In this week's episode of Going Deep, Matt Tait and Eric Sorrentino talk with Jake Trotter, Oklahoma beat writer for The Oklahoman. Trotter talks about the joys of covering one of the nation's top teams and, along with breaking down the matchup, offers the KU football team a little advice ...
Kansas rush offense vs. Oklahoma rush defense
While a revamped offensive scheme has breathed new life into the Jayhawks' running game the past two weeks, the recent production has come against Iowa State and Colorado, teams with a combined record of 5-7.
Despite a number of significant injuries on the defensive side - middle linebacker Ryan Reynolds is the latest casualty, out for the season due to a knee injury - Oklahoma has been its usual dominant self. Texas managed to rack up 161 yards on the ground against the Sooners last week, but Oklahoma will be looking to rebound against a Kansas team that ranks 11th in the Big 12 with just 124 yards per game.
Kansas pass offense vs. Oklahoma pass defense
As the Jayhawks have shown over the past two seasons, they can get their passing game working against just about anybody. However, quarterback Todd Reesing's worst games have come against teams able to apply consistent pressure - Missouri last season, for one - and the junior is set to face perhaps the most daunting pass defense of his career.
The Sooners rank second in the Big 12 in pass defense and have given up just three touchdowns through the air this season, thanks largely to the play of standouts safeties Nic Harris and Lendy Holmes. What's more, the Sooners rank third in the nation in sacks with 21.
Oklahoma rush offense vs. Kansas rush defense
Despite an offensive line that is considered one of the nation's best, the Sooners have sometimes struggled to rush the ball this season.
The Jayhawks are giving up an average of just 93.7 yards on the ground per game, second in the Big 12, and have held two teams to fewer than 70 rushing yards this season. With the re-emergence of the linebacking corps, which has played well in the team's past two games, Saturday doesn't appear a good day for the Sooners to get their ground game going again.
Oklahoma pass offense vs. Kansas pass defense
Sooners sophomore quarterback Sam Bradford enters today's game ranked in the top 10 nationally in passing efficiency (second), total offense (eighth) and total passing yards (fourth). In a losing effort to Texas last week, he threw for 387 yards and five touchdowns and broke the major-college record for touchdowns as a freshman and sophomore (59) formerly held by Florida's Rex Grossman.
The Jayhawks have looked better with the return of injured cornerback Kendrick Harper, but are still struggling with a sub-par pass rush and a secondary that has given up yardage in large chunks.
Not much has gone right for the Jayhawks' special-teams units lately - from fumbled punts to missed field goals to horrid field position.
Oklahoma hasn't been outstanding in special teams this season, either - ranking in the bottom half of the conference in kickoff coverage, PAT percentage, punting and punt-return average - but it hasn't needed to be outstanding. In six games this season, the Sooners have won by an average of 28 points a game.