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Kansas vs. Oklahoma Team Analysis

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Kansas heads to the Big 12 South and Norman this week for a battle with the Boomer Sooners. 

Everything changed last weekend in the Big 12 with both Missouri and Oklahoma falling to the upset bug that has been going around college football and now Kansas sits on top of a wide open Big 12 North.  The Jayhawks could put themselves in the drivers seat with a victory in Norman not to mention catapult themselves and probably Todd Reesing into the national spotlight. 

So will we get to hear "they've gotta say we played somebody" or will Kansas come out of Norman with the second loss of the season?  What can we expect from the offense/defense and special teams headed into this huge matchup and who wins these battles?

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Why Kansas? Edge Scenario Edge Why Oklahoma?
Kansas put together the most balanced performance of the season last week and we will have to continue that to win this battle.  With the injury to OU linebacker Ryan Reynolds Texas was able to effectively run the ball on OU.  If Kansas can balance the run with the pass and keep the game close then "The Reesing" has the ability to win this one. KU Offense vs. OU Defense OU has a pair of defensive tackles as they always do that rank up there with the best in the nation.  If Kansas can't keep the front four out of the backfield Todd Reesing will be running for his life and the OU defense has the athletes to capitalize on errors.  Simply put on paper OU still has the advantage here on talent alone.
The defense is coming off one of it's better performances of the season, but this will be the toughest test yet.  Sam Bradford and the passing offense are ranked 4th in the nation however the rushing offense hasn't exactly given much balance this year.  I think Kansas can be effective if we keep the running game at bay and continue to get pressure preferably with the front four.  Also Kansas can't get down early and can't allow the big play.  It will be a pretty tall order this week. KU Defense vs. OU Offense This is the 6th ranked offense in the country from a yardage standpoint and the 4th ranked in terms of scoring.  The offensive line is imposing, their quarterback is a Heismann candidate and his weapons are as potent as anywhere in the country.  If OU can establish a running game to go with their pass they will be hard to stop.  Different scenario same story OU is still a better team player for player than Kansas
Coach Mangino has promised changes to the special teams units this week and both Joe Mortensen and James Holt have already stated they will be seeing the field in these situations.  If the changes work and we can be competitive in the field position battle that would be huge for Kansas.  I'm going to say Kansas wins this battle because this will be a huge focus this week. Special Teams

 

OU is pretty good but not great in this area.  The return game is effective but their kick coverage is vulnerable ranking 99th in the net punting category and as the CCmachine has pointed out they seem to give a kick return for a TD every game.  This one is a tough call again this week.
Mark Mangino is well respected by the OU fan base for a reason. Coaching

National Championship Ring and all the talent he wants.

Final Thoughts...Kansas is the underdog and on paper doesn't win this game, but as the saying goes, that's why they play the game.  OU has shown it is prone to being upset and with a relaxed Jayhawk team that has nothing to lose Kansas could continue the trend.  Mark Mangino will have this team focused on OU as any other team it plays and take things one week at a time.  My hope is we keep it close, build some confidence, and "The Reesing" pulls another rabbit out of the hat late for the win.