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QUICK LOOK: Kansas Jayhawks

It can’t be a first look when it happens two days before the game, my bad.

MATCHUP: Baylor Bears (3-3, 1-2) vs. Kansas Jayhawks (5-2, 2-2)
LOCATION: Waco, Texas
ODB GAME HUB: Baylor Bears vs. Kansas Jayhawks 2022
OPPONENT’S SB NATION BLOG: Rock Chalk Talk
ODB QUICK HITTER: KU.
GAMEONPAPER PREVIEW: Baylor vs. KU.
COLLEGEFOOTBALLDATA.COM TEAM PAGES: Baylor | Kansas
WEEKLY PRESS CONFERENCE: KU.
GAME NOTES (INCLUDING DEPTH CHART): KU.
BAYLORBEARS.COM PREVIEW: KU.
SPREAD: Baylor 9.0 (opened at Baylor -10 on Sunday), O/U 58.5
TV COVERAGE: ESPN2, 11:00 AM CT
UNIFORM: SAILOR PICKLE IS HERE!!! (see below)

Before going any further, I want to apologize for two things: first, immediately prior to Kyron Drones’ interception last week against WVU, I tweeted that he had some RGIII in him. That was on me. Second, this post should have been up at least two days ago. I’ve had a browser open with it for three. The reality is that I have been absolutely swamped and had to take time out to get something up this evening. That is why this is/will be styled a Quick Look rather than a First Look, a First Look typically happening much earlier in the week. My apologies completely.

WEATHER (IN WACO):

Should be a beautiful day in Waco for Homecoming and the Kansas game. Here’s the forecast for the early morning through the game from Wunderground.com.

That wind out of the north should be really interesting for the game. It has gotten steadily stronger (by the forecast) through the week and will be coming from the south (not north, like I previously thought). Should be a really pretty day, but you should pack a jacket if you’re going to the Homecoming festivities early.

Speaking of...

HOMECOMING SCHEDULE:

That’s an early parade, but it should give you time to get over to McLane for the pregame flyover that Baylor announced the day before yesterday. When the actual game day schedule goes out, I’ll make sure to post it.

HOW DID WE GET HERE?

Now to the less-than-fun part. Obviously, Baylor is 3-3 (1-2) coming off two-straight losses, and KU is 5-2 doing the same.

Baylor 2022 Schedule

G Date Time Day School Opponent Conf Pts Opp W L Streak
G Date Time Day School Opponent Conf Pts Opp W L Streak
1 3-Sep-22 7:00 PM Sat (10) Baylor Albany Non-Major 69 10 1 0 W 1
2 10-Sep-22 10:15 PM Sat (9) Baylor (21) BYU Ind 20 26 1 1 L 1
3 17-Sep-22 12:00 PM Sat (17) Baylor Texas State Sun Belt 42 7 2 1 W 1
4 24-Sep-22 12:00 PM Sat (17) Baylor Iowa State Big 12 31 24 3 1 W 2
5 1-Oct-22 3:30 PM Sat (16) Baylor (9) Oklahoma State Big 12 25 36 3 2 L 1
6 13-Oct-22 7:00 PM Thu Baylor West Virginia Big 12 40 43 3 3 L 2

That’s ugly. I don’t like it. And I don’t think it’s what anyone, even our most ardent critics, would have predicted. In fact, I know it isn’t because I’ve talked to a few of them.

But it may not be as bad as you think. Remarkably, Baylor has been favored by post-game win expectancy in each of the last two games, and this past game against WVU may have been the best offensive performance in a non-Kansas Big 12 game in the Dave Aranda era. The only reason we didn’t score more points is turnovers and the fact that we lost our starting QB to a rough targeting hit while sliding early in the third quarter. He only had 326 passing yards and 2 TDs to that point.

So why did we lose against WVU? Three things: 1) special teams, which cost us for a second week in a row in allowing a blocked extra point to be returned for a safety, a three-point swing in a game we lost by three; 2) turnovers, as mentioned above; and 3) a complete meltdown by the defense, perhaps the biggest factor of all. Travis talked earlier this week on Twitter about how bad the last two weeks have been, and it’s bad. Really bad.

But despite all that, we are still 21st in SP+ this week, the highest-ranked 3-3 team (something you never want to be, but still) in the country and higher even than Lincoln Riley’s media darling USC. The reality is that some of the things that went our way last year (turnovers) haven’t this year, and though the offense has improved in a lot of the areas we thought/hoped it might, the defense has regressed. If you want to be hopeful, though, you would say that if you believe this staff is likely to be able to turn anything around quickly, it would be the defense. We’ll just have to see.

Kansas 2022 Schedule

G Date Time Day School Opponent Conf Pts Opp W L Streak
G Date Time Day School Opponent Conf Pts Opp W L Streak
1 2-Sep-22 8:00 PM Fri Kansas Tennessee Tech Non-Major 56 10 1 0 W 1
2 10-Sep-22 6:00 PM Sat Kansas West Virginia Big 12 55 42 2 0 W 2
3 17-Sep-22 4:00 PM Sat Kansas Houston American 48 30 3 0 W 3
4 24-Sep-22 12:00 PM Sat Kansas Duke ACC 35 27 4 0 W 4
5 1-Oct-22 3:30 PM Sat Kansas Iowa State Big 12 14 11 5 0 W 5
6 8-Oct-22 12:00 PM Sat (19) Kansas (17) Texas Christian Big 12 31 38 5 1 L 1
7 15-Oct-22 12:00 PM Sat (19) Kansas Oklahoma Big 12 42 52 5 2 L 2

Though they are also coming at this game with 2 consecutive losses, Kansas’s outlook on things has to be wildly different from our own. For one thing, with 5 wins to start the season, they: 1) became ranked for the first time since 2009, 2) hosted College Game Day, and 3) are now just one win away from their first bowl game since 2008.

The story for KU has been their offense under Lance Leipold, which has been extremely exciting to watch and absolutely terrifying to play against, particularly when they had Jalon Daniels running the show. Their defense, while improved, has been decidedly less impressive, but the offense has just been so good that it hasn’t matter. SP+ has them at #19 in offense, which seems a little low but with which FEI basically agrees (with them at #22). The key has been explosive plays—SharpFootball has Kansas #11 in Explosive Drives this season, and even in the loss against Oklahoma this past week they managed to put up 42 points and 9 explosive plays. They just allowed nearly 20.

Still—and I know this is easy to say coming from place of relative football affluence recently—I don’t know how you could be a Kansas fan and not be overjoyed at how this season has gone and looks like it might go. Sure, your amazingly talented QB that was a possible Heisman candidate got hurt and looks like he’s going to miss another two games, having already missed all of the OU game and nearly all of TCU. You’re not going to win the Big 12 (in all likelihood), and you may have to fight to make a bowl. But think of where you’ve been! You have as many wins this season as the last three combined. You were ranked! People have been legitimately terrified of playing you, and others are talking seriously about trying to steal your coach. Enjoy it!

Quick look at this game courtesy of GameonPaper.com, my new favorite site.

This game could see a lot of big plays through the air. Both teams struggle against the pass—KU more than Baylor so far on the entire season, but Baylor hasn’t been good recently, either. The biggest difference is that KU’s rush defense has been putrid this season, which could open the door for Richard Reese to have a big day (if we let him and don’t just stop running the ball for whatever reason).

PLAYERS TO KNOW:

#17—QB Jason Bean—This is someone Baylor fans should already know considering he started for Kansas in 2021 in the only game we won that season. I’ve heard him described as the fastest player on Kansas’s team, which is amazing, if true, and though he’s no Jalon Daniels, he’s a talented player. He has 4 TDs passing in each of KU’s last games against OU and TCU.

#4—RB Devin Neal—KU’s leading rusher with 505 yards and 5 TDs on the ground. He had 10 carries for 33 yards against Baylor last year.

#2—WR Lawrence Arnold—KU’s leading receiver with 348 yards and 3 TDs. KU has done a really good job of spreading the ball around this season considering how good their passing offense has been, and they have 4 different players with more than 200 yards receiving. For comparison, we have just 2, although 2 more are fairly close. Gavin Holmes obviously had more than 200 against WVU alone.

#47—DE Lonnie Phelps—Has 8.5 tackles for loss this season and 6 sacks. He transferred in from Miami (OH), so this is the first time we’ll see him.

#1—S Kenny Logan—The second-leading tackler on KU’s defense with 5, he also leads the team with 2 INTs. He started 11 of 12 games last year and all 7 so far this season.

INJURY NEWS:

We don’t know much about KU other than that Jalon Daniels is supposedly out. He participated in practice today in a very limited role, which could mean they get him back sooner than the November 5 previously reported (and linked above), but it could also mean that KU takes it easy bringing him back considering they have a bye week in two weeks.

For Baylor, Blake Shapen will reportedly return this week against KU, but we will be without Sqwirl Williams and Taye McWilliams. The McWilliams situation is getting fairly worrisome considering he was injured against BYU nearly two months ago. We obviously wish him the best.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING / OTHER NEWS:

Baylor Women's Basketball

Brittney Griner Freed From Russian Prison

Daily Bears Reports

DBR: Thursday, December 8th, 2022

Daily Bears Reports

DBR: Wednesday, December 7th, 2022