Kansas Defensive Preview: Easy isn't always easy

Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

The Jayhawks are coming to town, but so is Barry Sanders. The Cowboys better be focused in order to appease the GOAT.

Ok, so let's be honest.

We've all seen the best and (mostly) worst of Kansas football. With that in mind, you would think this game would be the easiest cake walk on the planet.

Maybe you're right. Then again, if it wasn't for the fourth quarter push by the Sooners, Oklahoma would have been embarrassed for the second time this season. And last year in Lawrence, on a night filled with lightning and students wearing "Getting Wet With Charile" shirts (yes, those were a thing), the Jayhawks took the Cowboys down to the wire and made them earn their victory.

So maybe I'm making excuses. Maybe I've decided to write actual words full of meaningful analysis instead of just posting a picture of flaming cow poo. Point is, Oklahoma State should easily roll over Kansas. In order to do that, however, the Pokes will have to take the Jayhawks seriously, which I guess means I should too.

After last week against Texas Tech, the Cowboys found an identity. Or I guess rediscovered how to operate this offense after Mike Yurcich put down the Legos and picked up the playbook. In any case, OSU looked like the team we've come accustomed to in recent years: put up big points both on the ground and in the air.

But the Jayhawks will be looking to spoil the Cowboys' quest for another Big 12 title, and one of the biggest threats comes from Isaiah Johnson. The sophomore safety is tied for first in the conference in takeaways this season and linebacker Ben Heeney isn't far behind.

Speaking of Heeney, the junior has recorded 52 tackles and averages two sacks per game, good enough for third in the Big 12. Another sack threat to watch out for is junior linebacker Michael Renyolds, who averages an eyebrow raising 4.5 sacks a game.

The Kansas defense, while not full of absolute superstars, is full of stout and tenacious players. Lineman Keon Stowers will be an important asset to keep an eye on. Also, be on the lookout for red-shirt freshman Sean Connolly, mostly because his name is a couple of letters short of dirty martinis and awesomeness.

Truth be told, as long as the Cowboys stick to the game plan and ensure security of the ball, they should greet the return of the legendary Barry Sanders and the 1988 team to their Stillwater home with a victory.

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