Kansas welcomes TCU to Lawrence this weekend for a 2:00 PM kick. The Jayhawks are stuck at two wins on the season, and are coming off a 48-16 beat down in Lubbock last week.
TCU, meanwhile, comes in as wounded animal, missing their starting QB and fastest WR. (More on that shortly.) The Frogs hung with Oklahoma for a little over a half last week but eventually fell 52-27.
W vs Southern, 55-7
W at SMU, 42-12
L vs Ohio State, 40-28
L at Texas, 31-16
W vs Iowa State, 17-14
L vs Texas Tech, 17-14
L vs Oklahoma, 52-27
How They Rank
Following the conclusion of all the games from Week 8, TCU is ranked #49 in S&P+ (out of 130). Their offense is ranked #92 but their defense is ranked #28.
Conversely, Kansas finds itself down at #108, with the #117 offense and the #92 defense. #RutgersFactor
F/+ has a similar outlook, predicting a 12-point Tech win and giving the Frogs a 74.9% chance for victory.
ESPN’s FPI gives TCU a 77.6% chance of victory.
Vegas has the line set at -13.5 as of the time of this posting.
Players to Watch
TCU has had a rough week. Their starting quarterback, Shawn Robinson, is expected to miss the rest of the season after surgery resulting from an injury against Oklahoma. Additionally, TCU’s second-leading receiver (and fastest player on the team) KaVontae Turpin has been kicked off the team after being arrested on Sunday for assault.
Penn State transfer Michael Collins is expected to take over QB duties. He has thrown just 31 passes on the season. He will be a threat in the run game, as he also has 10 rushes for 65 yards so far this year.
Running back is a two headed monster of Sewo Olonilua (4.4 ypc) and Darius Anderson (5.5 ypc). Following the dismissal of Turpin, TCU will be looking for playmakers to step up at WR behind Jalen Reagor (37 rec, 457 yds, 4 TDs).
TCU is having injury issues in the secondary as well, with Julius Lewis and Jeff Gladney both exiting the game against Oklahoma last weekend. Leading tackler Garret Wallow didn’t start vs Oklahoma and apparently ended up playing most of the game at strong safety out of necessity. Wallow and Ty Summers lead the Frogs in tackles, while DE Ben Banogu paces the team with 4.5 sacks on the season.
Keys to the Game
Run the ball. Why isn’t Kansas running the ball more? Khalil Herbert and Pooka Williams are two of the best backs in the Big 12, but nobody knows it because David Beaty keeps having Peyton Bender throw more passes.
DON’T WASTE TIMEOUTS!
Pressure the quarterback. With TCU apparently short-handed, trying to force the issue on defense may pay dividends for the Kansas defense, and let’s be honest, with KU’s offensive woes, the Jayhawks will need every turnover they can get.
My initial thought is that with the current state of the TCU roster, this may actually be a game where Kansas can pick off a win. (Obviously, that means it won’t be close at all.) For the most part, the Frogs have played good defense throughout the season, and that shows in their S&P+ ranking.
Regardless of the personnel situation, this is still one of the best defenses that Kansas has played all season, and I think Kansas will struggle to score on this TCU defense. Meanwhile, Kansas is the kind of team that offenses tend to get healthy against. I don’t hold out much hope for a positive result for Jayhawk faithful. TCU 41, Kansas 9