First Look: Kansas Jayhawks

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

With a shiny new #8 ranking in the first BCS, our Baylor Bears are headed out on the road for only the second time this season, looking to continue the momentum built so far and notch another Big 12 victory.

vs.
6/5/8 BAYLOR (6-0, 3-0) vs. NR/NR/NR KANSAS (2-4, 0-3)
Oct. 26, 2013 | 6:00 p.m. CT
Lawrence, Kan. | Memorial Stadium (50,071)

TV: ESPNU
Listen | GametrackerGametracker | Game Notes Notes | Tickets | In-Game BlogSportStream | Gameday Central

OPPONENT: Kansas Jayhawks (Big 12)
OFFICIAL WEBSITE
: KUAthletics.com (disregard the archer whose trophy is shooting him in the head)
2013 ROSTER, DEPTH CHART (opens as a .pdf)
LAST MEETING: 41-14 Baylor win, ODB Game Hub, Highlights
LAST GAME (for KU): 34-19 loss to #18 Oklahoma (in Lawrence)
SB NATION BLOG: Rock Chalk Talk
SPREAD: Baylor -34.5 (opened at BU -35.5)
TV COVERAGE: ESPNU
MEMORIAL STADIUM (LAWRENCE): Seating Chart
BAYLOR FOOTBALL TICKETS: BaylorBears.com/tickets
WEATHER FORECAST: High of 67 for Saturday, 10% chance of rain

SB NATION KANSAS PREVIEW: Charlie Weis' JUCO Gambit
BAYLORBEARS.COM PREVIEW: Caution, a ton of shiny numbers in here.

This was the game a year ago that it could be argued got the Bears back on track. The LacheShow really kicked off in front of a Homecoming crowd to the tune of 194 total yards, the Bears nearly doubled-up the Jayhawks as a team, and we put behind us the 4 consecutive losses of previous weeks. Life was temporarily good after this game leading into the next week's game against Oklahoma. It's since gotten much better for the Bears, obviously, but not the Jayhawks. They're still looking for a conference win in Weis' tenure, and then some.


Jayhawks Football Schedule

South Dakota Sat 09/07 W 31 - 14
@ Rice Sat 09/14 L 14 - 23
Louisiana Tech Sat 09/21 W 13 - 10
Texas Tech Sat 10/05 L 16 - 54
@ TCU Sat 10/12 L 17 - 27
Oklahoma Sat 10/19 L 19 - 34
Baylor Sat 10/26 6:00 PM CDT
@ Texas Sat 11/02 2:30 PM CDT
@ Oklahoma St. Sat 11/09 TBA
West Virginia Sat 11/16 TBA
@ Iowa St. Sat 11/23 TBA
Kansas St. Sat 11/30 TBA

Typically, I like to start this section of the First Look out by praising our opponent and talking about how their season may not be as bad as it looks. I can't do that this week. Kansas is 2-4 on the season with wins over FCS South Dakota and a moribund Louisiana Tech. That's it. In their other four games, all losses, they've scored a combined 66 points, or less than Baylor has in 5 of our 6 games this season.

Still, it could be argued that Kansas is coming into this week's game riding a little high off a better-than-expected showing against OU last week where the Jayhawks raced out to a 13-point lead in the first quarter, probably causing the per capita rate of heart attacks in Norman to temporarily skyrocket. They did it by following what has emerged as the plan to beat OU, pound them on the ground with the run, clamp down on Blake Bell's less errant throws, and stop the Sooners from running the ball. It worked for about 15 minutes before OU woke up, remembered their tremendous advantage in talent, size, and speed, and ran away with it the rest of the way.

That game actually paralleled somewhat a previous one for the Jayhawks this season: the October 5 matchup with Texas Tech, also in Lawrence. In that game, the Jayhawks also managed to build a small lead at the end of the first quarter while holding their opponent scoreless before giving way to an onslaught of Red Raider touchdowns that eventually swamped them 54-16. That is, apparently, the Jayhawk way this season: give your fans hope by showing basic competence through the first few minutes before falling apart in the second quarter and rolling over. Say what you want about the tenets of the Jayhawk Way; at least it's an ethos.

Statistic National
Rank
Big 12
Rank
Value National Leader Value Big 12
Leader
Value
3rd Down % 117 10 0.273 Louisville 0.636 Baylor 0.556
3rd Down % Defense 56 6 0.383 Virginia 0.266 Texas Tech 0.300
4th Down % 117 10 0.182 Wake Forest
Minnesota
0.857
0.857
Iowa St.
Baylor
0.636
0.636
4th Down % Defense 1 1 0.000 4 teams tied 0.000 Kansas 0.000
Blocked Kicks 16 3 2 Minnesota 4 Kansas St.
Oklahoma
3
3
Blocked Kicks Allowed 112 10 3 51 teams tied 0 Iowa St.
Texas Tech
0
0
Blocked Punts 2 1 2 Georgia Tech 3 Kansas 2
Blocked Punts Allowed 119 10 2 91 teams tied 0 6 teams tied 0
Completion Percentage 106 10 0.521 East Carolina 0.737 Baylor 0.703
Fewest Penalties/Game 104 8 7.50 Tulsa
Navy
3.00
3.00
Iowa St.
Texas
5.17
5.17
Fewest Penalty Yards/Game 92 8 58.17 Tulsa 20.83 Kansas St. 44.50
First Downs Defense 54 6 133 Louisville
Michigan St.
94
94
Baylor 101
First Downs Offense 121 10 85 Texas A&M 209 Texas Tech 201
Fumbles Lost 59 6 5 4 teams tied 1 Iowa St. 2
Fumbles Recovered 27 5 6 North Texas
Ball St.
12
12
Iowa St.
West Virginia
9
9
Kickoff Return Defense 56 3 21.00 La.-Monroe 12.00 Oklahoma St. 16.94
Kickoff Returns 65 8 21.44 Miami (FL) 31.35 TCU 28.33
Net Punting 20 3 39.62 Memphis 43.93 West Virginia 41.95
Pass Sacks Allowed 106 9 3.00 Toledo 0.43 Oklahoma St. 1.00
Passes Had Intercepted 51 3 6 New Mexico 1 Texas 3
Passes Intercepted 37 4 8 Oregon St.
Missouri
14
14
TCU 13
Passing Offense 112 10 157.8 Oregon St. 442.1 Texas Tech 416.4
Passing Yards Allowed 40 4 215.2 Oklahoma 149.7 Oklahoma 149.7
Passing Yards/Completion 98 10 10.76 Baylor 19.41 Baylor 19.41
Punt Return Defense 44 2 6.33 Houston -1.86 West Virginia 4.64
Punt Returns 20 5 13.90 Kansas St. 24.67 Kansas St. 24.67
Red Zone Defense 55 5 0.821 Bowling Green 0.500 Baylor 0.556
Red Zone Offense 105 10 0.733 Florida St. 0.971 Iowa St. 0.944
Rushing Defense 89 7 186.8 Michigan St. 59.1 TCU 115.3
Rushing Offense 99 10 129.8 Army 340.1 Baylor 300.3
Scoring Defense 65 7 27.0 Alabama 9.7 Baylor 16.2
Scoring Offense 112 10 18.3 Baylor 64.7 Baylor 64.7
Tackles for Loss Allowed 114 10 7.67 Stanford 3.00 Baylor 4.33
Pass Sacks 41 5 2.33 Virginia Tech
Clemson
3.86
3.86
Baylor 3.50
Passing Eff. 112 10 105.71 Baylor 213.22 Baylor 213.22
Passing Eff. Defense 22 6 113.48 Michigan St. 88.41 Oklahoma 96.25
Team Tackles for Loss 22 4 7.3 Clemson 9.6 Baylor 9.2
Time of Possession 107 8 27:26 Florida 35:57 Oklahoma 32:18
Total Defense 71 7 402.0 Michigan St. 228.0 Oklahoma 293.4
Total Offense 118 10 287.7 Baylor 714.3 Baylor 714.3
Turnover Margin 39 5 0.5 Houston 2.3 Oklahoma St. 1.2
Turnovers Gained 30 4 14 Houston 21 TCU 19
Turnovers Lost 59 6 11 Florida St. 4 Texas 7

I'm going to try how this looks this week and maybe never use it again. We'll find out together.

The highlight of the Kansas team by far is their 4th Down Percentage Defense, #1 in the nation. Teams have gone for it against the Jayhawks twice on fourth down and gotten it neither time, yielding a sterling 0.00% conversion rate on those attempts. Congratulations, Jayhawks, you are #1. Well, you're tied for #1 with Penn State, ULM, and North Texas, but that's fine.

In almost everything else, including total offense (118) and total defense (107), the Jayhawks are pretty bad. I say "almost" because they're actually ranked 22nd in pass efficiency defense. That's not bad at all.

You guys should know by now how little stock I put in most of the absolute rankings, for reasons I've explained ad nauseum. Look tomorrow for the statistical preview of Baylor vs. Kansas, or tonight for the Big 12 as a whole. That will tell you much more, I think, about who the Jayhawks really are at this point. For now, let it be enough that their offense is ranked 111th according to FEI and 114th by S&P+. Their defense, 37th and 77th, respectively. It seems the advanced stats actually don't hate the KU defense, where the majority of Kansas' JUCO talent went this offseason. That could be interesting to see in action.

As far as the offense goes, former BYU transfer Jake Heaps is the QB, James Sims the starting RB, and Tony Pierson the leading receiver. All of these names are probably familiar to you already, especially Sims, who ran for 126 yards and a TD on us last year. Expect to see a healthy dose of him this Saturday in Lawrence, which leads me to...

QUESTION TIME:

  • Put yourself in Charlie Weis' shoes preparing for the Baylor game this weekend: what is your strategy to stop the Bears? It has to be ball control and possession, right? Exactly what we've seen attempted to wildly different levels of success the past two weeks. Do you think KU can do a better job against Baylor than Iowa State? If so, why?
  • As Baylor fans, what outcome do you need from this game to be satisfied? Related-- what outcome do you think the team needs to dispel some of the "Can't play on the road" stigma?
  • Baylor went with gold/white/gold for the game against Kansas State to less-than-stellar reviews. Stormtrooper this week or something else?
  • What would you like to see as the next step for this offense? More sustained drives utilizing more players, or continued bombing of our opponents over the top?

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