1. Run defense
Kansas’ lousy defense against the run has ultimately led to their two losses this season. They allowed 336 yards on 6.6 yards per carry to Texas and 218 on 5.7 yards per carry.
There are several factors that go into play when taking their struggles into consideration. Their defensive tackles are not stuffing gaps, and the linebacker core has struggled to shed blocks and get into the backfield.
The Jayhawks have two of the three top rushing offenses in the Big 12 remaining on their schedule. K-State leads the conference in rushing yards (1,629) and rushing touchdowns (20). Meanwhile, Cincinnati averages 214.9 rushing yards per game, albeit with a 0-4 record in league play.
Chris Klieman and the Wildcats look even more dangerous on the ground with the emergence of dual-threat quarterback Avery Johnson. KU might be able to get away with allowing some big gains against lesser opponents like Cincinnati and Texas Tech, but if it doesn’t improve by the time K-State comes into Lawrence, poor rushing defense could be the downfall of the 2023 Kansas football season.