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Jackson's Journal

FanDuel’s odds for No. 4 Kansas vs. East Tennessee State

Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji (30) gets in for a bucket against Monmouth during the second half on Friday, Nov. 15, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji (30) gets in for a bucket against Monmouth during the second half on Friday, Nov. 15, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

No. 4 Kansas will take on East Tennessee State tonight in what should be a tournament-type test in Allen Fieldhouse.

ETSU (3-0) certainly has a chance to get to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2017. The Buccaneers were picked to win the Southern Conference, one spot ahead of recent KU foe UNC Greensboro. ETSU is also ranked third nationally in the Collegeinsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll.

That being said, Kansas (2-1) is still considered a 15-point favorite as of Tuesday afternoon on FanDuel’s Sportsbook. Now that most of the odds are officially available, let’s take a look at all the betting numbers of interest for tonight’s matchup.

Tipoff for this campus-round contest for the 2019 Maui Invitational is slated for 7 p.m.

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All of these lines are presented by FanDuel’s Sportsbook. Sign up today on FanDuel using this special promotion.

FanDuel’s odds for KU vs. East Tennessee State

Spread: Kansas -15

Total score: 144

1st half spread: Kansas -8.5

1st half total: 67.5

1st half away team total points: 29.5

1st half home team total points: 38

2nd half spread: Kansas -6.5

2nd half total: 76.5

2nd half away team total points: 35

2nd half home team total points: 41.5

Away team total points: 64.5

Home team total points: 79.5

Best bet

In the preview blog, I picked East Tennessee State to cover the 15-point spread. So I’m going to give another tip for this game. Based on my score prediction, I’m comfortable taking the under on total points scored by Kansas at 79.5.

ETSU only gave up 80 or more points in five of its 34 games last year, and has yet to do so during its 3-0 start to the 2019-20 campaign. Per KenPom, the Buccaneers also rank 267th in adjusted tempo. They have an average possession length of 17.7 seconds on offense and 18.1 seconds on defense.

So it wouldn’t be surprising if the Buccaneers decide to play a little slower to limit possessions. After all, they don’t want to get in a track meet with the Jayhawks in Allen Fieldhouse if they hope to keep this game within reach in the end.

My pick: Under home team total points (79.5)

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Getting to know: East Tennessee State basketball

East Tennessee State head coach Steve Forbes reacts to a play during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kentucky, Friday, Nov. 17, 2017, in Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

East Tennessee State head coach Steve Forbes reacts to a play during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kentucky, Friday, Nov. 17, 2017, in Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo/James Crisp) by Associated Press

On paper, this should be KU’s toughest test at home at this point in the season.

Kansas led by just four points in an eventual 12-point win over UNC Greensboro about 11 days ago. Entering that game, the Jayhawks were favored by 14.5 points according to most sportsbooks. KU rolled over Monmouth last Friday in its only other home contest during a 2-1 start to the 2019-20 season.

But tonight’s foe, East Tennessee State, should be a true test for No. 4 Kansas. ETSU was picked to win the Southern Conference, one spot ahead of UNC Greensboro. The Buccaneers (3-0) are ranked third nationally in the Collegeinsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll.

According to KenPom, ETSU is listed at No. 69 overall in all of college basketball. While KenPom gives the Jayhawks an 86% of winning this game with a projected score of 77-65, this should be a good challenge before the team heads to the 2019 Maui Invitational.

The Kansas-East Tennessee State contest is actually a campus-round game for the 2019 Maui Invitational. Kansas is 14-6 all-time in the Maui Invitational, including 2-0 in campus-round contests.

These two teams are meeting for the fourth time in men’s basketball and first since Jan. 4, 1996. KU is 3-0 all-time in this series.

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BREAKING DOWN ETSU

TOP PLAYER

No. 3 — G Bo Hodges | 6-5, 210, jr.

Through three games, Hodges has led ETSU in scoring with an average of 15.3 points per game.

Hodges has scored in double figures in all three games, including a 17-point performance against Winthrop in his last outing. Hodges is also averaging 6.7 rebounds per game following his nine-rebound showing against Winthrop.

It has been a nice jump from his sophomore season, when he averaged 10.3 points per game. For the season, Hodges is 20-of-35 from the floor, including a 2-for-6 clip from beyond the arc.

None by ETSU Mens Basketball

SUPPORTING CAST

No. 10 — G Patrick Good | 6-0, 175, r-jr.

Good earned his first start of the year during the team’s win over Winthrop.

The start came after his 24-point performance against UT Martin, in which he hit seven 3-pointers in a single game. Good is averaging 13.0 points per outing this season, shooting 10-for-18 from downtown.

According to KenPom, Good has an effective field goal percentage of 93.3. That mark ranks No. 1 in all of college basketball. Good also averaged in double figures in each of the last two seasons for the Buccaneers.

None by ETSU Mens Basketball

No. 11 — F Jeromy Rodriguez | 6-7, 230, r-sr.

Rodriguez will make an impact on the glass for ETSU.

This season, the redshirt senior is averaging 7.7 rebounds per game to go along with 8.7 points per outing. Rodriguez has a total of 19 points over the last two contests. Last year, Rodriguez ranked eighth among NCAA Division I players in rebounds per game with an average of 10.9.

Rodriguez also set a new single-season program record for offensive rebounds with 113 last season. His current offensive rebound rate of 17.9 ranks 36th in the country.

None by ETSU Mens Basketball

No. 25 — C Lucas N’Guessan | 7-0, 230, sr.

ETSU will have some size to compete with Kansas in the paint.

N’Guessan is familiar with the Jayhawks, as he transferred to ETSU last year after playing two seasons for Oklahoma State. With the Cowboys, he started 17 games and made a total of 54 appearances. N’Guessan led the team in shooting percentage as a freshman with a clip of 67.4 percent.

This season, N’Guessan is averaging 5.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per game for the Buccaneers. He played in 23 games, which included 10 starts, during his first season with ETSU last year.

None by ETSU Mens Basketball

MEET THE COACH

ETSU is coached by Steve Forbes who is 133-39 in his fifth season as an NCAA Division I head coach, all at ETSU. East Tennessee State is 3-0 for the first time since the 1998-99 season when the Buccaneers opened the year 4-0.

VEGAS SAYS

As of Tuesday morning, KU was favored by 15 points via Odds Shark. The drubbing of Monmouth might have influenced this number a bit, considering the fact that KU was favored by 14.5 points against UNC Greensboro and failed to cover.

ETSU is supposed to be better than that, and it is a program that played well against some quality teams under Forbes. The Bucs defeated Georgia Tech in 2015 and Mississippi State in 2016. They also lost by just 2 points at then-No. 3 Xavier in 2017. This game should be closer than the line indicates, but I think Kansas ultimately hangs on.

Prediction: Kansas 75, ETSU 66

This year’s record ATS: 2-1

Reply 1 comment from Dirk Medema

KU football is big underdog for road tilt with Iowa State

(Boston, MA, 09/13/19) Kansas Jayhawks head coach Les Miles, left, talks with punter Kyle Thompson (80) prior to the start of an NCAA football game at Boston College in Boston, Mass., on Friday, September 13, 2019.

(Boston, MA, 09/13/19) Kansas Jayhawks head coach Les Miles, left, talks with punter Kyle Thompson (80) prior to the start of an NCAA football game at Boston College in Boston, Mass., on Friday, September 13, 2019. by Chris Evans

After back-to-back losses, things don’t get any easier for the Kansas football team.

KU will travel to Iowa State this weekend for another 11 a.m. kickoff. ESPN’s FPI gives the Jayhawks just a 4.6% chance of winning, which is their lowest chance of victory over the final three games of the 2019 season.

The early betting line suggests that this game should be even more difficult for Kansas, which is coming off a 31-13 loss to Oklahoma State in Stillwater. Iowa State is favored by 24.5 points, according to FanDuel’s Sportsbook as of Monday afternoon. The line actually opened at 23 points, so the number has jumped up a bit in 24 hours.

It marks just the sixth time since 2000 that the Cyclones are favored by 20-plus points. It is also the biggest betting number in favor of ISU since the team was laying 23 points against Kansas on Oct. 14, 2017 in what turned out to be a 45-0 win.

Iowa State has been favored in nine of its 11 games this season. The Cyclones (6-4, 4-3 Big 12) are coming off a 23-21 win over then-No. 19 Texas. The Jayhawks (3-7, 1-6) have scored a combined 23 points in consecutive defeats to Kansas State and Oklahoma State.

Saturday marks the 99th meeting between Iowa State and Kansas, a series that began in 1898. KU has a 50-42-6 advantage in the all-time series, but ISU has won the last four matchups. Kansas also hasn’t won a Big 12 road game since 2008.

Kansas is 4-6 against the spread this season, while Iowa State is 6-4. As of Monday, Odds Shark projects the Cyclones to cover the spread and the total score (59 points) to go over.

All Big 12 spreads for Week 13

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Kansas at Iowa State (-24.5)

Oklahoma State (-7) at West Virginia

Texas at Baylor (-5.5)

Kansas State at Texas Tech (-2)

TCU at Oklahoma (-18)

Reply 1 comment from Doug Roberts

Getting to know: Oklahoma State football

Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard (30) celebrates with fans following an NCAA college football game against TCU in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. Oklahoma State won 34-27. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard (30) celebrates with fans following an NCAA college football game against TCU in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. Oklahoma State won 34-27. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki) by Associated Press

It has been two weeks since Kansas had a dud performance against Kansas State in front of a sellout crowd at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.

The bye week came at an opportune time for the Jayhawks, who fell flat in a 38-10 loss. It gave them an extra week to self-scout and get healthy before the final stretch of the 2019 season, which features two road games and one home contest.

But the problem is that Oklahoma State is coming off a bye week as well, and has more momentum entering Les Miles’ return to Stillwater.

OSU has an explosive offense behind the nation’s leading rusher in Chuba Hubbard. Other than the Sunflower Showdown, KU’s offense has been very effective since Brent Dearmon took over play calling duties. So there should be plenty of points in this game.

Whether or not Kansas can cover the 17.5-point spread remains to be seen, however. Let’s take a closer look at the Cowboys to find out if that is possible.

BREAKING DOWN OKLAHOMA STATE:

OFFENSE

Quarterback — Redshirt freshman Spencer Sanders has made a number of plays through the air and on the ground during his first year as the starting quarterback. He’s already the all-time OSU freshman leader in season passing yards. Sanders also ranked third among Power 5 quarterbacks with 588 rushing yards.

Running backs — For a Kansas defense that struggles to stop the run, this will be a tough matchup. Redshirt sophomore Chuba Hubbard is the FBS leader in rushing yards, yards per game, yards per carry and all purpose yards. In fact, his 178.6 rushing yards per game is 33.1 more than second-place A.J. Dillon of Boston College.

Receivers — Redshirt junior Dillon Stoner stepped in as OSU's top receiver after Biletnikoff finalist Tylan Wallace was lost for the season to injury before the TCU game. Stoner finished the TCU win with a career-best two touchdowns and a season-best 93 receiving yards. Braydon Johnson, Landon Wolf and Jordan McCray are involved in the passing game as well.

Offensive line — Redshirt junior Teven Jenkins, who is from Topeka, Kansas, is slated to start at right tackle. He has made 24 total starts, including every game last season at either right tackle or left tackle. Left guard Marcus Keyes has started 45 games for OSU, which is 11 more than anyone else on the entire roster. Left tackle Dylan Galloway has 10 career starts for the Cowboys.

DEFENSE

Defensive line — True freshman Trace Ford has become a playmaker on this defense at the end spot. He has 18 tackles, two sacks and six quarterback hurries. Ford is the only true freshman to start a game for Oklahoma State so far this season. Defensive tackles Israel Antwine and Cameron Murray are also new starters for the Cowboys this year.

Linebackers — Junior Malcolm Rodriguez leads the team and ranks third in the Big 12 with 8.2 tackles per game. His 168 career tackles paces the squad, and he notched a game-winning pick-six in the fourth quarter at Iowa State. Amen Ogbongbemiga ranks among the top-eight in the Big 12 in tackles, TFL and sacks this season.

Secondary — Senior cornerback A.J. Green is one of 14 national semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award presented to the nation's top defensive back. Cornerback Rodarius Williams is a three-year starter, and is tied with Green for most starts on the Cowboy defense with 35. Safety Tre Sterling has 38 tackles in his past six games.

SPECIAL TEAMS — Kicker Matt Ammendola is third among active FBS players with 331 career points. He has made two 53-yard field goals during his career. Punter Tom Hutton, a 29-year-old true freshman, was recruited through ProKick Australia.

FUN FACT — Les Miles returns to Stillwater to play Oklahoma State for the first time in his career. As the leader of the Cowboys, Miles led Oklahoma State to a 28-21 record, where they reached three-consecutive bowl games after starting 4-7 in his first year.

VEGAS SAYS… The Jayhawks are getting 17.5 points as of Friday afternoon in their Week 12 matchup with the Cowboys. Kansas has typically fared well when it is counted out this much, and I expect that trend to continue this week. KU’s defense won’t be able to stop Oklahoma State’s ground game, but I expect the offense to bounce back.

Prediction: Oklahoma State 42, Kansas 31

This year’s record ATS: 5-4

Overall record ATS: 12-8

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Getting to know: Monmouth basketball

Monmouth forward Nikkei Rutty, right, battles Kansas State forward Levi Stockard III (34) for the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Manhattan, Kan., Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Monmouth forward Nikkei Rutty, right, battles Kansas State forward Levi Stockard III (34) for the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Manhattan, Kan., Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner) by Associated Press

There should be no reason that the Jayhawks overlook their latest opponent.

Just a few days ago, Monmouth led the defending Big 12 co-champions, Kansas State, by nine points at halftime in Manhattan. The Wildcats then clamped down defensively against the Hawks in the second half to secure a 73-54 win at Bramlage Coliseum.

It is a result that certainly caught KU’s attention, as it prepares for its first game in a week. Kansas (1-1) plays host to Monmouth (1-2) at 7 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse. This will be the first-ever meeting between these two teams.

KU has won 22-straight home games, 21 of which have come at Allen Fieldhouse. The streak currently ranks as the third-longest active among NCAA DI schools. KU’s last home loss came to Oklahoma State on Feb. 3, 2018.

Log on to KUsports.com for our live game blog coverage and follow the KUsports.com staff on Twitter: @KUSports @mctait @bentonasmith & @SJacksonLJW

BREAKING DOWN MONMOUTH

TOP PLAYER

No. 3 — G Deion Hammond | 6-4, 200, jr.

Monmouth's Deion Hammond, right, takes a shot as Seton Hall's Angel Delgado (31) defends during an NCAA college basketball game in Newark, N.J., Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017. Seton Hall defeated Monmouth 75-65. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

Monmouth's Deion Hammond, right, takes a shot as Seton Hall's Angel Delgado (31) defends during an NCAA college basketball game in Newark, N.J., Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017. Seton Hall defeated Monmouth 75-65. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz) by Associated Press

Through three games, Hammond is second on the team in scoring with an average of 12 points per game.

As a sophomore last season, Hammond finished second on the team in scoring with an average of 11.8 points per contest. He paced Monmouth in made field goals with 135 and triples with 74, notching 22 double-digit outings last year.

Entering this season, Hammond was named a Preseason All-MAAC second team selection.

SUPPORTING CAST

No. 0 — G Ray Salnave | 6-3, 205, r-jr.

Connecticut's Josh Carlton defends against Monmouth's Ray Salnave in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn. Connecticut won 84-81. (AP Photo/Stephen Dunn)

Connecticut's Josh Carlton defends against Monmouth's Ray Salnave in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn. Connecticut won 84-81. (AP Photo/Stephen Dunn) by Associated Press

Salnave is the lone Hawk to score in double figures in all three games this season, including his sixth career 20-point performance at Kansas State.

Salnave led Monmouth in scoring at 11.9 points per game and topped the Hawks with 95 assists. Those numbers listed him 16th in the MAAC in scoring and 10th in assists. He was also 10th in the conference in steals.

In the loss to Kansas State, Salnave came off the bench for Monmouth to score 20 points. He went 7-for-10 from the floor. Salnave has come off the bench in all three games to start the 2019-20 season.

No. 4 — F Mustapha Traore | 6-8, 210, r-sr.

Monmouth's Mustapha Traore grabs a rebound in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Connecticut Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn. Connecticut won in OT, 84-81. (AP Photo/Stephen Dunn)

Monmouth's Mustapha Traore grabs a rebound in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Connecticut Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn. Connecticut won in OT, 84-81. (AP Photo/Stephen Dunn) by Associated Press

Traore has started 38 consecutive games for Monmouth, including all 35 games as a junior last year.

In fact, Traore was the only Hawk to start all 35 contests last season. Traore finished second on MU in rebounding (5.3) and fourth in scoring (7.4). He also had the best field goal percentage on the team (50.7%) as a junior.

No. 13 — G Marcus McClary | 6-3, 195, jr.

Monmouth's Marcus McClary (13) attempts a shot as Seton Hall's Angel Delgado (31) defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Newark, N.J., Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

Monmouth's Marcus McClary (13) attempts a shot as Seton Hall's Angel Delgado (31) defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Newark, N.J., Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz) by Associated Press

Through three games, McClary is averaging just 4.3 points per game this season.

He showed the ability to produce on the offensive end during the MAAC Tournament last spring, when he averaged 8.5 points per game. McClary played in all 35 games as a sophomore, starting 29.

McClary shot 47.5% from the field and 53.3% from deep, while scoring 4.4 points per game.

MEET THE COACH

The Hawks are coached by King Rice, who is 132-135 in his ninth season at Monmouth and ninth season overall. Monmouth was picked to finish fourth in the MAAC by the league’s head coaches.

VEGAS SAYS

Kansas is favored by 26.5 points over Monmouth in most sportsbooks as of Friday morning. Monmouth is ranked No. 247 by KenPom, while KU is No. 10 overall. This game should not be close, despite what the Hawks just did a few days ago in Manhattan. That being said, I can’t lay that many points when KU is still trying to figure out its best lineup combination.

Prediction: Kansas 85, Monmouth 64

This year’s record ATS: 2-0

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Pick 6: Best bets for Week 12 of college football

Fans watch as an air refueled flies over Memorial Stadium prior to kickoff on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019 at Memorial Stadium.

Fans watch as an air refueled flies over Memorial Stadium prior to kickoff on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

Best bet: Texas (+7) at Iowa State

It is funny how much things change over the course of a season. Earlier in the year, I was constantly fading Texas. Now, I’m backing the Longhorns because I think the market went too far in the opposite direction. This defense is getting more healthy, and a touchdown is simply too much. Plus, betting Tom Herman as an underdog in his career has been quite the money maker.

Long shot: Ole Miss (+21.5) vs. LSU

Those who have followed this blog all year knew this was coming. Especially in college football, I’m a firm believer in letdown games. By now, you have seen what Joe Burrow and No. 1 LSU did to Alabama last week. The Rebels won’t be a pushover either, as they are leading the SEC in rushing. I think that is enough to cover the three-touchdown spread.

Easy favorite: Alabama (-17.5) at Mississippi State

Along those same lines, putting my money in a Nick Saban-led team coming off a loss seems like a strong play. The Bulldogs have also lost four of their previous five games, with their lone win coming against Arkansas. I’m not sure there was a number too high that would have forced me to stay away.

Over of the week: Kansas at Oklahoma State (67.5)

I’m diving back in on the over for KU games. I just believe Brent Dearmon will have a response off a bye after scoring only 10 points in a 38-10 loss to Kansas State just two weeks ago. Oklahoma State has a stellar offense, which is led by the nation’s leading rusher in Chuba Hubbard.

Under of the week: Oklahoma at Baylor (67.5)

There isn’t a whole lot of logic behind this pick, to be honest. It stood out to me because it was the same total at KU’s Week 12 matchup with Oklahoma State. This is more of a gut feeling pick. If Baylor is going to win this game, it is going to come down to getting key stops and limiting possessions.

NFL action: Buffalo Bills (-6.5) at Miami Dolphins

My NFL bet was a dud last week, but I fully expect to get back in the win column. I don’t understand this line at all. The Bills were a 17-point favorite in the first meeting between these two teams, so the market might be overreacting to a pair of fluky wins by the Dolphins. Buffalo will take care of business this week on the road.

KU sports staff picks against the spread

All of these lines are presented by FanDuel’s Sportsbook. Sign up today on FanDuel using this special promotion.

Kansas at Oklahoma State (-18)

Matt Tait: Kansas

Benton Smith: Kansas

Braden Shaw: Oklahoma State

Shane Jackson: Kansas

Oklahoma (-10) at Baylor

Matt Tait: Baylor

Benton Smith: Baylor

Braden Shaw: Baylor

Shane Jackson: Baylor

Navy at Notre Dame (-9.5)

Matt Tait: Notre Dame

Benton Smith: Notre Dame

Braden Shaw: Notre Dame

Shane Jackson: Navy

USC (-6.5) at California

Matt Tait: USC

Benton Smith: USC

Braden Shaw: USC

Shane Jackson: USC

Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens (-4.5)

Matt Tait: Ravens

Benton Smith: Ravens

Braden Shaw: Ravens

Shane Jackson: Ravens

Kansas City Chiefs (-4) at Los Angeles Chargers

Matt Tait: Chargers

Benton Smith: Chiefs

Braden Shaw: Chiefs

Shane Jackson: Chiefs

Season standings

Shane Jackson: 35-31 (2-4 in Week 11)

Benton Smith: 33-33 (4-2 in Week 11)

Matt Tait: 31-35 (4-2 in Week 11)

Braden Shaw: 26-40 (4-2 in Week 11)

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KU’s defense must fix issues against mobile quarterbacks ahead of matchup with OSU

Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson (10) squeezes between Kansas defensive end Darrius Moragne (97) and Kansas linebacker Azur Kamara (5) during the first quarter on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson (10) squeezes between Kansas defensive end Darrius Moragne (97) and Kansas linebacker Azur Kamara (5) during the first quarter on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

It was an interesting comment, and one that could ultimately explain a recent stretch by KU’s defense.

Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson recorded 127 yards and three scores on the ground via 17 attempts during a 38-10 win over Kansas in the Sunflower Showdown two weeks ago. After the game, many Kansas players were asked what went wrong on the defensive side of the ball.

“We weren’t necessarily expecting him to run as much,” senior Bryce Torneden said of Thompson. “We thought we had guys in the right place, but that’s a great player and obviously he showed that.”

What is interesting about Torneden’s statement is the fact that Thompson had 34 total rushing attempts in the three previous games. Yet with an extra week to prepare, the Jayhawks hope to be more equipped to handle a mobile quarterback in their road tilt with Oklahoma State this weekend.

After all, OSU quarterback Spencer Sanders ranks eighth in the Big 12 in rushing with an average of 65.3 yards per game. He’s second among quarterbacks, trailing only Oklahoma signal caller Jalen Hurts.

“We already know running QBs want to get out of the pocket,” senior safety Mike Lee said. “If we keep them in the pocket, the game will go how we want it to go.”

But containing Sanders from making plays with his feet might be easier said than done, particularly with how much the Jayhawks have struggled to slow down mobile quarterbacks as of late. Over the last three games, KU has surrendered season-high rushing performances to three different quarterbacks.

Thompson posted his best performance of the year in terms of yards and attempts. He accounted for 37.1% of the Wildcats’ 342 rushing yards on 28.3% of the attempts. For comparison, KU has allowed 2,118 rushing yards on the year and 18% of that production has come from opposing signal callers.

“It was surprising for us, but it was just minor mistakes by us,” linebacker Kyron Johnson said. “It was basically me not tackling and not keeping him in the pocket. We just got all messed up.”

Texas Tech quarterback Jett Duffey notched a season-best 40 yards on six attempts, many of which came against a three-man rush on third down, during a 37-34 loss to Kansas on Oct. 26. Duffey has only had one other game this season where he recorded more than 24 rushing yards.

One week earlier, Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger piled up 91 of his team’s 239 rushing yards on 14 attempts. The performance, which was 21 yards more than his previous season-best showing, helped the Longhorns secure a 50-48 home win over the Jayhawks.

In total, 32.5% of the rushing yards produced against KU's defense over the last three games have come via quarterbacks. And scrambling quarterbacks have an impact on the passing game, too.

“We just learned to never give up on a play,” cornerback Kyle Mayberry said. “Even when you play the first route good, be prepared for the scramble drill.”

Not all quarterback runs are created equal, meaning there is not a specific pattern by KU’s defense over the last month. The Wildcats utilized designed quarterback runs via option plays, including three of Thompson’s four runs on the opening drive.

On 3rd-and-2, Thompson netted a long run on a speed option to the right. Thompson took off once Torneden moved toward the running back. Thompson then capped the drive off with a touchdown run after faking the handoff and getting to the edge.

via GIPHY

Against Texas Tech, a majority of quarterback runs occurred when Duffey couldn't find an open receiver. He showcased the ability to pick up a first down with his feet rather than force things, though KU could have done a better job keeping Duffey from getting outside.

via GIPHY

The Longhorns called Ehlinger’s number on the first two plays on designed runs to set the tone. While Kansas State’s success can mostly be attributed to blocking and play design, Ehlinger was simply too tough to bring down and got a bulk of his yardage by breaking tackles.

via GIPHY

Unfortunately for the Jayhawks, they might be facing their toughest test yet when it comes to mobile quarterbacks. Sanders, who is a redshirt freshman, has 588 yards on 126 rushing attempts through nine games. Sanders has had double-digit rushing attempts in all but two of his games during his first year as a starter.

None by LandGrant Gauntlet

Sanders has been as advertised for the Cowboys. Coming out of high school, ESPN ranked him as the No. 7 dual-threat quarterback in the 2018 national class. He will be a different type of runner compared to what the Jayhawks have faced the last three games.

“It is just another quarterback that we have to keep in the pocket and keep an eye on,” Johnson said.

At the very least, though, KU’s defense should be more prepared entering this week’s matchup against another mobile quarterback.

Reply 2 comments from Shane Jackson Dirk Medema

Coming off another bye, KU is a double-digit underdog against Oklahoma State

Kansas head coach Les Miles walks off the field after a timeout during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas head coach Les Miles walks off the field after a timeout during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

Coming off a bye week, not many people are expecting Kansas football to compete this weekend.

If that sounds familiar, that is because it just happened in October. The Jayhawks promoted Brent Dearmon to offensive coordinator during the bye week before they were ultimately a 22-point underdog at Texas. Kansas ended up falling, 50-48, on a last-second field goal.

There are no changes on the coaching staff last week, but KU is still counted out ahead of its road tilt with Oklahoma State. According to FanDuel’s Sportsbook, the Jayhawks are an 18-point underdog as of Monday afternoon.

Kansas has actually performed well in these situations during Les Miles’ first year at the helm. According to Odds Shark, KU is 3-0 when it is given 15-or-more points as an underdog, which took place against Boston College, Oklahoma and Texas. The Jayhawks have covered just once in the remaining six games.

None of that means KU (3-6, 1-5 Big 12) will cover the spread this weekend, of course. Oklahoma State has won back-to-back games against TCU and Iowa State entering this week’s matchup. The Cowboys (6-3, 3-3 Big 12) are also coming off a bye week.

Oklahoma State is 7-2 against the spread this season, including a 5-2 clip as a favorite. OSU has been a double-digit favorite three times, all of which took place in nonconference play. The Cowboys covered the spread in all three outings as well.

On paper, it is not a favorable matchup for the Jayhawks. KU’s defense has struggled to stop the run all season, and this figures to be the team’s toughest test yet. OSU running back Chuba Hubbard leads the FBS in rushing yards with 1,604 and ranks second in rushing touchdowns with 18.

Kansas, meanwhile, has allowed an average of 235.33 rushing yards per game. Kent State, Louisiana-Monroe, New Mexico State and Massachusetts are the only teams giving up more yards on the ground this season.

It will be interesting to see if the extra week gave the Jayhawks a solid game plan to slow down the Cowboys’ rushing attack. Given the injuries on the defensive side of the ball, though, that could be easier said than done. I’m not ready to commit to a pick this week, but I’d probably lay the points at this moment.

Kickoff is slated for 11 a.m. Boone Pickens Stadium.

All lines are presented by FanDuel’s Sportsbook. Sign up today on FanDuel using this special promotion.

Rest of Big 12 spreads for Week 12

TCU (-3) at Texas Tech

Texas at Iowa State (-7)

West Virginia at Kansas State (-14.5)

Oklahoma (-10) at Baylor

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Getting to know: UNC Greensboro basketball

UNC-Greensboro bench reacts as their team loses the lead against Wofford in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game for the Southern Conference tournament championship, Monday, March 11, 2019, in Asheville, N.C. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

UNC-Greensboro bench reacts as their team loses the lead against Wofford in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game for the Southern Conference tournament championship, Monday, March 11, 2019, in Asheville, N.C. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek) by Associated Press

Win or lose, Kansas basketball was always going to move on quickly from the Champions Classic. While those games are great for the sport, the result has such little impact on how the Jayhawks will be come March.

But now it remains to be seen how KU will respond after letting a winnable game slip away in the season opener, especially in the fashion that it happened. Kansas committed 28 turnovers in a 68-66 loss to Duke Tuesday night in Madison Square Garden in New York City.

The Jayhawks (0-1) don’t get much time to fully digest that defeat, as they prepare for their home opener tonight at 8 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse. And Kansas will face another formidable foe in UNC Greensboro, which is coming off a 83-50 win over North Carolina AT&T in the season opener.

The Spartans are ranked No. 100 according to KenPom, but this squad is more than capable of being competitive in KU’s home opener. UNC Greensboro went 29-7 last year, and narrowly missed the NCAA Tournament.

UNCG will be looking for its first victory over a team ranked in the AP Top 25 in program history. Kansas and UNCG have met once in men’s basketball with Kansas winning 105-66 on Nov. 22, 2002, in Allen Fieldhouse.

Log on to KUsports.com for our live game blog coverage and follow the KUsports.com staff on Twitter: @KUSports @mctait @bentonasmith & @SJacksonLJW

BREAKING DOWN UNCG

TOP PLAYER

No. 1 — G Isaiah Miller | 6-0, 180, jr.

UNC Greensboro's Isaiah Miller looks for an open teammate during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018. Kentucky won 78-61. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

UNC Greensboro's Isaiah Miller looks for an open teammate during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018. Kentucky won 78-61. (AP Photo/James Crisp) by Associated Press

This game will feature the Southern Conference’s Preseason Player of the Year in UNCG’s Isaiah Miller and the Big 12’s Preseason Player of the Year in Kansas’ Udoka Azubuike.

Last season, Miller ranked second in the country in steal percentage. So Devon Dotson and Ochai Agbaji will have to take care of the ball better in this one.

In the season opener, Miller scored 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting. He hauled in six rebounds, while recording three assists and three steals. Miller’s most notable play was an impressive dunk that landed him on Sportscenter's Top-10 plays for the night.

None by Southern Conference

SUPPORTING CAST

No. 14 — F Kyrin Galloway | 6-8, 215, sr.

UNC Greensboro's Kyrin Galloway, left, passes to teammate Malik Massey during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018. Kentucky won 78-61. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

UNC Greensboro's Kyrin Galloway, left, passes to teammate Malik Massey during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018. Kentucky won 78-61. (AP Photo/James Crisp) by Associated Press

Galloway, who is a returning starter, is a forward that has the ability to knock down a shot from the perimeter.

Last season, Galloway ranked fifth in three-point percentage by knocking down 44.2% of his 3-point shots. He was also seventh in the league in blocks per game. Galloway averaged 9.4 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last year, recording a total of 38 blocks.

Galloway had five points, five rebounds, three blocked shots and two steals in the 2019 season opener.

No. 21 — F James Dickey | 6-10, 210, sr.

UNC Greensboro's James Dickey, left, looks for an opening on Kentucky's Reid Travis (22) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018. Kentucky won 78-61. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

UNC Greensboro's James Dickey, left, looks for an opening on Kentucky's Reid Travis (22) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018. Kentucky won 78-61. (AP Photo/James Crisp) by Associated Press

Dickey recorded three blocked shots and two steals in the opener to go along with four points and four rebounds.

As a junior last year, Dickey averaged 7.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. In his four-year career, Dickey has been effective on the glass and protecting the rim with his size. Dickey ranks third in program history in blocks with 170 and is fifth in rebounds with 763.

Dickey is one of three returning starters for the Spartans from a team made it to the second round of the NIT.

No. 2 — G Kaleb Hunter | 6-4, 190, so.

LSU guard Skylar Mays (4) goes to the basket against UNC Greensboro guard Kaleb Hunter (44) in the first half an NCAA college basketball game in Baton Rouge, La., Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

LSU guard Skylar Mays (4) goes to the basket against UNC Greensboro guard Kaleb Hunter (44) in the first half an NCAA college basketball game in Baton Rouge, La., Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) by Associated Press

Sophomore guard Kaleb Hunter led UNCG with 17 points and seven rebounds in the season-opening victory.

Hunter averaged 5.7 points per game as a redshirt freshman last year. He was rated the No. 5 recruit in the state of North Carolina for the class of 2017 by Prep Hoops North Carolina, but ultimately missed his senior season due to an injury

MEET THE COACH

The Spartans are coached by Wes Miller, who is 142-117 in his ninth season at UNCG and his ninth season overall. UNCG is the preseason No. 2 pick in the Southern Conference, trailing only East Tennessee State.

VEGAS SAYS

Kansas is a 15-point favorite over UNCG as of Friday afternoon, which seems just a tad too high for me. Bill Self talked about how the Spartans like to press, something that doesn’t bode well for a team that a quick turnaround after committing 28 turnovers in the season opener. The Jayhawks should win this game, but I’m taking the points in this one.

Prediction: Kansas 74, UNC Greensboro 66

This year’s record ATS: 1-0

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Pick 6: Best bets for Week 11 of college football

Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson (10) runs into the end zone for a touchdown during the first quarter on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson (10) runs into the end zone for a touchdown during the first quarter on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

Best bet: Baylor (-2.5) at TCU

Baylor still doesn’t seem to be getting the respect it deserves, and this line seems too low. TCU’s quarterback situation is up in the air after freshman Max Duggan and backup signal caller Mike Collins both got hurt. The Bears might not be winning Big 12 games by a lot, but I’m taking any number that is less than a field goal.

Long shot: Illinois (+14.5) at Michigan State

Two touchdowns and the hook is simply too much faith in Michigan State, and the line actually opened at 11.5 points somehow. The Spartans have given up 28 or more points in four consecutive games and are without their leading tackler. Illinois is tied for the FBS lead with five defensive scores.

Over of the week: USC at Arizona State (57.5)

USC is coming off a 56-24 loss to Oregon, falling to 5-4 on the year. Arizona State, meanwhile, is now 5-3 after dropping back-to-back road games to Utah and UCLA. ASU doesn’t have a great offense, but USC has dealt with a number of injuries on the defensive side of the ball. The Trojans are also averaging 30.4 points and 432.7 yards per game.

Under of the week: Arkansas vs. Western Kentucky (52)

Former Arkansas quarterback Ty Storey is now the starter at Western Kentucky, so perhaps the Razorbacks will have an idea what to do on the defensive side of the ball? The Hilltoppers, meanwhile, are 24th in total defense in the country. Oh, and redshirt freshman John Stephen Jones, who is the grandson of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, is expected to start at quarterback for Arkansas.

Fade the noise: Bet Miami (-6.5) vs. Louisville

The easy move would be to take Louisville, as I’m sure most people will do this week. The Hurricanes are coming off a win over Florida State in Tallahassee, while the Cardinals are fresh off a bye week. More of the money appears to be on Louisville, but trusting Miami’s defense seems like the play here.

NFL action: Cincinnati Bengals (+10.5) vs. Baltimore Ravens

Once again, I’m recommending to bet against my favorite team. Last week’s win over New England was a lot of fun, but this is such an easy bet. The Bengals are coming off a bye week and have a new quarterback under center. Cincinnati has also played multiple teams close, and even covered an 11-point spread in Baltimore just a few weeks ago.

KU sports staff picks against the spread

All of these lines are presented by FanDuel’s Sportsbook. Sign up today on FanDuel using this special promotion.

Kansas State at Texas (-6.5)

Matt Tait: Texas

Benton Smith: Kansas State

Braden Shaw: Kansas State

Shane Jackson: Texas

UAB at Southern Miss (-4.5)

Matt Tait: Southern Miss

Benton Smith: Southern Miss

Braden Shaw: Southern Miss

Shane Jackson: UAB

Iowa at Wisconsin (-9.5)

Matt Tait: Wisconsin

Benton Smith: Wisconsin

Braden Shaw: Wisconsin

Shane Jackson: Iowa

LSU at Alabama (-6)

Matt Tait: Alabama

Benton Smith: LSU

Braden Shaw: Alabama

Shane Jackson: LSU

Kansas City Chiefs (-3.5) at Tennessee Titans

Matt Tait: Titans

Benton Smith: Chiefs

Braden Shaw: Chiefs

Shane Jackson: Chiefs

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers (-6)

Matt Tait: Seahawks

Benton Smith: 49ers

Braden Shaw: Seahawks

Shane Jackson: Seahawks

Season standings

Shane Jackson: 33-27 (3-3 in Week 10)

Benton Smith: 29-31 (3-3 in Week 10)

Matt Tait: 27-33 (2-4 in Week 10)

Braden Shaw: 22-38 (2-4 in Week 10)

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