In Saturday's game against Texas Tech the Jayhawks were unbelievably impressive in some areas, while being equally unimpressive in others. James Sims and Tony Pierson obviously drove the impressive side of the numbers while the Kansas defense presented a mixed bag and the Kansas passing attack continued to struggle. It's the current recipe for Kansas football and as Charlie Weis and the Jayhawks begin preparation for Iowa State, they'll need to find a way to make that formula work if they want to add a Big 12 win this season.
29 - First downs for Texas Tech
No doubt Kansas is a bend but don't break defense. Tech recorded 29 first downs in this game but only put up 27 points in regulation. All things considered that's pretty good. The most important piece to that came in the second half when the Jayhawks limited Tech to just two field goals in critical red zone opportunities. Without that effort from the Kansas defense, this game doesn't look nearly as good.
390 to 63 - Kansas rushing yards vs Tech rushing yards
The Kansas number is impressive on it's own, but when you pair that with the Tech number it looks even better. Tech isn't bad at either running the ball or run defense. It definitely isn't their strength, but they aren't some also ran without a running attack or a run defense. This was a top 25 team that knew Kansas was going to run the ball and they couldn't stop them. This is also a top 25 team that normally does about a 60/40 split run to pass offensively and Kansas turned them a bit one dimensional thanks to the improvement at the defensive line and linebacker positions this season.
3 for 25 yards - Penalties by the Jayhawks
This continues to be a major improvement for Kansas. Not sure if you caught the stat during the game but Kansas ranks right up there with the best in college football when it comes to being one of the least penalized teams in the nation. If you recall, this was a pretty big component to what Mangino was able to do at Kansas and it's always been a big part of Bill Snyder's recipe for success in Manhattan.
43.8 to 32.4 - Tech net punting v Kansas net punting
There was a mini debate during the open thread regarding Doherty's effectiveness. Obviously this is two things, first it's the punt, second it's the coverage. Regardless this number is pretty representative of Kansas in nearly every game. We're giving up 10+ yards on almost every exchange when compared to our opponent. That happened at the beginning of this one after the opening two scores by each team. Immediately following that exchange Kansas had the edge in field position and it quickly shifted the other way due to the punting game.
8:54 to 6:06 - Time of possession in the 3rd quarter
This has been a key quarter for Kansas over the last two years and it's finally gotten to the point where it's not a death sentence. The Jayhawks won the overall time of possession battle as is their goal heading into the game and they controlled the 3rd quarter which laid the foundation for a shot at winning this thing in the 4th. Losing is contagious, we just have to get over the hump and shake it.
6 of 7 - Red zone scores
Kansas has been horrible in the red zone and that's a big reason for their lack of success this season. Saturday they converted on six of seven trips inside the red zone, two of those thanks to the field goal kicker who has now hit pressure kicks against both Texas and Texas Tech.
12.6 - YPC for Tony Pierson
That's all I have to say about that.
1 - receptions by a Kansas wideout
This is seriously a HUGE problem.
Not a stat, but a few defensive players that made plays on Saturday and look like they are really improving with this new staff and the opportunity it has afforded them.
Jake Love, Huldon Tharp, Ben Heeney
It's taken Tharp a little longer to come along but right now the linebacking corps has really turned into an impressive group. Credit to Demontie Cross for his work with these three. Also credit to Buddy Wyatt and his defensive line because without them these three can't operate.
Kevin Young, Jordan Tavai, Keba Agostinho, John Williams
On that note, these four really did a nice job containing the run and taking up space and blockers on Saturday. Kevin Young even got after it in the backfield a couple of times and really looks like a player who could have a strong senior season next year.
On a similar note, I know some people want to see statistical numbers from these guys but I think it's clear that the scheme right now is designed to keep the linebackers free and let them get out and make plays. Would it be nice to see a sack from Opurum or Josh Williams? Sure it would, but that doesn't mean they aren't doing their jobs. Right now the defense is playing FAR more assignment sound disciplined football than we've seen for two years.