Is Kansas Football Any Better This Year?
The short answer to, "Is Kansas any good?" is generally a resounding, "No."
This year though, it's more like, "Uh, well, no, but..."
The improvement mostly comes in the form of a freshman running back Pooka Williams who is arguably the best running back in the conference. Definitely among the best. In just five games, Williams has 539 yards and four touchdowns. That is good enough for 2nd in the Big 12, better than David Montgomery of Iowa State and Justice Hill of Oklahoma State.
The other ingredient of Kansas Football being palatable this season is the Jayhawk secondary, which leads the Big 12 with 11 interceptions and is 5th in the conference only giving up 224 yards per game.
The Jayhawks still don't have the depth or firepower of a good Big 12 team but they have talented pieces. Joe Dineen Jr. is one of the leading tacklers in the conference. His 53 solo tackles actually leads the Big 12. We already mentioned Williams and the Secondary. The thing that Kansas is really missing is a quality quarterback.
The Jayhawks have several signal callers who have seen snaps this season but none of them have excelled against a Big 12 defense. If you like a balanced attack, the Jayhawks have almost equal yardage in the passing and rushing games. Which isn't necessarily a positive.
Texas Tech, on the other hand, finally has depth on the defensive side of the football. They have depth at the running back position. Depth on the offensive line. The receiver position is thin-ish but hasn't been a huge problem, though TJ Vasher has certainly been missed. Even quarterback has a certain amount of depth, though I think Alan Bowman has certainly been missed in the passing game. Jett Duffey, however, is 1-0 after beating TCU in Fort Worth and will likely own the game as the starter with Alan Bowman still recovering from his partially collapsed lung.
With all that being said, Texas Tech is still favored big in Las Vegas with the Jayhawks coming to Lubbock as 18 point underdogs. That may not seem like a huge line for the Red Raiders over Kansas but in 2018, the Jayhawks aren't the pushover that they have been billed as in the past.
I think Texas Tech covers late with a Big defensive performance in the second half from Dakota Allen and company.
I'll take the Red Raiders 41-13 as the Red Raiders get most of their scoring on the ground and Clayton Hatfield does the rest with a couple of field goals.
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