at Lawrence, Kan. • Oct. 28 • TBA
Head Coach: Mark Mangino (5th season)
2005 Record: 7-5/3-5 Big 12 North
Series Record: 41-21-3
Despite losing nine starters, the Jayhawks are not expecting much of a drop off on the defensive side of the ball. The squad was 11th in the country in total defense last year, only allowing 303.3 yards per game, and third in the nation in rush defense, only allowing an astounding 83.3 yards per game. Anchored by a solid interior defense, the coaches will be able to free up some of the speed from the corners and safeties to do more.
The biggest question on defense will be at the linebacking position. All three starters have departed leaving the Jayhawks to reload. Expect good things out of LB's Eric Washington and Mike Rivera, as both turned in solid spring camps.
The offense returns seven starters and will be led by redshirt freshman QB Kerry Meier. Meier will be protected by an experienced and talented offensive line that should take some of the pressure off his shoulders. Who Meier will throw to remains the biggest question for the offense. WR Brian Murph returns but who will be behind him remains a question mark.
The ground game will be led by senior Jon Cornish and should be improved. If Meier can grow into this offense quickly and establish a rhythm with the receiving corps, look for one of the most explosive offenses of the Mangino era to develop.
The schedule plays out well for Kansas, five of the first seven at home, no matchups with Texas, Texas Tech or Oklahoma and a light non-conference schedule. The Jayhawks should be bowl bound once again.