The Kansas Jayhawks will hit the road for the first time this year as they try to avenge last year’s home loss to the Memphis Tigers. They will also be underdogs for the first time this season, although maybe last week’s lines were a little skewed.
KU was initially the underdog before bettors, overexcited by the Jayhawks 55-6 win over Rhode Island, pushed the team to a 3-point favorite over the Ohio Bobcats.
The Bobcats (1-1) put up nearly 329 rushing yards in route to 37-21 victory over Kansas. The Jayhawks (1-1) had a 21-10 scoring stretch that reduced the margin to 10 early in the third quarter, before the Bobcats regained control in the fourth.
Montell Cozart finished the day 17-24 for 198 yards and two touchdowns. The running game never found its rhythm, finishing with 26 yards on 15 carries.
Much of the damage came in the first half as the Jayhawks were outgained 359-21 in yards, and the Bobcats headed into the locker room with a 28-7 advantage on the scoreboard.
“There is no excuse for that performance, in terms of what it looked like in the first half,” David Beaty said. “We can come up with a lot of what we call reasons but the truth of the matter is we didn’t play complementary football. Offensively, defensively, special teams. You gotta be able to blend those together.”
The Jayhawks need to play complementary football if they hope to win their first road game in their last 36 attempts. The last KU victory away from Memorial Stadium was against UTEP on Sept. 12, 2009, when Mark Mangino was still the head coach.
The Memphis Tigers have won nine games the last two seasons and are looking to repeat their unstoppable offensive performance against the Jayhawks from last year. The Tigers won 55-23, putting up 370 passing yards and 281 rushing yards. This second part of the home-and-away series will be only the second time these two teams have faced.
Memphis is coming off a bye week after beating Southeast Missouri State 35-17 in its season opener. The Tigers tore through the Redhawks secondary, hanging 29 points and 214 passing yards by halftime.
Tigers quarterback Riley Ferguson, a transfer from Coffeyville Community College and a former Tennessee Volunteer, looks to keep the Tigers high-powered offense moving after Paxton Lynch turned pro this year. Ferguson threw for 295 yards and three touchdowns against the Redhawks, while also throwing two interceptions.
KU vs. Memphis will kick-off at 11 a.m. Saturday at Liberty Bowl in Memphis.
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