The Kliff Kingsbury era at Texas Tech is off to a rousing start. A 20-10 Sept. 12 win over TCU is the landmark thus far, and a testament to the Red Raiders' potential this season. Saturday afternoon, they'll travel to Kansas with a chance to develop some separation in the Big 12 standings.
Texas Tech (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) has been high-powered with freshman quarterback Baker Mayfield at the helm, posting the nation's third-ranked air attack with 408.5 passing yards per game. Defensively, the Red Raiders have also been strong, allowing the 10th-fewest points per game at 13.3. Granted, much of that is due to three of its first four games coming against SMU, SF Austin and Texas State.
Meanwhile, Kansas (2-1, 0-0 Big 12) gets its first in-conference test after facing South Dakota, Rice and Louisiana Tech through three weeks. The Jayhawks lost at Rice Sept. 14, managing only 270 yards in a 23-14 loss.
Rankings and records: Texas Tech is No. 20 in the AP Top 25 and No. 22 in the Coaches' Poll. Kansas is unranked. The two teams have faced each other 14 times, with Texas Tech winning all but one: an Oct. 6, 2001, 34-31 Jayhawks victory.
Vegas: Texas Tech opened as 16-point favorites, and that line has since risen to 17.5.
Weather: A few rain showers are expected in Lawrence on Saturday afternoon, per Weather.com. The expected high is 63 degrees with a slight chance of rain.
Three names to know
Mayfield: As mentioned above, the freshman has been sensational. Granted, Texas Tech's opponents have been largely inferior. Nevertheless, the Austin, Tex., native has thrown for 1,120 yards (with a 66.0 completion percentage), eight touchdowns and four interceptions. It'll be interesting to see how Kansas defends Texas Tech's passing attack -- Mayfield struggled against TCU, going 21-of-40 for 216 yards, with one touchdown and three interceptions.
Kansas running back James Sims: The senior back is the Big 12's fifth-leading rusher with 281 rushing yards on 55 carries (5.1 yards per) and two touchdowns. Sims' best game came in the loss to Rice, in which he rushed 19 times for 109 yards.
Kansas defensive coordinator Dave Campo: Against Texas Tech's productive offense, Kansas' defense and secondary in particular will face its greatest test of the season. While the Red Raiders are third in passing yards and 31st in scoring offense, the Jayhawks are ranked 20th in both passing defense (178.0 yards allowed per game) and scoring defense (15.7 points allowed per game). Again, Kansas' opponents have been weak. But so have most of Texas Tech's, meaning Campo and company have a fantastic opportunity to prove they're for real in 2013.
Two things at stake
Kansas would obviously do well to pick up a win in its conference opener, particularly since a trip to TCU comes the following weekend. Texas Tech's early-season performance suggests the possibility of a top-10 finish, but a loss to Kansas would eliminate much of that possibility.
How to witness
TV: Fox Sports 1, noon ET. Adam Alexander and Chris Simms will be on the call.