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5 Questions: Kansas vs. K-State

It's the final game weekend of the season for the Jayhawks, and we've got five burning questions prior to the matchup for the Governor's Cup.

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1) Is Michael Cummings going to be able to bounce back this week?

Last week against the Oklahoma Sooners, Michael Cummings had his worst game of the season, completing just 8/22 passes for 84 yards and 1 interception. Excluding last week, Cummings has played very well, all things considered, since taking over as KU's starting quarterback. This week against Kansas State, it is going to be crucial for Cummings going forward for him to have a much better game. The season ends this Saturday, but it will bode well for Cummings and the Jayhawks as a whole if he can prove that he can bounce back from a bad game. The weather was certainly a factor last week, but the fact of the matter is that Cummings didn't play well, and he will need to look better against the Wildcats this week.

2) Can KU get their running game going?

Oklahoma is the second best team in the Big 12 in terms of rushing defense, and in the awful conditions in Norman last week, the Sooners held Kansas to just 19 yards on the ground on 36 carries. While not quite as good as OU's run defense, K-State is very solid, coming in fourth in the conference with 126.4 yards given up on the ground per game. The running game succeeding will take a lot of pressure off of the passing game and will contribute to a better week for Cummings. Corey Avery and Tony Pierson, especially the latter, can be game breakers, and the offense will obviously be much more successful as a whole if the ground game can get started and be somewhat successful. The offensive line will have to play better this week, because the running backs have not had much room to run at all lately.

3) Can we expect one more big game from Jimmay Mundine?

If Cummings is able to play better this week, then the likely answer to this question is yes. Even if Cummings doesn't play great, you can bet that Mundine will be one of the team's top receivers. Kansas' stud tight end has had a great senior season, and you can expect plenty of targets for #41 in his final game for the Jayhawks. He has been a top threat throughout the season for the Kansas quarterbacks, and it would be surprising to see him not be a featured part of the passing game once again for Kansas.

4) Will K-State have their running game shut down again?

Last week on Thursday night, the Wildcats gained 1 yard on 29 carries against West Virginia in a victory. It would normally seem like this would lead to a blowout loss, especially with a team as proficient in the run game as K-State, but Jake Waters had the best game of his career against the Mountaineers, passing for 400 yards in the victory. Call me overly optimistic, but I doubt that Waters will put up 400 passing yards again this week; I think the KU secondary will be able to keep him under that mark. Granted, the running game for the Wildcats will almost certainly be less anemic this week, but if it can be slowed down below their normal standards again, it will be a big win for the Jayhawks defense and will turn Kansas State into a one-dimensional offense. Ben Heeney will be leading the charge as he has all season, and it will be interesting to see if he and the rest of the front seven can slow down the Wildcats' backs this week like WVU did last week.

5) Would a win over Kansas State be enough for Clint Bowen to become the full-time Kansas head coach?

There is a lot of speculation over who will be the next KU head football coach. Most people have already made it known how they feel about Clint Bowen and whether or not he should keep the job. Personally, I have supported Bowen but I also understand that there is still a lot that has been left unproven by him. I do not have a concrete answer for this question, just my own speculation, but I would say that it will definitely be a huge boost for Bowen in his quest to become full-time head coach if he can coach the team to victory against Kansas State. Having said that, despite this being a rivalry game and a road game (and we all know how big a road win for KU would be at this point), it should certainly not guarantee that the job goes to Bowen.