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Under The Hood: Kansas at Texas A&M

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The Kansas Jayhawks are a consensus Top 10 team, ranked #3 on my own BlogPoll ballot, and #9 in the BCS Standings. Skeptics have pointed to a tremendously weak schedule, which is fair. I've preferred to note how thoroughly Kansas has dispatched of those weak teams. There aren't many teams who can say that, and if Texas or Oklahoma were the name behind this resume, it would be ranked in the top one or two in the country.

Kansas faces another tough road test this weekend as they travel to College Station to take on the powerful running game at Texas A&M. This is your preview.

Schedule To Date



Statistical Composite
Kansas By The Numbers: Offense
Rush YPG Rush YPC Rush TD Pass YPG Pass YPA Pass TD QB Rating Total Offense Scoring Offense
213.3 (16) 5.22 (11) 17 (17) 276.4 (25) 8.1 (14) 19 (13) 151.4 (14) 489.7 (10) 45.9 (3)



Texas A&M By The Numbers: Offense
Rush YPG Rush YPC Rush TD Pass YPG Pass YPA Pass TD QB Rating Total Offense Scoring Offense
260.1 (5) 5.34 (8) 25 (2) 154.8 (111) 6.0 (101) 7 (97) 112.7 (96) 414.9 (41) 32.1 (38)



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Kansas By The Numbers: Defense
Rush YPG Rush YPC Rush TD Pass YPG Pass YPA Pass TD QB Rate Total Defense Scoring Defense
78.0 (7) 2.69 (11) 2 (3) 178.1 (10) 4.6 (2) 6 (6) 91.8 (4) 256.1 (5) 10.1 (2)



Texas A&M By The Numbers: Defense
Rush YPG Rush YPC Rush TD Pass YPG Pass YPA Pass TD QB Rate Total Defense Scoring Defense
134.8 (42) 3.84 (52) 11 (57) 265.6 (100) 7.7 (94) 12 (63) 135.5 (90) 400.4 (73) 22.8 (42)



The final step is to put those numbers into context. The following chart shows the national rank in offensive and defensive yards per play for each of Kansas and Texas A&M' 2007 opponents. (Note that Non-Division 1 opponents SE Louisiana for Kansas and Montana State for A&M have been omitted.)Kansas-Texas A&M Opponents' Unit Rankings
Offense Yards/Play Rank Kansas Opponent Defense Yards/Play Rank -- Offense Yards/Play Rank Texas A&M Opponent Defense Yards/Play Rank
41
C. Michigan
106
--
36
Fresno St
52
64
Toledo
111
--
75
UL-Monroe
95
118
Florida INTL
112
--
58
@Miami
33
29
@Kansas State
33
--
92
Baylor
64
92
Baylore
64
--
11
Oklahoma State
81
58
@Colorado
47
--
2
@Texas Tech
33
--
--
--
--
36
@Nebraska
87
67.0
Average
78.8
--
42.8
Average
63.6

Analysis

*First thing that jumps out? Kansas has absolutely sh-t kicked any subpar opponent it's faced. Second thought? That's not to be dismissed - not any year, really, but especially not this year. Not when Stanford's beating USC, Appy State's beating Michigan, and Arkansas State gives the Longhorns a compmetitive game in Austin. No, butt kickings of bad teams should be noted with approval.

*It does beg the question, though: How'd Kansas do statistically against the two solid teams it's played? Offensively, the Jayhawks picked up 5.9 and 5.4 yards per play against Kansas State and Colorado respectively - plenty respectable. Defensively, they held K-State to 5.2 yards per play; Colorado to 4.5. Not quite the dominance that their overall numbers portend, but well above average. They're getting it done against the patsies and legitimate opponents alike.

*Texas A&M is a damn good rushing team. Texas A&M is good at absolutely nothing else. How effective will they be against Kansas? The Jayhawks have faced three teams (Toledo, Central Michigan and Kansas State) who rank among the top third nationally in yards per attempt. Kansas contained all three reasonably well. Perhaps most importantly, the Aggies have absolutely no balance on offense, while KU has terrific cornerbacks it can comfortably leave in isolation in pass coverage. Hello eight in the box. Christ, why not nine? Dare ya to beat us with your arm, Stephen.

*It's tempting to give A&M a boost because the game's being played in College Station, but two cautions here: first, remember that Vegas only gives the home team about a three point boost to begin with. Second, Kansas' two real tests of the season have been road tilts, which they've handled. I'd be more concerned as a Jayhawk fan if the two tough games had been home victories.

*This just doesn't look like a good matchup for the Aggies, does it? Kansas isn't a team which can be pushed around on the ground, they have the far more balanced offense, and they've proven they can win on the road - both in a border rivalry and the altitude of Boulder.

PICK:  Kansas 30  Texas A&M 23

--PB--