SB Nation's Rock Chalk Talk and Bring on The Cats break down crucial elements of Thursday night's game:
What would you say your biggest concerns are going into the game in terms of matchups?
Definitely K-State's defense against KU's offense. I know KU has had its share of struggles offensively, but this isn't about KU's offense. This is about a K-State defense that lacks speed, size and skill. If James Sims gets rolling on the ground, then I have serious fears that we'll see Daymond Patterson and Bradley McDougald running circles around our safeties in the defensive backfield.
As far as matchups, I don't have a TON of concerns anywhere. My main concern is that there could be a hangover from Nebraska, and that Coach Snyder might go into a bit of a shell offensively. I'm not sure that KU has the offensive team speed to make the Cats pay for the terrible angles they take to the football, and the other problems that the Huskers revealed. But, I will candidly admit that I could be VERY wrong about that, since I've only watched two KU games, one being their best one (Ga Tech) and the other, their second-worst (Baylor).
If I was Chuck Long, I would install the zone read out of the pistol offense this week with Jordan Webb and James Sims. Every single team has used it on us this year, with moderate to extreme success.
I think our cornerbacks can handle KU's receivers in pass coverage, but if Daymond Patterson slips behind our safeties (we've been burned for at least one long pass down the middle in every game this season), look out.
As usual, K-State's ability to play any defense whatsoever will depend on whether it can generate a pass rush out of its soft 8-man coverage defense. I think Brandon Harold can have some success against a beat-up and thin Jayhawks offensive line, but I have to see it to believe it.