September 29, 2011
In The Trenches: Kansas employs a 3-4 defense as their base formation, so the Jayhawks will usually have two defensive tackles and one defensive ends in the line-up. 6-foot3, 253-pound sophomore Keba Agostinho will start at defensive end, 6-foot-3, 283-pound senior Richard Johnson Jr. will start in the middle at defensive tackle, and 6-foot-4, 275 pound sophomore Kevin Young will hold it down at the outside defensive tackle spot. Since Kansas uses a 3-4 defense, the defensive linemen usually won't have the stat lines of 4-3 linemen due to different responsibilities. The line currently has only two sacks, and they allowed an NCAA record 604 yards on the ground against Georgia Tech. However, they did hold McNeese State to 95 rushing yards and Northern Illinois to 147 yards on the ground.
I would expect Tech's offense to be able to bully Kansas' defense at times, seeing as they are currently holding down the number 120 spot for overall defense in the FBS.
The Back Of The Box: The Jayhawks will have four starting linebackers on Saturday in their 3-4 front. The unit has been the most productive stat wise thus far and is a mostly veteran group. Starting at the hybrid joker/buck linebacker spot will be 6-foot-2, 240-pound junior Toben Opurum. Opurum has 12 solo tackles, six assists, and one sack thus season. At weakside linebacker is 6-foot-1, 237-pound senior Steven Johnson. Johnson is the current defensive statistical leader with 17 solo tackles, 14 assists, and one forced fumble. At middle linebacker is 6-foot-3, 243-pound sophomore Darius Willis. Willis has eight solo tackles and six assists thus far. Finally, 5-foot-10, 215-pound fireplug Tunde Bakare will start at strong side linebacker. He has eight solo tackles and eight assists so far. The linebacker corp. is the most important unit in a 3-4 defense, in my opinion, and Kansas group has underwhelmed so far.
Again, the Kansas defense got housed by Georgia Tech, so Eric Stephens should have another good day on the ground and guys like Jace Amaro, Bradley Marquez, and Alex Torres should be able to get some mismatches in the midfield passing game against the Jayhawks.
In The Secondary: The Jayhawks secondary, like the linebacker corp., is a fairly experienced group. The two starting corners will be likely be 5-foot-11, 185-pound senior Isiah Barfield and 5-foot-11, 185-pound junior Greg Brown, the starting free safety will be 6-foot-2, 195-pound sophomore and former receiver Keeston Terry, and the strong safety will be 6-foot-1, 205-pound junior Bradley McDougald. McDougald is the statistical leader for Kansas' secondary with 12 solo tackles and three assists.
The secondary has yet to log an interception on the year gave up over 300 passing yards to both McNeese State and Northern Illinois. They held Georgia Tech to 164 passing yards, but when you give up over 600 on the ground, then why even pass? Kansas secondary members have been nothing but warm bodies so far against two also-rans in McNeese State, an FCS school, and NIU, an average non BCS team, so I would think that Seth Doege and his buddies at outside receiver could be primed for a monster day.
Kansas Alumni In The NFL: WR Dezmon Briscoe (Tampa Bay), OT Anthony Collins (Cincinnati), CB Chris Harris (Denver), WR Kerry Meier (Atlanta), FB Moran Norris (San Francisco), DB Darrell Stuckey (San Diego), CB Aqib Talib (Tampa Bay).