News and Notes: KU vs. KSU

News and notes while thinking "The Sunflower Showdown" sounds like something you'd watch on HGTV. It just lacks any semblance of a rivalry game edge, unlike "The Red River Shootout" or "The Iron Bowl." Someone get me Marketing on the phone!

  • Kansas (1-3 overall, 0-1 Big 12) looks to snap a three-game losing skid against a team that is always always always ready to play their in-state rival, #7/8 Kansas State (4-0, 1-0 Big 12). The game kicks off at 11 a.m. Saturday morning.
  • The 110th meeting between the two schools will be televised live on FX from Bill Snyder Stadium in Manhattan.
  • On the upside, KU's defense has forced 13 turnovers in the first four games. The Jayhawks have recovered seven fumbles and picked off six passes. Kansas leads the Big 12 in forced turnovers after four games and is tied for fifth in the NCAA.
  • The Jayhawks rank ninth in the NCAA and tops in the Big 12 with a turnover margin of +1.50 per game.
  • Jayhawk senior FS Bradley McDougald is playing as a man possessed. Through four games McDougald leads KU with 34 tackles (27 solo), three tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and two interceptions.
  • Kansas leads Kansas State, 65-39-5, in the all-time series between the two schools. Past performance is not indicative of future results.
  • KSU has won three-straight in the series, but the two teams have split the last eight 4-4.
  • KU leads the all-time series vs. K-State in Manhattan 28-23-3, with their last win coming in 2007 (30-24). Whither Todd Reesing and The Fat Man?
  • KU is 7-9-2 all time in games played on Oct. 6. KU first played a game on October 6, 1897, and picked up a 22-8 win over Kansas City Medical. The Jayhawks' most recent October 6 tilt was the 2007 win over Kansas State.
  • This will be first-year head Charlie Weis' first trip up Highway 24 for a game.
  • Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder is 163-83-1 in his 21st season in Manhattan.
  • Snyder was run off after the 2006 season by former university president and bonehead Jon Wefald. Kansas State hired Ron Prince as their new head coach. Hilarity ensued.
  • Snyder returned to the gig for the 2009 season after Prince dismantled everything he'd worked so hard to build, and Kansas State has since returned to college football relevance.
  • Snyder was named KSU's 32nd head coach prior to the 1989 season and then returned as the 34th head coach in late November, 2008. Prior to Snyder joining the program, the Wildcats were in the midst of an 0-26-1 run. KSU attended 11-straight bowl games between the 1993-2003 seasons with Snyder in charge.
  • Snyder returned the Wildcats to a bowl game in 2010 as KSU was selected to play the inaugural Pin Stripe Bowl. They followed that up with a 10-3 season in 2011 and a trip to the Cotton Bowl.
  • Snyder has KSU off to an impressive 4-0 start in 2012, including a road win at Oklahoma.
  • Snyder is 16-4 all-time versus Kansas.
  • The Wildcats are led by All-American and Heisman Trophy candidate QB Collin Klein. Klein gets it done with both his arm and his legs, completing 56-of-80 passes on the season (70%) for 758 yards and five TDs. He has also rushed for 289 yards and five TDs on 63 carries (4.6 ypc).
  • KSU is led on the ground by running back John Hubert with 426 yards and four TDs on 66 carries (6.5 per). Hubert ranks second in the Big 12 in rushing.
  • Tramaine Thompson is Klein's top receiving target with 16 receptions for 260 yards and three TDs. Thompson is also averaging 50.5 yards per return on two punt returns. He returned one punt 89 yards for a TD.
  • Chris Harper follows Thompson with 11 catches for 138 yards and legacy Tyler Lockett has 10 grabs for 108 yards. Lockett also has five kickoff returns for 195 yards and a TD.
  • LB and serious bad-@ss Arthur Brown leads the KSU defense with 36 stops on the season, including 20 solos. Brown has 3.0 TFLs for a loss of 11 yards and two pass breakups.
  • Nigel Malone is the leader of the Wildcat secondary with 20 tackles, two pass breakups and a pick.
  • KU junior WR Christian Matthews took a bunch of snaps in the Jayhawk formation against Northern Illinois and had success, rushing for 43 yards on five carries. It marked the first time Matthews had seen extended time in the formation since the 2011 season finale vs. Missouri.
  • Jayhawk LBs Ben Heeney and Anthony McDonald both had career days in KU's game at NIU. Heeney had a personal best 12 tackles, while McDonald was right behind him with 11 stops, also a career best.
  • Four linebackers have recorded nine or more stops in a game on the season as Tunde Bakare and Huldon Tharp both had nine stops against Rice.
  • The Kansas defense has improved dramatically from last year when it comes to forcing turnovers. KU ranks first in the Big 12 and is tied for fifth in the NCAA with 13 miscues forced (six INTs and seven fumbles). Eight different players have been involved in the turnovers forced.
  • The Jayhawk defense has not only forced turnovers, but they've been able to slow opponents down in the red zone. KU became the first team to hold TCU to 20 points or less since the Horned Frogs' 17-10 Fiesta Bowl loss to Boise State (Jan. 4, 2010). TCU had scored at least 21 points in its last 27 contests prior to being held to 20 against the Jayhawks September 15. Over the past two seasons, TCU averaged 41.2 points per game.
  • Jayhawk halfbacks Tony Pierson and Taylor Cox each rank in the top 10 in the Big 12 in rushing through the first four games of the 2012 season. Pierson ranks 68th nationally and fifth in the Big 12 with 77.3 yards per game, while Cox is not far behind him ranking 91st in the NCAA and eighth in the Big 12 with 66.5 yards per game.
  • KU's ground game got a boost against Northern Illinois with the return of RB James Sims, who had to sit out a three-game suspension. Sims was KU's leading rusher at NIU with 91 yards and two TDs on 18 carries.
  • Despite entering the season without a tight end who had ever started at a game at KU, the Jayhawk TEs are having a very solid 2012. Both of KU's receiving touchdowns this season have been caught by TEs: Mike Ragone and Jimmay Mundine.
  • The TEs should also get a ton of credit for the effectiveness of the Jayhawks' run game thus far this season.
  • Celebrating birthdays Saturday…Pseudo-royal hottie Pippa Middleton (29)... actress Rosie Perez (48)... if you are celebrating a birthday Saturday, you might be Jeff Foxworthy (54)... ignorant slut Jane Curtin (65)... Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters (69)... and Laugh-In comedic mainstay Jo Anne Worley (75).
  • Also celebrating a birthday if he wasn't dead… political dynasty patriarch Joseph P. Kennedy (124).
  • October 6th in sports history… Cy Young loses to the Boston Braves in his 906th and final pitching appearance (1911)… Babe Ruth becomes the first player in history to hit three home runs a postseason game, helping the NY Yankees win game four of the World Series over the St. Louis Cardinals, 10-5 (1926)…A Chicago bar owner purchased a ticket to Game four of the World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Detroit Tigers with the Cubbies leading the Series 2-1, but his pet goat is denied admission to the game. The disgruntled livestock owner puts a hex on the Cubs. The Cubs go on to lose the Series and haven't been back to the World Series since (1945)… KC Royal and Hall of Famer George Brett joins The Bambino by hitting three HRs in a postseason game. All three came off NY Yankee Catfish Hunter in a game (and playoff series) the Royals would lose (1978)… The Colorado Avalanche play their first game since moving from Quebec (1995).

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