Kansas vs. Baylor Matchup Breakdown

Why Kansas?

Edge

Matchup

Edge

 Why Baylor? 

Kansas gained a little bit of confidence and the balance they've been looking for against an overmatched NMSU team a week ago. It certainly won't be as easy against the Bears but Kansas needs to continue to find ways to get the ball into the hands of their playmakers in a variety of ways. Keep it creative, change it up and most of all win the battle up front.

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Edge to Baylor here because Kansas hasn't done it consistently and Baylor has some decent athletes at linebacker that could make life difficult. It will be a great test to see how much Kansas can carry over from NMSU to this one.

Kansas Offense

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Baylor Defense

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Baylor seems to be getting over the hump just a little bit on the defensive side of the ball. The Bears have a solid group of linebackers with good speed. The secondary has been hit or miss with a tough bout of the injury bug. For Baylor to win the matchup their front four will need to play better than they have so far and let the linebackers work. If they limit the Kansas running attack and get pressure, they'll create trouble for Kansas.

So far Carl Torbush has had this unit playing well. The biggest struggle however has been limiting the spread and keeping a mobile quarterback in the pocket. Best chance for Kansas is playing this one to contain Robert Griffin.  Keep the ends from pushing too far up field and giving Griffin lanes to create. From there the defensive backs and linebackers are going to have to cover in space.

 


Kansas Defense

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Baylor Offense

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Edge to Baylor, we all know where the Kansas defense struggles and changing that against Baylor would be huge, but doesn't seem like an area deserving of any benefit of the doubt. Show me first.

Baylor does run the spread and Robert Griffin's abilities are well documented, but what might be underrated is his ability to throw.  Baylor has some decent deep threats and more athleticism at receiver than in year's past, but  the traditional running game remains good but not great. Certainly the strength is the threat to improvise and extend the play which Griffin brings to the table. Art Briles seems to be moving in the right direction and most likely this unit can win the matchup, but it could hinge on who does the better job at in game adjustments.

Kansas improved in week four and seemed to gain a little bit of confidence in this department but it's still a long way from a finished product.  A short field for Baylor could prove fatal for the Jayhawks so any and all special teams will be huge in this one.

 


 

 

Special Teams

 

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Baylor is fairly sound in this department.  Certainly most are better than Kansas has been to date. Aaron Jones is a reliable kicker and Kansas really hasn't shown the ability to win this head to head against anyone so why start Saturday?

The Kansas staff might finally be settling into their roles and understanding their team after a pretty up and down first four games. Start moving toward consistency and they'll win over a few more in the first year.

 


Coaching


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At one time it looked as though the climb would be quick for Art Briles. Like Kansas, Baylor is a program that faces an uphill climb. Briles knows his team, has his system in place and is a few more years in than Gill and that gives Baylor the edge.

 

Kansas enters this one as a 9 1/2 point dog.  After running through the matchups it's pretty clear why.  That said, it's not an unwinnable game for the Jayhawks. 

Baylor hold the edge for the most part based on performance to date.  From a talent perspective prior to the season however, many would have thought Kansas had a decent shot.  With a four game sample from each, Baylor has done as expected whereas Kansas has looked good at times and bad at times. Which Kansas team shows up for their second road contest will be huge.

Waco shouldn't be nearly the environment as Southern Miss which is a good thing and I'd go so far as to say that the Southern Miss. offense has more weapons.  The key will be how Kansas does in stopping Baylor's primary weapon. If the defense get's put on their heals and the offense can't respond, it's going to make for a rough start to Big 12 play for Kansas. (Editorial revision contributed by Dagger) If the defense stays on their toes and hits someone, while the offense continues to distribute the ball to a variety of playmakers, a road win is going to make for a great start to Big 12 play for Kansas.

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