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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Kansas Travels to Texas for Saturday Night Showdown

Courtesy of Kansas Athletics

LAWRENCE, Kan. — The Kansas Jayhawks (1-8, 0-6 Big 12) travel to Austin, Texas to take on the Texas Longhorns (4-5, 2-4 Big 12) on Saturday, November 12, marking the first of two straight away games in Texas for the Jayhawks. Kickoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. CT on ESPNU, with Roy Philpott (Play-by-Play), Kelly Stouffer (Analyst) and Lauren Sisler (Sideline) on the call.

The game will be the first meeting between the two teams since October 19, 2019, in what was a shootout in Austin. The Jayhawks totaled 259 rushing yards and 569 total yards of offense in the game, narrowly falling 48-50. Texas enters this weekend’s matchup with a 4-5 record and 2-4 mark in Big 12 Conference play under its first year head coach, Steve Sarkisian.

The Longhorns are led by sophomore running back Bijan Robinson, who has already surpassed the 1,000-yard rushing mark with 1,057 yards in nine games. He averages 144.9 all-purpose yards per game. True freshman receiver Xavier Worthy leads Texas with 679 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in nine games. Defensively, DeMarvion Overshown leads the team with 65 tackles, and is tied for the team lead with 4 ½ tackles-for-loss. B.J. Foster has a team-high three interceptions to go with 39 tackles. Texas has lost four straight games with three of those coming by eight points or less.

Texas leads the overall series, 16-3 with the Jayhawks last winning in 2016. Saturday’s contest will be fifth night game of the season, including the fourth night game on the road for the Jayhawks and their first on ESPNU this season. 

QUICK HITS

• Through nine games this season, Kansas has played eight teams who currently have a winning record. The first nine opponents for the Jayhawks have combined for a 58-23 record (.716 winning percentage) with four teams currently ranked in the AP Top 25. The final three opponents for the Jayhawks are all 4-5 on the season – a combined record of 12-15 (.444 winning percentage). 

• Coach Lance Leipold and the Kansas Jayhawks have a roster consisting of 68 players who have graduated high school since 2020, which is the fourth-highest total nationally and most among Power 5 teams. Navy (99), Northern Illinois (77) and Bowling Green (71) are the only schools with more than Kansas.

• Through nine games this season, Kansas is averaging 3.7 yards per rush, 6.7 yards per pass and 4.9 yards per play. Those numbers are up from 2020 when the Jayhawks averaged 2.7 yards per rush, 4.9 yards per pass and 3.7 yards per play in their nine-game season. Kansas is averaging 306.1 yards of total offense per game this season, up from 259.2 last season.

• After allowing six sacks at Coastal Carolina, the Kansas offensive line has allowed just four sacks over the last seven games and rank 16th in the country and second in the Big 12 in fewest sacks allowed. 

• The Jayhawks have started the same combination each of the last seven games: Earl Bostick Jr. (Left Tackle), Malik Clark (Left Guard), Mike Novitsky (Center), Michael Ford Jr. (Right Guard) and Bryce Cabeldue (Right Tackle). That group allowed just one sack against Oklahoma after the Sooners totaled nine last year. Scott Fuchs is in his first season coaching that group.

• True freshman running back Devin Neal is leading the team in rushing through nine games this season. Neal has started each of the past six games and has a pair of 100-yard efforts against Duke and Oklahoma. He is averaging 4.2 yards per carry and had 62 yards last time out against Kansas State.

• Junior safety Kenny Logan Jr., is one of only two players in the country with 70+ tackles, at least six passes defended and multiple forced fumbles. The junior safety leads Kansas with 73 tackles, five pass breakups, one interception and two forced fumbles.

• Logan is averaging 5.6 solo tackles per game, which ranks top in the Big 12 Conference and 13th nationally. He also ranks 18th nationally and third in the Big 12 in kickoff returns at 26.0 yards per return.

• Kwamie Lassiter II had six catches last time out against Kansas State and is now eighth all-time in Kansas school history with 125 career receptions. He is four away from tying Dexton Fields for seventh at 129.  Lassiter is up to 1,336 receiving yards for his career, which ranks 19th all-time. 

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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