Kansas welcomes back 15 starters from the team that produced the highest poll finish in school history a year ago, at the top of that list is quarterback Todd Reesing, the former Lake Travis QB is coming off a breakout season, where he passed for 3,486 yards and 33 touchdowns, including 227 yards in an upset of Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl.
Once again Reesing will have a plethora of receivers to throw the ball to, led by Dezmon Briscoe, who led the team in receptions last year and Dexton Fields, who wowed spring game spectators by hauling in 8 catches for 92 yards. Oklahoma will also be wise to keep their eyes peeled for the versatile Kerry Meier, who split time in the spring at receiver and quarterback.
At running back, the Sooners will be charged with stopping Jake Sharp, who finished second on the team in rushing, and four-star JUCO recruit Jocques Crawford, who rushed for 1,935 yards at Cisco JC a year ago.
Though there are 9 starters coming back on defense, many in the media have focused on the one who isn't. Aqib Talib left for the NFL draft after a stellar junior season, however the secondary still figures to be a strength. Chris Harris was well tested a year ago playing opposite of Talib, and Kendrick Harper gained valuable experience as a junior college transfer last year. Though they wont get the national recognition they did with Talib, they will still be solid. Up front, the Jayhawks will lean heavily on their three senior linebackers Mike Rivera, Joe Mortensen, and James Holt.
One match up that could prove to be a deciding factor in this game will be the athletic OU ends vs. Jeff Spikes, the freshman Jayhawk left tackle. If the Sooners can exploit this experience mismatch, they may be able to cause some problems for Todd Reesing, and slow down the high powered KU offense.
Other than a trip to South Florida, the Jayhawks don't really have much standing in their way from being undefeated in coming into this game. If this happens, look for an extremely fired up Kansas team to show up in Norman trying to prove they belong in the Big 12's elite club.