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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Kansas vs. Texas Tech: Tale of the Tape

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When Kansas has the ball

Kansas rush offense vs. Texas Tech rush defense

Last week in a loss to Baylor, James Sims was James Sims, delivering his fifth straight 100-plus-yard day and running with the kind of power and determination that we’ve come to expect. As a team, the Jayhawks still managed to finish with 200 yards rushing even after falling behind by two touchdowns early and more than that late. Sims’ streak and KU’s success could be in jeopardy this week against Texas Tech, which ranks third in the Big 12 in rush defense and 18th nationally in total defense. KU coach Charlie Weis said the strength of the Red Raiders’ defense is up the middle, from front to back, so if the Jayhawks are going to continue running the ball well, they likely will have to pick up some yards on the perimeter.

Edge: Kansas.

Kansas pass offense vs. Texas Tech pass defense

Though more mobile than Dayne Crist, red-shirt freshman Michael Cummings has done little to give a jump-start to KU’s struggling passing game. In his five appearances this season — three starts — Cummings has thrown just one touchdown pass and completed just 24 passes. What’s more, the Red Raiders’ defense gives up just an average of 188 yards per game through the air and is getting two of its top players in the secondary back from injury this week. Add to those two factors the fact that KU’s wide receivers have struggled throughout the season (920 yards and no touchdowns on 75 receptions through nine games), and you’re looking at a very tasty recipe for the home team today.

Edge: Texas Tech.

When Texas Tech has the ball

Texas Tech rush offense vs. Kansas rush defense

Tech ranks just eighth in the Big 12 in rushing offense, averaging 144.3 yards-per game. The Jayhawks’ defense, however, also ranks eighth against the run. KU took a favorable match-up into last week’s contest with Baylor and then watched the BU running backs run wild. Baylor entered last week’s game without a single 100-yard rushing game from a running back this season. But two Bears topped the century mark in the 41-14 win over KU, leaving the Jayhawks licking their wounds heading into this week.

Edge: Texas Tech.

Texas Tech pass offense vs. Kansas pass defense

As has been the case for most of the season, Weis had nothing but positive things to say about Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege earlier this week. Doege leads the Big 12 in touchdown passes (31) and also has thrown just eight interceptions, giving him a nearly 4-to-1 ratio in that magic touchdowns-to-interceptions formula that Weis often says identifies the top quarterbacks at any level. Doege is far from the only thing that makes the TTU passing game go. The Red Raiders also feature a number of dynamic play-makers at the wide-receiver position and, like many Big 12 teams, employ an up-tempo style that makes life tough for opposing defenses.

Edge: Texas Tech.

Special teams

Like most Big 12 programs, the Red Raiders are in considerably better position when it comes to specialists than the Jayhawks. Tech actually has two place kickers who can get the job done, a punter who averages 42.3 yards per attempt (KU’s Ron Doherty averages 41.2) and several capable return men who put pressure on opposing kick-coverage units week in and week out. The Red Raiders don’t set the world on fire when it comes to special teams, but with KU continuing to struggle, this one’s an easy call.

Edge: Texas Tech.

Comments

Robert Brock 1 year, 11 months ago

What is the problem with KU's special teams? Why can't the Hawks straighten out their problems? Sheesh!

VaJay 1 year, 11 months ago

You're really able to add value there Brock! I like your ability to put the word "problem" in two straight sentences.

Todd Simpson 1 year, 11 months ago

they can't kick FG's that's the main problem

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