A message-board post from an administrator on Rivals.com’s Kansas site indicated that three Kansas University football players would play different positions this weekend, when the Jayhawks play host to Texas A&M; at 6 p.m. Saturday.
The post says that former running back Toben Opurum, who was moved to linebacker at the start of the season, has been moved again and now will line up at defensive end, a position he has played more in recent weeks.
In addition, the post says senior safety Olaitan Oguntodu will move to linebacker, and senior cornerback Chris Harris will move to safety. Both players have started all six games at their previous positions.
KU coach Turner Gill would not confirm the specific changes when asked by the Journal-World on Thursday, but did say, on his Hawk Talk radio show Thursday night, that the KU coaching staff was searching for ways to improve the defense.
“We’re experimenting on some things, personnel-wise,” Gill said. “We’re doing a few things with guys that are changing positions and trying to see if that’s gonna work out to give us an opportunity to create more pressure. We’re making adjustments as we go along and trying to get better personnel to make things happen more on defense.”
Dudley excited for Aggies
KU has 38 players from Texas on its roster, including senior linebacker Drew Dudley, who hails from College Station, the home of Texas A&M.;
Saturday’s contest will mark Dudley’s second meeting with his hometown team. The first came in 2007, when Dudley, then a freshman, played sparingly during a 19-11 KU victory.
“For me personally, playing against A&M; brings it closer to home,” Dudley said. “A&M; did not want me. I had some other offers, and I had a couple friends at A&M;, and, at the time, two of the coaches had daughters who were at my high school so they were pretty honest with me. They told me to go to Kansas and that it was a good choice.”
Torbush plans to blitz more
KU defensive coordinator Carl Torbush said the Jayhawks likely would blitz more against A&M; in an effort to put more pressure on the quarterback.
Through six games, the KU defense has recorded just four sacks, two from cornerback Chris Harris and one each from linebackers Justin Springer and Steven Johnson. KU also has forced just four turnovers.
During its first six games of 2010, Texas A&M; committed 18 turnovers — third-most in the nation — and the majority of those came when quarterback Jerrod Johnson (nine interceptions, two fumbles) was facing pressure.
Texas A&M; leads the all-time series, 7-2, and owns a 3-1 advantage in games played at Memorial Stadium. KU won the last meeting between the two schools — a 19-11 road victory in 2007 — and A&M; won the last meeting in Lawrence, coming from behind to win, 21-18, in 2006. KU’s only other victory in the series came in 1974, when the Jayhawks prevailed, 28-10, during the first battle between the two programs.
Dish Network news
Dish Network customers in the area will not be able to tune in to Saturday’s KU matchup with Texas A&M.; The game will be televised locally on Fox Sports Kansas City (and nationally on Fox Sports Net), but will not be available to Dish customers because Dish dropped Fox’s 19 regional sports networks on Oct. 1. Saturday’s contest will be the third straight KU game unavailable to local Dish customers.