Everything Counts In Large Amounts
Since April, Kansas has lost three starting quarterbacks to injury: Michael Cummings, Deondre Ford, and now Montell Cozart. Cummings and Ford are out for the season and Cozart will probably miss a few weeks minimum. Somehow the Jayhawks still have three quarterbacks available for Saturday's game. True freshman Ryan Willis will make his first start. Congratulations, son! Oh by the way, the Baylor Bears are coming to town.
Baylor opened at -38 in the sports books and at last check, was hovering around -44. That doesn't seem like enough of a spread. For all the credit Baylor gets for its high-octane passing game, the Bears are actually one of the best rushing teams in the nation. They prioritize speed all over the field, and the linemen have been pushing people around. It is a recipe for success against a lot of teams. Kansas has the potential for a final score of embarrassing proportions. Keep in mind, Baylor is on the road. The Bears will be limited to how many players they can bring.
Poor Ryan Willis, this is about the worst possible place to make his first start. He's not fast, the line can't hold anyone back, and he's awfully green at reading defenses. I wouldn't be surprised if Baylor got its first points on defense. I see two options. Kansas can use a maximum-protection unit, with extra blockers and limited receiver options. Or, Kansas can spread the field and attempt short, quick passes with the occasional long ball to keep the Bears honest. It will be interesting to see which one David Beaty chooses. He used a freshman tackle as a "tight end" to help the line against Iowa State, and it didn't work.
Prediction: Baylor 84, Kansas 7