KU linebackers step up against Longhorns
1. Jake Love: In on big plays, he shared the team lead with nine tackles, had a pass break-up and a quarterback hurry. Playing linebacker against a Texas team blessed with terrific running backs and a strong offensive line is no easy challenge and Love stood up to it well.
2. Ben Heeney: His return from a knee injury lent a rugged edge to a Kansas defense that hung tough until game was blown open. He was in on critical fourth-and-1 stop with Love and hate.
3. Isaiah Johnson: Again displaying a knack for picking off passes, picked up his third interception of the season on UT’s first possession and a fourth late in the game. Counting his final season of high school and one year in junior college, Johnson has 21 interceptions in his past three seasons as defensive back. (Played two games of medical-redshirt season at Western Carolina, both as a receiver.) Johnson is the first Kansas player with four picks in a season since Darrell Stuckey in 2008.
4. James Sims: Made Texas account for him as a runner and receiver. Targeted repeatedly on screen passes, Sims compiled 51 receiving yards and 48 rushing yards.
5. Rodriguez Coleman: Has been vocal in sharing how much he has learned since Charlie Weis started spending more time with receivers after giving up offensive-coordinator duties. Broke free deep and caught 43-yard pass from Jake Heaps, setting up field goal as first-half clock expired. Opened the second half with a 42-yard reception. Was injured later and was helped off the field after clutching his right knee.
6. Michael Reynolds: Credited with a quarterback hurry, a sack and five tackles, Reynolds is emerging as one of the team’s more disruptive defenders. His four-and-a-half sacks are the most for a KU players since Jake Laptad had the same number in 2010.
7. Darrian Miller: Rushed for 67 yards on nine carries, an average of 7.4 ypc. If Kansas can fortify its offensive line, Miller is primed for a big season in 2014, which would soften the blow of losing Sims.
8. Keba Agostinho: Senior consistently made things happen up front early in the game for a defense didn’t get any help from the offense. Was in on three tackles.
9. Jake Heaps: Did a better job than usual at side-stepping pressure, except when it arrived so quickly that Muhammad Ali in his prime wouldn’t have had the footwork to keep the play alive. Heaps completed 11 of 21 passes for 160 yards. Performed better than his numbers (11-for-21, 160 yards).
10. Montell Cozart: A 6-yard shovel pass was his only attempt, but he did show good speed and elusiveness, running on a couple of other pass plays that broke down. Ran for a 20-yard touchdown.
Keegan Ratings Season Standings
1. James Sims (47 points)
2. Ben Heeney (40 points)
3. Tony Pierson (31 points)
4. Victor Simmons (28 points)
5. Darrian Miller (27 points)
6. JaCorey Shepherd (24 points)
7. Keon Stowers (22 points)
8. Isaiah Johnson (21 points)
9. Trevor Pardula (20 points)
10. Michael Reynolds (19 points)
T11. Josh Ford (15 points)
T11. Jake Love (15 points)
T11. Rodriguez Coleman (15 points)
T14. Matthew Wyman (14 points)
T14. Dexter McDonald (14 points)
T16. Brandon Bourbon (13 points)
T16. Keba Agostinho (13 points)
18. Connor Embree (12 points)
19. Cassius Sendish (11 points)
20. Andrew Turzilli (10 points)
21. Dexter Linton (9 points)
T22. Courtney Arnick (5 points)
T22. Jake Heaps (5 points)
T24. Jimmay Mundine (4 points)
T24. Kevin Young (4 points)
26. Montell Cozart (2 points)