Yesterday, we took a look at the Kansas offense. Today, we turn our attention to a Kansas defense that has had its fair share of struggles defending the run.
The Jayhawks will operate primarily out of a 3-4 defense. The defensive line is anchored by a pair of seniors, Darrius Moragne and Jelani Brown. Moragne is talented as a pass rusher, tallying 2.5 sacks on the season so far, but the defensive line has a whole has been underwhelming. Kansas is allowing over 200 yards rushing per game, including 268 yards to Oklahoma 3 weeks ago.
Texas will be forced to clean up whatever was plaguing the right side of the offensive line, because the Jayhawks will almost assuredly be bringing their pressure from that side, testing Derek Kerstetter and Junior Angilau.
Azur Kamara is likely the best pass rusher on the Jayhawks roster and leads the team in sacks with 3.5. Dru Prox occupies one of the inside linebacker spots and has flashed several different times this season. The biggest thing that stands out about the Kansas linebackers is they look like athletes on the field. Unlike past Kansas squads, where it was easy to spot the weak links from a mile away. While the run defense still is poor, the effort is there and they will surely come into Austin with a good gameplan to force Texas into predictable passing situations.
Kansas has a couple of quality players who play in the backend. Hasan Defense is a multi-year starter who has played very well at times this year. He is joined in the backend by safety Mike Lee, who like Defense, is in his third season as a starter and rarely puts himself in a bad position.
The Jayhawks rank in the middle of the pack in passing yards allowed per game. Texas will have to work for their yardage through the air unlike previous season where the Kansas defense looked lost at times.
Surprisingly, the Kansas defense is probably not the worst defense the Longhorns will face in conference play. Similar to the offensive side of the ball, Kansas has a ton of upperclassmen with plenty of starting experience. Regardless, the opportunity to move the ball will be there, especially on the ground. This is a game where the Longhorns should have a 100-yard rusher easy and the offensive line should come out with a point to prove after getting physically whipped by Oklahoma.
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