When Kansas has the ball
Kansas rush offense vs. Texas Tech rush defense
Last week, Nevada took Texas Tech to the wire before losing and did so by running the football. The Wolfpack gained 318 yards on 46 carries — good for a 6.8 yards-per-carry average — and held the lead until 44 seconds remained in the game. With KU’s ground game representing its biggest strength and Tech ranked 111th out of 120 teams in rush defense, expect the Jayhawks to use three or four different backs to pound away inside and out against the Red Raiders.
Kansas pass offense vs. Texas Tech pass defense
Texas Tech is averaging 48 points per game this season and it’s clear that the Jayhawks are going to have to score some points to be in this game. Sophomore QB Jordan Webb has been solid in the passing game so far and the Jayhawks will be lifted by the return of freshman wideout JaCorey Shepherd, who, after breaking out for 100 yards and two touchdowns in the season opener, missed most of the next two games because of a groin injury. The Jayhawks continue to open up the playbook little by little and this is a very confident group.
When Texas Tech has the ball
Texas Tech rush offense vs. Kansas rush defense
Guess which team ranks dead last in rushing defense among the nation’s 120 FBS teams. Thanks in large part to their dreadful performance against Georgia Tech in Week 3, it’s the Jayhawks, and that doesn’t bode well for this week’s match-up. Texas Tech running back Eric Stephens enters the game ranked 16th in the nation with a 116 yards-per-game average and KU’s defensive coaches seem very concerned about Stephens’ ability to change gears at full speed. The Jayhawks have given up an average of 282 rushing yards per game and have surrendered 12 TDs on the ground.
Edge: Texas Tech.
Texas Tech pass offense vs. Kansas pass defense
KU has been only slightly better against the pass this season, ranking 102nd in the country with averages of 268 yards and two TDs per contest. With two weeks to prepare, the Jayhawks appear to be more ready to try to slow down an opposing team’s passing attack, but they’ll find things tough all afternoon as the Red Raiders bring the nation’s ninth most potent passing attack to town. Tech has thrown for more than 1,000 yards and 13 TDs in three games.
Edge: Texas Tech.
The Jayhawks rank 11th in the nation in net punting and feature one of the most dangerous return weapons in the Big 12 in junior D.J. Beshears. However, Texas Tech returner Ben McRoy ranks 17th in the nation with an average of 29 yards per kick return.