He may not be a household name just yet, but Daniel Wise will be soon. The redshirt sophomore lineman has not recorded a sack, yet he’s been the team’s most productive defensive player to date.
After two games last season Kansas running back Ke’aun Kinner led the Big 12 in rushing. He ultimately finished with 566 yards, 953 behind conference leader Wendell Smallwood.
So take this for what it’s worth, but according to John Kosko of Pro Football Focus, Wise has been one of the nation’s most disruptive pass rushers in 2016.
According to Kosko, Wise had four quarterback hurries, batted a pass and had six tackles against Ohio. He has 13 total tackles (11 solo) on the season, and is starting to catch the attention of opposing coaches. While quarterback Montell Cozart and big play wide receivers Gonzalez and Steven Sims Jr. need to have good games, if Wise and Co. can put pressure on Ferguson it could be a whole new ball game.
The Jayhawks were second-to-last in the conference in 2015 with just 26 sacks, but as long as Wise continues on this path he will begin to rack them up. Last season Lynch and backup Clay Holgorsen had all day to stand in the pocket, completing a combined 24-of-27 passes for 370 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Wise could be the key to bringing those numbers back to Earth on Saturday.
Next: Putting it all Together