season at 17. Armstrong would need to record six more stops behind the line of scrimmage to tie Charlton Keith for the No. 1 spot in single-season TFLs with 23. Currently, Armstrong’s 17 are the most by a Jayhawk in a season since James Holt boasted 19.5 in 2008.

Sophomore defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr., vaulted into a four-way tie for third place with James Holt, Brandon Perkins and Dana Stubblefield, for the most sacks in a single season with 10, after a two-sack performance against Texas (Nov. 29). The defensive end has now recorded at least one sack in seven different games, recording two in three of those contests. With one more sack, Armstrong would move into a tie for second with Algie Atkinson (11) with Ron Warner leading the way with 14.5 that he set in 1997. Armstrong’s 10 sacks are the most since James Holt accomplished the same feat in 2008.

Sophomore defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr., leads the Big 12 Conference in tackles-for-loss (17.0) and sacks (10.0), while ranking eighth and 11th in the FBS, respectively. Armstrong averages 0.91 sacks per game and 1.55 TFLs per game both ahead of K-State’s Jordan Willis, who ranks second in both categories in the league. The nation’s leading tackler behind the line of scrimmage is Haason Reddick of Temple with 20 TFLs and a 1.8 TFL per game average. On the sack side, Utah’s Hunter Dimick leads the way with 14.0 total, averaging 1.27 per contest.

Of KU’s 81 plays against the Longhorns (Nov. 19), senior running back Ke’aun Kinner touched the ball 27 times (20 rush, seven receptions). In total, the ball was successfully moved by way of a rush or completion 60 times, with Kinner accounting for 45 percent of the production. His career-best seven receptions went for a personal-best 68 yards, always finding the right amount of yards when Kansas needed it most.

Kansas closes out the regular season when the Jayhawks travel to in-state rival Kansas State, Saturday, November 26. Kickoff against the Wildcats is slated for either 11 a.m. or 2:30 p.m. with the broadcast designated to FOX Sports 1.

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