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First Look: Kansas Jayhawks and Advanced Stats Preview

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We're combining the First Look and the Advanced Stats: Line Play previews this week to examine the Kansas Jayhawks a bit more closely.

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
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3/4 BAYLOR (4–0, 1–0) vs. NR/NR Kansas (0–4, 0–1)
Oct. 10, 2015 | 11 a.m. CT
Lawrence, Kan. | Memorial Stadium (50,071)

TV: FS1
Watch Listen | Gametracker Gametracker | Game Notes Notes | Tickets

OPPONENT: Kansas Jayhawks
ODB GAME HUB: Baylor Bears vs. Kansas Jayhawks 2015
MEET THE PRESS: Baylor vs. Kansas
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.kuathletics.com
MEDIA GUIDE: 2015 Kansas Football Media Guide (Click here for roster)
LAST MEETING: 60–14 Baylor | ODB Game Hub
LAST GAME: L; Iowa State 38, Kansas 13
SB NATION BLOG: Rock Chalk Talk, at right
SPREAD: Baylor –44 (Open: Baylor –38)
TV COVERAGE: Fox Sports 1, 11:00 a.m. CDT
WEATHER FORECAST: Sunny, high of 76°, Winds S at 10–20mph. (wunderground puts temp at 62° at game time)
BAYLOR UNIFORMS: No official word yet, announced Friday

SBNation.com Kansas Preview
baylorbears.com Preview
Bears vs. Jayhawks Coverage

Mea Culpa and Advanced Stats

First: These posts usually drop on Tuesdays and serve as our 10,000 foot level view of the field here. I could make an excuse that I got busy and didn’t get around to this, but that wouldn’t be true. I started looking at them yesterday and, quite frankly, got sorta depressed. As you will see, Kansas is historically bad. I got bogged down in that and had a hard time putting anything on "paper." So, here we are.

Consequently, I’ve decided to combine this week’s First Look with the Advanced Stats Line Play post that I did last week for Tech to give you both in one. The stats are pretty ugly, and the Bears are squaring up against a true freshman QB in his first start. It’s incredibly difficult to predict what will happen there, and stats are no help.

I’m also at a point where I’m struggling with S&P+. If you weren’t aware, Bill Connelly removed all preseason projections from his S&P+ ranking, and that dropped us from 18th in the rankings to 39th this week. Because the rankings are fairly volatile this early in the season and because FEI has not yet released offensive/defensive data (and won’t for another 2 weeks), we’ll hold off on the full-blown advanced stats preview for now. We are, however, looking to have Bill on the podcast to talk briefly about what he’s seeing there. Stay tuned for more news on that front.

All of the QB Injuries

The news dropped yesterday that Kansas would be without both their starting quarterback, Montell Cozart, and his backup, Deondre Ford. True Freshman Ryan Willis will take the reigns of the Kansas offense on Saturday morning. Interestingly, our SB Nation brethren over at Rock Chalk Talk seem to think that Willis is the best quarterback on their roster.

We’ll talk more about this situation in just a bit.

Kansas Jayhawks 2015 Schedule

September

South Dakota St. Jackrabbits

Saturday, September 05 2015 loss 38–41 coverage

Memphis Tigers

Saturday, September 12 2015 loss 23–55 coverage
@ Rutgers Scarlet Knights Saturday, September 26 2015 loss 14–27 coverage
October
@ Iowa St. Cyclones Saturday, October 03 2015 loss 13–38 coverage

Baylor Bears

Saturday, October 10 2015 12:00 PM EDT coverage

Texas Tech Red Raiders

Saturday, October 17 2015 12:00 PM EDT coverage
@ Oklahoma State Cowboys Friday, October 23 2015 8:00 PM EDT coverage

Oklahoma Sooners

Friday, October 30 2015 8:00 PM EDT coverage
November
@ Texas Longhorns Saturday, November 07 2015 8:00 PM EST coverage
@ TCU Horned Frogs Friday, November 13 2015 7:00 PM EST coverage

West Virginia Mountaineers

Friday, November 20 2015 7:00 PM EST coverage

Kansas State Wildcats

Friday, November 27 2015 7:00 PM EST coverage

Kansas Jayhawks 2015 Individual Stats

Quarterbacks

Passing
Rk Player Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A AY/A TD Int Rate
1 Montell Cozart 66 105 62.9 752 7.2 7.1 2 1 127.4
2 Deondre Ford 11 23 47.8 132 5.7 3.8 0 1 87.3
3 Ryan Willis 8 18 44.4 100 5.6 5.6 0 0 91.1
4 Steven Sims Jr. 0 1 0.0 0 0.0 0.0 0 0 0.0

Well, here we are. These stats mean absolutely nothing to us at this point. Cozart is out. Ford is gone. True freshman Ryan Willis has a 44.4% completion percentage and 100 yards passing total. On eighteen attempts. Willis was a 3-star QB out of Mission, Kansas. According to his 247 Sports profile, he’s a pro-style quarterback. Interesting.

This could be a Mason-Rudolph-the-unknown-is-what-kills-you sort of a situation, where Ryan Willis just comes out of nowhere to absolutely dominate. We've seen that on multiple occasions in the past. I don't think that will happen this time around, but if Baylor walks into this game unprepared or overconfident, it's entirely possible.

Rushing & Receiving Stats

Rushing Receiving Scrimmage
Rk Player Att Yds Avg TD Rec Yds Avg TD Plays Yds Avg TD
1 Ke’aun Kinner 69 339 4.9 5 5 63 12.6 0 74 402 5.4 5
2 Montell Cozart 45 113 2.5 1 45 113 2.5 1
3 De’Andre Mann 21 92 4.4 0 6 42 7.0 0 27 134 5.0 0
4 Ryan Schadler 9 35 3.9 0 9 35 3.9 0
5 Deondre Ford 5 –3 –0.6 0 5 –3 –0.6 0
6 Taylor Martin 4 11 2.8 0 4 11 2.8 0
7 Ryan Willis 3 –18 –6.0 0 3 –18 –6.0 0
8 Tre’ Parmalee 1 19 19.0 1 15 242 16.1 1 16 261 16.3 2
9 Marnez Ogletree 1 2 2.0 0 1 2 2.0 0
10 Steven Sims Jr. 1 –9 –9.0 0 10 98 9.8 0 11 89 8.1 0
11 Tyler Patrick 12 120 10.0 0 12 120 10.0 0
12 Ben Johnson 8 48 6.0 0 8 48 6.0 0
13 Kent Taylor 7 92 13.1 1 7 92 13.1 1
14 Bobby Hartzog 6 72 12.0 0 6 72 12.0 0
15 Darious Crawley 5 105 21.0 0 5 105 21.0 0
16 Shakiem Barbel 5 38 7.6 0 5 38 7.6 0
17 Joshua Stanford 3 38 12.7 0 3 38 12.7 0
18 Derrick Neal 3 26 8.7 0 3 26 8.7 0
19 Joe Gibson 1 20 20.0 0 1 20 20.0 0

I’m not going to mince words here… Kansas’ offense is really bad. Their leading rusher has 110 more yards on the season than Shock Linwood had last week against Texas Tech alone. The team is 126th in the F/+ rankings thus far this season, out of 128 teams. Bill C.’s Advanced Statistical Profile for the Jayhawks doesn’t project a single win, not even giving them a double-digit percentage chance in any of the games remaining.

Advanced Statistical Profiles: Line Play

Normally here you’d see the NCAA Team Stats and KU’s relative position within those stats, but not this week. I got bogged down in looking at all of this yesterday and, given the massive disparity between the two squads’ respective statistical profiles, I’m opting to do my Line Play Advanced Stats Preview here in lieu of the rest of this post as normal. If you need a refresher on what each of these stats are, check out the first half of last week’s post for explanations of each stat.

When Baylor Has The Ball…

Baylor Kansas EDGE
ALY 51 (106.8) 120 (83.2) BAYLOR
Std Downs LY 1 (4.47) 123 (3.52) BAYLOR
Pass Downs LY 19 (4.09) 92 (3.61) BAYLOR
Opp. Rate 1 (57.2%) 125 (46.3%) BAYLOR
Power Succ. Rate 50 (70.6%) 118 (85.7%) BAYLOR
Stuff Rate 4 (10.8%) 127 (11.2%) BAYLOR
Adj. Sack Rate 12 (241.2) 91 (83.9) BAYLOR
SD Sack Rate 19 (1.4%) 98 (3.1%) BAYLOR
PD Sack Rate 1 (0%) 43 (8.3%) BAYLOR
Front 7 Havoc Rate 127 (4.2%)

When I first pulled the data from Football Outsiders, I was surprised by how solid the Jayhawk defensive line was. Then I realized my mistake: I’d actually copied Kansas State’s stats, not Kansas’. These are much more in line with what I’ve been thinking. You’ll notice that Baylor’s offensive line is ranked 51st in Adjusted Line Yards; that’s because it is an opponent-adjusted stat and probably is suffering from the hits that Baylor is taking in other strength of schedule-adjusted stats. Unfortunately, there’s nothing Baylor can do about this except keep destroying their opponents and hope that their opponents do likewise to theirs.

Otherwise, these stats speak for themselves. Baylor fields one of the best offensive lines in the country, while the Jayhawks have one of the worst. Barring any freak occurrences, Baylor should be able to impose their will against the Kansas front 7 all day long. Kansas is actually pretty decent in getting sacks on passing downs (ranking in the top 50), but the Bears still sit atop college football in this regard, having not given up a single sack on a passing down yet. That is incredibly impressive.

When Kansas Has The Ball…

Kansas Baylor EDGE
ALY 101 (92.6) 29 (114.3) BAYLOR
Std Downs LY 113 (2.37) 16 (2.21) BAYLOR
Pass Downs LY 31 (3.75) 117 (4.2) KANSAS
Opp. Rate 110 (32.9%) 32 (33.3%) BAYLOR
Power Succ. Rate 32 (76.9%) 122 (88.9%) KANSAS
Stuff Rate 42 (17.4%) 26 (25.5%) Baylor
Adj. Sack Rate 95 (78.6) 52 (109.6) BAYLOR
SD Sack Rate 77 (5.3%) 43 (5.9%) Baylor
PD Sack Rate 85 (8.2%) 26 (9.8%) BAYLOR
Front 7 Havoc Rate 58 (9.6%)

Oh hey look, good news for Kansas! They have massive advantages in Passing Down Line Yards and Power Success Rate! Baylor continues to struggle with short yardage situations, as well as giving up yardage to rushes on passing downs. Unfortunately for Kansas, the disparity in Passing Down Line Yards isn’t enough to create any realistic advantage: KU gains 3.75 yards per rush on a passing down, while Baylor gives up 4.2 yards per rush. And you have to get into short yardage situations for the power run game to come into play. That’s something I suspect that Kansas will struggle with on Saturday. Even if they do, I’m hopeful we’ll see some progress from Baylor on this front.

Beyond those two aspects, though, the stats are much the same as the other side of the ball: the field is fairly heavily slanted towards Baylor. IF the Bears come to play on Saturday and don’t take the weekend off, they should dominate Kansas up front all day long.