Kansas Jayhawks Host Rival Kansas State Wildcats for 119th Sunflower Showdown

Kansas Jayhawks warm up October 23, 2021 in Lawrence, Kansas. (Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)
Kansas Jayhawks warm up October 23, 2021 in Lawrence, Kansas. (Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images) /

The Kansas Jayhawks will square off against the Kansas State Wildcats for the 119th Sunflower Showdown. A rivalry that is the 10th most played in FBS history.  One that dates back to 1902.

This year the game will be played in Lawrence, Kansas inside David Booth Memorial Stadium. The game kicks off at 11 A.M. and will be aired on FS1. This is the first Sunflower Showdown for head coach Lance Leipold and he is seeking his first Big 12 victory.

The Jayhawks are 1-7 in the 2021 season. After losing to Oklahoma State 55-3 on October 30th. This team has struggled with their overall record, there have been some bright spots on both sides of the football.

Standout Kansas Jayhawk Football Players

Starting quarterback redshirt junior Jason Bean has attempted 173 passes completing 97.  He has thrown for 1,188 yards which resulted in six touchdowns and four interceptions. He has been a leader on the offense.

According to kuathletics.com, he completed 17 of 23 passes for 246 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions versus the No. 1 team in the Big 12 Oklahoma.

Another offensive standout is freshman and hometown Lawrence native running back Devin Neal. Neal has 101 rush attempts for 443 yards averaging 4.4 yards per attempt. He has four rushing touchdowns on the season.

According to kuathletics.com, Devin Neal has started the last five games at running back. Against Oklahoma, Neal rushed for 100 yards. He also set career highs against Duke when he carried the ball 17 times for 107 yards scoring a touchdown.

Super-senior wideout Kwamie Lassiter II is having a tremendous year and career at Kansas. On September 18th against the Baylor Bears, Lassiter achieved a goal by surpassing the 1,000 career receiving yards mark.

According to kuathletics.com, he is ranked No. 9 all-time with 119 career receptions. He is also ranked No. 19 all-time with 1,254 career receiving yards. Not only is Kwamie Lassiter II a great football player, but he is doing tremendous work off the field.  He is the team’s Wuerffel Trophy candidate this year for exemplary work off the field in community service.

Kenny Logan Jr. has been a tackling machine on the defense. The junior leads the Kansas Jayhawks with 66 total tackles. Logan is currently third in the Big 12 in tackles per game. In 2021 Logan has posted 45 solo tackles and 21 assists, and he leads the Big 12, averaging 5.6 solo tackles a game. Kenny Logan Jr. continues to elevate his game as he also has five pass breakups, forced two fumbles, recovering one.

Keys to a Kansas Jayhawks Victory

If the Kansas Jayhawks can continue to have tremendous play from their offensive line and allow Jason Bean to run the offense this team will be in a position to win the football game. This offensive line has been stout only allowing two sacks in the last six games played.

According to kuathletics.com, the Kansas offensive line is ranked 13th in the country and second in the Big 12 with the fewest sacks allowed.

Another key is controlling the time-in-possession. The Kansas Jayhawks have averaged 31:09 in time-of-possession in 2021. The Kansas State Wildcats have averaged 30:05 in 2021. If the Jayhawks take an early lead utilize running back Devin Neal to chew the clock. Allow defensive end Kyron Johnson to apply pressure and Kenny Logan Jr. to tackle the opposing offense.

In the end, this rivalry is always fun for these two teams and the supporting fan bases. Whichever team wins will have bragging rights until the 2022 Sunflower Showdown.