TV: Fox Sports Net Radio: TTSN (affiliates),
Vegas Line: Tech -
44.3: In Kansas' last 10 games against Division I FBS
opponents, the Jayhawks have given up an average of 44.3 points per
game. During that time span, KU has allowed fewer than 35 points just
5: Tech has opened Big 12 play on the road in five of
the last six seasons. The Red Raiders opened Big 12 play at home last
season against Texas.
0: Neither starting quarterback in Saturday's game has
thrown an interception this season. Seth Doege's stat sheet is spotless
after 115 attempts and Jordan Webb's is clean after 59 tries.
"Yeah, all of them said, 'I didn't know you could (run like) that.' And,
shoot, I looked kind of fast on film -- I remember across the sidelines
saying, saying, hey, man, how slow did I look." - Texas Tech QB
"The Raiders have upped the ante on their running game this year with
tailback Eric Stephens producing nearly 115 yards an outing on the ground
and quarterback Seth Doege contributing another 25.
But that in no way compares to the pressure Georgia Tech, which spanked the
Jayhawks 62-24, puts on opposing defenses with its run-based triple-option
attack, something the Jayhawks apparently never solved.
"Depending on what they do, depending on how many people they put on the
line of scrimmage whether we run or throw," Tuberville said. "We are not
saying every game we are going to throw it no matter what you do. You just
don't do that."
The game at Lawrence will be the Big 12 opener for both teams. Tech is back
home for the next two games against conference foes Texas A&M and Kansas
-- Sports Xchange
THREE JAYHAWKS TO WATCH
WR D.J. Beshears - 3 att., 29 yards; 12 rec., 135 yards, 2 TD; 18 ret.,
387 yards - Leads the Big 12 in all-purpose yardage with 183.7 yards on
average, mostly off kick returns. Kansas must find ways to get Beshears more
touches as a receiver and also spring him occasionally on end arounds and
reverses. He had a 43-yard catch late in the first half at Georgia Tech.
LB Steven Johnson - 31 tackles, 2 TFL, FF - The surest tackler among
the Jayhawks, Johnson also covers the most ground and ranks second in the
Big 12 with 10.3 tackles on average. Anything the senior can do to help
align teammates correctly would contribute to much-needed improvement on
DE Toben Opurum - 18 tackles, 1 sack, 5.5 TFL, 2 QBH - Could emerge
as one of the bigger strengths for the Jayhawks defensively now that they
will face a steady assortment of passing teams in the Big 12. Opurum ranks
second in the conference with 5.5 tackles for loss, though he does not yet
have an unassisted sack.
-- Sports Xchange
KEYS TO THE GAME
Brick By Brick: After last week's defensive performance, it's
important that Tech come out and show better on defense against Kansas. Not
just to give the team a chance to win, but to help boost confidence and
offer tangible proof that the defense is heading in the right direction. No
one's expecting the defense to turn on a dime and be 1980's Miami
Hurricanes-esque, but they must improve from last week's result if they want
to be competitive in the Big 12 this year.
Dam Up The River: The most critical component for Tech's defense
will be to get stops early and often. Nevada was able to convert third downs
seemingly at will last Saturday, and the Red Raiders will have to put on
their big boy pants when the opportunity for a stop arises. If you can get
up on Kansas early and hold them down on defense, then the Jayhawks will
have to move away from their game plan and start throwing the ball.
Rise Up! The Texas Tech offense seemed a bit dejected and out of
sorts for a period of time after Darrin Moore left with an injury. When the
second half came around, however, the offense finally found itself and
started cranking out production from Eric Stephens, Jacoby Franks and
Eric Ward. Tech's offense must find guys to step up in Moore's absence, and Ward,
Stephens, and Franks can be those guys.
• Texas Tech has won the last four meetings with Kansas and have won 11 of
the 12 games in the series. Kansas' only win in the series came in 2001,
when the Jayhawks escaped with a 34-31 overtime win.
• Kansas has played largely turnover free football games. The Jayhawks have
turned the ball over once, and gained just one of their own. Quarterback
Jordan Webb has yet to throw an interception this season.
• The Red Raiders are currently riding a six-game winning streak, second only
to Oklahoma (8) in the Big 12.
• Both Tech and Kansas have been very efficient on offense this season. The
Red Raiders and Jayhawks rank second and sixth respectively in the Football
Bowl Subdivision in offensive third-down efficiency and each converted all
of their redzone opportunities this season.
TECH VS. KANSAS MATCHUP BREAKDOWN
TECH PASS OFFENSE VS. KANSAS PASS DEFENSE
Tech's passing offense took a serious blow when Darrin Moore went down
with knee and ankle injuries early in the first quarter of the Nevada
game, but the Red Raiders seemed to find some rhythm as the game went
on. Receiver Eric Ward looks like he can be an adequate replacement for
Moore while Moore recovers and there seems to be a lot of confidence in
quarterback Seth Doege to lead the attack.
Kansas' secondary hasn't seen anything like the Red Raiders' passing
attack this season. Prior to Georgia Tech, a team that runs the
flexbone, this past week, Kansas took on lightweights in McNeese State
and Northern Illinois.
The Red Raiders' passing game should be able to give Kansas problems.
TECH RUN OFFENSE VS. KANSAS RUN DEFENSE
Tech's running game appears to be in its best state in more than a
decade and the Red Raiders ran the ball effectively against all three
Kansas' defense should be a little tougher than those that were on the
non-conference slate, but it's also a defense that is coming off a game
of allowing Georgia Tech 604 rushing yards in a 66-21 loss.
Expect Kansas to hold Tech to less rushing yards than Georgia Tech but
also for the Red Raiders to be pretty effective on the ground.
TECH OFFENSIVE LINE VS. KANSAS DEFENSIVE LINE
Obviously, Kansas' defensive line was part of the problem in containing
Georgia Tech. Tech's offensive line looked fairly good against Nevada
last week, allowing for 441 total yards of offense.
All of the preseason projected starters are back for the Red Raiders
including Justin Keown who showed his knee can hold up against
competition for most of a game and right tackle Mickey Okafor is back
after being knocked out of the Nevada game with an injury.
Expect the Red Raiders offensive line to do a good job of holding the
Kansas defensive line at bay./td>
TECH RUN DEFENSE VS. KANSAS RUN OFFENSE
Saturday will be a tough test for the Red Raider defense after allowing
312 rushing yards against Nevada.
Kansas has four quality running backs and you can be sure they're
excited to play a defense that has not been very effective against the
run this season between Nevada and Texas State.
Kansas' James Sims and Darrian Miller will get the bulk of the carries
for Kansas and they average 85 yards and 57 yards respectively. The
carries are spread out across the board though and the Jayhawk team
averages about 235 rushing yards a game.
Through Tech's first three games, it has shown an inability to stop the
run, averaging 225 yards against.
TECH PASS DEFENSE VS. KANSAS PASS OFFENSE/td>
Sophomore quarterback Jordan Webb looked decent as a freshman and looks
much improved early in his sophomore year. He has thrown for about 192
yards per game on a Jayhawk squad that would prefer to run the ball than
Webb has attempted just 59 passes through his first three starts this
Receiving wise, Kansas's leading receiver in D.J. Brashears has 12
catches for 135 yards -- a stark contrast from the numbers the Red
Raiders have put up throughout the receiving corps. Tech's Moore had 21
catches through two games.
Tech's secondary should be somewhat improved from a week ago with the
return of corner Tre' Porter and Cody Davis is back at his weak safety
position. Both were injured for last week's ballgame.
TECH DEFENSIVE LINE VS. KANSAS OFFENSIVE LINE/td>
Kansas' offensive line is one of the strengths of the team. It's allowed
five sacks through three games and is the heart of the running game.
Tech's defensive line will enjoy the return of defensive Leon Mackey as
well as other players who have looked good early like defensive end
Jackson Richards and defensive tackle Donald Langley.
There are a lot of weapons to fire at the Kansas offense from the
TECH SPECIAL TEAMS VS. KANSAS SPECIAL TEAMS/td>
Donnie Carona has looked great in all facets of his game; kickoffs,
PAT's and he is one-for-one with field goals. Kansas' kicker Alex
Mueller is two-of-three on field goals, but has hit both attempts from
25 yards out. His one miss was a 43-yarder.
Mueller has no touchbacks this season so reigning Big 12 Special Teams
Player of the Week Ben McRoy should be able to get some returns in.
McRoy returned seven kickoffs for 203 yards last week and set the Red
Raiders in great field position for their final, game-winning drive
against Nevada. br class="auto-style1" />
Austin Zouzalik averages 13 yards on two returnable punts this season.
Brashears averages about 21 yards on kickoff return and the Jayhawks
have yet to return a punt this season.