News and notes on Kansas' 24-10 victory over Central Michigan Saturday at Memorial Stadium while looking forward to next weekend’s Homecoming showdown against Texas. The Longhorns, who had a bye week, are just 1-2 after opening the season with a victory over North Texas before falling to BYU and UCLA.
*The attendance Saturday was 34,882...the start of the second half was delayed approximately 27 minutes with the possibility of inclement weather hitting the Lawrence area...Kansas converted a season-high 47 percent on third down (9-19).
*Senior receiver Tony Pierson’s 74-yard touchdown run on the first offensive play of the game marked the first time KU has scored on the first play from scrimmage since Todd Reesing hit Dezmon Briscoe on a 60-yard TD pass on Dec. 31, 2008 against Minnesota in the Insight Bowl. Pierson’s rush was the longest KU play from scrimmage since Pierson caught a 77-yard pass from quarterback Jake Heaps at Rice on Sept. 14, 2013. Pierson’s 74-yard TD run also bested his previous long rush of 69 yards on Nov. 9, 2012 against Texas Tech. Pierson’s 74 yards was the longest run by a Jayhawk this season as well.
*Senior tight end Jimmay Mundine posted career highs with six receptions for 67 yards.
*Freshman running back Joe Dineen, Jr., entered the contest on KU’s second possession of the game, completing a five-yard pass to regular QB Montell Cozart, the first completion and reception of both of their careers.
*Cozart completed 23 of 33 passes for 226 yards with two touchdowns and one pick. His 23 completions were a new career high and were also the most passes completed by a Kansas quarterback since Heaps went 28 of 46 through the air on Sept. 21, 2013 against Louisiana Tech. Cozart’s 226 yards and 33 attempts were also career bests.
*Redshirt freshman tight end Ben Johnson caught his first career pass with a one-yard reception near the end of the first quarter. He then caught his second pass in the second quarter for a 10-yard gain.
*Senior receiver Justin McCay caught a 60-yard touchdown pass from Cozart with 13:23 left in the game, giving KU a pivotal 17-10 lead. McCay’s previous career-long reception was 26 yards against SEMO in the season opener on Sept. 6, 2014. McCay’s touchdown was his first points since grabbing his first and only touchdown reception against South Dakota in KU’s season-opening win on Sept. 7, 2013. McCay finished with two catches for a career-high 66 yards.
*Freshman running back Corey Avery caught his only pass of the night from Cozart, a 30-yard touchdown for his longest reception and first receiving TD of his career.
*Sophomore safety Fish Smithson tied his career high with five tackles.
*Senior cornerback JaCorey Shepherd’s interception late in the fourth quarter was the third of his career.
*Senior punter Trevor Pardula averaged 41 yards on six punts. His best was a 60-yard boomer, which gave him 32 career punts of 50-plus yards.