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Saturday, September 4, 2010

KU vs. NDSU: Head to head

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When Kansas has the ball

Kansas rush offense vs. NDSU rush defense

Sixth-year senior Angus Quigley will get the first crack at being this team’s workhorse and all signs point to Quigley being ready for a big year. If Quigley can’t become KU’s every-down back, however, the Jayhawks have three guys behind him with a blend of speed and power that will make them hard to prepare for. Red-shirt freshman Deshaun Sands is poised for a big year as the team’s No. 2 tailback, and true freshmen Brandon Bourbon and James Sims also showed enough in camp to make the coaching staff comfortable enough to move last year’s leading rusher — Toben Opurum — to linebacker.

The Bison gave up 152 yards per game on the ground in 2009.

Edge: Kansas

Kansas pass offense vs. NDSU pass defense

Gone are Todd Reesing, Kerry Meier and Dezmon Briscoe, but the KU passing attack still seems to have enough to get the edge in this one. Though he has yet to play a meaningful snap in a college game, starting QB Kale Pick provides KU with good balance as a dual-threat QB. That, along with offensive coordinator Chuck Long’s creative play-calling, should be more than enough for the Jayhawks to keep NDSU guessing here. The Bison surrendered just 208 yards per game through the air in 2009, but managed just three interceptions and allowed opponents to complete 63 percent of their passes.

Edge: Kansas

When NDSU has the ball

NDSU rush offense vs. Kansas rush defense

Many KU players talked this week about being comfortable with the NDSU rushing attack because they’ve seen it so much in practice this offseason. NDSU lost its top rusher from a season ago and, with it, lost nearly 1,600 yards from scrimmage and 16 touchdowns. The Bison favor a power running game and like to run downhill with top returner D.J. McNorton, but KU’s size and strength up front and at linebacker should be able to neutralize the NDSU attack.

Edge: Kansas

NDSU pass offense vs. Kansas pass defense

KU ranked 96th out of 120 Div. I teams in pass defense in 2009, and that was with former starter Darrell Stuckey. A new coaching staff and new defensive mind-set has brought back a sense of confidence to the unit, which KU coach Turner Gill has called one of the deepest and most talented on the team. Senior captain Chris Harris anchors this group and will be backed by second-year safety Lubbock Smith, who some consider a star in the making. While KU is energized in its secondary, the Bison will counter with a first-year starter in Jose Mohler. NDSU coach Craig Bohl said he liked his team’s receiving corps but the fact that he plans to rotate five guys into the game at receiver indicates this unit might not be the team’s strongest.

Edge: Kansas

Special teams

The Jayhawks return two seniors in the kicking game in place kicker Jacob Branstetter (13-of-19 FGs and 42-of-44 PATs in 2009) and Alonso Rojas (41.3-yard average in ’09) and figure to get a lift on kickoffs from true freshman Ron Doherty. That alone might be enough to give KU the edge here, especially when considering that NDSU comes into the game with one kicker who is injured and another who is unproven.

Edge: Kansas

Comments

jayhawkintx73 9 years, 5 months ago

newjayhawk,

I like having Deshaun Sands in the backfield too. His dad, Tony, holds KU's all time single game record of 396 yards on 53 carries against Missouri in 1991.He also holds the all time Big 8/12 record. I believe Deshaun by the time he's the starter next year and the year after will have "Heisman" beside his name, at least on the watch list and an invitation to NY for the presentation.

KU_FanSince75 9 years, 5 months ago

Let's look at the media covering the two teams. Matt and Jesse are excellent. Let's see, there is that one gizzard named Keegan---that hurts! Oh my, I still give the edge to Kansas! Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

KGphoto 9 years, 5 months ago

I associate special teams with a lot more than kickers. It involves kicking distance and accuracy for sure, but it also involves kick returns and kick coverage. This is one area I believe KU has a huge advantage, and it's probably where KU turns a win into a blowout.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 5 months ago

Oh so tru KG. Unfortunately, journo's have never figured out how to actually investigate/research very deep, especially on this topic, and so we're left with the std, horribly inadequate "analysis".

I think it will be interesting, and maybe as much of an indicator of the status of the team as any, to see how the do on ST. IMO, it will be the place that the new team-wide enthusiasm and young talent really makes a statment.

jayhawkintx73 9 years, 5 months ago

mjjayhawk. You can say what you want. There are 119 division one teams, 39 of them would be cream puffs. You can't be picky and have to schedule among the teams that are available. However, I can see why NDSU is on the schedule. A couple of years back when Kansas played NDSU in the NCAA tourney in basketball, they had one really good player, and that guy showed a tremendous amount of respect and sportsmanship. I can't remember his name, but the impression I got from that team was, class act.

jayhawkintx73 9 years, 5 months ago

I don't know about any of you all but I'm excited for today. I really hope Operum gets some chances at Linebacker today. The running backs, McGriff, among others, which are among KU's highest ever rated recruiting class will get their playing time, which most of them should have had a year ago and 5-7 wouldn't have happened.

My prediction.

Kansas goes no worse than 8-4.

I have to look at their home games first. Today, and I say 51-14. Next Week, may be different, but a loss if its a close game isn't a bad thing for these young players. In the conference, we beat A&M, K-State, and Colorado at Home. On the road we beat Baylor, Iowa State, Mississippi State, and the Neutral game at Arrowhead against Mizzou(No Derrick Washington, dismissed and charged with sexual assault). That is the minimum of 8 wins, but I can't say for sure more than that until we see how this defense fares against Georgia Tech a week from today. If they fare well, allow less than 20 points and KU wins that game, 11-1, and Nebraska wouldn't be out of the woods. Think positively. Set the goals high, then learn from mistakes to improve upon the results next year and the year after.

jayhawkintx73 9 years, 5 months ago

I did not mention New Mexico State/ or is it New Mexico? I think we beat them at home too, so 9-3.

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