Kansas has had a tough run this year and much of that can be attributed to the fact that they have faced several of the top offenses in the country. But this week might just take the cake when Baylor and Robert Griffin come to town with a multifaceted, explosive offensive attack.
Yes Kansas has played Oklahoma State, yes Kansas has played Oklahoma and yes Kansas has played Texas Tech. All three of those teams are in the top 15 nationally in total offense with OU and OSU ranking in the top 10. But Baylor has something that none of those three have and that's Robert Griffin.
In an interesting and unfortunate coincidence this game against Baylor could be Turner Gill's last inside Memorial Stadium as the Kansas coach. It was Baylor last season that got the ball rolling downhill rather quickly for Kansas when the Bears defeated the Jayhawks 55-7 in embarrassing fashion. Since that time Kansas has been historically bad and rarely competitive.
Which brings us to this season and this game against Robert Griffin and Baylor. The Jayhawks will for the first time face off against a quarterback that can take control of the game on the ground or through the air while still having plenty of other weapons to defend against. With Oklahoma State you had Brandon Weedon, Oklahoma has Landry Jones and Texas Tech had Seth Doege. None of those three have the capability to beat Kansas in the same way that Robert Griffin can.
The reason Griffin's added mobility is such a concern is that Kansas has provided mobile quarterbacks that are inferior to Griffin in terms of overall capability, plenty to put on a highlight tape. Colin Klein, Tevin Washington and Jared Barnett are all slightly better than average quarterbacks with solid mobility. All three had a field day against Kansas and led their teams to a win.
So what will happen when a VERY good quarterback takes the field with an equal capability? It could spell trouble for the Jayhawks. Vic Shealy and the Kansas defense will have to draw up something special to slow down Griffin and the Baylor offense and that doesn't even touch on the problems that receiver Kendall Wright and running back Terrance Ganaway will present alongside Griffin.
Plain and simple this is a very good offense that because of their strengths presents a greater challenge to a bad Kansas defense than some of the teams that Kansas has played in previous weeks that boast better offensive statistics.
The good news for the Jayhawks is that the defense has shown improvement in recent weeks so this will provide a stage and an opportunity to try to prove that the improvement is not a mirage. The other good news is that the Bears defense is almost right on par with Kansas in terms of their poor performance. So perhaps this is the week that the Kansas offense gets back on track and provides the Kansas defense with some support after abandoning them the past two weeks.
All that said, it's hard to see a Kansas win in conference play at this point in the season and Baylor certainly isn't a favorable matchup for Kansas. But as the saying goes, they don't play the game on paper and it is senior day in Lawrence so maybe, just maybe Kansas can surprise everyone and put together a competitive contest.