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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Jayhawks Host Bears in Big 12 Opener at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium

Courtesy of Kansas Athletics

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Head Coach Lance Leipold and the Kansas Jayhawks will return home on Saturday, Sept. 18 to host the Baylor Bears at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, marking both team’s Big 12 Conference opener and the first Big 12 Conference game to be played this season. Kickoff is slated for 2:30 p.m., and will be broadcasted on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ with Courtney Lyle (PxP), Ryan Leaf (Analyst) and Skubie Mageza (reporter) on the call.

The Jayhawks are looking to move to 2-0 at home after winning their home opener Sept. 3 against South Dakota, 17-14. Kansas is coming off a 49-22 road loss to No. 17 Coastal Carolina in a game that featured the Jayhawks topping the 400-yard mark on offense and scoring three rushing touchdowns. Baylor enters conference play with a 2-0 mark, picking up wins at Texas State and at home against Texas Southern. The Bears rushed for 419 yards and five touchdowns last week against Texas Southern and finished with 714 yards of total offense in their convincing 66-7 victory. Running back Trestan Ebner has already rushed for 245 yards on the season, while Abram Smith has rushed for 244 and four touchdowns.

QUICK HITS

 • Quarterback Jason Bean rushed for 102 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries last week at Coastal Carolina. Bean is one of just two FBS quarterbacks nationally to rush for 100 or more yards and score two touchdowns in the same game so far this season. He’s the first Kansas quarterback to top the 100-yard mark since 2002 and his 13 carries were tied for the sixth-fewest needed to reach 100 yards by any Kansas player since 2000. 

• The Kansas offense totaled 412 yards Friday night at Coastal Carolina, which is the team’s highest total since picking up 493 yards of total offense against Iowa State on Nov. 23, 2019. Friday’s game also marked the first time since that same Iowa State game that Kansas scored three rushing touchdowns. 

• Through two games, the Jayhawks have yet to commit a turnover. This is the first time since 2007 that Kansas has been turnover-free through the first two games of a season. Kansas is one of six Power 5 programs and one of 14 FBS programs nationally to still be turnover-free this season. 

• Kansas had seven offensive plays of 20 or more yards against Coastal Carolina, which is the program’s highest total since having eight at Iowa State in 2019. The Jayhawks had just 16 offensive plays go for 20 or more yards last season. 

• Super-Senior Kwamie Lassiter II enters Friday’s game with 98 career catches and 994 career receiving yards. Lassiter’s seven catches and 85 yards last week at Coastal Carolina were both the second-most he’s had in a single game during his career. He is eighth in the Big 12 currently, averaging 4.5 catches per game. 

• Super-Senior defensive end Kyron Johnson has 2 ½ tackles-for-loss through two games so far this season. The 2 ½ TFLs are the most Johnson has ever had in a two-game span during his career. Johnson has 13 total tackles this season, 1 ½ sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. 

• Junior Kenny Logan Jr., leads Kansas with 16 total tackles and three pass breakups. He also ranks second in the Big 12 and fourth in the country in kick return average at 39.8 yards. He had an 83-yard kick return in the season opener against South Dakota. 

• The Kansas defense allowed just 98 passing yards in the opener against South Dakota, which marked the fewest by a Kansas defense since giving up 49 to Rhode Island in the 2016 season opener. It was the first time the Jayhawks have held an opponent to less than 100 yards passing since giving up 99 to Kansas State in the 2016 finale. 

• Redshirt freshman receiver Lawrence Arnold had three catches for 33 yards and the first two touchdowns of his career in the season opener against South Dakota. He then had a 37-yard reception at Coastal Carolina, which is the longest catch of his career and most receiving yards in a single game he’s ever had. He’s the first freshman to have two receiving touchdowns in the season opener since JaCorey Shepherd in 2011. 

• Senior defensive end Malcolm Lee picked up the first forced fumble of his career Friday against Coastal Carolina. He also combined with Kyron Johnson on a sack, marking the first time since 2019 that he had been in on a sack. 

UP NEXT

Following Saturday’s Big 12 opener against Baylor, Kansas will return to non-conference action as the Jayhawks hit the road to Durham, N.C., to take on the Duke Blue Devils on Saturday, September 25.

Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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