Kansas prepped for Homecoming tilt against Texas Tech

Beginning in August 2017, fans will be allowed to bring only one clear plastic bag no larger than 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches or a one-gallon, clear, resealable plastic storage bag per person inside Kansas athletics events.

Fans will also be allowed a small clutch purse not to exceed 5.5 inches by 8.5 inches.

More on new bag policy

The Jayhawk offense has seen major improvement under first-year offensive coordinator Doug Meacham. 

 Game 5: Texas Tech
  October 7
  11 a.m.
  Memorial Stadium (50,071)
  FS1 // FoxSportsGo.com
  Jayhawk Radio Network
  Live Stats
  Game Notes


 Stat Comparison KU TTU
 Record 1-3 (0-1 Big 12) 3-1 (0-1 Big 12)
 Points per game 32.2 42.2
 First Downs 93 107
 Rushing YPG 173.8 125.8
 Passing YPG 306.8 410.8
 Offense YPG 480.5 536.5
 Defensive INTs 2 5
 Touchdowns 16 22
 Field Goals 6/7 5/7
 Time of Possession 28:05 30:05
 Sacks 3 7


LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas football returns to action following a bye week, welcoming Texas Tech to Memorial Stadium on October 7 for Homecoming. The Jayhawks and Red Raiders are set to kickoff at 11 a.m.

vs. Texas Tech 1-17
Current Streak: Lost 10
Longest Win Streak: 1
Longest Winless Streak: 10
Last 10 Games: 0-10
In Lawrence: 0-9
In Lubbock: 1-8
Neutral Sites: 0-0
Under David Beaty: 0-2
First Meeting: September 18, 1965 (L, 28-7)
Last Meeting: September 29, 2016 (L, 55-19)

In his first season as the Jayhawks’ play caller, Doug Meacham has the KU offense headed in the right direction. Through the first four games of the season, the KU offense is averaging 32.2 points per game, compared to 25.5 through the first four games last year. The offense totaled 68 first downs through the first four games a year ago, but have moved the chains 93 times thus far in 2017.

Brought in by head coach David Beaty because of his knowledge of the air raid offense, Meacham has the Jayhawks passing for 44.8 more yards per game this season as compared to last year’s first four contests, but it’s the run game that has seen the most improvement. The Jayhawks’ running game has gone from averaging 91.0 yards per game through the first four games last season to 173.8 this year. A major factor of that improvement is sophomore Khalil Herbert‘s last two games, where he rushed for 137 and 291 yards, respectively.

Making up for missed time after sitting out the final nine games of 2016 due to injury, redshirt junior linebacker Joe Dineen Jr., has been on a tear to start the 2017 season. Recording tackle totals of 15, 12, 11 and 14 to accumulate 52 through the first four games of the season, Dineen is ranked second in the nation in total tackles per game with 13.0. His 35 solo tackles on the season ranks first in the nation, and his 9.0 tackles for loss places him in third.

Kansas’ offense has not been afraid to take chances on fourth down this season. On 12 occasions, offensive coordinator Doug Meacham has had his offsense go for it on fourth down. Of those 12 attempts, the Jayhawks have converted on 10. Their 83 percent success rate ranks eighth in FBS. Only two schools, UMass and California, have more successful conversions than the Jayhawks, and Syracuse has also completed 10 fourth-down attempts, but of the 26 teams that have went for it 10 or more times this season, KU has the highest success rate. Arizona is the only other school in FBS that has went for it on fourth down 10 -plus times and has a success rate above 75 percent (9-for-11, 82%).

Sophomore running back Khalil Herbert recorded a career-high 137 rushing yards against Ohio, scoring two touchdowns along the way. If that wasn’t enough to be considered a breakout performance, Herbert made headlines by following his week three performance with 291 yards on the ground and two more touchdowns against West Virginia in week four.

Herbert’s 291 rushing yards was the most in FBS in 2017 at the time, and surpassed the Kansas Comet Gale Sayers for the third-most rushing yards in a single game in Kansas history. Sayers held the third-place spot with a 283-yard rushing game against Oklahoma State in 1962.

1. Tony Sands, Sr., 396, vs. Missouri, 11-23-91
2. Nolan Cromwell, Jr., 294, vs. Oregon State, 9-27-75
3. Khalil Herbert, So., 291, vs. West Virginia, 9-23-17

In his first four games at Kansas, junior quarterback Peyton Bender has recorded 1,227 yards on 102-of-178 passing. Bender became the fastest Jayhawk to reach 1,000 career passing yards in the 127-year history of the program when he did so in just three games in the Crimson and Blue.

The next-fastest KU quarterbacks to reach 1,000 career passing yards were Jordan Webb (2010-12) and Bill Whittemore (2002-03), who each reached 1,000 career passing yards in their first six games. Three other Kansas quarterbacks reached 1,000 yards in their first seven career appearances; Ryan Willis (2015-16), Kerry Meier (2006-09) and Mike Norseth (1984-85).

Junior wide receiver Steven Sims Jr., is a key factor of the Jayhawk offense and has been since he first stepped on the field in the Crimson and Blue. In 27 career games, Sims has caught a pass in all but one. His lone game without a catch was week two this season, where he tried to battle through an ankle injury but ultimately sat out the majority of the game. Sims was never targeted in the game, but by taking the field he unfortunately snapped a 24-game streak of catching a pass. Nevertheless, he bounced back in week three with six catches for 60 yards.

With his 24-game reception streak, Sims was just one of four players to do so since 2006 for Kansas. Kerry Meier, Dezmon Briscoe and Dexton Fields each had streaks of 20-plus games with a reception.

20-plus straight games with a catch since 2006
1. Kerry Meier, 35 (2007-09)
2. Dezmon Briscoe, 30 (2007-09)
3. Dexton Fields, 25 (2006-08)
4. Steven Sims Jr., 24 (2015-17)

Four games into the 2017 season, junior defensive tackle Daniel Wise shows no signs of regression from his impressive 2016 season and is over half way to his tackle for loss total from last year. Wise has recorded 6.0 tackles for loss after notching 10.0 last season.

In his final year in the Crimson and Blue, senior tight end Ben Johnson has been a major factor for the Kansas offense thus far. Through four games, Johnson has recorded 13 receptions for 195 yards and one touchdown, averaging 3.25 receptions per game, 15.0 yards per catch and 48.8 yards per game. His 13 receptions surpass his total of 10 receptions from last season and ties his career-high set in 2015.

If Johnson’s production continues at a similar pace, he would give himself the chance to have one of the best seasons by a tight end in Kansas history. In 2014, Johnson’s redshirt freshman year, Jimmay Mundine recorded 564 receiving yards, the most by a tight end in Kansas history.

Single-Season Receiving Yards by a Tight End
1. Jimmay Mundine, 564 (2014)
2. John Mosier, 495 (1967)
3. John Schroll, 491 (1971)
4. Dwayne Chandler, 398 (1992)
5. Derek Fine, 394 (2007)

Redshirt junior linebacker Joe Dineen Jr., junior defensive tackle Daniel Wise and junior defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr., have all shown their ability to make stops in the backfield this season. The trio have combined for 19 tackles for loss this season, with Dineen’s 9.0 leading the way. Although Armstrong’s pace has been slower this season than last, his presence is felt with teams double and triple teaming him on a large percentage of plays.

Freshman Dom Williams and sophomore Khalil Herbert have each shown their abilities to get into the end zone this season. Williams has been able to score three times on the ground, and Herbert has found the end zone with four rushing touchdowns.

Herbert has already matched Taylor Martin’s four touchdowns from last season,  which was the most rushing touchdowns by a player for the Jayhawks in 2016. Both Herbert and Williams have a great chance of scoring more rushing TDs than any player for Kansas over the last several years.

Most Rushing Touchdowns over last 10 seasons
2016: Taylor Martin, 4
2015: Ke’Aun Kinner, 5
2014: Corey Avery, 5
2013: James Sims, 7
2012: James Sims, 9
2011: James Sims, 9
2010: James Sims, 9
2009: Toben Opurum, 9
2008: Jake Sharp, 12
2007: Brandon McAnderson, 16

Voted on by team members, the 2017 Kansas football capatains are junior defensive tackle Daniel Wise, junior defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr., junior linebacker Joe Dineen Jr., senior running back Denzell Evans and junior wide receiver Jeremiah Booker.

Every December the top player in the nation is awarded with the most prestigious honor in college football – the Heisman Trophy. One thing you’ll notice about the candidates for the Heisman is they’re always a “skill player”. For the third-straight season, however, there is an award to give love, and dessert, to the best big man in college foortball. The SB Nation Piesman Award is given to the the best offensive or defensive lineman in college, and one Jayhawk is on the watch list to take the cake, err pie, rather. Junior defensive tackle Daniel Wise was one of 44 players named to the Piesman Watch List prior to the start of the season and he’s out to get his own “slice of heaven” and win the pie-shaped crystal trophy given out in New York City in December. And in case you were wondering, Wise’s favorite type of pie is sweet potato.

A native of Lawrence, Kansas, redshirt junior Joe Dineen Jr., has always known the benefits of giving back to his community, but roughly one year ago he became passionate about one cause in particular – childhood cancer. Due to his devotion to raising awareness and funds to fight the disease, Dineen was nominated to the Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team and named to the Wuerffel Trophy watch list, which honors college football’s top community servant.

Dineen’s dedication to helping the cause started when Cole Hayden (son of Shanda Hayden, Assistant Athletics Director for Academic and Career Counseling) was diagnosed with cancer. Since the diagnosis, Dineen has led his teammates in a number of activities to help benefit those diagnosed with the disease by visiting kids at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, participating in the Hilltop Hustle 5K (in which all proceeds were donated to Children’s Mercy in honor of Cole), and taking part in a local baseball game that raised funds for childhood cancer research. Most recently, Dineen put together the first-ever “Cole’s Christmas in July” in which he and his teammates donated toys that were gifted to Cole before his passing to kids at Children’s Mercy.

Fifth-year senior Ben Johnson was named to the John Mackey Award preseason watch list for the second time in his career, announced in July. An All-Big 12 honorable mention tight end in 2015, Johnson has played in 37 career games and has been nothing but reliable for the Jayhawks. Catching 44 passes for 502 yards over his career, the Basehor, Kansas product has been able to come up with big plays in the air, as well as helping block for the ground game.

Sophomore center Mesa Ribordy saw his name pop up on the 2017 Rimington Trophy watch list, announced in July. The trophy is awarded to the best Division I center in the nation. Ribordy, a Louisburg, Kansas native, is a former walk-on for the Jayhawks. Playing in 11 games last season at both guard and center, Ribordy started the final five as the offensive line’s centerpiece. Never recording a bad snap, he posted 27 knock-down blocks on the season. Ribordy was extremely efficient for the Jayhawk offensive line in his rookie campaign, missing a team-low 10 assignments in his 800 plays of 2016.

Head coach David Beaty preaches a simple philosophy to his players, “You have to go out and earn everything you get. Nothing in life is going to be handed to you – on the football field or in the professional world – it has to be earned.” That simple statement is a pillar that the Kansas players strive to uphold on a daily basis and is the foundation for the type of player Beaty wants to recruit at the University of Kansas. His go-to sermon to the Jayhawk community is, “We are going to earn the support of our fans one person at a time, and we are not going to sleep until we can give everyone something to be proud of at Memorial Stadium.” As a result, a simple #EarnIt hashtag is plastered on everything Kansas football to show the culture Beaty brings to the table.

Kansas will embark on a two-game road swing following Saturday’s tilt against Texas Tech. The Jayhawks will travel to Ames, Iowa to face Iowa State at 11 a.m. on October 14 before making their first of two trips to the Lone Star State to  battle TCU on October 21. KU’s game against Iowa State will air on Fox Sports Net.



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