Saturday, October 25, 2008

KU vs. TT: Head to head

Saturday morning, the Kansas football team takes on undefeated Texas Tech. Historically speaking, this has been a one-sided series. The Red Raiders and Jayhawks have played 10 times before. Nine times, the Jayhawks have lost.

KU football vs. Texas Tech


When Kansas has the ball

Kansas rush offense vs. Texas Tech rush defense

Jake Sharp has rushed for 100 yards in two consecutive games and averaged 8.6 yards on 12 carries last week against Oklahoma despite limited usage in the second half.

Tech's rush defense, though, has been superb through the team's first seven games. The Red Raiders are giving up just 92.43 rushing yards per game (12th-best in the nation) and have surrendered just 3 yards per carry and eight touchdowns.

Edge: Texas Tech

Kansas pass offense vs. Texas Tech pass defense

Kansas QB Todd Reesing has been the team's most consistent player this season, throwing for 2,322 yards and 17 touchdowns. The Jayhawks are fourth in the conference - but sixth in the nation - in pass offense. Dezmon Briscoe is coming off a career performance against Oklahoma, in which he caught 12 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns.

The Red Raiders rank 103rd out of 119 NCAA Bowl Subdivision teams in pass defense, allowing 258.57 yards per game. They have shown an ability to get to the quarterback, averaging close to three sacks a game, while leading the Big 12 with 11 interceptions.

Edge: Kansas

When Texas Tech has the ball

Texas Tech rush offense vs. Kansas rush defense

While Tech's ground game doesn't rank among the leaders in the Big 12 this year, that's at least partly because, with the nation's best aerial attack, it hasn't needed to. When they have run the ball, the Red Raiders have averaged a conference-high 5.5 yards per carry, while their 20 rushing touchdowns are third behind Texas and Oklahoma State.

While struggling against the pass, Kansas has consistently kept teams from getting much going on the ground. The Jayhawks' front line has allowed 109.7 yards per game this season, third in the conference. The loss of defensive tackle Caleb Blakesley, who left the Oklahoma game with an undisclosed injury, could hurt, but an experienced linebacking corps that is picking up steam following a slow start should help lessen the blow.

Edge: Kansas

Texas Tech pass offense vs. Kansas pass defense

If the Jayhawks' performance against Oklahoma last week is any indication - OU quarterback Sam Bradford finished with 468 passing yards, three touchdowns - things could get ugly today in Lawrence. Tech enters the game ranked first in the nation in pass offense, thanks largely to the combo of quarterback Graham Harrell and receiver Michael Crabtree. The Red Raiders are averaging 418.4 passing yards per game.

Kansas is ranked 99th in defending the pass, allowing a dismal 250.4 yards per contest. The team's secondary has struggled with the loss of All-American cornerback Aqib Talib, and the pass rush has produced limited pressure.

Edge: Texas Tech

Special teams

After a slew of poor special-teams performances, Kansas looked to have corrected some of the problems against Oklahoma. Jocques Crawford provided a spark in the kick-return game, returning his first career kick 42 yards, and kicker Jacob Branstetter was 1-for-1 on field-goal attempts.

The Red Raiders haven't been overly impressive in any aspect of special teams this season, but with the exception of placekicker, they haven't really struggled, either.

Edge: Texas Tech


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