University of Kansas

Against Texas Tech, Kansas’ Ben Heeney is a humble tackling machine

Kansas linebacker Ben Heeney tackled Texas Tech’s Dylan Cantrell, one of his 21 tackles in Saturday’s game.
Kansas linebacker Ben Heeney tackled Texas Tech’s Dylan Cantrell, one of his 21 tackles in Saturday’s game. The Associated Press

Linebacker Ben Heeney called it luck. He had just finished what was perhaps the best game of his Kansas career, and he wanted to chalk it up to happenstance and good fortune.

Heeney finished with a career-high 21 tackles in a 34-21 loss to Texas Tech. He was just four stops shy of the Kansas single-game record, a mark shared by three different players. Heeney also recorded an interception, setting up Kansas’ first score.

“It was just a normal game,” Heeney said. “And I ended up making a little more (tackles) than I usually do.”

Heeney’s tackle surge included 14 in the first half. That was the most by a KU player since Marcus Rogers finished with 22 tackles in 2001. The KU record of 25 is shared by Curtis Moore (1988), Willie Pless (1984) and Steve Towle (1974).

“Coming in, we just really thought we had a good chance to win,” Heeney said. “Before the game started, we were really amped up.”

Pierson exits early

Kansas coach Clint Bowen had no update on senior Tony Pierson, who had two carries during the Jayhawks’ opening drive and then did not return after suffering an undisclosed injury.

When asked about Pierson after the game, Bowen said: “I honestly have no idea what happened to him.”

Pierson, a senior receiver, was more involved in the running game last week and appeared poised to do more in the backfield going forward.

Big games for tight ends

Senior tight end Jimmay Mundine had a season-high seven receptions, while freshman tight end Ben Johnson had a career-high two catches for 25 yards.

To reach Rustin Dodd, call 816-234-4937 or send email to rdodd@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @rustindodd.

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