Originally published October 8, 2008 at 12:00a.m., updated October 8, 2008 at 08:12a.m.
Thanks, We Need That
Kansas State should be delighted to face punchless Texas A&M; on Saturday. After giving up a total of just 16 points in its first two games (North Texas and Montana State), the Wildcats' defense has been riddled for 133 points in the last three. K-State ranks No. 94 nationally in scoring defense.
Kickoff Return Woes
How bad has Kansas been on kickoff returns? The worst. The Jayhawks rank 119th out of the 119 NCAA teams in returning kickoffs with a paltry average of only 13.23 yards per attempt.
Five Still Unbeaten
Five of the nation's remaining 15 unbeaten teams are from the Big 12 with four in the South Division. The perfect marks will shrink this weekend with a pair of conference games featuring unbeatens on tap Saturday - Oklahoma-Texas and Missouri-Oklahoma State.
More NU Trouble Ahead?
Nebraska, coming off its worst home loss in 53 years (52-17 to Missouri) now has to go to Texas Tech where four years ago the Red Raiders inflicted a 70-10 thrashing that ranks as the worst defeat in school history. "We'd better rebound fast," NU quarterback Joe Ganz said, "or we're going to get killed again next week."
Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel alleged a Nebraska football player he declined to identify had spit on him before the game. That's reminiscent of an incident after the Kansas-Nebraska game in 2003 when NU lineman Richie Incognito launched a wad at Kansas linebacker Nick Reid. Incognito apologized, but claimed Reid had spit on him first.
On paper, Missouri looks bad in ranking dead last in the Big 12 in pass defense by surrendering 282.2 yards a game, but that's a deceptive statistic for two reasons - 1) the Tigers score so quickly their defense is on the field too much (MU is last in the league in time of possession) and 2) Mizzou's big leads force other teams to throw the ball.
Texas Tech's Graham Harrell, Kansas' Todd Reesing and Missouri's Chase Daniel rank 2-3-4 in the nation in total offense which, in effect, makes them all early Heisman Trophy candidates. Then there are Oklahoma's Sam Bradford and Texas' Colt McCoy.
When Kansas is facing a third-down situation, the Jayhawks have opponents right where they want them. KU leads the league in third-down conversions by making 56.4 percent (44 of 78).
Hard to believe, but Missouri has been flagged for just 15 penalties, or an average of three a game. Kansas is closest to the Tigers with 23 penalties.