Looking Back, Looking Ahead

News and notes on KU’s 34-28 season-opening victory over Southeast Missouri State Saturday at Memorial Stadium, while looking forward to next Saturday’s showdown at Duke.

News and notes on Kansas' 34-28 season-opening victory over Southeast Missouri State Saturday at Memorial Stadium, while looking forward to next Saturday’s showdown at Duke.

The Blue Devils (2-0) beat Troy, 34-17, yesterday, in a nonconference road game. Anthony Boone passed for 268 yards and a touchdown, while rushing nine times for 47 yards and two TDs.

*This was the first meeting between KU and SEMO, which was seen by 36,574 fans.

*The game featured the first female official in Big 12 history when Center Judge Cat Conti officiated the game.

*Six Jayhawks received their first-time starts, including Tedarian Johnson (DL), T.J. Semke (DL), Corey Avery (RB), Nick Harwell (WR), Keyon Haughton (OL), and Michael Reynolds (BUCK).

*KU improved to 577-589-58 all time, while improving to 71-47-7 in season openers. Kansas also captured its fourth-straight season-opening win, giving head coach Charlie Weis a 3-0 record in the first week. KU, meanwhile, has won nine of its last 10 home-opening games.

*Kansas has won 27 of its last 30 nonconference home games dating back to the start of the 2003 season.

*KU’s 24 points in the first quarter were the most in a single period since scoring 35 points in the fourth quarter against Colorado Nov. 6, 2010. That was also the most points scored in the first quarter by KU since the Jayhawks scored 28 to open the contest against Toledo Sept. 11, 2004.

*Kansas’ 24 first-half points were the most scored by the Jayhawks since Sept. 5, 2009, when they racked up 28 in the first half against Northern Colorado in Memorial Stadium.

*KU’s three interceptions were the most since it recorded four against South Dakota State on Sept. 1, 2012.

*Freshman running back Corey Avery scored a touchdown in the first quarter, becoming the first KU true freshman running back to record a rushing TD since James Sims did so on Sept. 11, 2010 against No. 15 Georgia Tech. Avery finished with 91 yards on 19 carries.

*Junior running back De’Andre Mann rushed for 121 yards on 15 carries, joining Sims in eclipsing 100 yards in his debut. Sims ran for 101 yards on Sept. 11, 2010 against No. 15 Georgia Tech.

*Sophomore quarterback Montell Cozart threw his first touchdown pass as a Jayhawk to senior receiver Nick Harwell with 4:06 left in the first quarter. That was also Harwell’s first catch and TD in a KU uniform. Harwell, who caught his second touchdown with four seconds remaining in the first quarter, became the first Kansas player to catch two or more touchdowns in a game since D.J. Beshears recorded two TDs on Sept. 10, 2011 against Northern Illinois.

*Cozart’s longest completion and touchdown pass of his career came with 10:17 left in the third quarter when he connected with Tony Pierson on a 67-yard TD. That gave Cozart three touchdowns in the game, becoming the first KU quarterback to throw for three TDs since Jordan Webb did so against Texas Tech on Oct. 1, 2011.

*Cozart set new career-high passing numbers in attempts, completions and yards. He went 12 of 24 for 196 yards and three touchdowns.

*Senior wide receiver Justin McCay caught a career-long 26-yard pass near the end of the third quarter. It was his 10th career reception at Kansas.

*Freshman cornerback Matthew Boateng intercepted a tipped pass in KU’s second defensive series, becoming the first Kansas freshman to record an interception since redshirt freshman Tyler Patmon had two total picks in 2010. Bradley McDougald was the last true freshman to have an interception against Texas Tech Oct. 31, 2009.

*Senior cornerback Dexter McDonald intercepted two passes, including a career-long 62-yard return, becoming the first Jayhawk to pick off two since Isaiah Johnson did so at Texas Nov. 2, 2013. McDonald also broke up three passes, including the two interceptions, tying a career high set last year against Rice. McDonald ranked eighth in the Big 12 last year with 12 PBUs.

*Senior linebacker Ben Heeney had a team-high 11 tackles. Heeney had 10 or more tackles in six games last season. Jake Love and Fish Smithson both had five stops.

*Sophomore kicker Matthew Wyman connected on a 43-yard field goal on the opening drive, which was his third career successful field goal of 40-plus yards.

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