Sep 1, 2012; Lawrence, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks safety Bradley McDougald (24) runs back an interception against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits in the second half at Memorial Stadium. Kansas won the game 31-17. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE
One day after a largely pedestrian win over South Dakota State, Kansas heads into the second week of the season as a strong favorite over their next opponent. Kansas will take on the Rice Owls who lost to UCLA in week one by a final score of 49 to 24. The Jayhawks opened as six point favorites but the line quickly moved to ten.
In Thursday's opener Rice really never presented a huge test to UCLA who is coming off of a 6-6 season that actually landed them in the Pac 12 championship due to USC's probation. Despite the perceived success, the Bruins parted ways with their coach and are kicking off the 2012 season with a new staff. The Bruins were efficient and productive against a Rice team that has a lot of weaknesses defensively. The line for the Kansas game probably says more about a lack of confidence in Rice than an overwhelming confidence in Kansas at this point.
Kansas will look to start 2-0 for the second year in a row but they'll want to play better in week two if they want to build some positive momentum. If they can do that, then this team and the fanbase can actually start talking about improving on the 2-10 record from a year ago. If Kansas struggles or looks out of sync, the schedule gets tough in a hurry and the odds of Kansas being favored again might start to slip. For a team playing a lesser opponent this is actually a pretty important game for Kansas for a lot of reasons.