Texas Tech Opponent Prospectus // Kansas Jayhawks

2009 Texas Tech Opponent Prospectus

Game 1: North Dakota Fighting Sioux // Game 2: Rice Owls // Game 3: Texas Longhorns // Game 4: Houston Cougars // Game 5: New Mexico Lobos // Game 6: Kansas State Wildcats // Game 7: Nebraska Cornhuskers // Game 8: Texas A&M Aggies // Game 9: Kansas Jayhawks

Head coach Mark Mangino and his Kansas Jayhawks are predicted to battle for the Big 12 North. With so many returning offensive stars (Reesing, Mier and Briscoe) the Jayhawks should be fine offensively, but it's the defense (like almost every Big 12 team) that's going to have to improve in order to take the next step.

Join me after the jump for a closer look at Kansas.

General Information

Opponent University of Kansas
Nickname Jayhawks
Location Lawrence, KS
Enrollment 20,298 (Undergraduates)
Conference Big 12
Head Coach Mark Mangino
2008 Record 7-5 (4-4)
Starters Returning/Lost 15/7
Blogs Rock Chalk Talk
Oread Boom Kings
Links 2009 Media Guide (pdf)
2009 Spring Prospectus (pdf)


Statistics

Statistic Kansas Texas Tech
Pass Offense 305.62 (8) 413.15 (1)
Rush Offense 126.77 (83) 117.84 (94)
Total Offense 432.38 (21) 531.00 (4)
Scoring Offense 33.38 (22) 43.77 (3)
Pass Efficiency 149.93 (17) 158.76 (9)
Sacks Allowed 2.38 (97) 1.00 (4)
Pass Defense 273.62 (114) 242.23 (94)
Rush Defense 123.08 (28) 140.38 (61)
Total Defense 369.69 (89) 382.62 (79)
Scoring Defense 28.85 (82) 27.85 (74)
Pass Efficiency Defense 129.69 (69) 130.56 (72)
Sacks 2.23 (40) 2.62 (18)
Tackles For Loss 6.31 (40) 4.85 (95)
Turnover Margin 0.23 (45) 0.62 (22)


Top Returners

Category Player
Rushing Jake Sharp (186 / 860 yds / 12 TD)
Passing Todd Reesing (329-495 / 3,888 yds / 32 TD / 21 Int)
Receiving Dezmon Briscoe (92 rec. / 1,407 yds / 15 TD)
Tackles Darrell Stuckey (98)
Sacks Jake Laptad (7.0)
Interceptions Darrell Stuckey (5)


A Few Things

  1. Replacing the Offensive Line: Texas Tech and Kansas are somewhat in the same boat in that each team needs to replace three-fifths of their starters from last year, plus Kansas must replace their tight end from last year. I think this means that much like Texas Tech, the Jayhawks are replacing the entire left side of their line and I believe that means that former tight end Tanner Hawkinson will be your left tackle. The Jayhawks have also done some shuffling, where last years left tackle, Jeremiah Hatch, will be moving to center and the lone returning starter is Jeff Spikes. We'll get into this below, but the nice thing about the Kansas line is that Reesing is a mobile quarterback and he can avoid quite a bit of pressure by himself, but this is obviously a situation to watch.
  2. Who Picks Up the Rush: Again, much like Texas Tech, the Jayhawks must replace their first, third and fourth leading sacker from 2008. Defensive end Jake Laptad does return with seven sacks from last year, but the Jayhawks lose 16.5 of the 29 sacks from last year. I believe that Kansas is hoping that Maxwell Onyegbule steps up in a full time role. I should also mention that James Holt, a linebacker, was the leading sacker from last year. I can't say that I watched enough Kansas football last season to know how the Jayhawk defense works, but that's a lot of production to replace (and Texas Tech fans can empathize) in 2009.
  3. Tremendous Offensive Skill Positions: You can't help but love the offensive triumvirate at Kansas. Todd Reesing is the Wes Welker of quarterbacks, and I mean that as a tremendous compliment. He's a guy that's not to be as successful as he is because of his stature, but he gets the job done and he does it with excellent efficiency. RB Jake Sharp is an effective runner, gaining 4.62 yards a carry and catching 25 passes out of the backfield. Had it not been for Michael Crabtree and Dez Bryant, the entire league would be talking about Dezmon Briscoe, which could be both good and bad. Bad in the sense that he ran into some issues during the spring, probably school related, that kept him out of some of the spring practices. With that being said, there's no denying Briscoe's talent as he caught 92 passes for 1,402 yards and 15 touchdowns. Just for comparison purposes, Michael Crabtree had 97 catches for 1,165 yards and 19 touchdowns. Briscoe had a relatively quiet game against Texas Tech, but make no mistake that Briscoe has the potential to be a game-changer for Kansas.
  4. New Linebackers: As mentioned above, Kansas replaces all three linebackers from last year, including the leader pass rusher in James Holt, who was also KU's leading tackler, third leading tackler in Mike Rivera and fourth leading tackler in Joe Mortenson. Like I said, that's a ton of production to produce. Much like any school, hope springs eternal, and there's always the thought that there's depth to replace those three players. Where the former linebackers seemed to be more traditional, there's the thought that KU could move towards a faster and more fleet linebacking group.
  5. Secondary Returns: We've talked about some of the weaknesses of the Kansas defense, but the strength of the defense is the secondary, where the Jayhawks return Darrell Stuckey, an All-American candidate. Stuckey was very good last year, which included being the leading returning tackler, and leading the team in interceptions last year. Cornerbacks Justin Thornton and Daymond Patterson also return, as well as free safety Phillip Strozier. As you could imagine, with entire secondary returning, there are some issues in that the Jayhawks were 114th in the nation last year in pass defense. Yeesh. I think this group will improve, but with the lack of pass rush and the fact that over the middle may be incredibly vulnerable. Again, we're talking about the experience factor here, and it's also the Big 12 where offenses fly high.
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