A look at news and notes from this week about the Jayhawks and their upcoming game....
The Good Guys...
- New faces emerging on the KU defense.
- Defensive backups pushing Jayhawk defensive starters.
- Coach Mangino wants to see improvement on special teams.
- Kansas offense looks to get things going earlier.
- A wild race for the north is on.
- More on the Kansas defensive changes.
- McDougald will see minutes on both sides of the ball for Kansas.
- Sharp struggled with time away from the field.
- OU Defense to be a tough test for the KU offense.
- Kansas needs to capitalize against a hobbled OU squad.
- KU v OU Preview
The Bad Guys...
- OU at Kansas: Breaking down the matchups
- How the Oklahoma offensive line turnover led to Sam Bradfords injury woes.
- Landry Jones has learned through trial by fire this year.
Well after last week pretty much everything I thought to be true is out the window. Kansas dropping one on the road to Colorado wasn't part of the plan at the beginning of the season, it just wasn't supposed to happen. Kansas needed to sweep the North with the expectation that there was just no way they would be able to pull of either Oklahoma or Texas, right?
Well Oklahoma wasn't supposed to be 3-3 either. They weren't supposed to lose Jermaine Gresham, Sam Bradford, possibly Demarco Murray and they weren't supposed to have this much trouble replacing such a dominant offensive line from a year ago, right?
A lot has changed since August and while Oklahoma is still a damn good team and has a defense that will challenge the Kansas offense as much as anyone this season, it isn't the same Oklahoma we thought it would be.
The Jayhawks are coming off a loss the Sooners are coming off a loss and something has to give in Lawrence. Is this the year Kansas get's over the hump? Is this the year that Mangino finally wins one against his former employer?
I'm having a hard time picking Kansas after the last two weeks, but for some reason, possibly just hope...I think they can do it. Back at home and coming off a major wakeup call the Jayhawks are going to surprise some folks and play as well as they have all year. The defense will begin to settle in after the changes that were made following Iowa State and the offense get's things going a little earlier than expected. While I certainly don't expect the Kansas offense to run wild or the Kansas defense to stiffle a tough OU offense, I think we get just enough to make this one interesting.
No final score prediction this week but I have to remain loyal to my team and say Kansas wins this one in a squeeker. Some might see this as optimistic, but if I'm not a believer, who will be. Rock Chalk, enjoy the game and let's turn the Big 12 North race upside down once again, but this time in the right way.
COUPLE QUICK NOTES: A few notable changes this week on the depth chart. John Williams is listed 1st at DT over Richard Johnson Jr. Huldon Tharp has jumped Arist Wright at the WLB spot.
Also, that unfamiliar face we all saw in the backfield with Reesing last week should be at it again. Possibly even flying solo. Another quick question...if Kansas were to run something like the wildcat, what would you call it?
More Notes and Things to Look for After the Jump...
1-2-3-3-3 -- WR Dezmon Briscoe is leading the nation in receiving yards per game (134.20), WR Kerry Meier is second in receptions (9.00) and QB Todd Reesing is third in passing yards (330.00), completions (27.17) and total offense (340.17). In all, Jayhawks are in the top 10 nationally in eight different individual statistical categories.
KU-OU SERIES -- Oklahoma leads the all-time series 67-27-6, including a 30-14-3 advantage in games played at Lawrence. The Sooners have won five straight in the series since KU won three straight from 1995-97. Oklahoma is making its first trip to Lawrence since 2001 as the teams played in Norman in 2004 and 2008 and in Kansas City in 2005.
KU-OU HISTORICAL NOTE -- The 96 straight games KU and OU played against each other from 1903-97 ranks as the nation's fifth-longest uninterrupted series. The streak was stopped for Big 12 scheduling. This year's meeting is the 101st in the series.
KU-OU LAST YEAR -- Despite a record-breaking performance by KU WR Dezmon Briscoe, No. 16 Kansas lost 45-31 at No. 4 Oklahoma on Oct. 11. Briscoe caught what was then a school record 12 passes for what still is a school best 269 yards and two touchdowns. The 269 yards were the most in a game in the NCAA last year. QB Todd Reesing was 24 of 41 for 342 yards and two touchdowns. RB Jake Sharp ran 12 times for 103 yards and a touchdown. KU put up 491 yards of offense, but the Sooners ran up 674, including 468 passing. KU trailed just 31-24 early in the third quarter before Oklahoma scored two touchdowns to lead 45-24 with 12:02 left.
KU-OU LAST TIME AT LAWRENCE -- As mentioned Oklahoma has not played at Lawrence since the 2001 season. Kansas opened the scoring with a Johnny Beck field goal in the first quarter before the Sooners ran up 38 consecutive points before KU scored on a 77-yard pass from Mario Kinsey to Roger Ross with five minutes left. The Sooners won 38-10 behind 151 passing yards and 117 rushing yards from Jason White. Kansas gained just 223 yards, while Oklahoma accumulated 403. KU LB Leo Etienne recorded 18 tackles in the loss.
KU'S OKLAHOMANS -- Kansas has 11 players from the state of Oklahoma including LS Kayl Anderson (Tulsa/Bishop Kelley), PK Jacob Branstetter (Lawton/MacArthur), CB Anthony Davis (Tulsa/East Central),
TE Bradley Dedeaux (Midwest City), CB Chris Harris (Bixby), OL Gavin Howard (Owasso), DE Jake Laptad (Tulsa/Jenks), LB Dakota Lewis (Sulphur), RB Rell Lewis (Muskogee), OL Michael Martinovich (Tulsa/Cascia Hall Prep), and DT John Williams (Tulsa/Washington).
MORE KU-OU CONNECTIONS -- KU Head Coach Mark Mangino was an assistant coach at Oklahoma from 1999-2001, serving as the offensive coordinator in 2000 and 2001... KU TE Coach Brandon Blaney was a GA at Oklahoma in 1999 and 2000... KU Director of Strength and conditioning Chris Dawson was a LB at Oklahoma from 1992-94 and was a GA at OU in 1995 and an assistant strength and conditioning
coach from 1996-2000
THINGS TO LOOK FOR AGAINST OKLAHOMA
- KU has scored at least 30 points in eight straight games dating back to last year.
- KU has produced at least 400 yards of total offense in eight games in a row.
- Reesing has thrown for 400 yards in two straight games.
- WR Kerry Meier has recorded at least 10 receptions and 100 receiving yards in three straight games.
- Meier has at least one touchdown catch in four straight games.
- Meier (1,904) needs 96 yards to become the fourth KU player to record 2,000 career receiving yards.
- Briscoe has recorded at least 100 receiving yards in eight of the last nine games.
- S Darrell Stuckey has recorded double-digit tackle totals in two straight games.
WR DUO IS COUNTRY'S BEST -- The wide receiver duo of Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier is the most potent in the country.
- Combined 18.34 receptions per game lead the NCAA.
- Combined 230.87 receiving yards per game lead the NCAA.
- Combined 42 career touchdown receptions are most among active duos in the NCAA.
- Briscoe leads the NCAA in receiving yards per game (134.20).
- Meier is second in the NCAA in receptions per game (9.00).
- Through six games the two have combined for eight 100-yard games, four double-digit reception games and 10 touchdown catches.
- On the KU career record charts they rank first (Briscoe) and fifth (Meier) in yards, first (Meier) and second (Briscoe) in receptions, first (Briscoe) and fourth (Meier) in touchdown receptions, first (Briscoe) and second (Meier) in 100-yard games.
- On the KU single-game record lists they own the top seven single-game receptions marks (Meier holds top mark of 16 vs. Iowa State this year) and two of top five single-game yardage marks (Briscoe is first and fifth).
Here are a few notes about Kansas at the midway point of the season:
- Kansas owns a 5-1 record, winning at least five of its first six games for the third straight year and third time in its Big 12 history.
- KU's 503 total offensive yards per game are on pace for school record (479.8 in 2007).
- KU's 347 passing yards per game are on pace for school record (305.6 in 2008).
- KU's 156 rushing yards per game are 30 more per game than last season.
- KU's 38 points per game are second only to the 42.7 scored in 2007.
- On defense KU is allowing 346 total yards per game, 50 yards fewer than last season.
- KU has recorded 19 sacks after getting 29 in 13 games last year.
- QB Todd Reesing should become the first player to lead KU in passing in three straight years since Chip Hilleary in 1990-92.