November 09, 2012
By Adam Rosen
1. MAKE KANSAS THROW THE BALL
It's not any type of secret that Kansas wants to run the ball on offense and you can't blame them for that. Despite how it may appear to the naked eye, I can assure you Dayne Crist and Michael Cummings are not using their opposite hand to throw the football, they're just that bad.
The Jayhawks are on pace to become the least accurate passing offense since Colorado posted a completion percentage of 46.7 percent in the 2006 season. With a 48.2 percent completion rate from their quarterbacks this season, Kansas currently sits at 122nd overall in the country in this regard.
Everything about their passing game is statistically horrible. Kansas is 121st in QB rating, 115th in passing YPG, 112th in explosive passing plays over 20 yards and, as mentioned by Chris Level, Jayhawk quarterbacks have only thrown four touchdowns this season, none of them to wide receivers.
The weather on game day is expected to produce 20-30 mph winds with gust around 35-40 mph. If the wind possibly affected one of the nation's most accurate passers in Geno Smith, I can only imagine what will happen if the Jayhawk quarterbacks are forced to throw the ball on Saturday.
2. PUT THEM AWAY EARLY
I wouldn't really consider this a trap game given the current nature of the Jayhawk football program. However, the Red Raiders need to make sure they come into this game with a businesslike approach, similar to their non-conference slate: get in, get it done and get the heck out of there.
Last season in Lawrence, Texas Tech was down 20-0 in a blink of an eye before they finally woke up to put the Jayhawks away by going on a 45-14 run to finish the game. However, that was on their home turf where they've been much more competitive, especially this season, averaging only an eight point margin of defeat against Big 12 foes.
Unfortunately for Charlie Weis and his players, this is a road game and the Jayhawks are averaging about a 37 point margin of defeat away from home in conference play this season.
On the road, the Kansas football program has been so inept over the past few years, it's a surprise they're even allowed to return home to Lawrence. The last time the Jayhawks won a Big 12 road was in October of the 2008 season when they beat an Iowa State team that finished winless in conference play.
All factors considered, this is a game Tech could easily come out sleep walking. However, Kansas is a team that is yet to score over 17 points against a Big 12 opponent this season (not even against Baylor!) and rarely scores in the second half. Tech can all but put them away if they come out firing on all cylinders early in the game and put them away by halftime.
3. KANSAS ROAD TURNOVERS
Continuing on the thread of the Jayhawks' extreme road struggles, the turnover margin parallels their results of getting blown out against Big 12 opponents. Kansas' total turnover differential sits at minus one for the season, which puts them in the middle of the pack at 66th best nationally.
The home and road splits are drastically different for Charlie Weis' team. In five home games, Kansas is plus seven in the turnover margin and hasn't lost a turnover battle in a single game this season. The turnover margin has been far worse, where it sits at a minus eight in the Jayhawks' four road games this season.
The lack of turnovers continues to be the black eye of the formidable Tech defense this season. It would be a huge stretch to suggest Tech can't win this without creating turnovers, but this could be a favorable matchup to get a good taste of turnovers in the mouth of Tech defenders heading forward onto bigger and better things.