Kansas football ranked high in defensive, rushing statistical categories


University of Kansas running back Khalil Herbert

University of Kansas running back Khalil Herbert by Carter Gaskins

In the past two weeks, Kansas did what good teams do to weak competition, dominating Central Michigan and Rutgers by a combined score of 86-21.

In so doing, KU worked its way high up the national rankings in several statistical categories. KU leads with a turnover margin of plus 12 and no other team has higher than eight.

KU is tied for the national lead with — brace yourself — Alabama with three interceptions returned for a touchdown. The Jayhawks are tied for second with four others in interceptions (seven), ranking behind only North Texas (nine). KU had four interceptions for the entire 2017 season.

Even though Pooka Williams missed the opener, he ranks 27th in the nation with 283 rushing yards, most of anyone in the Big 12.

Williams has not played in 75 percent of his team’s games so he’s not eligible for rushing yards per game, but only five players in the nation who are eligible have rushed for more than his 141.5-yard average. Just 14 backs eligible to be ranked have averaged more than his 8.84 yards per carry. Khalil Herbert ranks 56th with 6.7 yards per rush.

Those are impressive numbers for Pooka and Herbert, but no running back in the nation comes even close to Memphis junior Darrell Henderson. He leads the nation with 521 rushing yards, and 14.47 yards per attempt, and is tied for second (trailing Florida Atlantic’s Devin Singletary by one) with six touchdowns.

KU is tied for second with three rushing plays of 50 yards or greater, all on TD runs vs. Rutgers: Herbert (59), Deron Thompson (55), Pooka (52). Memphis leads with six 50-plus rushes, three of them in the 70-plus category. KU also ranks tied for second, behind Georgia Tech, with 11 rushing plays of 20 yards or longer and tied for second, behind Memphis, with four rushing plays of 40 yards or longer.


David Kemp 9 months ago

Yes and as of this week one sporting service has us ranked 85. We haven’t seen that in a longvtime.

Dane Pratt 9 months ago

I'll gladly take number 85. That's 45 teams worse than us.

Jerry Ryan 9 months ago

Did I miss the rest of the articles / list of potential interim coaches you were working on Tom?

Dirk Medema 9 months ago

PFF has Pooka as one of the top RBs this week plus Lee and Tornedon as a better ranked S combo than the pair from Bama or anyone else.

Steven Haag 9 months ago

Let’s not drink the koolaid just yet. Those two teams weren’t very good. I get it that we beat them handily, but I’m not thinking we will continue to create 6 turnovers a game, or rush for 400 yards. I hope we can, but if we can’t, it could be a 2-10 season

Dirk Medema 9 months ago

It's good to stay hydrated, just don't hug it so fast you spill it all over and need to change clothes. Also have to be careful it's not spiked with anything that will get you sloppy drunk and prevent you from getting future promotions.

Steven Haag 9 months ago

True words Dirk. It’s happened to me once or twice😂😂

Danny Hernandez 9 months ago

I'm very optimistic about the Baylor game and can see Kansas winning. If that happens I sure hope Kansas can draw at least 40k to the next home game. I thought the attendance was pathetic to see Todd honored.

David Kemp 9 months ago

I agree, yes if we beat Baylor, pooka has a good game and homecoming the perfect storm puts 40 in stands. Agree that crowd for Reesing was dismal for a guy who routinely put 50 in the stands.

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