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5 Questions: Kansas vs. Baylor

We've got five burning questions heading into the Jayhawks' game in Waco this weekend.

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

1) Can the Jayhawks slow down the Baylor passing game?

KU is not going to stop Baylor, as much as I wish that they could; Baylor's offense is just too powerful. That said, it would be nice to see Kansas slow down the air attack of Bryce Petty and the Bears a little bit. It's not too far out of the realm of possibility. The team held Clint Trickett beneath his season average in passing yards when KU took to Morgantown a few weeks ago, and last year they held Baylor below what was their season average for points per game at the time. I expect Baylor's offense to put up big numbers, but if Jacorey Sheppard and the rest of DBs can perform well, they should be able to at least look respectable out there on Saturday.

2) How many tackles is Ben Heeney going to have this week?

Heeney is involved in many if not most plays on defense anyway, but he may be able to have a performance just like the one he had against Texas Tech which saw him pick up 21 stops, 17 on his own. Baylor is 7th in the nation in passing yards per game, so on passes he may not make as many tackles, but they also are 22nd in rushing yards per game, and you can expect the Bears to get past the front four on a large number of runs this week. Heeney will get at least 15 tackles this week, in my assumption, and that will be a very lucky thing for the Jayhawks since he likely will be the last legitimate line of defense on those running plays.

3) What sort of action will Tony Pierson see?

Tony Pierson is healthy and ready to go this week against Baylor after being knocked out of the game against Texas Tech early on. The question is whether or not we'll continue to see an increased number of touches for #3. When the ball is in his hands, you have the best chance of breaking off a big play, but he now has a neck injury one year after getting his season ended a couple of games early because of a concussion. If he's ready to go, he should play and play most of the game, but I wouldn't be surprised to a lighter load for Pierson this week, even with him being cleared.

4) Will we continue to see improvement from Michael Cummings?

Cummings has started the last two games. His combined stats: 40/69, 523 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions and a 125.41 passer rating. That's not too bad at all. His yardage total went down against Texas Tech compared to his Oklahoma State numbers, but he was more efficient, completing the same number of passes in five less attempts, along with throwing for two scores. While this is a ton better than what we've seen for most of the last two seasons, there is still definitely room for improvement. There are multiple areas where some improvement would be nice to see. Maybe he can avoid throwing an interception this week, or possibly he could improve upon his completion percentage even more. It's not asking for a lot, but it would be nice to see, especially against a good team.

5) Could we see a new field goal kicker get a shot this week?

Matthew Wyman is part of one of the biggest moments in KU football history in the last couple of years, when he nailed a 52-yard field goal to beat Louisiana Tech. Unfortunately, he's having a pretty rough year. He's made all of his extra point attempts, but he's only 6 for 12 on field goal attempts (and only 4 of 10 on kicks of 30 yards or more). Clint Bowen has shaken things up a bit already, and (if KU gets a chance to kick a field goal) if Wyman struggles, it wouldn't surprise me very much to see John Duvic at least get a chance himself to prove himself a worthy field goal kicker.