What You Need To Know About The Kansas Defense
– There’s real hope here, even with the loss of star end Dorance Armstrong. The defense that was last in the conference in scoring and total D didn’t get any help from the other side of the ball, but the defense didn’t exactly do its part on a regular basis, either. However, the makings are there for a solid line to work around.
Daniel Wise isn’t massive, but he’s an active all-star on the nose. The 290-pounder came up with a team-high seven sacks with 16 tackles for loss. He’s a keeper, and now there’s more help next to him. 335-pound J.J. Holmes has the bulk, but the hope is for the line to get an instant upgrade from the JUCO ranks, especially on the ends. After leading the Big 12 in tackles for loss, there’s at least a calling card.
– Joe Dineen is a baller of a linebacker. He led the team with 137 stops and has all-conference upside again if he can stay in one piece. The line should do its job enough to make the run defense a whole lot stronger, but Dineen will clean everything else up. The D will use a 4-2-5 more often than not, and it has a whole slew of options to work next to the main man in a decent rotation – there’s flexibility here.
– The secondary got destroyed. Kansas had the second-least efficient pass defense in college football as great Big 12 passing attack after great Big 12 passing attack had its fun. But there’s talent here, starting with safeties Mike Lee and Bryce Torneden, who can at least hit.
Throw in Tyrone Miller, and three of the team’s top six tackers were defensive backs. The JUCO ranks will upgrade the corner situation – a must for a D that came up with just four picks.
Biggest Key To The Kansas Defense
The secondary has to do something when the ball is in the air. Stopping the run would be nice, and this front six/seven really might be able to do it. In a league that lives on high-octane passing games, it starts by stopping the big plays.
Kansas allowed a whopping 9.3 yards per pass and gave up ten yards or more seven times. Worst of all, there was just one interception over the final seven games.
The defense actually wasn’t that bad on third downs, but there just weren’t enough key moments to come up with stops. The Jayhawks were destroyed for 250 passing yards or more against everyone but SE Missouri State, Iowa State and Kansas State, and the Cyclones didn’t need to throw in the 45-0 loss.