Kansas Football is back in action with a Thursday night game that I can’t really figure out. First, who looked at the Big 12 and said “You know what, let’s showcase Texas Tech on Thursday, and how about we pair them with Kansas. I bet that will be great!”
Regardless of how sane the idea was, the Jayhawks prepare to open up the conference portion of the schedule tonight with a matchup against the Texas Tech Red Raiders. To help us fans prepare, I spoke with Hunter Cooke over at Viva the Matadors, the SB Nation site covering Texas Tech. He was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.
RCT: Texas Tech had probably one of the best offenses in the country last year, but one of the worst defenses (127th out of 128). What kind of expectations did that kind of performance lead to for Red Raider fans this year.
VTM: I think it varied. Most of us expected some progress, which outside of the season opener against SFA, seems to be minimal progress at best and zero progress at the worst.
RCT: It seems like every year the faces change, but the offense stays as productive as ever in the Air Raid offense. Which players should Jayhawk fans expect to hear a lot about during the game (most likely as they are scoring touchdown after touchdown)?
VTM: Jonathan Giles has been lights out for us at the slot position, as well as Demarcus Felton at running back. In reality we have a two deep of guys who can hurt anyone, this is an offense that has no qualms about benching people in the middle of games for another guy who can get the job done.
RCT: What is going on with this defense? Giving up 45 to LA Tech? How can they have not really improved from last year? If they hold the Jayhawks under 30, who do you see having the biggest impact?
VTM: It’s a combination of a whole bunch of things, all of which aren’t easily quantifiable. One thing that can be quantified, though, is that we’re really bad on our reads. It seems like too often that there’s a crease on the edge of the defense where there should be a linebacker or a defensive end, or a play action pass that completely confuses our corners.
There’s just too much to go into. I’m hopeful that we can fix it in the long term with the defensive coordinator that we have now, but the patience of the fan base is running thin after being so bad on that side of the ball for so long.
RCT: So Thursday night, huh? What's it feel like to be the favored team coming into a game on the night where crazy things happen every year? Any worry that the Jayhawks pull Thursday Night Magic out of their hats and somehow upset the Red Raiders?
VTM: I always worry about Kansas. Y’all have played us insanely close over the years, but Thursday night magic is much less worrying.
When it seems like every game is played in the Bermuda Triangle, anything is possible at any given time.
RCT: So what DO you see the final score being? Since a Kansas win is highly unlikely, what is the longest scoring play of the night, and who gets it?
VTM: I’m feeling 42-24 in favor of the Red Raiders. The Jones is a place where we play a lot better, and the Thursday night magic can benefit us too.
80 yards and it’s something to do with Patrick Mahomes doing something that defies all the logic that we’ve come to assume comes with football
RCT: BONUS - Which would you prefer, a personal chef or personal assistant?
VTM: I’m going personal chef. That way when I’m done with work, I’m really done with work and can just kick back and enjoy life.
Also, I’m a pretty crappy cook.
A special thanks to Hunter for helping us out with these. Don’t forget to check out the questions I answered for him over at Viva the Matadors.