The Bear Essentials
This story originally published on Phog.net
(Steve Puppe photo)
(Steve Puppe photo)
Phog.net Senior Writer
Posted Nov 3, 2012


KU has four more games to salvage the season and get its first Big 12 win since beating Colorado in 2010.

It won’t be easy, though, with three of those four games on the road. The Jayhawks (1-7, 0-5 Big 12) next chance at a “W” comes Saturday when they head to Waco, Texas, to play Baylor (3-4, 0-4), who is also winless in Big 12 play.

Kickoff is 2:30 p.m. at Floyd Casey Stadium on FSN.

Kansas is coming off a heartbreaking 21-17 loss to No. 23 Texas last Saturday. The Jayhawks led the majority of the game until Texas tied it, 14-14, with 9:41 remaining before the Longhorns scored the game-winning touchdown with 12 seconds left.

Baylor, meanwhile, is trying to bounce back after a 35-21 loss at Iowa State. The Bears, who won their first three games, have now lost four straight.

BU features an explosive offense which ranks No. 1 in the nation in passing (395.7 ypg), No. 3 in total offense (569.4 ypg), and No. 7 in scoring (44.1 ppg) and pass efficiency (167.6).

The Bears boast the nation’s most potent quarterback-receiver duo in Nick Florence and Terrence Williams. Florence leads the country in total offense (414.1 ypg) andpassing yards (378.9 ypg), while ranking third nationally in points responsible for with 22.3 points per game.

Williams is a dynamic playmaker who leads the nation with an eye-popping 171.0 receiving yards per game and 20.1 yards per catch while ranking fourth with 8.6 receptions per contest. Fellow receiver Lanear Sampson has a current reception streak of 37 straight games, tied for the second-longest active streak nationally while Tevin Reese is tied for 11th with his reception streak of 30 games.

KU coach Charlie Weis knows there is much to fear in Baylor’s offensive attack, especially containing Florence and Williams.

“(Florence has) got a very accurate arm and he throws his deep ball as good as anyone I’ve seen on the college level,” Weis said. “He’s (also) not afraid to pull it and run it on the read option.”

And Williams?

“Terrance Williams is probably as good as I’ve seen. I think he’ll be a high draft pick. That 172 yards per game average is not by accident,” Weis said.

Baylor, a big-play team and quick-strike offense (BU has averaged 35.5 yards on 23 passing touchdowns this season, including six of 50 yards or longer while also scoring 14 TDs on drives of one minute or less, and 23 touchdowns in two minutes or fewer) will try to keep KU on its heels in its spread passing attack.

“Their wide receivers sometimes will be split a yard from the sideline. So they make you cover the entire width of the field, which is kind of unique and I haven’t seen people use that same type of approach,” Weis said.

While Baylor’s offense is what everyone talks about, BU has struggled defensively this year. The Bears have given up 42.7 points per game, allowing 70 points at West Virginia on Sept. 29 in a 70-63 loss, and giving up 56 points at Texas on Oct. 20 in a 56-50 setback.

But Weis said Baylor’s defense is better than those numbers indicate.

“Everyone wants to talk about their offensive firepower and the fact that the defense gives up a lot of points, but realistically the defense is on the field a lot, because the offense scores real quick,” Weis said. “Their circumstance is that they’re on the field about every two minutes and they’re back on the field again.”

A big key for Kansas is creating turnovers on Saturday. BU turned the ball over just once in its first three wins before committing 16 turnovers in its last four losses.

“If we’re going to have chance to win, we’re going to need turnovers,” Weis said.

KU will be bolstered by the return of senior receiver Daymond Patterson, who’s missed the last two games with a head injury. Patterson is tied for first on the team with 19 receptions for 160 yards. Weis said Tuesday that he “couldn’t render a guess on what packages he’ll be in and what he wouldn’t be in until after I see him out there (in practice).”

But Weis knows what a healthy Patterson brings to the team.

“He’s one of the most experienced guys you have; experienced guys know the tricks of the trade like how to get open versus press coverage,” Weis said.

The Jayhawk players feel they are close to turning the corner after playing with the “big boys” like then-No. 15 TCU on Sept. 15 (KU lost 20-6), Oklahoma State on Oct. 13 (KU lost 20-14) and most recently Texas last Saturday.

But Weis insists playing a team close isn’t good enough. The Jayhawks need a victory after seven straight losses.

And he’s hoping that “W” finally comes against Baylor, a team KU hasn’t beaten since 2007.

“I think a win helps validate all the hard work and effort they (players) have been doing,” Weis said. “No matter what everyone sees about games getting closer, improvement and everything, you can’t believe you’ve truly turned a corner until you have something more definite to show from it. So I think that winning is very, very important.”


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