featured

Kansas Jayhawks Riding Hot Hand with College GameDay, TCU on Deck

What a time to be a Kansas Jayhawks fan! Coming off a National Championship in basketball and all anybody can talk about is their football team, who moved to 5-0 on the season after a hard-fought 14-11 victory over the Iowa State Cyclones. 

The win put Kansas atop the Big 12 standings at 2-0 in conference play and launched them into the Top 25 for the first time in 13 years. The Jayhawks landed at #19 in the latest Associated Press poll and #17 in the latest USA Today Coaches Poll. 

 

The Jayhawks have been so impressive early this season that ESPN’s College GameDay announced they were going to make the trip to Lawrence, Kansas this Saturday. The ESPN crew will do their show live before the 11:00 am kickoff between Kansas and TCU. This will be the first time College GameDay will visit KU’s campus for football. 

How did the Jayhawks squeak out that win over Iowa State on homecoming weekend? They were able to find a new way to win yet again. 

Early this season they won in a blowout over Tennessee Tech. Then against West Virginia, the Jayhawks were down by 14 before storming back and winning in overtime. Against Houston, they once again found themselves down by 14 before storming back and holding onto a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter. Against Duke, they led from the start but won a close game. 

 

The Jayhawk offense shined in each of those games and they were the reason they were winning those games. Jalon Daniels led the nation in QBR and he jumped into the Heisman race. Kansas had a top-five offense in the nation. They needed to score a lot of points to win. 

It was different against Iowa State. The defense took control of the game when the offense wasn’t able to get first downs. The defense set up the offense to score points, most notably when Cobee Bryant, the “Hawk Mamba”, intercepted a pass that set up the Jayhawks in the red zone. That led to a Jalon Daniels two-yard touchdown run and a 14-0 Kansas lead late in the second quarter. 

Iowa State was able to capitalize on a quick drive to get a touchdown before halftime and converted a strange two-point conversion that came off a botched snap. Iowa State added a field goal in the third quarter but that was the end of the scoring for either team. 

The Jayhawk’s defense continually stepped up to the occasion. They pushed the Cyclones so much that they went for it on fourth down five times throughout the game. Kansas held Iowa State to 5 of 18 on third downs. The Jayhawks were relentless in their pressure and sacked Cyclones quarterback Hunter Dekkers five times.

 

The Cyclones missed three field goals on the day, including a field goal in the final minute of the game. Ultimately that was the deciding factor, but the Kansas defense that held Iowa State to 11 total points was a big part of the story. 

The Jayhawks learned how to win in a new way last Saturday and that was behind a stingy defensive effort. They’ve now won in a blowout, an overtime game, a game which they fell behind, a game in which they commanded the lead the whole game offensively but won a close one, and a game in which they couldn’t get anything going offensively but controlled the game on the defensive end. This team has been tested about every way imaginable and they are still 5-0. 

Now it’s on to TCU. The Horned Frogs are coming to Lawrence with a 4-0 record and ranked !7 in the AP Poll and #19 in the Coaches Poll. They’re coming off a big home win where they blew out the Oklahoma Sooners 55-24. TCU’s offense couldn’t be slowed down and their defense knocked OU quarterback Dillon Gabriel out of the game. 

TCU will be tough at all levels and the Jayhawks will be put to the test offensively and defensively. The Horned Frogs are coming into the game as a seven-point favorite. The Jayhawks have been underdogs in each of their Big 12 matchups so far. 

The Jayhawks have sold out their last two home games and will be looking to sell out their third straight as College GameDay rolls into town on Saturday. The Booth, as David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium has been affectionately nicknamed, is set to be packed again. These Jayhawk fans are proving they will go all out for their football team just like they do for their basketball team. 

The Jayhawks have jumped into bowl game projections, and most publications have Kansas facing Texas A&M either in the Liberty Bowl or the Texas Bowl. The Liberty Bowl takes place in Memphis, Tennessee on Wednesday, December 28th at 4:30 pm CST. The Texas Bowl takes place in Houston on the same date, December 28th, at 8:00 pm CST. Jayhawk nation will show up in droves for either of those bowls, both within driving distance of the Lawrence and Kansas City area. 

TCU may be a seven-point road favorite, but the Jayhawks are 5-0 not only as their record but they are 5-0 against the spread. I don’t think the Cinderella story ends here. Kansas can beat TCU and in front of a packed house at The Booth, they may do just that. 

Kansas 34, TCU 31

To Top