Here is everything you need to know about the Jayhawks upcoming game in our Kansas at Ohio preview.
Date: September 16th, 2017 | 11:00 a.m. CT kick off | Penden Stadium
TV: ESPNU (Clay Matvick (Play-by-play), Kirk Morrison (Analyst))
Radio: Jayhawk Radio Network (Brian Hanni (Play-by-play), David Lawrence (Analyst), Josh Klingler (Sideline)) / Sirius Ch. 125, XM Ch. 203
Quinton Maxwell/Nathan Rourke, quarterbacks
Maxwell and Rourke have split snaps over the first two games, a win over Hampton and a loss to Purdue. But against the Boilermakers, Rourke got significantly more playing time, throwing 23 passes to Maxwell’s six. Rourke is the JUCO transfer who has pushed the incumbent, Maxwell, since spring. Whoever is under center will look to expose a KU secondary that was torched last week by Central Michigan.
Quentin Poling, linebacker
The Bobcats lost Tarell Basham at defensive end. Basham was the MAC defensive player of the year. So now it’s Poling who has become the leader and arguably the best defender on the team, especially in a front seven that is made up of seven seniors. Poling had a rough outing against Purdue with only two tackles, so he will look to bounce back against KU.
Deron Thompson, running back
Thompson is the Wichita native who spent his first two seasons at Colorado State. He had 10 carries last week for 48 yards. As a team, the Jayhawks averaged over 5 yards per carry in the second half. David Beaty said he’d like to see more balance in the offense and getting Thompson the ball is a good place to start.
Mike Lee, safety
The Kansas secondary was torched on Saturday, allowing Shane Morris to throw for nearly 500 yards. This unit needs to get its act together and Mike Lee came in with big expectations after a solid freshman season. Now we have to see him take over that leadership role as well.
Balanced attack from Kansas
Peyton Bender threw 62 passes for Kansas on Saturday, yet only completed 32 of them. “We don’t want to throw the ball that much over running it,” David Beaty said after the loss. It’s interesting that while Doug Meacham, the current offensive coordinator at Kansas, was at TCU last season, Gary Patterson also complained about his team not running the ball enough. Let’s see if Meacham can make the adjustments in this week’s game plan with the likes of Deron Thompson and Dom Williams.
It’s the first road game of the season for KU. The road has been a horrible place for Kansas football. The last time the Jayhawks won on the road Texas was a national title contender, and Missouri, Colorado, Texas A&M and Nebraska were all in the Big 12. The date to be exact: September 12th, 2009 against UTEP. Absolutely mind boggling.
Ohio 31, Kansas 28
The Jayhawks lost at home last week to a team picked to finish near the bottom of the West Division in the MAC. Now they have to go on the road to play a MAC team picked to win the division. The good news is that Ohio doesn’t want to fling it around the field, so this will be more of a test for the KU run defense. We will see how they hold up, but my gut tells me, not too good.