Kansas football prepares for Saturday’s game vs Ohio

Kansas wide receiver Bobby Hartzog Jr. (5) breaks away from Rhode Island safety Nas Jones (27) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Lawrence, Kan., Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Courtesy: KU Athletics

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas football team looks to ride the wave of momentum following a 55-6 victory over Rhode Island, as the Jayhawks welcome Ohio to Memorial Stadium Saturday, Sept. 10 for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff on Fox Sports Net.

Saturday’s contest marks the second played between Kansas (1-0) and Ohio (0-1) and the 16th matchup for KU against a Mid-American Conference (MAC) team since the two teams first met Oct. 7, 1967 (L, 30-15). The Jayhawks hold a record of 9-6 in those 15 previous MAC games with their last victory coming against Central Michigan, 24-10, on Sept. 20, 2014.

SERIES HISTORY VS. OHIO
Overall Record: 0-1
Current Streak: Lost 1
Longest Win Streak: 0
Longest Winless Streak: 1, (1967)
In Lawrence: 0-1
In Athens: 0-0
Neutral Sites: 0-0
Under David Beaty: 0-0
First Meeting: Oct. 7, 1967 (L, 30-15)
Last Meeting: Oct. 7, 1967 (L, 30-15)

KANSAS RECORD…
vs. MAC Opponents: 9-6
First: L, 30-15 vs. Ohio (Oct. 7, 1967)
Last: W, 24-10 vs. CMU (Sept. 20, 2014)
On September 10: 3-2-1
First: L, 28-14 at Texas A&M (1977)
Last: W, 45-42 vs. NIU (2011)
Week 2: 75-48-5 (.615)
JAYHAWKS OF OLD
In his first game orchestrating the plays against Rhode Island (Sept. 3), Kansas head coach David Beaty led the Jayhawks to 70 plays, 570 yards of total offense – 399 yards passing and 171 yards rushing – and eight touchdowns. Promising a high-octane, air-raid offense, Beaty and the Jayhawks reached heights that hadn’t been accomplished since the late-2000s:
• KU’s 570 yards are the most since racking up 576 against South Dakota State in 2015, but prior to that, Kansas hadn’t posted more than 570 yards since 2009.
• The 399 yards in the air were the most since airing it out for 498 yards against Missouri in 2009.
• The 55 points scored were the most since a 76-point outburst against Nebraska in 2007.
• Kansas pass throwers connected on six touchdowns, the most since tossing six against Nebraska in 2007.
• The Jayhawks’ 49-point margin of victory was the largest since defeating Florida International, 55-3, in 2007.

THREE’S COMPANY
Kansas quarterbacks redshirt-junior Montell Cozart, sophomore Ryan Willis and redshirt-freshman Carter Stanley combined to complete 74 percent of their passes (28-of-38) against Rhode Island (Sept. 3). The last time KU signal callers completed a higher percentage of passes happened against Colorado in 2010 (23-of-28, 82 percent). If that wasn’t enough, the trio each connected for at least one touchdown pass – the first time three different quarterbacks threw for a touchdown in the history of the program.

COOLHAND LUKE
Redshirt-junior quarterback Montell Cozart made 118-straight pass attempts, including 81 completions, before being intercepted against Rhode Island (Sept. 3). Prior to that game, he last threw an interception against South Dakota State in the 2015 season opener.

D, D, D, DEFENSE
The Kansas defense held Rhode Island to 219 yards of total offense and six points in last week’s season-opener (Sept. 3). The six points allowed were the fewest for a Jayhawk squad since allowing the same number in 2010, in a loss to North Dakota State. The last time an opponent scored fewer than six points was Sept. 5, 2009, when KU held Northern Colorado to a field goal. In terms of yards, the Rams’ 219 was the fewest allowed by KU since that 2010 loss where the Bison racked up just 168 yards of offense.

SPREADIN’ THE LOVE
In back-to-back games, including the 2015 season finale against Kansas State and the 2016 home opener against Rhode Island (Sept. 3), and nine of the 13 games played under head coach David Beaty, nine or more different receivers caught at least one ball with 10 different snagging a pass on four of those occasions. On average, Kansas utilizes at least eight different receivers in its high-octane offense per game, falling below that mark only twice in Beaty’s tenure.

ELEVATING THE BAR
Against Rhode Island (Sept. 3), six Jayhawks set career-highs in either passing or receiving as KU threw for 399 yards in the contest: redshirt-junior quarterback Montell Cozart – touchdown passes (3); junior wide receiver LaQuvionte Gonzalez – receptions (7) and yards (78); sophomore wide receiver Steven Sims Jr. – yards (124) and touchdowns (2); redshirt-freshman wide receiver Chase Harrell – receptions (2), yards (51) and touchdowns (1); redshirt-freshman quarterback Carter Stanley – yards (56) and touchdown passes (1); and junior tight end Ben Johnson grabbed his first-career touchdown, which opened the scoring for Kansas.

EFFICIENCY
After week one of the season, Kansas’ pass efficiency ranks atop the Big 12 Conference after quarterbacks redshirt-junior Montell Cozart, sophomore Ryan Willis and redshirt-freshman Carter Stanley combined to complete 73.7 percent (28-of-38) of their passes for 399 yards and six touchdowns for a 208.7 rating. The next closest school, Baylor, had an efficiency rating of 187.0 after four different players threw for 223 yards and five touchdowns.

EXPLOSIVES
In 2015, Kansas scored just six touchdowns on explosive plays (20 or more yards) from scrimmage. In the 2016 season-opener against Rhode Island (Sept. 3), the Jayhawks tallied half that number, scoring touchdowns on 71-, 35- and 20-yard passes. The last time a KU team scored three touchdowns off three explosive pass plays from scrimmage was in 2011 against McNeese State (56 yard, 48 yard and 25 yard passes from Jordan Webb).

BACK IN THE SADDLE
Junior wide receiver LaQuvionte Gonzalez played in his first game in 614 days (Dec. 29, 2014) and wasted little time getting his hands in on the action catching the Jayhawks’ first pass of the game for six yards against Rhode Island (Sept. 3). Later in the first quarter, Gonzalez hauled in a 18-yard strike for his first touchdown in 728 days (Sept. 6, 2014) and KU’s second on the day. He set new career highs in both receptions (7) and yards (78) against the Rams.

UP NEXT
The Jayhawks wrap up their nonconference slate on the road at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee, Saturday, Sept. 17, as they take on Memphis at 11 a.m. on ESPNU.

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