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Dawg Preview: #19 Kansas Jayhawks Look to Continue Hot Streak vs Texas Tech



The #19 Kansas Jayhawks look to continue building off their recent big wins over Oklahoma and Iowa State with another contest at home versus the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The Jayhawks will need to win out in order to give them the best chance possible at a Big 12 Championship berth and have every shot to do so with how they've been playing as of late. The Red Raiders have had a disappointing year to this point after being picked to finish highly in the preseason Big 12 polls, however should not be overlooked, especially after a nice win over in-state rival TCU last week. Let's take a look.


Broadcast Info:

Date: Saturday, November 11th, 2023

Time: 12:00 pm EST

Where: David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, Kansas

TV: FS1

Calling: Eric Collins and Devin Gardner

Radio: Jayhawk Sports Radio Network 810AM (Kansas), Double T 97.3 (Texas Tech)


Betting Line:

Kansas -4.0

Over/Under: 62.5



Tale of the Tape: Kansas Jayhawks

The Jayhawks are coming off a big win that moved them to their first winning record in over a decade, but they've got loftier goals to achieve this year. This team is not done winning and will need another statement performance as many are still not taking this program seriously. Perhaps it was the decade-plus of complete ineptitude, but the Jayhawks do have something great with Lance Leipold and company. Starting with their offense, the Jayhawks face a front seven that will be formidable, but not unbeatable, especially with the backfield Kansas has. Devin Neal and Daniel Hishaw have been the best running back tandem in the Big 12 this year and Tech really hasn't faced a backfield much like them, so running the ball as scheduled shouldn't be an issue. However, the Jayhawks may want to air it out more this game. The Kansas passing attack has promise and just handled arguably the best secondary in the conference with relative ease, going up against a Texas Tech secondary that has been very weak to this point and a defense that has forced a mere 10 turnovers this year should be easy money for this explosive and balanced offensive attack. How much of what you've shown the past two weeks (with some variation of course, given that the Red Raiders DO watch film), impose your will along the offensive line, be balanced in your attack, and you should be just fine.



Defensively, running back Tahj Brooks is the biggest threat. The Kansas run defense is the weakest link of this team, and while they've had success these past two weeks Brooks is the best back they've faced since Ollie Gordon II three weeks ago. The Kansas defensive front needs to keep him contained and he will be the focus, but Tech may also have a passing attack that could test this Kansas secondary. While starter Tyler Shough is out with a broken leg, his backup Behren Morton showed out last week versus TCU, throwing for 28/36 for 282 yards and two touchdowns in HIS return from injury. Tech has had a tough year with injuries and with getting a passing game going because of that, but they may be finding their mojo with Morton. Kansas needs to contain and hold their water, as well as force a turnover or two against a team they should have no problems forcing them against, to win comfortably, otherwise the Red Raiders could make this a shootout. Kansas is tied for most defensive touchdowns in the country right now and has absolute ballhawks in the defensive backfield, so containing the run game needs to be the major key.



Tale of the Tape: Texas Tech Red Raiders


Texas Tech has dealt with a lot this year. Injuries, too many mistakes, and overall just too many bad breaks have been the story of this Red Raider squad this year, and now, they're one loss away from being all but eliminated from bowl eligibility, barring a miracle of course. However, if there was ever a time to start a turnaround, it would be this game. After the performance these Red Raiders showed against TCU, there's an inkling of confidence, and that may be all they need. Offensively, Quarterback Behren Morton, when healthy, has shown he can be a good passer and get the ball downfield, but the story is Tahj Brooks for Texas Tech. Brooks's top rushing performances have all resulted in Texas Tech wins, and has had success against stout defenses such as Kansas State and Oregon. Getting the running game going early should be the biggest key to the game for the Red Raiders, as the Kansas run defense has a lot of holes. Expose the weak defensive play in the middle of the field and make the Jayhawks cheat up to open up some opportunities downfield. Brooks has the opportunity to blow this game wide open if he can get going, however, Kansas is turnover-hungry and has been on a hot streak recently. Possession is imperative and Tech cannot make any mistakes, a big ask for a team with the 115th-ranked turnover margin in the nation.




This stat matters on defense as well, as you need to force Jason Bean into making mistakes if you have any shot at winning this. With Bean's confidence at an all-time high after solid performances in back-to-back games, that's another big ask, especially with the secondary you have. 68th in interceptions as well as 75th in passing yards allowed don't bode well when facing a confident quarterback, however, they do have a front seven that has been a bright spot on this team that can get to Bean. Jaylong Hutchings and Myles Cole have been excellent in getting to the quarterback and getting pressure. If the defensive line can fluster Bean and put a dent in that confidence, we've already seen what that can do to Bean's performance. This is a guy who can crumble if he faces too much pressure, but you'll have to get past a very strong and experienced Kansas offensive line. Speaking of that, containing the run will also need to be of utmost importance. Kansas has faced some strong defensive fronts and embarrassed them, they ran for almost 400 yards against what's normally a very stout UCF front seven. Allow them to get going, and this game is over before it even starts.



Final Score Prediction and Conclusion

Texas Tech faces an uphill battle. The line doesn't reflect truly how lopsided this game could get if Kansas shows what they've shown these past two games, however, they do have to be careful in not overlooking this Red Raider team and coming out flat. The Jayhawks do have their bitter rivals in the Kansas State Wildcats next week, a matchup they could already be looking to, but they have to get past this squad first. A squad that has a strong running game is Kansas's biggest fear, and Tech has a strong running game. They need to be careful and just continue consistency in play, otherwise, this game will be tight all the way through and Texas Tech may pull off a shocker. They also can't get complacent, because we almost saw what happens when teams get comfortable with a big lead last week when Iowa State almost made their way back. For now, though, Kansas wins this by two possessions at least.


Final Score: Kansas 31-Texas Tech 17





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