When Kansas has the ball
Kansas rush offense vs. Oklahoma rush defense
For the first time this season, the Kansas run game was shut down in last week’s loss to Colorado. A healthy Jake Sharp managed only 37 rushing yards against the Buffaloes, and backup Toben Opurum fared even worse, finishing with three yards on two carries. Prior to Saturday’s ground-game debacle, the Jayhawks had been averaging 189.2 rushing yards per game.
Oklahoma, meanwhile, ranks second in the Big 12 in rush defense, allowing just 68.3 yards per game and has shown a propensity for slowing down running quarterbacks, holding UT’s Colt McCoy to just 33 yards on 14 carries last week.
Kansas pass offense vs. Oklahoma pass defense
Wth the exception of the first half of last week’s loss to Colorado, KU quarterback Todd Reesing has played brilliantly this season. He’s currently ranked in the top five nationally in passing yards (330 per game), completions per game (27.2), total offense (340.2) and points responsible for (18) and is throwing to two of the nation’s top receivers in Dezmon Briscoe (first in the nation in receiving yards per game) and Kerry Meier (second nationally in receptions). Oklahoma is second in the Big 12 in pass defense, allowing just 189.8 yards per game, and held McCoy to just 127 passing yards last week. But they’ll be facing the nation’s fourth-ranked passing attack in the Jayhawks, who have yet to struggle throwing the ball this season.
When Oklahoma has the ball
Oklahoma rush offense vs. Kansas rush defense
Like Kansas, the Sooners are coming off a miserable rushing performance. Despite featuring two of the conference’s top running backs in DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown, Oklahoma finished with minus-16 yards on the ground against the Longhorns.
The Jayhawks have given up big rushing totals in their past two games — a combined 366 against Iowa State and Colorado — and were particular inept at stopping CU quarterback Tyler Hansen, who broke free for a number of big gains.
Oklahoma pass offense vs. Kansas pass defense
Even without starter and former Hesiman Trophy winner Sam Bradford, the Sooners have managed to pass the ball successfully this season. Backup Landry Jones, who’ll start in place of the recently re-injured Bradford, has thrown for 1,111 yards and 11 touchdowns (compared to five interceptions) in six games this season, and he’ll look to capitalize on a Kansas defense that is undergoing a number of changes. Last week, six players made their defensive season debuts for the Jayhawks, who rank 94th nationally in pass defense and have given up an average of 245.7 passing yards per game.
The Sooners possess one of the conference’s top punters in Tress Way (43.7 yards per punt average in six games) and kickers in Jimmy Stevens (11-for-13 this season), but OU hasn’t stood out in many areas in the special-teams game. The Jayhawks’ return game against Colorado was dismal, meanwhile, and kick returner Dezmon Briscoe, who showed promise late last season, has yet to make a major impact as a return man.