The Kansas Jayhawks will be opening Big 12 play when they travel to Waco, Texas to take on the Baylor Bears. Kansas, sitting at 2-1, is on its first win streak since 2009 but have not won a Big 12 road game since 2008.
Kansas is coming off a 55-14 thrashing of Rutgers. Although Rutgers is not a top-notch team, they are an FBS school, which is a step up for the Jayhawks typical FCS wins.
Baylor sits at 2-1 as well and is coming off a loss to the Duke Blue Devils. Duke was able to run all over the Bears, totaling 225 yards on the ground. The Jayhawks’ biggest offensive strength is their ground game, putting up exactly 400 yards on the ground against Rutgers.
Freshman phenom Anthony “Pooka” Williams led Kansas with 19 rushes for 163 yards, becoming the first Jayhawk to ever put up over 100 rushing yards in their first two games.
The Kansas defense also leads the country in takeaways with 13 on the season. The Jayhawks turnover margin of +12 leads the nation as well, Kansas has doubled the second-best turnover margin (+6 held by Virginia Tech).
For the Jayhawks to pull off the incredible, the defense will have to continue their ball-hawking ways while the offense runs the ball down Baylor’s throat. Kansas has a stable of talented running backs in Williams, Khalil Herbert, Dom Williams and Deron Thompson.
In his press conference, coach David Beaty announced quarterback Peyton Bender would start and Miles Kendrick would make an appearance. Although it is unsure when Kendrick will appear, if Bender can just be consistent and manage the game, one would not expect Kendrick to make a prolonged appearance.
Bender obviously has the better arm and Kendrick is too much of a raw talent to depend on him every play of the game, but all signs point to Kendrick taking the reigns sometime soon this season.
Overall, the Jayhawks have a major opportunity to do the incredible. The fans are behind the football team and the locker room is excited. If Kansas can beat Baylor and start the season 3-1, every Jayhawk across the nation might just become the biggest Kansas football fans ever.
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