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First Look: The Kansas Jayhawks

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With the Red River Rivalry fading away in the rear view mirror the Sooners are Kansas bound this weekend to take on the struggling Jayhawks. Actually "struggling" may be a generous word when describing the Jayhawk footballers because they're giving away points like Grandma Smith gives away candy on Halloween night. Only once this season have the Jayhawks given away less than 42 points and that was against McNeese State. Since that game they've given away 42, 66, 45 and 70 points.  

Kansas is currently riding a three game losing streak in which they're losing by an average score of 60-29. With five teams remaining on the schedule that are currently ranked in the Top 25 the future looks a bit bleak for the Jayhawks. 

Jayhawks Football Schedule

McNeese St. Sat 09/03 W 42 - 24
Northern Illinois Sat 09/10 W 45 - 42
@ Georgia Tech Sat 09/17 L 24 - 66
Texas Tech Sat 10/01 L 34 - 45
@ Oklahoma St. Sat 10/08 L 28 - 70
Oklahoma Sat 10/15 8:15 PM CDT
Kansas St. Sat 10/22 11:00 AM CDT
@ Texas Sat 10/29 TBA
@ Iowa St. Sat 11/05 TBA
Baylor Sat 11/12 TBA
@ Texas A&M Sat 11/19 2:30 PM CST
Missouri Sat 11/26 11:00 AM CST

Part of the problem with the offense has been keeping quarterback Jordan Webb upright. Through the first five games of the season he's been sacked nine times. When he's able to pass he completes 68.4% of his throws for an average of 226 yards per game. He's thrown 11 touchdowns to 5 interceptions. 

Passing Rushing Sacks
G Rating Comp Att Pct Yds Y/G Y/A TD INT Rush Yds Y/G Avg TD Sack YdsL
2011 - Jordan Webb 5 103.0 80 117 68.4 1130 226 9.7 11 5 34 28 5.6 .800 1 9 -56

Webb's favorite two targets have been D.J. Beshears and Tim Biere who have 19 receptions each. Beshears is averaging 13.5 yards per reception and has two touchdowns while Biere is averaging 12.4 yards per catch with one touchdown. However, another player to watch is freshman JaCorey Shepherd who is averaging 27.3 yards per reception and has three touchdowns. 

Rushing Receiving
G Rush Yds Y/G Avg TD Rec Yds Y/G Avg TD
2011 - James Sims 5 91 380 76 4.2 5 7 101 20.2 14.4 0

The star of the offense, and thus the focal point for any defense, is running back James Sims who is averaging 4.0 yards per carry. Not only is he dangerous rushing the ball he also has the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and has the skills to make something happen once he's caught it. He averages almost 20 touches per game which means the propensity for some play-action passing is going to be there.

Defense is a huge liability for the Jayhawks. At 49.4 points and 556 yards per game there isn't a Big 12 team that surrenders more in either of those categories than Kansas. Opposing quarterbacks are completing 73% of their passes for an average of 333 yards per game. KU has given up 16 passing touchdowns this season while only snagging one interception. The only team to surrender more passing yards this season is Texas A&M. 

Against the rush they're not any better. Kansas gives up a Big 12 worst 6.2 yards per carry to their opponents and their 18 rushing touchdowns allowed are a conference worst as well. The Jayhawks are giving up an average of 223.2 yards per game on the ground.