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2018

Kansas Jayhawks

College Football

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There’s not much to say about Kansas football. This team only knows what it’s like to lose and that’s the general consensus again even with one of the most experienced rosters in the nation (17 returning starters). All 11 of their losses last year came by double-digits if that says anything, including the home loss to Central Michigan. As expected, the Jayhawks are expected to finish last in the Big 12 again with an over/under of three wins (at 5Dimes Sportsbook). Their National Championship odds (+200000) place them slightly ahead of Rutgers, who they face in the third game of the season. David Beaty has just three wins in his three years, but that Rutgers game could make two, assuming they get past Nicholls State in the opener.

The offense could improve on its 18.7 points per game, only because it’s hard to be worse. The hope is that someone stands out in the quarterback race, although that wasn’t the case in the spring. Peyton Bender (10 TDs, 10 INTs) has a slight lead on Carter Stanley and JUCO transfer Miles Kendrick, but there’s a good chance KU needs one of the mobile guys behind an iffy line. The front five were set to return, but after some spring injuries, that’s no longer the case making things more difficult for the offense to score at a consistent rate. Khalil Herbert (663 yards, 4 TDs) should see the majority of carries again, but it won’t be easy finding room behind this line. The same goes for top wide out Steven Sims (839 yards, 6 TDs), who could be one of the better receivers in the conference if it weren’t for the quarterbacks he has.

The defense is in a slightly better situation, but that doesn’t mean much from a group that gave up close to 300 passing yards and 43.4 points per game. The run defense has a playmaker in Daniel Wise, while Joe Dineen is a force at linebacker, but again, those numbers from last season aren’t good and those two guys can only do so much. The secondary has to improve with every relevant piece returning to go with some freshmen looking for playing time, namely Corione Harris. This defense isn’t going to be good, but if it isn’t improved, it’d be a major disappointment for Beaty because this side of the ball is the best route to getting more than one win.

There is a path to two wins in non-conference play, but nothing ever comes easy for the Jayhawks. To win a Big 12 game, whoever wins the quarterback gig has to take the offense another step because the defense still isn’t good enough to win games by itself. Unfortunately, the schedule is unkind with the best chance of a Big 12 win being home against Iowa State. Otherwise, the Jayhawks would be looking at a road win against either Baylor or Texas Tech and no one is betting on this team to win on the road. The Jayhawks have a chance for two or even three wins due to the non-conference schedule, but expecting more than that is a mistake given the team’s history.

 

2018 Kansas Jayhawks Football Schedule

Sept. 1 vs. Nicholls State

Sept. 8 at Central Michigan 

Sept. 15 vs. Rutgers

Sept. 22 at Baylor

Sept. 29 vs. Oklahoma State

Oct. 6 at West Virginia

Oct. 20 at Texas Tech

Oct. 27 vs. TCU

Nov. 3 vs. Iowa State

Nov. 10 at Kansas State

Nov. 17 at Oklahoma

Nov. 23 vs. Texas

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