Welcome back Jayhawk fans! A 2-0 start hasn’t happened in Lawrence since 2011 (and, as a pessimist would point out, in 2011, we started 2-0 and then dropped 11 straight). Optimism is rampant in Jayhawk-land after an awesome win in Morgantown, WV last week. The Jayhawks showed toughness, resilience, and heart…things that haven’t been seen in great quantities in the past decade of Jayhawk football. Without further ado…your Kansas Jayhawks vs Houston Cougars quicklook!
Kansas and Houston have met 3 times on the gridiron…1994, 1995, and 2005. Kansas has won all three games, playing the Cougars close in 94 and 95 under Glen Mason, then blowing them out early in the Mangino-era in 2005 (42-13).
Houston has accepted an offer to join the Big12 no later than 2024, so expect this series to heat up over the next decade.
With such a small amount of data and unfamiliarity with each other…expect a slow start from both teams as they feel each other out.
It doesn’t seem to matter to the betting experts that the Jawhawks have improved…they are 9 point underdogs vs the Cougars. The over/under is set at 57.5. Seems like easy money to take the Jayhawks and the over.
Oddsmakers still have the Jayhawks at the longest odds to win the Big12–so no respect for the Jayhawk resurgence. Most are predicting a Houston blowout of the Jayhawks. Ok fam…
Houston lost a 2 OT thriller last week to Texas Tech and won their season opener against UTSA in a 3OT thriller. Houston is definitely not a pushover–they have been tested and played hard in all 4 quarters of both games. UTSA is a rising team to watch…they rallied and beat Army last week after a disheartening loss to Houston.
Houston’s RB room has been depleted due to injuries and suspensions…3 of their top 5 RBs won’t dress for the Jayhawk game and their starter, Ta’Zhawn Henry, was dinged up last week and is questionable for this weeks game.
Kansas has avoided the injury bug so far…the only player not playing is Trevor Wilson, who remains suspended indefinitely.
Looking for more betting info? Check out Michael DiBernardo’s piece here (even though he picks Houston).
We are starting to understand who Kansas wants to be on offense. Last week’s option and inside-zone heavy look took advantage of WVU’s edge players. Jalon Daniels was excellent with his reads in the run game and passing attack, stretching the field vertically and horizontally. Daniels threw for 219 and 3 TDs and added another on the ground, running for 85 yds.
The Jayhawks continued to run the ball slightly more than they threw it and mixed up the carries across Devin Neal, Daniel Hinshaw, and Jalon Daniels. The three combined for 32 carries for 190 yds and 4 TDs last week.
Keep your eyes on Jalon Daniels…emerging a true dual-threat QB with an exciting future. Also watch out for Mason Fairchild who had a nice 10 yd TD grab last week. Quentin Skinner has emerged as Daniels’ favorite target in the passing game.
On defense, Rich Miller and Kenny Logan seemed to always be around the ball. Both are cornerstones of a tough Jayhawk defense and should be in double-digits for tackles in most games.
Houston Head Coach Dana Holgorson on the Jayhawk resurgence:
“This is a whole different animal,” Holgorsen said of the Jayhawks. “I mean this is a lot of offense, they’re really good up front. … “We’ve got our work cut out for us defensively. Offensively, we got to get better. These guys got good team speed in the secondary, they’re big up front and they play their tail off.”
Kansas Head Coach Lance Leipold on the WVU game:
“I thought we played well on on Saturday and showed some things we hadn’t before, by design. But I thought Andy and the offensive staff had a great plan and mixed it up very well. And more importantly is our guys executed pretty well. When you’re able to have that type of mixture, whether it be inside and outside running the ball, whether it be some play action passes. We’re able to get a few shots. You got a chance to be successful and it got us back in the game.”
Leipold on the Cougars 2022 team:
“You’re gonna be in a four quarter, could be four quarter plus obviously game with them,” Leipold said. “They’re highly dynamic. Heading into the season, they’re their team people talked about, as this year’s version of Cincinnati, of being a team in college football playoff. You can see that highly dynamic speed at all positions of importance. Size, offensive line an experienced quarterback who can keep plays alive, create plays with his feet. … So a lot of things that present a huge challenge for us and we’ll have to be ready to take another step.”
KU and Houston kick off at 3PM CST on Saturday. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU and will be played at the newly renovated TDECU stadium in Houston.
Calling the game will be Kevin Brown with Hutson Mason as the analyst.
After a 2-0 start, I predicted this game as a setback game. So far this season I am 2-0 vs the spread and 2-0 overall.
Week 3 is another away game at Houston. Houston went 10-2 last year, losing their season opener against Texas Tech, then winning 9 in a row before losing to Cincinnatti. They beat Auburn in the Birmingham Bowl to finish a great season. Close game, but Houston wins 37-35. Jayhawks 2-1.
It’s an exciting year in Lawrence and one that Jayhawk fans have been wanting for a long time. This game will be a great test against a very good Houston Cougar football team.
Anytime I watch Houston, I think of my friend Sam Hairston, a great Cougar Football player who was killed in Afghanistan in 2014. Here’s to you Sam and here’s to a great game!
Kansas Jayhawks vs Houston Cougars quicklook!
For More Great Football Content
Follow us on Twitter at @GridironHeroics for more great content. We appreciate you taking time to read our articles. To interact more with our community and keep up to date on the latest in Football news, JOIN OUR FREE FACEBOOK GROUP by CLICKING HERE