Kansas football must do these two things to beat Kansas State…

Quarterback Jett Duffey #7 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders carries the ball as Gavin Potter #19 of Kansas football defends during the game. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Quarterback Jett Duffey #7 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders carries the ball as Gavin Potter #19 of Kansas football defends during the game. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

The Jayhawks have a test this week against #22 Kansas State, who just beat Oklahoma. The Wildcats dominate a couple of aspects of the game, and Kansas football will have to shut them down to win the Sunflower Showdown.

Looking at Kansas State’s win over Oklahoma, a few numbers immediately jump out. Ths Sooners outgained the Wildcats in total offensive yards, the Sooners committed two fatal turnovers, and Kansas State dominated the time of possession: 38:08 to 21:52. So what does all of this mean for Kansas football this Saturday?

In addition to winning the turnover battle, the Jayhawks must find a way to stop the Kansas State offense. Look, the Kansas offense is good. Offensive coordinator Brent Dearmon has quarterback Carter Stanley playing at a high level, but he’s no Jalen Hurts (still, Carter for Heisman). The Oklahoma offense totaled 497 yards and scored 41 points, but still came up short because the Sooner defense couldn’t stop the Wildcats’ ground and pound style.

Against Oklahoma, Kansas State scored every single touchdown by running the ball. That’s right, in 2019, the Wildcats won a football game without passing for a single touchdown. Despite being one-dimensional, the system seems to work well, with the Wildcats amassing exactly 213 yards both through the air and on the ground. It’s almost the opposite of Kansas football, which lives for the big play.

The Jayhawk front-seven is going to have to step up big time this week if Kansas is going to get the win. If it isn’t obvious by now, Kansas State is good at running the ball. Here’s the problem: the Kansas defense is ranked number 123 in run defense according to the NCAA. If the Jayhawks come out and play like their ranking indicates, Kansas State might posses the ball for 40 minutes, totally taking the Kansas offense out of the game.

Kansas is going to need a big game from true freshman linebacker Gavin Potter, who stepped in to replace Dru prox earlier this season. Potter has already shown that he can play, with a stellar performance a few weeks ago vs. Texas. Overall, it’s going to take a huge effort from the front-seven, and the game’s outcome may very well depend on them.

Another way Kansas can try to offset the Wildcats’ time of possession would be creating turnovers. The Kansas defense has been struggling to generate turnovers this season, only totaling eight on the year thus far. Last week, a last-second turnover proved to be the difference in the game so Kansas football should know just how huge turnovers can be.

Related Story. The Jayhawks are still widely disrespected, and that’s good. light

This is a huge game for both programs, with the winner getting an advantage for in-state recruiting. Not only that, but the fact that Kansas football hasn’t beat Kansas State in 10 years is ridiculous. Les Miles said “It’s time” on Miles to Go this week, and he is 100% correct. If the Jayhawks are going to win the Sunflower Showdown, they must stop the Kansas State run game and force turnovers.