How Texas Tech can attack the Kansas Jayhawk offense and defense.
I really had not looked at a Kansas depth chart all year, but was surprised to see that the starts along the left side of the line and the center are all seniors, while the right side of the line are two juniors. That's the reason for the running game, although it doesn't really make sense that this group can run block so effectively, yet are horrific in pass block situations. I'd also like to mention that Pat Lewandowski is the back-up left tackle and he is the brother of former Texas Tech basketballer, Robert Lewandowski. I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention that I think that the tight ends are essentially there for blocking and only blocking. Texas Tech had a difficult time with both Kansas St. and Texas tight ends and the defense found it tough to muster much of a way to stop those offenses. Of course it helps to have a lot of significant talent, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least to see Kansas load up the offensive line and just dare Texas Tech to stop them.
With that being the case, I wouldn't expect to see a ton of Jackson Richards and Branden Jackson with Dartwan Bush rotating at the other end. Leon Mackey probably won't get a ton of time this week as he's not as disciplined, but he'll have to play some. It's about leverage and the defensive line has been very quiet over the course of the past few weeks. K-state is an elite offense and Texas is a very good offense. I'm not sure where to place Kansas since they have a non-existent passing game.
And when I write non-existent passing game, that's not hyperbole. Against Texas, Kansas was 3 of 9 for 39 yards and against Baylor, Kansas was 11 of 26 for 96 yards with two picks. There is almost zero reason to believe that Kansas will beat any team with the pass and this is literally the week to focus on just one thing, stopping RB James Sims, who is very good and leads the Big 12 in rushing, and capable backup, Tony Pierson.
The key for most teams has probably been DE Toben Opurum, who has been a consistently good football player for Kansas for a couple of years. Initially a running back, he was switched to the defense and he's actually not bad in terms of what he's asked to do. Teams most likely have been focusing on Opurum, but he's not a bad player. Other than that, I'm not sure there is much that really bothers you about Kansas defensively. They did play good against Texas, but with UT, I just never know if their offensive play-calling has gone into hibernation, or if the Jayhawks just played a terrific game. Statistically, it was an aberration in that of the nine opponents that Kansas has faced, the opposing team has had more than 400 yards of total offense seven times. The only times that the Kansas defense has limited opposing offenses was 342 yards against Texas and 371 against Oklahoma St. Generally speaking, they haven't been good.
Last week you saw a ton of two-back sets with RB Kenny Williams and RB Eric Stephens Jr. and I'm imagining that you will see very few two back sets this week. I'd have to guess that Neal Brown and QB Seth Doege are anxious to let things hang out and just fling the ball around as much as possible. We'll talk more about IR Jakeem Grant, but I'm guessing that Grant gets a ton of looks this week and it wouldn't surprise me to see Grant be the star of the offense on Saturday along with the increasingly consistent Williams. I'd think that Grant is ready to bust out this week.
And I think too that if you give DC Dave Campo some time, he'll have guys lined up in the right spots. Campo knows the game and is Kansas' version of Art Kaufman. I'm honestly glad that Campo got a fresh start and seems like he would be a very good fit in a college situation. I don't know how he recruits, but I'd guess that he's excited to teach and I do think he's a good teacher. He'll have Kansas ready to play in terms of technique, the Jayhawks just don't have the players to compete on a week-by-week basis.