Stopping the Run

If the Wildcats are to go into Lawrence and beat the Jayhawks, the Cats must stop the Hawk running game - which has proven more effective then many would have thought. Jon Cornish is one of the best running backs in the Big 12 Conference this season.

The senior for the Kansas Jayhawk football team is the ninth leading rusher in the country, and his 113-yard average per game is tops in the conference.

He has rushed for more than 100 yards in six of the Jayhawks (5-5 overall, 2-4 Big 12) 10 games this year, and he will be looking to notch No. 7 – which would put him alone in first place in the conference in 100-yard rushing performances this season – when they play host to K-State (7-4, 4-3 Big 12) at 2:30 Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence.

"I think this running back, No. 29 (Cornish), is terrific," K-State coach Ron Prince said. "He reminds me a lot of Thomas Jones, the University of Virginia running back that is playing for the Chicago Bears.

"This is a very good team that we are going to face. This team is a big, strong team and I'm very impressed with them."

So far this season Cornish has 1,130 yards rushing, 176 yards receiving and he has also scored six touchdowns. He is second in the conference this season in average all-purpose yards per game with 130.6.

His longest run of the season was a 69-yard touchdown run on Sept. 9 in a 49-18 victory over Northwestern State.

His season highs in both yards rushing and touchdowns came Oct. 21 in a 36-35 loss to Baylor when he rushed for 196 yards and two touchdowns.

"He's surprisingly fast. You see him and you probably don't think he has much speed but from what I've seen he's faster than what you might think," senior defensive lineman Quintin Echols said. "He's a hard runner. Of course he probably has a few moves but I think he prides himself on running hard."

Cornish is part of a Kansas offense that is eighth in the Big 12 averaging 29.2 points per game. The Jayhawks average 381.2 yards of total offense per game, which includes 171 yards rushing and 210.2 yards passing. All of these averages are ranked seventh in the conference.

"(Beating Texas) was awesome but we've got to move on," quarterback Josh Freeman said. "Kansas is a good team and they've hung in with a lot of good teams this year. We know that they're going to play us tight so we just have to get ready."


Purple Pride Top Stories