LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas football team returns to the friendly confines of Memorial Stadium Saturday, October 8, as the Jayhawks play host to TCU for the annual “Jayhawks for a Cure” game at 11 a.m. on ESPNU.
Saturday’s contest marks the 33rd time Kansas (1-3, 0-1 Big 12) and TCU (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) have met on the gridiron with the Horned Frogs leading the all-time series 20-8-4.
SERIES HISTORY VS. TCU
Overall Record: 8-20-4
Current Streak: Lost 4
Longest Win Streak: 3, (1995-97)
Longest Winless Streak: 4, 2x (1953-56, 2012-15)
Last 10 Games: 4-5-1
In Lawrence: 6-9
In Fort Worth: 2-9-2
Neutral Sites: 0-2-2
Under David Beaty: 0-1
First Meeting: Oct. 10, 1942 (L, 41-6)
Last Meeting: Nov. 14, 2015 (L, 23-17)
vs. Big 12 Opponents: 187-254-24
First: W, 11-6 vs. Iowa State (Oct. 15, 1989)
Last: L, 55-19 at Texas Tech (Sept. 29, 2016)
On October 8: 4-8-1
First: W, 40-0 vs. Midlans (1897)
Last: L, 70-28 at Oklahoma State (2011)
All-time Game Fives: 48-69-7
First: W, 18-4 at Baker (Nov. 28, 1891)
Last: L, 66-7 vs. Baylor (Oct. 10, 2015)
The Kansas defense has been thrust into a tough spot following 13 turnovers by the offense in 2016. The lost possession has given opponents prime field position inside KU’s 35-yard line six times and less than 25 yards away from the goal line four times. Impressively, backed up in its own territory the defense hasn’t broken, allowing just 26 points (two touchdowns, four field goals) and 124 yards on 59 total snaps after an opponent takeaway. Opponents are having a much tougher time moving the ball after a Kansas turnover as the Jayhawks are allowing just 2.1 yards-per-play after a takeaway.
NEGATIVE INTO A POSITIVE
For the third-straight game, the Kansas defense recorded 10 or more tackles-for-loss at Texas Tech (Sept. 29), finishing the game with 10 TFLs. The Jayhawks pushed their season total to 39 with that performance and rank third in the FBS and first in the Big 12 with 9.8 TFLs per game. Since 2006, Kansas has never posted 10 or more TFLs in three-straight games and the 39 is the most in a four-game span since 2007 when KU recorded 44 tackles behind the line against Southeastern Louisiana (20 – Sept. 8), Toledo (4 – Sept. 15), Florida International (14 – Sept. 22) and Kansas State (6 – Oct. 6).
GETTING OFF THE FIELD
Through the first four games of 2015, Kansas opponents converted 47 percent (23-for-49) of its third down and 100 percent (2-for-2) of its fourth down attempts, racking up 114 first downs in the process. One year later and one more year of experience has paid dividends as the Jayhawks held their opponents to the second-best third down and the top fourth down conversion rates in the Big 12 at 32.8 (20-for-61) and 16.7 (1-for-6) percent, respectively, through four games. Those numbers both rank within the top-35 nationally as Kansas holds the No. 32 spot in third-down conversion defense and the No. 6 spot in fourth down conversion defense in the FBS.
Sophomore Dorance Armstrong Jr., sacked Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes twice in Thursday’s (Sept. 29) contest, marking the second-straight game the six-foot, 246-pound defensive end dropped the opposing quarterback twice in a game. Since 2006, no Kansas defender has recorded two or more sacks in consecutive games. Armstrong’s four sacks also account for the 44 percent of the team’s total as the Jayhawks have recorded nine on the year.
THAT’S A WRAP
Nineteen different Jayhawks have combined to bring down opponents behind the line of scrimmage 39 times in 2016. Sophomore defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. (6.0), senior linebacker Marcquis Roberts (5.5), sophomore defensive tackle Daniel Wise (4.0) and senior defensive end Damani Mosby (3.5) combined to account for 41 percent (19-of-39) of the team’s total. Among his six TFLs, Armstrong also leads KU with four sacks – the most for a Jayhawk through the first four games of the season since Jake Laptad posted 4.5 sacks in 2009 – and ranks 14th in the nation with 1.0 sack per game. In addition, Roberts ranks seventh in the country with 1.8 TFLs per game and leads the Big 12 Conference in that category.
FIVE THROUGH FOUR
Sophomore wide receiver Steven Sims Jr., hauled in his fifth touchdown of the 2016 season at Texas Tech (Sept. 29). Sims’ five TDs tie for the most by a Kansas receiver during a season since the 2009 campaign when Dezmon Briscoe caught nine scores and Kerry Meier collected eight trips to the end zone. If that’s not enough, Sims ranks second in the Big 12 Conference and 12th in the FBS with those five scores. The last Jayhawk to haul in five TD receptions in a season was Nick Harwell in 2014.
Freshman safety Mike Lee is one of the youngest players in the country when it comes down to experience. A should-be-senior in high school, Lee enrolled early at Kansas and forwent his senior year at Landry-Walker High School in New Orleans. However, no learning curve was necessary for the rookie as he made an immediate impact, especially at KU’s Big 12 opener last Thursday night at Texas Tech (Sept. 29). Lee posted a career-high nine tackles in that contest – the most by a true freshman since Tyrone Miller Jr., wrapped up 11 at Rutgers in 2015 – and ranks sixth on the team with 13 total stops in three games played (4.3 stops per game). Only one other team in the country claims a should-be-senior in high school on its roster in South Carolina (QB Jake Bentley).
Kansas had one of its toughest years defensively in 2015, but that didn’t deter head coach David Beaty and defensive coordinator Clint Bowen as they each reiterated to trust the process and laid the foundation for a young team. That sentiment held true as the Jayhawks have seen growth on the defensive side of the ball through the first four games in 2016 compared to last season. KU ranked 100 or worse in eight of 10 defensive categories in the FBS a season ago, but turned it around to rank in the top half in six of those same categories compared equally through the first four games of each season.
Kansas heads back out on the road and travels south to Waco, Texas, for a 2:30 p.m., tilt at Baylor, Saturday, October 15, before returning to Memorial Stadium October 22 against Oklahoma State for Homecoming.