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KU Predictions: South Dakota State

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The crystal ball has been prepped, and everyone has had a chance to gaze into it. What does the first week of the KU football season have in store for our Jayhawks?

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas looks to kick the season off right as they welcome to town the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. Despite being a FCS team, SDSU has been a pretty tough team the last few years, so it won't be easy for a team as thin as our Jayhawks. So how does our staff think David Beaty's squad will fare against a playoff team from last year?

Winmore: Luckily for the Jayhawks, Zach Zenner graduated from South Dakota State last spring and is currently playing for the Detroit Lions. Zenner was the heart and soul of the 2014 Jackrabbits' team and the first player in Division 1 history rush for more than 2,000 yards in three straight seasons. With the bowl caliber Memphis Tigers coming to town next week, Beaty and Likens will most likely keep their Hawk Raid playbook close to their vests, but will hopefully give the Memorial Stadium crowd enough of a taste to wake it up Saturday morning. Eager to see how Montell Cozart looks in real game action. He settled in nicely during the spring scrimmage after Michael Cummings was lost to injury. But, as Allen Iverson once said, "We talkin' ‘bout practice." It's game time now: Kansas 37 - South Dakota State 20

mikeville: I'm excited to see this new offense and this new coaching staff and see what they can do with the personnel they have. I'm not sure that I agree that they won't open up the playbook - the Jackrabbits are a good football team (and have almost as many scholarship players as the Jayhawks). I think it will be a closer game than any of us want, especially for three quarters. I want to see the ‘Hawks pile up yards and points; this is their best chance of the year to do so, and I think the coaching staff is cognizant of that. Open it up, boys, pedal to the metal: Kansas 38, SDSU 28

Fizzle406: Kansas will come out strong. The crowd will be fired up and for one to two quarters everyone will forget how bad this season is going to be. KU will have something like a 14-3 lead at half. Second half the lack of depth will show. After Cozart takes a couple of hard shots, he starts to rush his throws. SDSU comes back and KU doesn't have the gas to finish it. SDSU 27, Kansas 23

dnoll5: After listening to David Beaty's enthusiasm for so long, I'm really excited to see what he has been able to accomplish. According to Beaty, KU might be a little better at some positions than we originally thought, but of course no one really knows until they put on the pads and play. So, this game is really a test drive and what will likely be a very bumpy course, but with the first dash of optimism in years, and the fact that the players all want to make a great first impression on the staff and the fans, I think KU wins. Kansas 28, SDSU 20

KU Grad 08: I'm always overly optimistic (to a fault) at the start of KU football season, and of course this year is no different. In the end, I think we get a few nice plays from our running backs and make a big play on defense late to seal the win. Kansas 24, SDSU 21

David: Yes, SDSU lost Austin Sumner and Zach Zenner, but they return Zach Lujan, who started eight games last year while Sumner was out with an injury, plus WR Jake Wieneke who caught 74 passes for 1404 yards and 16 touchdowns last year as a freshman. Even without Zenner, KU's young defense will be tested early and often, especially the secondary. SDSU also returns 10 of 11 starters on defense, so they aren't likely to be caught off guard by KU's new offense. KU is still the FBS team and will still have the athletic advantage, but SDSU's experience going against a lot of kids playing in their first D1 football game scares me. SDSU 31, Kansas 24

Jim Hammen: Like most everybody, I'm usually pretty optimistic at the start of a season, new beginnings and all that....but I have a bad feeling about this game. You could probably make the argument, Vegas line be damned, that if KU wins, that would be the actual upset. I hope KU kicks off the Beaty era in style, but I'm actually kinda terrified. SDSU 24, Kansas 20.

Ivan Portillo: Well, this is the time when it's okay to be optimistic. These first games are always the funnest and Saturday should be no different. Let's enjoy the bright spot of the season and pretend that this team won't be horrible all year. Also, let's remember that Beaty isn't a God, so let's cut him some slack for working with what he has. Kansas 31, SDSU 17.

misterbrain: I still have flashbacks to when we played North Dakota State with a brand new coach and lots of optimism about the future despite a definite lack of talent, only to lose in a 6-3 snoozefest. I realize that this isn't the same school, but the situation is eerily similar, and I have yet to see anything that makes me think the air raid is going to go smoothly in the first game of the season. Kansas shows some flashes of individual talent, but the more consistent team wins out here, causing Jayhawk fans far and wide to flip out. I sure hope I'm wrong, but I have to with SDSU 17, Kansas 7.