WACO (AP) — Kansas has no gaudy turnover chain to pass around on the sideline. The Jayhawks instead have the “Swarm Master” award.
There is no physical trophy for the Kansas defender who gets the most turnovers in games and practices during the week, but the “Swarm Master” will be first in line for meals during the road trip to Baylor and represent the defense as the pregame captain Saturday.
“There’s a lot of competition,” defensive tackle Daniel Wise said.
And a lot of turnovers.
The 13 forced turnovers by the Jayhawks (2-1) are already four more than all of last season, and they lead all FBS teams with a plus-12 turnover margin. They have forced six turnovers in each of the last two games, coinciding with their first consecutive wins since the start of the 2011 season.
“We’re getting guys in the right spot for sure,” said senior linebacker Joe Dineen, who has an interception and fumble recovery along with being the Big 12’s top tackler (13.3 per game). “There was a big emphasis last year also on when the first guy gets to the ball, the other guy tries to strip the ball out. That’s obviously paid off for us.”
Baylor (2-1) has already doubled its win total from last year, when the only victory in coach Matt Rhule’s first season came at Kansas. The Bears are coming off a 40-27 home loss to Duke, which turned Baylor’s two turnovers into 14 points.
Kansas has already had seven interceptions and recovered six fumbles. After being the Big 12’s worst defense last year, the Jayhawks top the league by allowing only 294 total yards a game so far this season and are second in scoring defense at 15.7 points per game.
“The story of Kansas right now is really their defense and how dominant they’ve been,” Baylor coach Matt Rhule said. “They fly around and they’re destructive. They’re fast and they’re making plays.”
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