October 4, 2007

The Game Up Close: Kansas at K-State

When the Kansas Jayhawks and the 24th-ranked Kansas State Wildcats take the field for the 105th Sunflower Showdown on Saturday, there will be more at stake than a victory alone. State bragging rights, and national rankings will also be hanging in the balance, as the teams battle to avoid being dubbed the state's second best. After a crushing 39-20 loss in Lawrence last year, Ron Prince and his team will be seeking revenge this weekend. Will the Jayhawks secure a second consecutive win in the series, or will the Governors Cup return to Manhattan?

The Game Up Close: Kansas State (3-1, 1-0) vs. Kansas (4-0, 0-0)

Saturday, Oct. 6, 11 a.m. kickoff
Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan

Kansas rush offense vs. Kansas State rush defense
The numbers:
KSU rush defense: Allowing 79.2 yards per game, No. 2 in the Big 12, No. 11 overall
KU rush offense: Averaging 226.8 yards per game, No. 3 in the Big 12, No. 12 overall

The breakdown: Kansas is ranked near the top of the conference when it comes to rushing yards, however, the Jayhawks have used games against some of the nation's most dismal defenses to rack up such inflated statistics. Brandon McAnderson and Jake Sharp have split the ball carrying duties for Mark Mangino's team this season, and the running back duo has accounted for more than 70 percent of the Jayhawks' rushing yards. And while KU's two-pronged ground attack has looked impressive thus far, it hasn't seen a defense so much as comparable to Kansas State's. The Wildcats have held a pair of ranked opponents to 175 combined rushing yards this year, and have routinely set up shop in opposing offense's backfields. Look for a speedy K-State defense to overwhelm a KU rushing attack that has yet to be challenged.

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