Gameday Preview - McNeese State - 9/3/2011


It’s finally here.  The long wait is over and college football season is upon us.  Now, there are many fans out there who have cause to be much more excited about their teams than KU fans, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to get excited about.  Seeing the development of the QB position, whether it’s Jordan Webb developing, Mike Cummings taking over, or Brock Berglund having the open door for 2012 it should be interesting.  On top of that, seeing the development of freshmen like Anthony Pierson, Darian Miller, and the next steps taken by Huldon Tharp, Darius Willis, etc. will also be good to follow as well.

But that’s big picture, we’re gonna focus on the immediate picture here.  Let’s get it out of the way and say that this should be a win.  McNeese State is an FCS team and KU should have way more talent.  Now, we said the same thing about North Dakota State last year and we all know how that turned out.  I don’t imagine that will happen again, but KU will have to prove as much by taking this game and putting it away early.

McNeese State:

McNeese St. has a solid running game in their favor.  With Andre Anderson at running back, a strong veteran for the Cowboys who finished last season with a few very solid outings and mobile QB Cory Straud could wreak havoc on a KU run defense that ranked one of the worst in the country last season.  While not an offensive juggernaut, if KU doesn’t have their defensive woes from 2010 shored up then they could give the ‘Hawks some trouble.

McNeese state doesn’t have the greatest defense but KU’s offense isn’t scaring anybody at this point so if KU wants to win they will have to play stout D, keep their offense on the field and wear down the Cowboys with their depth and superior talent.

5 Things to Watch For:

1)      How Jordan Webb does at QB – How QB goes is how KU’s season will go so if KU wants a chance a making a run at a respectable season they MUST get better play at the QB position.  This is one of the most interesting storylines all season to see what happens at QB.

2)      Who gets the carries at RB – All indications point to James Sims being the leader at RB but all the carries aren’t promised to him.  Turner Gill will show a good indication of his thoughts on the RB situation by how many carries Sims, Darian Miller, and Anthony Pierson get.

3)      Improvement at the LB corps – With the return of Huldon Tharp and the beginning of the Darius Willis era at LB means that this should be a strength of the Jayhawks.  Seeing how these two play and the LB corps improves will go a long way towards seeing if KU truly can have a better season.

4)      Offensive Line play – One of the biggest issues from the 2010 team was the lack of solid offensive line play.  With the return of Jeff Spikes the offensive line should improve on top of having another year of experience and chemistry with each other.

5)      Secondary play – The secondary is one of the areas that hasn’t been talked about a lot because it is viewed as one of the strengths of the team.  If they are able to play at the high level we all think then that will go a long way towards KU improving their defensive woes.

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Tags: College Football Kansas Jayhawks KU Football McNeese State

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