LOOKING AT KANSAS: A marriage made in heaven?

John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The Jayhawks offense provides a very interesting match up for OSU's defense.

The few offensive stats that I will discuss will tell us what we already know....

Kansas is NOT very good.

The Cowboys should win VERY easily.

But based on what will likely transpire, there should be an interesting sub plot taking place Saturday afternoon in Lawrence.

Dayne Crist vs the Oklahoma State pass defense.

King already dealt with KU's defensive issues, so my focus here will be strictly offensive (pun intended).

Basic info:

  • Points for...20 (111th)
  • Points against...29.6 (86th)
  • Rushing...177.8 yds/gm (51st)
  • Passing...195.8 yds/gm (99th)
  • FEI offensive efficiency ranking of 78th

Crist for the season

  • 78-156 (50%)...952 yds (6.1 ypa)...3 TD's...7 INT's
  • 13 sacks (2.6/gm)
  • per game avg...15.6 completions on 31.2 attempts...less than 1 TD...more than 1 interception
We can easily see that the one thing Kansas does "decently" is run the ball. While their team avg is 4.4 per rush, the three top backs (Pierson, Cox, Sims) are combining for 166.8 yds/gm on 32 carries (5.2 ypc). All three have battled injuries this season, which is why the carries and yards have been distributed pretty evenly between them

We already know that the one thing OSU's defense does well is defend the run.

Given the Cowboys high powered offense, it would seem to make sense that Kansas will have to resort to passing more than usual in order to stay in the game. Crist logged three picks against Kansas State.

And that brings the intrigue.

A QB who throws interceptions vs a defense struggling to create turnovers, especially in the secondary.

This will be a great situation for somebody.

Keep in mind it won't matter how that battle turns out. This is guaranteed to be another scene in the Jayhawks' Big 12 version of "Groundhog Day." But this battle should determine how bad a beating Kansas endures.

Given OSU's issue with creating turnovers, and some heat being placed on the secondary after getting torched by David Ash and the Longhorns, it would seem like the Kansas offense would be just what the doctor ordered. Stop the running game and force an interception prone QB to throw the ball.

Except the Cowboy secondary has NOT been "Johnny on the spot." Tight coverage (or should I say soft?) has been replaced by blown coverage and missed tackles.

So as we watch OSU run and pass its way up and down the field, and eagerly await the news of who will start at QB and the uniform combo, the much bigger story for me will be how our celebrated but much maligned CB's handle this opportunity.

Continue as we have seen in 2012, and David Ubben might be right.

Return to 2011 form, and Monken can name the number.

Either way, it's a win for the Cowboys and on to next week's revenge.

Let's just hope I'm not touting Dayne Crist for Heisman on Sunday.

GO POKES!!!
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