Kansas set to host TCU for Jayhawks for a Cure game
|Oct. 27 // 2 p.m.|
|David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium|
|FS1 / FoxSportsGo.com|
|Jayhawk Radio Network|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas is set to return home to David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium for the first time in nearly a month when the Jayhawks host TCU on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 2 p.m.
The game, which will be aired on FS1, is KU’s annual “Jayhawks for a Cure” game, with proceeds from the 50/50 Raffle going to LMH Health and KU Cancer Center for cancer treatment and research. Cancer survivors and those currently battling cancer are encouraged to walk with the team down The Hill for Hawk Walk, which starts at noon.
Kansas football great Larry Brown will be inducted into the Kansas Football Ring of Honor during the first quarter break, and the 1968 KU football team will be honored during the game, with 2018 marking the 50-year anniversary of the team’s run to the Orange Bowl.
Junior defensive back Hasan Defense has made his presence felt in Kansas’ last two outings as he has had his hand in forcing four turnovers. Defense recorded two interceptions off of Heisman Trophy candidate Will Grier of West Virginia (10.6.18) and then snagged another interception in KU’s game at Texas Tech (10.20.18) and also picked up a fumble, nearly returning it for a touchdown. Behind the the stellar play of Defense, Kansas’ defense continues to lead the Big 12 and ranks second in the FBS in turnovers gained with 21 on the season.
RETURN ON INVESTMENT
Hasan Defense has collected three interceptions and one fumble recovery in KU’s last two outings, and he turned those turnovers into yards. Defense has racked up 125 yards in interception returns, which ranks third all-time in KU single-season history and is the most since 2007 when Aqib Talib tallied 195 return yards on five interceptions. Defense has recorded interception returns of 28, 60 and 37. In addition, he returned his fumble recovery seven yards, narrowly missing the end zone.
With 2.0 tackles-for-loss in KU’s game at Texas Tech, Joe Dineen Jr., tied Kansas’ career record-holder, Willie Pless, who notched 41.0 TFLs in his four seasons in the Crimson and Blue. Dineen turned in a Big 12-best 25.0 TFLs in 2017, which also marked a new KU single-season record. Fellow senior Daniel Wise is right behind Dineen with 39.0 career TFLs, ranking fifth in Jayhawks history.
ON THE COME UP
The KU defense has made huge strides in comparison to a year ago (after 7 games), as the Kansas defense currently leads the Big 12 conference in five categories and the FBS in turnover margin.
Category // ’17 FBS Rank // ’18 FBS rank // Improvement
Turnover Margin // 124 // 1 // +123
Turnovers Gained // 115 // 2 // +113
Interceptions // 108 // 6 // +102
Fumbles Rec. // 90 // 5 // +85
Def. TDs // N/A // 5 // N/A
IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL
Kansas has had three players rush for a touchdowns of 50 yards or longer. Freshman Pooka Williams Jr., has scoring runs of 60 and 52 yards, while junior Khalil Herbert has a 59-yarder and senior Deron Thompson has recorded a 55-yard touchdown.
Senior wide receiver Steven Sims Jr., is approaching several career milestones. He currently ranks tied for second in career receiving yards (2,271) and career touchdown receptions (17) and ranks third in career receptions (189).
Kansas running back Pooka Williams Jr., has had an impressive start as he is the first freshman in Jayhawk history to rush for back-to-back 100-yard rushing games to open his career. Williams owns the third-highest rushing contest in the Big 12 thus far with his 163-yard performance in KU’s win over Rutgers. Williams has collected 620 yards on 88 carries, good for 7.0 yards per carry and four touchdowns.
Through the first six games of his career, Kansas freshman running back Pooka Williams Jr., has posted the second-best rushing output of any first-year player in KU history with 620 rushing yards. Additionally, Williams ranks third in rushing among the top true freshman running backs in Big 12 history through the first six games of his career.
Ten different Jayhawks have snagged a total of 12 interceptions, with three being returned for touchdowns. Junior CB Hasan Defense leads the way with three picks. Seniors LB Joe Dineen Jr., CB Shakial Taylor, juniors S Mike Lee, S Bryce Torneden, S Jeremiah McCullough and CB Elmore Hempstead Jr., sophomores S Davon Ferguson and S Ricky Thomas and freshman CB Corione Harris have each gotten in on the action. Taylor (55 yards), Torneden (39 yards) and Lee (31 yards) have each made their way to pay dirt following their interception as the Jayhawks lead the Big 12 in defensive touchdowns with three.
Pooka Williams Jr., is the first player in FBS history (with records dating back to 1996) to have a 40+ yard rush in each of their first four games. Williams is also the first Kansas player (records dating back to 1996) of any class to have four-straight games with a 40+ yard-carry. The only Kansas player with a streak of three-consecutive games with a rush of 40+ yards is Khalil Herbert in 2017. Additionally, Williams and Memphis’ Darrell Henderson are the only players in the FBS to post a four-game streak with a 40+ yard rush in 2018.
FLIPPING THE FIELD
Sophomore punter Kyle Thompson is having a strong 2018 season as he has booted the ball 46 times, averaging 43.6 yards per punt. He has recorded 13 punts of 50 or more yards, including a career-long 65-yarder at Baylor in the Big 12-opener. Additionally, he has dropped 18 punts inside the 20-yard line. Thompson is second in the Big 12 Conference and ranks 27th in the FBS with his 44.0 yards per punt.
Kansas has put together a +14 turnover margin through its first seven games of the 2018 season, which leads the FBS. The Jayhawk defense and special teams have combined to force their opponents into 21 turnovers, including six in consecutive wins over Central Michigan and Rutgers, after producing just nine turnovers by its opponents in all of 2017.
2018 PLAYER HONORS
As the 2018 season rolls along, the following is a cumulative list of honors earned by Kansas players:
–CBS Sports Defensive Player of the Week (Oct. 7)
Joe Dineen Jr.
–Lott IMPACT Trophy Quarterfinalist (Oct. 18)
—Sports Illustrated Midseason First Team All-American (Oct. 16)
–Senior CLASS Award top 30 candidate (Sept. 26)
–Lott IMPACT Trophy Player of the Week (Sept. 11)
–Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week (Sept. 10)
Pooka Williams Jr.
–Midseason True Freshman of the Year by Bruce Feldman of The Athletic (Oct. 16)
–ESPN Midseason Freshman All-American (Oct. 15)
–Big 12 Co-Newcomer of the Week (Oct. 1)
–Big 12 Newcomer of the Week (Sept. 10)
–ESPN True Freshman of the Week (Sept. 10)
A trio of seniors in wide receiver Jeremiah Booker, linebacker Joe Dineen Jr., and defensive tackle Daniel Wise were selected by their teammates to serve as permanent team captains for the 2018 season. Booker and Wise are each filling the role for the second-straight season, while Dineen is in his third season as a designated leader of the team. Dineen is in rare company when it comes to three-time captains as he is only the third player in KU’s 128-year history to serve as a captain three-consecutive seasons joining QB Zac Wegner (1998-99-2000) and linebacker Banks Floodman (2003-04-05).
In 2018 Kansas fields a team with 11 players on it who have already earned their undergraduate degrees. KU is one of 16 FBS schools with 11 or more graduates suiting up in 2018:
THE MAYOR GIVES BACK
A native of Lawrence, Kansas, senior Joe Dineen Jr., has always known the benefits of giving back to his community, but roughly two years ago he became passionate about one cause in particular – childhood cancer. Due to his devotion to raising awareness and funds to fight the disease, for the second year in a row 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 in Children’s Mercy.
WATCHING THE JAYHAWKS
Five Jayhawks found their names on Preseason Watch Lists as the various Awards announced the players they have their eyes on to open the season. Senior defensive lineman Daniel Wise led the way for KU as he was named to three watch lists including the Bednarik Award (top defensive player), Nagurski Trophy (top defensive player) and the Outland Trophy (top interior lineman). Senior linebacker Joe Dineen was also sited three times as he was also tabbed by the Bednarik Award in addition to the AFCA Good Works Team (community service) and Wuerffel Trophy (community service). Senior wide receiver Steven Sims Jr., was recognized by the Biletnikoff Award (top receiver) and the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award (top offensive player from Texas), while senior tight end Mavin Saunders was on the John Mackey Award Watch List (top tight end). Junior offensive lineman Hakeem Adeniji joined Wise on the Outland Trophy Watch List.
Kansas will host Iowa State for its annual Salute to Service game on Saturday, Nov. 3. Game time is slated for 11 a.m., with a live broadcast on FOX Sports Net.