As far as the schedule goes, the bye week came at a perfect time for Kansas. Even with increased momentum since Clint Bowen took over as a coach, a break is always good for health purposes, both physically and mentally.
With the break behind them, Kansas (2-5, 0-4) begins their final five games of the season Saturday afternoon with a matchup at Baylor (6-1, 3-1) that will be among the toughest this season. Here are five things to watch, as Kansas hopes to slow down the Bears attack enough to hang around and try to make things interesting in Waco.
1. Baylor’s tempo
Under Art Briles, Baylor is among the fastest, if not the fastest when it comes to tempo. They hit with the pass, but they may be most lethal with the run, as the defense gets spread out and is susceptible to the big play. Bowen said this week that the way the Kansas defense has played throughout the season makes tempo not as big of a factor. This game will show if it will hold.
2. The start
Kansas has had problems, especially on the road when it comes to starts. At Duke, they fell behind 20-3. They fell behind 23-0 at West Virginia and 17-0 at Texas Tech. Against Baylor, a start like that is suicide. It is imperative that the Jayhawks get off to a good start. That’ll give them a chance.
3. The progression of Michael Cummings
Since taking over at quarterback, Cummings has improved each week and has managed to make some plays through the air, especially with his tight ends. A huge game from Cummings in Waco, would come at a great time for the Jayhawks.
4. The Kansas secondary
While Baylor can gash you with the run, they’ll still stretch you out. Can the Jayhawks secondary create turnovers? If so, that will increase the pressure on the Baylor offense as the game goes on.
5. Ben Heeney
Just cause he’s Ben Heeney. It wouldn’t shock anyone if he has another game with over 20 tackles in this game or any game going forward. He will go down as one of the most special players to ever put on a Kansas uniform.