vs. Iowa State 50-40-6
Current Streak: Lost 2
Longest Win Streak: 7 (1991-97)
Longest Winless Streak: 6 (1985-90)
Last 10 Games: 4-6
In Lawrence: 28-17-3
In Ames: 22-23-3
Neutral Sites: 0-0
Under David Beaty: 0-2
First Meeting: October 15, 1898 (W, 11-6)
Last Meeting: November 12, 2016 (L, 31-24)
SPREADING THE LOVE
A revamped passing attack that has Kansas averaging 296.6 yards through the first four games can be largely credited the amount of different targets the Jayhawk offense has. Through the first five games of the season, KU has had 14 different players record a reception. Kansas had nine different players with a catch in each of its first four games, and had eight players with a reception in the game against Texas Tech, averaging to 8.8 receivers with a catch per game.
Nationally, only eight teams average eight or more receivers with a catch per game, with the Jayhawks tied for fifth in FBS.
Teams with eight-plus receivers with a catch per game
Avg., Team, No. of Receivers by Game
10.0, Washington State, 10/10/10/13/9/8
9.6, Eastern Michigan, 10/9/12/8/9
9.4, Troy, 8/10/9/11/6
8.8, Kansas, 9/9/9/9/8
8.8, Purdue, 9/6/13/7/9
8.5, Temple, 9/7/11/5/9/10
8.4, Michigan State, 10/6/12/8/6
Kansas will look to snap a winless streak of 45 games played outside of Lawrence (42 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 completed 25-of-41 passes for 260 yards and a score. Wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe turned in 154 yards on eight catches.
In addition, Kansas hasn’t won a Big 12 road game since Oct. 4, 2008 when the Jayhawks defeated Iowa State, 35-33, in Ames – a streak of 36-consecutive true road losses (Kansas defeated Missouri in 2008 at Arrowhead Stadium and since then, has lost 37 conference games played outside of Lawrence, with losses at Arrowhead to Missouri in 2009, 2010 and 2011).
UPTICK IN OFFENSE
Head coach David Beaty and first year offensive coordinator Doug Meacham have put together an offense that has seen a noticable improvement through the first five games of the season as compared last year’s first five contests.
At this point in the season, the Kansas offense is averaging 29.6 points per game and 458.0 yards per game of total offense (296.6 passing YPG, 161.4 rushing YPG). After five games last season, the Jayhawk offense was averaging 25.0 points per game and 376.4 yards per game on offense (279.2 passing YPG, 97.2 rushing YPG).
KU is currently the 67th-ranked (out of 129) scoring offense in FBS, but ranked 95th overall in the same category at this time last year. The Jayhawks ranked 98th in total offense through five games last season, but have jumped up to 36th so far this season. Kansas hasn’t seen a major jump in its passing offense ranking, going from 32nd last year at this time to 24th this year, but it has seen drastic improvement in the run game, going from 124th to 68th.
THE MAYOR CLEANS UP
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, 14 and 9 to accumulate 61 through the first five games of the season, Dineen is ranked third in the nation and first in the Big 12 in total tackles per game with 12.2.
RED ZONE FOCUS
Of the 20 trips Kansas has been in the red zone in 2017, the Jayhawks have came away with points in 19 of them, which ties for eighth in FBS in scoring percentage. The Jayhawks have scored seven rushing touchdowns, six passing and have made six field goals.
The Jayhawks ended last season ranked 65th in the nation in red zone offense and was 85th among FBS teams through its first five games.
Never seeing the field in a Division I game until this season, Kansas kicker Gabriel Rui has been a reliable source for the Jayhawks this season. In nine field goal attempts, Rui has been successful in eight, missing only a 37-yard attempt against Central Michigan. Rui has knocked home two field goals of 41 (vs. West Virginia and Texas Tech) yards to mark his longest makes.
GO FOR IT!
Kansas’ offense has not been afraid to take chances on fourth down this season. On 15 occasions, offensive coordinator Doug Meacham has had his offsense go for it on fourth down. Of those 15 attempts, the Jayhawks have converted on 11. Their 75 percent success rate ranks 18th in FBS. Only three schools, Syracuse (13), Army (13) and UMass (12) have more successful conversions than the Jayhawks, and California has also completed 11 fourth-down attempts. However, of the eight teams that have went for it on fourth down 15 or more times this season, KU has the second highest success rate, behind only Army (13-for-17, 76.5 percent).
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 23 tackles for loss this season, with Dineen’s 10.0 leading the way.
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 28 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)
THE WISE MAN
Five games into the 2017 season, junior defensive tackle Daniel Wise shows no signs of regression from his impressive 2016 season and is three-fourths of the way to his tackle for loss total from last year. Wise has recorded 7.5 tackles for loss after notching 10.0 last season.
PASSING THE KANSAS COMET
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.
Kansas single game rushing records
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
FASTEST TO 1,000
In his first five games at Kansas, junior quarterback Peyton Bender has recorded 1,373 yards on 114-of-202 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).
FINDING THE END ZONE
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
Year Player Rushing TDs
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
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.
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 five games, Johnson has recorded 18 receptions for 250 yards and one touchdown, averaging 3.6 receptions per game, 13.9 yards per catch and 50.0 yards per game. His 18 receptions marks a new single-season career high for Johnson.
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
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.
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 travel to Fort Worth, Texas to face TCU in its second Big 12 road contest of 2017. The game between the Jayhawks and Horned Frogs was picked as a six-day selection, and does not yet have the kickoff time or television coverage announced.
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