Jayhawks look to compete on the road in Norman

It is that time once again. KU’s road losing streak currently stands at 38 games after dropping their last road contest two weeks ago to Baylor in Waco. Last week, they lost at home to Oklahoma State. The test this time around is not any easier as the Jayhawks travel to Norman to take on the 16th ranked Oklahoma Sooners.

Last week against the Cowboys, the Jayhawks had a solid first half, only trailing 17-13 after the first 30 minutes. However, they fell apart in the 3rd quarter, committing 3 turnovers with Oklahoma State scoring 17 points off those mistakes to stretch their lead to 34-20 after 3 quarters.

The Jayhawks were able to find their running game last week with 204 team rushing yards, including 145 by senior Ke’aun Kinner. Whatever success they found on the ground, however, was nullified by turnovers and inconsistent play from quarterback Montell Cozart, who drew the start in this contest over Ryan Willis who had started the previous 2 contests for KU.

When it comes to this week’s contest against the Sooners, it does not look pretty on paper. The Sooners are second in the Big 12 in scoring with 43.9 points per game, while the Jayhawks are last in the conference scoring 21.7 points per game.

The Sooners are led by outstanding quarterback Baker Mayfield, who has thrown for 2,348 yards and 25 touchdowns with only 5 interceptions on the year. The Sooners are also deadly on the ground with a 2 headed monster at running back with Samaje Perine, who is most likely not playing in this game due to injury, and Joe Mixon. Mixon enters this game with 739 yards on the ground with 4 touchdowns.

It would take a lot from the Jayhawks both offensively and defensively just to keep this game close. They will need to force Baker Mayfield into uncharacteristic turnovers, and must solve the Oklahoma rushing attack, something the KU defense has not been able to do much of this year. The Jayhawks are allowing 201.9 rushing yards per game to opposing offenses, including 230 to Oklahoma State last weekend.

FPI gives KU a 2.1% chance to win in Norman this weekend.

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Feature image courtesy of Julie Lazalier Harvey.