It’s finally here. Week 1 of the college football season has arrived and the Kansas Jayhawks will be hosting Tennessee Tech in Lawrence, KS at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium on Friday at 7 pm.
The momentum has been building for the Kansas football program all offseason. 17 returning starters for the Jayhawks along with a Big 12 league-leading 19 transfers added through the transfer portal this offseason. There is plenty to be excited about heading into Week 1.
From head coach Lance Leipold’s statement of “we can’t play for moral victories” to the players on both sides of the ball hyping each other up, the first game of the season couldn’t come soon enough. Now we are here.
The excitement doesn’t also come without a bit of pause. There was an unfortunate incident which led two KU football players to be arrested last week, including one of their top returning wide receivers in Trevor Wilson. He will be suspended indefinitely while the legal situation gets resolved.
The expectation is Leipold and his staff will have the players who are on the sideline and suited up ready to roll. The next man up mentality is real within this program and the Jayhawks are ready to play with that attitude heading into the 2022 season.
Speaking of next man up, Kobe Baynes, the new offensive lineman transfer from Louisville, was granted immediate eligibility by the NCAA following a waiver request. Baynes will be able to play starting in Week 1.
It’s another piece to the puzzle in the offensive line depth, a unit that has grown quite a bit over the summer. It’s not just the transfers on the line, but the returning players physically grew after a strong summer of workouts in the weight room.
Now for the game itself. Friday night under the lights in Lawrence, Kansas. Tennessee Tech coming to town to take on the Kansas Jayhawks.
KU started as a 27.5 point favorite and the line has moved to the Jayhawks being a 28 point favorite. With an overhauled roster, and another season with Leipold as head coach, the Jayhawks should be ready to roll.
There’s a veteran offensive line to cinsider along with one of the best running back groups in the Big 12. The Jayhawks should ground and pound early and often in this one.
Jalon Daniels will be ready to throw the ball when called upon. The receiving group is a work in progress but there is some optimism surrounding this unproven group of players.
The defense should come out strong as well and it starts up front. The Jayhawks should be able to overmatch Tennessee Tech.
With transfers littered all over the defense, you may not recognize the names on the jerseys in Week 1 but you’ll get to know them. Guys like Lonnie Johnson Jr. coming off the edge and getting after the quarterback. You’ve got linebacker Craig Young who can play sideline to sideline and brings immediate playmaker abilities to the field.
Kalon Gervin and Monty McGary are cornerbacks who should immediately plug into the secondary. Marvin Grant and Jarrett Paul will also steady the depth on the back end of the secondary.
New faces at every level will give the defense a new-look and new-feel, which should give them an edge and help them build a strong unit as the season progresses.
The Kansas Jayhawks can start the season on a high note, and they should take advantage against an inferior Tennessee Tech team to kickoff the season.