STILLWATER, OK - OCTOBER 8: Running back James Sims #29 of Kansas University rushes up field during the first half against Oklahoma State on October 8, 2011 at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Oklahoma State defeated Kansas 70-28. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
As I write this, Oklahoma is sitting as a 36 point favorite heading into Saturday night against the Kansas Jayhawks. So, to sit here and try and convince you this will be anything other than win for our Sooners would be rather foolish. Knowing that, we'll try and give you a little insight to our opponent this week (heck, we needed to do it just to familiarize ourselves with KU).
What the Jayhawks 2-3 record may be hiding from you is that this team has a pretty darn good offense. We know Oklahoma has an explosive offense, we're currently ranked #6 in total offense, but what you probably didn't know is that Kansas is ranked #24. They are #18 in rush offense, which is clearly a sign of how they get a majority of their yards. Now that said, this will EASILY be the best defense they will have faced thus far so certainly we as OU fans would like to think the yards won't come quite as easy. So it will be key for the front four/seven to show up ready to play, so basically exactly the opposite of what we saw in the Missouri game.
Much like OU (at least before Dom Whaley burst onto the scene), they will do so with a combination of backs led by James Sims as well as Darrian Miller and Tony Pierson. If given the opportunity, say by possibly getting an early lead maybe, KU will look to run the ball early and often if for no other reason to try and keep the OU offense off the field.
At quarterback, the Jayhawks have a pretty athletic kid in Jordan Webb. He isn't the most dynamic passer or runner, but he can do both when called upon. Webb isn't a guy who will kill you with his legs, but he is athletic enough to scramble to pick up positive yards or break the occasional run when need be. He's pretty efficient though the air, near seventy percent completion rate, but doesn't possess an exceptionally strong arm. He's been fairly safe with his throws so far, but he does have five interceptions through their first five games. I wouldn't be surprised at all if he adds to that in the multiple variety Saturday night. If things go as expected, you have to figure KU could be playing from behind and if Webb if forced to throw repeatedly you can bet the OU secondary will be looking to make some big plays on the football.
The names to know on the end of those Webb passes are D.J. Beshears, Tim Biere, and Kale Pick. Beshears is the Jayhawks leading receiver and easily their biggest threat at WR. He's not a big guy (5'9" 180), so a lot of what he is going to do will be in a similar role to that of Ryan Broyles (though to a much, much, much lesser extent). They'll try to get him involved on some short passes, also to get Webb's confidence up, and the ball in space so he can make some plays. However, he'll have his hands full whether he's going up against Jamell Fleming or Demontre Hurst as both should be able to handle the match-up quite well. Biere is a TE and one of the more talented ones in the Big XII. He's proven to be a favorite target of Webb's, kind of his security blanket over the middle of the field. He'll be a test for either the Sooners LBs or safeties, whoever draws the assignment on a particular play. Finally, in the role of a Kerry Meier, Pick is a former QB turned WR. Obviously quite an athlete to be able to make the transition, Pick is another guy who can make plays in the short passing game if given space.
No disrespect intended to any KU visitors we may have, but there is really no point in breaking down the Jayhawks defense. Here is what you as an OU fan need to know about the KU defense. They suck. No really, they really suck. They're currently #120 out of 120 D-I teams in total defense, allowing an average of 556 yards of total offense per game. They're on a historically bad pace and there is no reason whatsoever to believe that with all the Sooners have on offense that we see anything but another monster game for Landry and company. Sorry KU fans, but I sincerely doubt I'm telling you anything you didn't already know.