Kansas welcomes West Virginia for Big 12 opener
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.
Redshirt junior Joe Dineen Jr., leads the Jayhawks with 38 total tackles this year.
|Game 4: West Virginia|
|Memorial Stadium (50,071)|
|ESPNU // WatchESPN.com|
|Jayhawk Radio Network|
|Points per game||31.67||46.3|
|Time of Possession||27:15||26:30|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas football returns home on Saturday, September 23 to face West Virginia in the 2017 Big 12 Conference opener at Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 11 a.m., with the game being televised on ESPNU.
vs. West Virginia: 1-5
Current Streak: Lost 3
Longest Win Streak: 1
Longest Winless Streak: 3
Last 10 Games: 1-5
In Lawrence: 1-1
In Morgantown: 0-4
Neutral Sites: 0-0
Under David Beaty: 0-2
First Meeting: Nov. 8, 1941 (L, 21-0)
Last Meeting: Nov. 5, 2016 (L, 48-21)
FASTEST TO 1,000
After just three games at Kansas, junior quarterback Peyton Bender has recorded 1,030 yards passing. Bender is the fastest Jayhawk to reach 1,000 career passing yards in the 127-year history of the program.
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).
TEACH ‘EM YOUNG
In Kansas’ first road game, the team took 70 players to Ohio as part of the travel roster. Of those 70 Jayhawks, just nine were seniors. What’s more, less than half of the travel squad (43.7%) were upperclassmen.
Eleven-of-22 starters for Kansas’ week three tilt were underclassmen, including the entire starting offensive line (four sophomores, one redshirt freshman). Just one senior, cornerback Derrick Neal, started in the game.
Two true freshmen, running back Dom Williams and wide receiver Quan Hampton started the game for the Jayhawk offense.
GOOD TO HAVE YOU BACK, JOE
Making up for missed time, redshirt junior linebacker Joe Dineen Jr., has been on a tear to start the 2017 season after playing in just three games last year due to injury. Recording tackle totals of 15, 12 and 11 to accumulate 38 thus far, Dineen is ranked third in the nation in total tackles per game with 12.7. His 24 solo tackles on the season ranks second in the nation, and his 7.0 tackles for loss places him in fourth.
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 26 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
IN GOOD COMPANY
Junior quarterback Peyton Bender has only played three games for the Jayhawks in his career, but he has already made a mark on the Kansas record books.
Bender threw for 364 yards and four touchdowns in his first game, 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.
Along with the 16th-most passing yards in a game in Kansas history, Bender also has the 21st-most (343 at Ohio) and 27th-most (323 vs. CMU).
Bender completed 32-of-62 pass attempts against Central Michigan. His 32 completions tied Reesing’s 32 against Louisiana 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 1,030 yards are the most in a three-game span for a Kansas quarterback since Reesing passed for 1,174 total yards in three consecutive games in 2009 (331 vs. Southern Miss., 442 vs. Iowa State, 401 at Colorado).
THE WISE MAN
Three 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.
SAVING HIS BEST FOR LAST
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 three games, Johnson has recorded 12 receptions for 172 yards and one touchdown, averaging 4.0 receptions per game, 14.3 yards per catch and 57.3 yards per game. His 12 receptions surpass his total of 10 receptions from last season and is just one catch shy of tying his career-high 13 catches made 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., and junior defensive tackle Daniel Wise have each shown their ability to make stops in the backfield this season. Each player ranks in the top-10 in FBS in tackles for loss per game. Dineen has totaled 7.0 (2.3/game) stops in the backfield and Wise has 6.0 (2.0/game).
FINDING THE END ZONE
Freshman running back Dom Williams has displayed a knack for getting in the end zone, just three 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.
Williams 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
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. With 112 career receptions, Sims sits in ninth place all-time in Kansas history. If he were able to match his production from last season (72 receptions), he would move into third place all-time, 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 has moved into 18th place with 202 yards this season to bring his total to 1,410.
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.
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 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.
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 36 career games and has been nothing but reliable for the Jayhawks. Starting 13 contests for KU over his career while catching 43 passes for 479 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.
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.
Following an off week, Kansas will welcome Texas Tech for homecoming weekend. The Jayhawks and Red Raiders will square off on Oct. 7. Kickoff time for the game has not yet been announced.
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