Tale of the Tape: KU vs. Oklahoma
Kansas rush offense vs. Oklahoma rush defense
This week’s key match-up pits the 18th-ranked KU rushing offense (219 yards per game) versus the 30th-ranked OU rushing defense (110 ypg against). Although the Sooners figure to be the most talented defense the Jayhawks have faced this year, KU’s running game has proven that it can move the ball against just about anyone. With freshman Darrian Miller returning to full strength and sophomore starter James Sims continuing to deliver an impressive year, the Jayhawks should be able to produce on the ground, provided they’re not behind by too many points too quickly.
Kansas pass offense vs. Oklahoma pass defense
The OU secondary features some of the best athletes in the Big 12 and, that alone, could make success through the air tougher to come by for the Jayhawks this week. Add to that the fact that OU ranks third in the nation in sacks (four per game) and also ranks eighth in the country in interceptions (nine), and it’s easy to see that this will be a huge test for KU’s offense. KU quarterback Jordan Webb continues to rank among the nation’s leaders in pass efficiency, but Webb also has thrown all five of his interceptions in the past five games.
Oklahoma rush offense vs. Kansas rush defense
Although the Jayhawks have been decent against the run this season — if you take away the Georgia Tech game — KU still ranks 113th in the country in that category, surrendering an average of 223 yards per game to opposing running backs. OU is not known for its ability to run the football, but the Sooners do enough on the ground to help keep opposing defenses from focusing too much on stopping the pass. OU averages 159 yards per game on the ground and has scored 11 rushing touchdowns so far this season.
Oklahoma pass offense vs. Kansas pass defense
You’d think the team on the schedule that followed a passing attack as potent as Oklahoma State’s (38-for-49, 494 yards and five TDs last week vs. KU) would be welcomed. But that’s not the case for Kansas. This week, the Jayhawks will face another future NFL quarterback in OU’s Landry Jones. The Sooners rank fifth in the country in passing offense, averaging 376 yards and three TDs per game. KU ranks next-to-last in pass defense, giving up an average of 348 yards per contest.
Although KU junior D.J. Beshears has been one of the bright spots for the Jayhawks this season — particularly in the kickoff-return department — the Jayhawks are simply too inconsistent on special teams to take the category.