Make Texas A&M throw the football.
Texas A&M runs the ball. That’s what they do. Their bread-and-butter is to pound you with runningback-by-committee.
Right now, Kansas has two things going for it. First, the Jayhawks have been very good against the run this season. Second, the offense seems to be back on track.
If KU’s offense gets a quick lead and the defense holds true to form, A&M will have to throw the ball. You might think that with KU’s suspect pass defense, you don’t want anyone throwing the ball on them. But if A&M is throwing the ball, they’re out of their comfort zone. That would bode well for Kansas.
Hold onto the $@%&*# football.
To this point in the season, the Jayhawks have at times acted like the ball will explode if they hold onto it too long. In a game between two pretty evenly matched teams, giveaways and takeaways are often the difference. If KU fumbles twice and throws two picks on the day, they’ll come out on the short end. If they don’t, they’ll be in it.
The Kansas defense can’t get down.
You may be surprised to learn that Texas A&M’s offense has been top 15 or so the past few seasons. They’ve pretty solid again this year, so the Aggies are likely to get their points. If they do, the KU defense has to shake it off and get ready to make a stop next time. It sounds simple, but first downs and scores can snowball. If they don’t keep their heads up, KU’s offense will find itself under the gun in a big way.
The Kansas offense needs to have options.
On the flip side, the Aggies’ defense hasn’t exactly reminded their fans of the old A&M Wrecking Crew defensive units of the past. But that doesn’t mean that this group isn’t athletic and can’t make some plays. They are, and they can.
KU cannot find themselves in a bunch of 3rd-and-long situations, regardless of who’s under center this week. Both Adam Barmann and Kerry Meier have shown that they’ll throw interceptions. KU needs to put themselves in 3rd-and-2 or 3rd-and-3 situations where they have some options. Minimize the need for big 3rd down conversions and the Jayhawks will be in a good position to matriculate the ball down the field.