Here is everything you need to know ahead of the matchup between the BYU Cougars and the Kansas Jayhawks.
Saturday, September 23; 2:30 p.m. CT; David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium; Lawrence, Kansas
Radio: Jayhawk Radio Network (Brian Hanni, David Lawrence, Brandon McAnderson); BYU Radio (Greg Wrubell, Hans Olsen, Mitchell Juergens)
Records: BYU (3-0); Kansas (3-0)
Rankings: BYU, Kansas Both Receiving Votes (AP)
Series History: Kansas leads, 1-0-0
Last Meeting: Kansas 23, BYU 20 (1992)
Line: Kansas (-9.5)
Fun Fact: BYU vs. Kansas is one of eight meetings between undefeated teams on Saturday, joining:
- Rutgers at 2 Michigan
- 19 Colorado at 10 Oregon
- 22 UCLA at 11 Utah
- 14 Oregon State at 21 Washington State
- 6 Ohio State at 9 Notre Dame
- 24 Iowa at 7 Penn State
- Memphis vs. Missouri
QB Kedon Slovis
BYU quarterback Kedon Slovis was serviceable against Arkansas last week, and if he can be just that for the Cougars, they should have a chance to win most of their games. Despite completing just 52% of his attempts and being sacked three times, Slovis took care of the football and tossed two touchdowns in their 38-31 win. Against Kansas, who has a high-flying offense of its own, Slovis will likely need to be a little more efficient to win this one.
DE Tyler Batty
Undoubtedly the best defender at BYU’s disposal, Tyler Batty will try and make his presence felt when the KU offense is on the field. Batty leads the Cougars with 2.5 sacks and 3.0 tackles for loss through three games and also has one forced fumble and fumble recovery. If the BYU defensive line is going to affect Jalon Daniels, it will likely begin and end with Batty having a big performance on the road.
QB Jalon Daniels
Despite missing the season opener, Jalon Daniels has picked up right where he left off last season. Through two games, Daniels has completed 75.0% of his attempts for 575 yards and two touchdowns to one interception. Last week, he was efficient on the road, but failed to get a touchdown on the board. This week, back in the confines of The Booth, I expect Daniels to have a big game in their Big 12 opener.
DB Kenny Logan Jr.
As the leader of the Kansas secondary, Kenny Logan Jr. brings a plethora of experience and production back to the Jayhawks’ defense in ’23. Logan leads KU with 19 tackles through three games and has also recorded a forced fumble on the year. With BYU likely needing to keep pace with Kansas in this game, I expect Kedon Slovis to have to throw the football. Kenny Logan Jr. and Co. might be busy on Saturday.
Can the Cougars keep pace with the Kansas offense? Arkansas outgained BYU 424-281 in last week’s contest, but the Cougars won the turnover battle 2-1 and came out on top. The Jayhawks offense is one of the most underrated units in the country and should be among the most productive in the country again this year. If that is the case on Saturday, we will need to see the BYU offense rise to the challenge on the road once again.
Can the Kansas defense make enough stops to win the game? This is a battle of undefeated teams, and both of them are at least somewhat battle-tested with wins against Illinois and Arkansas. There’s more on the line this time though, as this will count towards their conference record. Before last week, the KU defense had played above expectations, and if they get back to that in Week 4, it will bode well for their chances.
PREDICTION: Kansas 31, BYU 23
This is BYU’s first Big 12 game in school history, and it comes against a team that was previously nothing more than a doormat in this conference. However, if Cougars’ fans are basing their predictions on historical success, they’ll likely be disappointed with the outcome. Since Lance Leipold took over in Lawrence, this has been a different team, and I believe a strong running game and performance from Jalon Daniels will propel them to 4-0 for the second straight season.