Kansas travels to Ohio for first road contest of 2017
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.
Senior tight end Ben Johnson has already recorded a career-high 147 yards this season.
|Game 3: at Ohio|
|Peden Stadium (24,000)|
|ESPNU // WatchESPN.com|
|Jayhawk Radio Network|
|Points per game||32.5||40.0|
|Time of Possession||27:12||31:56|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – For the first time in 2017, Kansas football will hit the road and travel to Athens, Ohio to take on Ohio on Saturday, September 16. The game, set for an 11 a.m. CDT kickoff, will be broadcast on ESPNU.
SERIES HISTORY VS. OHIO (0-2)
Current Streak: Lost 2
Longest Win Streak: N/A
Longest Winless Streak: 2
Last 10 Games: 0-2
In Lawrence: 0-2
In Athens: 0-0
Neutral Sites: 0-0
Under David Beaty: 0-1
First Meeting: Oct. 7, 1967 (L, 55-23)
Last Meeting: Sept. 10, 2016 (L, 37-21)
IN GOOD COMPANY
Junior quarterback Peyton Bender has only played two games for the Jayhawks in his career, but he has already made a mark on the Kansas record books. In his KU debut, Bender threw for 364 yards and four touchdowns, which was the best debut by a Jayhawk quarterback in the 127-year history of the program. The last player to put up numbers of that caliber in a single game was Todd Reesing in 2009, when he set a school record with 498-yards passing, while also throwing four touchdowns. Bender’s 364 passing yards against SEMO ranks 16th all-time in the Kansas single-game records. His third attempt of the game was a completion to Steven Sims Jr., which went for a 77-yard touchdown, marking a tie for the 15th-longest passing play in Kansas history.
In Bender’s second game donning the Crimson & Blue, he completed 32-of-62 pass attempts for 323 yards. His 32 completions tied Reesing’s 32 against Louisana Tech in 2008 for the eighth-most in school history, and his 62 attempts surpassed David Jaynes‘ 58 against Tennessee in 1973 for the most passes thrown in a single game in Jayhawk history.
Bender’s 687 yards are the most in a two-game span for a Kansas quarterback since Reesing finished his Kansas career with 754 yards in his final two games (256 at Texas, 498 vs. Missouri). The last time a Kansas signal caller threw for 300-plus yards in two-straight games was also Reesing in 2009, where he went four games of 300-or-more yards passing (338 vs. Duke, 331 vs. Southern Miss., 442 vs. Iowa State, 401 at Colorado).
Compared nationally, Bender ranks 13th among FBS players for passing yards and 24th in passing TDs.
SAVING THE BEST FOR LAST
In his final year in the Crimson & Blue, senior tight end Ben Johnson has been a major factor for the Kansas offense thus far. Through two games, Johnson has recorded 10 receptions for 147 yards and one touchdown, averaging 5.0 receptions per game, 14.7 yards per catch and 73.5 yards per game. His 10 receptions match his total from all of last season, and he is already knocking on the door of his career-high 13 catches made in the 2015 season. Johnson has already surpassed his career-high 115 receiving yards with 10 games remaining this season.
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 yards, 2014
2. John Mosier, 495 yards, 1967
3. John Schroll, 491 yards, 1971
4. Dwayne Chandler, 398 yards, 1992
5. Derek Fine, 394 yards, 2007
FINDING THE END ZONE
Freshman running back Dom Williams has displayed a knack for getting in the end zone, just two games into his collegiate career. In his college debut, Williams scampered into the end zone on a 10-yard run for his first-career touchdown, then followed that up two two touchdowns in the second game of the season.
Even if Williams’ pace slows throughout the season, he is well on his way to scoring more rushing touchdowns than any Jayhawks over the past few years. If his pace continues, he would score 18 touchdowns to give him the most by a Kansas player in a single season. June Henley currently sits at the top of the Kansas record books with 17 rushing touchdowns in 1996.
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
GOOD TO HAVE YOU BACK, JOE
After missing the final nine games of 2016, reshirt junior linebacker Joe Dineen Jr., was excited to get back on the field to show what he can do. That excitement hasn’t waivered through the first two games and Dineen’s numbers have proved his worth. In week one, Dineen tied a career high by leading the Jayhawks with 15 total tackles (11 solo), including 2.5 tackles for loss. In week two, it was much of the same, as he picked up 12 tackles (nine solo) and 2.5 TFLs.
His 27 total tackles ties his career high for a two-game span, recording 11 and 16 against TCU and West Virginia, respectively, in 2015.
Dineen currently leads the FBS in solo tackles per game with 10.0 and ranks fourth in total tackles per game with 13.5.
Junior wide receiver Steven Sims Jr., has been nothing but reliable for Kansas as of late, but battling a minor injury in week two, he snapped a streak of 24-straight games with a reception.
Sims played just one series on offense against Central Michigan, as well as a few plays on special teams, but was never targeted in the game. He was just the fourth player for Kansas since 2006 with a streak 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)
Redshirt junior linebacker Joe Dineen Jr., and junior defensive tackle Daniel Wise have each shown their ability to make stops in the backfield this season. Each player is tied for fifth in FBS and first in the Big 12 in tackles for loss per game with 2.5.
THE WISE MAN
Two games into the 2017 season, junior defensive tackle Daniel Wise shows no signs of regression from his impressive 2016 season and is halfway to his tackle-for-loss total from last year. Wise recorded 4.0 TFLs in the season opener and recorded 1.0 against Central Michigan in week two.
CLIMBING TO THE TOP
After a breakout sophomore campaign for wide receiver Steven Sims Jr., the junior from Houston, Texas is looking to claw his way to the top of the Kansas football record books. Coming into his junior year with 79 career receptions, Sims has upped his total to 83 with four catches in the season opener against Southeast Missouri State. By just matching his production from last season (72), the junior would move to third all-time at Kansas with 181 catches, 38 shy of Dezmon Briscoe (2007-09) with 219. Kansas’ leading pass-catcher, Kerry Meier, grabbed 226 passes from 2006-09.
Sims started the season just outside of KU’s top-20 in career receiving yards with 1,208, but his career-high performance of 142 yards in the season opener brought his total up to 1,350 to move him into 18th-place all-time. Recording 859 yards last season, a matched year from Sims would put him at 2,067 career receiving yards, which would rank fifth in the Kansas career records.
Two touchdowns in the season opener, including a 77-yard score, brought Sims’ career touchdown receptions total to 11, which ties him for 10th-place all-time at Kansas. The most recent Jayhawk to score 11 touchdowns or more was tight end Jimmay Mundine (11), who played for the Jayhawks from 2011-14.
Kansas will look to snap a winless streak of 43 games played outside of Lawrence (40 true road contests) when it travels to Ohio. In the Jayhawks’ last road victory – a 34-7 win 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 0-39 in true road games dating back to 2009. Adding three neutral-site losses to Missouri in 2009, 10 and 11 gives Kansas its 40-game winless streak in games played outside of Memorial Stadium.
CAPTAINS OF THE SHIP
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.
THE D.A. – WORKING FOR THE PEOPLE
Already one of the most notable Jayhawks in recent history, junior defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr., is primed to have a season that could launch him to the top of the list when it comes to Kansas greats. Named the Preseason All-Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year by a unanimous decision, Armstrong is the first Jayhawk to earn an individual Big 12 preseason award, as well as the first to be a unanimous selection for the Preseason All-Big 12 Team. Along with his Big 12 preseason honors, Armstrong has been named to the Athalon Sports 2017 Preseason All-America Team, the Chuck Bednarik Award watch list, the Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list and the Hendricks Award watch list.
Armstrong has recorded 10 tackles this season (seven solo), including 2.0 tackles for loss. The Houston, Texas native has recorded a team-best three quarterback hurries, despite offenses game-planning around him.
EYES ON 84
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 35 career games and has been nothing but reliable for the Jayhawks. Starting 13 contests for KU over his career while catching 41 passes for 454 yards, 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.
THE BIG GUYS NEED SOME LOVE, TOO
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.
THE MAYOR GIVES BACK
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.
CENTER OF ATTENTION
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.
The Jayhawks will return home to start Big 12 Conference play against West Virginia on September 23. The game is scheduled for 11 a.m., and will be broadcast on ESPNU.