Almost every week in the Big 12 presents a pretty big challenge for the Kansas defense. In recent years the league has made it's name on the offensive side of the ball. Spread em out, make a play, that's the mantra. This year things have shifted a little bit. More and more teams have found the need to incorporate or focus on a strong running attack and some of the quality at quarterback has taken a bit of a slip.
That doesn't really hold true for Baylor. Without question the Bears are replacing a huge talent at quarterback, but the replacement has been more than serviceable and Art Briles and his offense have picked up right where they left off. Without question this is the strength of the Bears attack and it presents a challenge for nearly ever team in the league because they make you cover 53 yards across the width of the field at all times.
QB 11 NICK FLORENCE (6-1, 205, SR.)
Florence is the replacement for RGIII but he's been in this position before. When Griffin went down due to a season ending injury a few years back, Florence was the replacement and he received some pretty valuable experience that has helped make the transition a fairly seamless one. At least as seamless as one would expect when you're replacing a Heisman Trophy winner. Florence is mobile, he can move well and he makes good decisions with the football. This has led Baylor to the top passing attack in all of college football. For Kansas it is going to be a huge challenge to cover the receivers that Baylor will field. All Nick Florence has to do is get them the ball and watch the offense go. How Dave Campo defends that is going to be interesting.
WR 2 TERRANCE WILLIAMS (6-2, 205, SR.)
IR 16 TEVIN REESE (5-10, 165, JR.)
WR 3 LANEAR SAMPSON (5-11, 205, SR.)
IR 42 LEVI NORWOOD (6-1, 190, SO.)
This is a dangerous and scary group. Williams is arguably the top wideout in the Big 12 this year. The other three all have big play potential on any given play. Yes Baylor lost Kendall Wright, but Williams, Reese and Sampson all have plenty of experience and Norwood is packing a punch early in his career. The Kansas secondary has played well at times, they've looked very vulnerable at times. This group can make even the best secondaries look silly so this is a huge concern going in to Saturday's game in Waco.
RB 21 JARRED SALUBI (5-9, 210, SR.)
UB 8 GLASCO MARTIN (6-1, 220, JR.)
Salubi is the primary runner but Martin is an excellent complimentary back. The running game really does a nice job of supporting the Baylor passing attack and ranks a respectable 49th nationally. Few teams that pass as well as Baylor are going to have extremely potent running attacks, but the Baylor passing game also acts as a running attack with the high volume of bubble/jailbreak screen action that get's the ball in the flat quickly and let's the Bears receivers make plays. Baylor isn't quite as talented in the backfield as they were a year ago, but they can catch you sleeping.
LT 58 SPENCER DRANGO (6-6, 310, RFR.)
LG 68 CYRIL RICHARDSON (6-5, 335, JR.)
C 78 IVORY WADE (6-4, 310, SR.)
RG 71 CAMERON KAUFHOLD (6-4, 310, SR.)
RT 75 TROY BAKER (6-6, 300, SO.)
Wade is the anchor with 40 starts in his career. The rest of the group is relatively young and/or inexperienced but they are doing a nice job and freshman Spencer Drango is a former Kansas recruit with a lot of potential. Baylor has built itself as a program that produces NFL lineman and they've been able to consistently plug and play for several seasons now. They are recruiting from a talent rich state, they have committed to the program and they've had talented players year after year. This group is doing a solid job, there might be a small dropoff, but they are far from an issue. Of course how is anyone an issue when you put an offense on the field like Baylor.