We didn't do one, technically, last week, but Thursday Night Preview is back this week as we take a look at traditional Big 12 doormat Baylor Bears. They are the same team this year as in years' past, a decent offensive team but absolutely putrid team on defense. This team is on the same level as the Central Michigans and Toledos of the world, little m ore, so this should be a blowout much like our four non-conference games. Of course, this is the season of the unexpected so we better not expect a win. I'm not too worried about it though, Mangino always has his team ready to play (at home at least) and we did lose last year, as hard as it is to believe. Revenge games are always fun, especially when the team seeking revenge is 27 point favorites.
The Jayhawks and Bears have met on the football field 8 times in the history of the programs. Three of those were non-conference matchups, when Kansas was a part of the Big 12 and Baylor the Southwest Conference, and the last five have been conference games. In the 3 non-con games, we are 1-2, winning the 1971 matchup and losing the next two (in 1988 and 1989). Of the conference matchups, we have fared 2-3 against the Bears. An overall 3-5 record against Baylor doesn't look very good at all, I mean these are the Baylor Bears. They make the Kansas football program look like Oklahoma. Regarding the home-away splits, we are 3-1 in Memorial Stadium against the team from Waco, and 0-4 in Waco. Good thing for us, this game is in Lawrence.
Don't make me go over this game again. Without a doubt the low point of last season, of course the loss to Toledo was pretty bad too. In any case, the Hawks had a 35-17 lead at one point in the 4th quarter, only to give it pu with the Bears scoring 19 points in the final period. We only turned the ball over once and our offense played very well, especially Jon Cornish(24 carries 196 yards 8.2 AVG). However, our defense played like absolute crap, specifically the secondary, as we gave up 394 (!!!) yards passing to some guy named Shawn Bell. Honestly, I had never heard of him and have never heard of him since, and still he blew us up. This was how bad our secondary was this year, you don't have to look any further, and yet this year we are playing phenomenal. The difference? Two new starting safeties. Thank you Patrick Resby and Darrell Stuckey.
Baylor sucks this year. The one thing that is saving them from national embarrassment is the joke that is the Iowa State footbal team this year (but they did beat Iowa!!!111!11). They were booed at home on Saturday taking on the Colorado Buffaloes (they lost 43-23), and this without a doubt will be Guy Morriss' last season as their head coach. QB Blake Szymanski is quite a talent actually, although he is obviously overlooked because he does play for Baylor, but their defense is horrible. Their running game isn't really all that hot either, led by Brandon Whitaker, but the problem is the defense. Trust me.
--> Brandon McAnderson and Jake Sharp will combine for 150 yards and 3 TD's.
--> Todd Reesing will throw for 300+ yards and turn the ball over exactly zero times.
--> Aqib Talib will intercept a pass. And catch a pass for a TD.
--> Memorial Stadium will have 45,000 people come out, enthused over the win against rival Kansas State. There will only be 20,000 left by the end of the third quarter.
--> People who bet on the spread (27 points) will sweat it out until the end, as Mangino's reserves give up a couple of late TD's to Szymanski and Co.
--> Score After Three Quarters: Kansas 45 Baylor 13
--> Final Score: Kansas 52 Baylor 20
--> That means Kansas covers, barely.