Big 12 Coaches Teleconference - Turner Gill

Fresh off a bye week, the Kansas Jayhawks have begun preparation for the opening of Big 12 play. For Head Coach Turner Gill's squad, that means the undefeated Texas Tech Red Raiders. Monday, the second-year Kansas head coach took part in the weekly Big 12 coaches teleconference, to preview the Tech game and provide an injury update on his own team.

Red Raiders offense a formidable - and balanced - challenge

Former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach had a reputation for eschewing the run in favor of Playstation-esque passing yardage, but it appears as if Tommy Tuberville's influence is already being felt in Lubbock, Texas.

Through three games, the Red Raiders rank 9th in the country in passing yards per game (338.7) but are also getting it done on the ground at 184.7 yards per game - good for 38th nationally.

"I think they showed they're capable of doing that," Gill said, of running the football. "I think they can beat you both ways - being able to run the ball and also being able to throw the ball."

Gill pleased with Bye Week progress

Following the Week 3 drubbing at the hands of Georgia Tech on the road, it appears as if the bye week was just what the doctor ordered for the Jayhawks. Gill was pleased with his team's energy and focus.

"Definitely was energetic, in-tune to getting better, really in-tune to talking football and doing things to try and become better as a football team," he said. "That's all we can ask for. So we're getting better as a team and we've just got to improve every single week, because as we all know in the Big 12 conference every opponent is a very, very good football team."

Key players returning from injury

The week off also helped the Jayhawks in the health department, and it is expected that two injured athletes will return to the playing field.

Senior defensive tackle Patrick Dorsey, a starter for most of his junior campaign, has yet to play a snap after suffering a pre-season injury. It's a big get for a defense whose line lost one of its keystones when nose guard John Williams went down for the season with torn ACL in Week Two.

"I anticipate him to play," Gill said. "He's done well practicing right now. As long as he doesn't have any setbacks, we anticipate him to play. How much? We'll just see how it goes."

Also returning is freshman wide receiver JaCorey Shepherd, who made a splash in his collegiate debut in the Jayhawks' opening week victory over McNeese State, going for more than 100 yards and two touchdowns. Shepherd was injured versus Northern Illinois, and sat out the Georgia Tech game.

"He's the same way," Gill said. "I think everything is on schedule for him to play, so long as he doesn't have any setbacks he'll be ready to play too." Top Stories