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)
|Listen | Gametracker | Notes | Tickets | SportStream | 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
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.
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...
- 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?