vs. TCU: 8-21-4
Current Streak: Lost 5
Longest Win Streak: 3 (1995-97)
Longest Winless Streak: 8 (1942-50)
Last 10 Games: 3-6-1
In Lawrence: 6-10
In Fort Worth: 2-9-2
Neutral Sites: 0-2-2
Under David Beaty: 0-2
First Meeting: October 10, 1942 (L, 41-6)
Last Meeting: October 8, 2016 (L, 24-23)
Redshirt linebacker Joe Dineen Jr., comes from a long line of Jayhawks. His parents both graduated from KU. His mother was a volleyball player for the Jayhawks, his grandfather was a running back in the 60’s at KU and his great grandfather played basketball for legendary coach Phog Allen, so needless to say he has always bled Crimson & Blue.
His love for the school is displayed every time he takes the field with the passion he shows as a defensive leader. Dineen enters the game against TCU as the nation’s leader in solo tackles, averaging 8.2 per game, and also ranks second in tackles for loss per game with 2.0 and third in total tackles averaging 12.8.
Dineen has recorded double-digit tackles in all but one game this season, including a 16-tackle performance against Iowa State, matching a career-high set against West Virginia in 2015.
Kansas will look to snap a winless streak of 46 games played outside of Lawrence (43 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 37-consecutive true road losses (Kansas defeated Missouri in 2008 at Arrowhead Stadium and since then, has lost 38 conference games played outside of Lawrence, with losses at Arrowhead to Missouri in 2009, 2010 and 2011).
The Kansas defense held Iowa State to 4.4 yards per play last week, which marks the second-lowest average for KU this season after holding SEMO to 3.4 yards per play in the 2017 opener. Iowa State’s 4.4 yards per play was the lowest average by a Big 12 opponent in the David Beaty era, which was previously 4.5 yards per play against Texas last season.
A big reason for Kansas’ defensive success against Iowa State was contributions from players that have continued to show development this season. Names like Joe Dineen Jr., Mike Lee, Dorance Armstrong Jr., and Daniel Wise have become staples at the top of the defensive stats, but Osaze Ogbebor, Tyrone Miller Jr., KeyShaun Simmons and Isaiah Bean put together impressive performances for the Jayhawks in Ames.
Ogbebor was KU’s second-leading tackler with eight stops (five solo) behind Dineen’s 16. Miller contributed with six tackles and one pass breakup and Simmons recorded five tackles including 1.0 TFLs. Bean notched three tackles including his first sack of the season.
Thirty-seven Kansas players will be making the trip home to the Lone Star State for the matchup against TCU in Fort Worth. Of those 37 players, 15 hail from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including two from Forth Worth, junior safety Emmanuel Moore and junior running back Taylor Martin.
Five Jayhawk coaches spent time on the sidelines at high schools and/or colleges in Texas. Head coach David Beaty was a successful high school coach in the state before making the jump to college, where he spent time at Rice and Texas A&M. Offensive coordinator Doug Meacham and co-defensive coordinator Kenny Perry each coached at TCU before coming to Kansas. Special teams coordinator Joe DeForest coached at Rice from 1990-94, and quarterbacks coach Garrett Riley played at both Texas Tech and Stephen F. Austin and also coached at Roosevelt High School in Lubbock, Texas.
Jayhawks from the DFW Area
Hakeem Adeniji, Garland
Jelani Arnold, Irving
Josh Ehambe, Arlington
Larry Hughes, Carrollton
Kyron Johnson, Arlington
Taylor Martin, Fort Worth
Clyde McCauley III, Arlington
Emmanuel Moore, Fort Worth
Derrick Neal, Dallas
Keaton Perry, Arlington
Dru Prox, Kaufman
Shaquille Richmond, Dallas
Dom Williams, McKinney
Jack Williams, Argyle
Daniel Wise, Lewisville
FINDING WAYS TO MAKE PLAYS
Preseason Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Dorance Armstrong Jr., has been a focal point for opposing teams this season, and rightfully so after the junior defensive end recorded 20.0 tackles for loss as a sophomore. While his TFL numbers haven’t quite matched up to last year, Armstrong is still finding ways to contribute to KU’s defensive efforts.
Armstrong has recorded 5.0 TFLs this season and 1.0 sacks, but he has also notched a forced fumble and fumble recovery and has broken up three passes, two of which came against Iowa State.
SPREADING THE LOVE
A revamped passing attack that has Kansas averaging 254.5 yards through the first six games can be largely credited to the amount of different targets the Jayhawk offense has. Kansas has had 14 different players record a reception so far this year.
KU 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 and seven against Iowa State, which brings the Jayhawks’ average to 8.5 receivers with a catch per game.
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 six games of the season as compared last year’s first six contests.
At this point in the season, the Kansas offense is averaging 24.7 points per game and 399.3 yards per game of total offense (254.5 passing YPG, 144.8 rushing YPG). After six games last season, the Jayhawk offense was averaging 22.0 points per game and 349.8 yards per game on offense (255.0 passing YPG, 94.8 rushing YPG).
Linebacker Joe Dineen Jr., currently ranks first in FBS in solo tackles this season, averaging 12.8 per game, and ranks in the top three in two other major defensive categories (tackles for loss: 2nd, total tackles: 3rd).
With these numbers, Dineen is part of what seems to be a growing tradition of KU players near the top of these categories every year. Last season, Mike Lee finished fourth in the nation in solo tackles while Fish Smithson ranked 11th, and Dorance Armstrong Jr., finished in sixth for tackles for loss per game. In 2015, Smithson led the nation in solo tackles, averaging 7.9 per game. Going back even further, Ben Heeney ranked second in solo tackles and 12th in total tackles in 2014.
THE WISE MAN
Six games into the 2017 season, junior defensive tackle Daniel Wise shows no signs of regression from his impressive 2016 season and has nearly matched his tackle for loss total from last year. Wise has recorded 9.0 TFLs at the half way mark of this season after notching 10.0 all of last season.
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 ninth in FBS in red zone 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 77th among FBS teams through its first six 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. On 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 yards (vs. West Virginia and Texas Tech) to mark his longest makes.
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 27 tackles for loss this year, with Dineen’s 12.0 leading the way.
Dineen’s 2.0 TFLs per game ranks second nationally and Wise ranks 14th in FBS with 1.5 TFLs per game.
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 29 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
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 six games, Johnson has recorded 18 receptions for 250 yards and one touchdown, averaging 3.0 receptions per game, 13.9 yards per catch and 41.7 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 ever by a tight end at Kansas.
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
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 six games at Kansas, junior quarterback Peyton Bender has recorded 1,391 yards on 122-of-221 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).
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.
Kansas returns to Lawrence to face in-state rival Kansas State in the Dillons Sunflower Showdown on October 28. The Jayhawks and Wildcats will square off for the 115th time in the history of the series. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. CDT and will be televised on FS1.