Kansas vs. New Mexico State Matchup Breakdown

Why Kansas?

Edge

Matchup

Edge

 Why New Mexico State? 

Headed up this week on the rollercoaster ride.  At least that's how this is supposed to work.  Coach Gill expects Jeremiah Hatch to be available and with that James Sims and the Kansas running attack should be ready to go.  The opponent this week won't be nearly as athletic as USM from a week ago, but after NDSU anything is possible.  Kansas can keep it simple, but they have to mix it up more and not get into a predictable run, run, pass pattern that was the norm last Friday night.

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NMSU ranks near the bottom of college football in almost every major defensive category. Unfortunately Kansas is painfully close to the same level on offense. The Jayhawks should win this matchup though...should

Kansas Offense

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NMSU Defense

 

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I have to give the Aggies an outside shot because they do have a good MLB and a decent defensive backfield. If the others up front provide some support and get pressure on Kansas consistently, it's a problem.

If there was a strength for the Aggies it would probably be their secondary, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the statistics. Alphonso Powell, Donyae Coleman and Davon House make up a talented trio that can defend the pass. The biggest problem is they spend a lot of their time trying to support the run.  The Aggies aren't a big blitzing team and do struggle at times to get pressure.  Really, they sound a lot like the Kansas defense.

Minus the first half where Kansas apparently couldn't call a defensive play, the 2nd half adjustments looked promising. Through three games Kansas has been a serviceable defense.  They stop the run fairly well, but have had their problems against athletic wideouts in the passing game.  Keep NMSU one dimensional and they aren't explosive enough to beat you.

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Carl Torbush has made decent in game adjustments so far and the Kansas defense has been pretty good minus a few struggles against the USM passing attack.

Kansas Defense

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NMSU Offense

NMSU has struggled to establish a running attack through their first two games and their passing attack is just as conservative as Kansas.  NMSU has said they want to establish a ground game.  If they can create that and balance out the offense, they can win the matchup. Watch for Marcus Allen at receiver as he is their biggest threat.

Kansas has had two punts blocked in three games and a couple more have been close. Really those miscues overshadow almost any positives in the special teams area that I can think of. This just can't be viewed as a positive area for Kansas.

 


 

 

Special Teams

 

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Kansas has a lot to prove in this phase of the game.

A year ago the Aggies set a school record for blocked punts and have already blocked one field goal this season.  They are decent in the return game and haven't allowed any huge plays in coverage.

A week after silencing the critics against Georgia Tech, Gill and the staff have plenty based on the Southern Miss. performance.  Calls not getting relayed into the game, timeouts being used and NOT used. It wasn't a good showing.

 


Coaching

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Small edge to the Aggies here, I honestly just have no clue where to go with this.  But in the end Walker did make some improvements in his first year and through 3 games the same can't really be said for Coach Gill.

The Aggies have seen their struggles of late in the WAC.  This is Coach Dewayne Walker's second year with the program and while it isn't reflecting in the W's/L's just yet he did make some strides in his first year by shoring up the defense and beating in-state rival New Mexico.

 

This is a tough one.  Every common sense notion tells you that Kansas should win this one.  At the same time every cautionary bone in your body reminds you that we lost the opener to North Dakota State.

Kansas has been better offensively when they are at their best and since the opener they've been able to move the ball at least a little better.  Combine that with the fact that the defense has at least been competitive for the most part and it should mean the Jayhawks have the edge in the two biggest phases of the game.

Just like every game this year however, I want to see a buttoned up performance.  The miscues and disorganization needs to go away and if I see another blocked punt then...well I don't know what to say. 

Fact is I'm just not confident through three games that much will change in the immediate future.  We're a quarter of the way in and I don't know that we'll ever be able to say what this team is going to bring on a weekly basis.  Let's just cross our fingers and hope it's the good Kansas that shows up on Saturday.

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