Kansas vs. Kansas State Team Analysis

Once again welcome to the rivalry week, Sunflower Showdown edition.

The Kansas Jayhawks host the Kansas State Wildcats in the 2008 edition of this rivalry and what has become a huge game for a host of reasons.  Currently Kansas comes into the Game at 5-3 while Kansas State enters the contest with a 4-4 record.  This game will go along way in terms of the Bowl Picture for both teams and for Kansas is critical for getting back the confidence that may have been lost last week against Texas Tech.  Win this game, the Jayhawks are back in the saddle, lose and back to back bowls becomes a little more questionable.

So what should we expect?  Neither defense has shown much ability to stop anyone, so are we in for another shootout?  Todd Reesing vs. Josh Freeman part II.

Why Kansas? Edge Scenario Edge Why Kansas State?
K-State boasts the 105th ranked rushing defense, the 109th ranked total defense and finally the 98th ranked scoring defense.  Kansas get's the edge here because K-State hasn't stopped anyone and the running game has returned for the Jayhawks.  With a balanced attack Kansas can exploit this weakness and get things back on track for an offense that had it's worst performance of the year last weekend. KU Offense vs. K-State Defense Kansas State can win this battle if it puts pressure on Todd Reesing.  Last week Todd caught a lot of heat from the Tech front four and that led to turnovers.  Turnovers kept our offense off the field and gave Tech a short field.  If K-State can do the same and manage to stop the run or get ahead so Kansas abandons the run they can take the edge here.
I hate to beat a dead horse here but the Kansas defense gets the edge here if they pressure Josh Freeman.  Freeman is good with time and average without it.  Get to him and he will make mistakes.  Kansas will have to show a renewed passion and focus this week for the defense to come out and make statement against the Wildcats. KU Defense vs. K-State Offense Josh Freeman has led this team to the 13th ranked passing offense in the country.  That combined with a servicable running game, the 13th ranked scoring offense, and a less than desireable performance by the Jayhawks in recent weeks leads to a scary situation for Jayhawk fans.  Once again it looks as though we may be in for a shootout as the K-State offense should have the edge in this category over Kansas.
Who's returning what kick this week will be the million dollar question on Saturday.  Special teams has not been a strongsuit for the Jayhawks and I tend to believe that 8 games into the year you are what you are and the Jayhawks will not be gaining any advantages from special teams play. Special Teams

 

Kansas State has a dangerous returner in Deon Murphy and also leads the nation in blocked kicks...this is a strength for the Wildcats and there is no denying they get the edge here.
I'm not going to get creative with this anymore...National Coach of the year...enough said. Coaching

I honestly cannot give you one good reason why Ron Prince get's the edge in coaching...even K-State fans are having trouble liking this guy anymore

Final Take...Last week Kansas took a knock out punch from the Red Raiders and now it's time to see what their made of.  This game is critical to Kansas for a variety of reasons. Regain confidence, secure bowl eligibility and stay in the running for the Big 12 North to name a few. 

I think this game is a closer matchup than many would have thought 2 weeks ago but I still see Kansas coming out with a renewed passion, drive and desire to prove themselves again...It doesn't hurt of course that Kansas State players and coaches have been a little loose with the lips this week either.

 

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