University of Kansas

Kansas-Louisiana Tech football preview

Updated: 2013-09-19T20:23:37Z

When/where: 11 a.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence

TV/radio: Fox Sports 1; KCSP (610 AM)

The series: Kansas leads 2-1

The line: Kansas by 10 1/2

What’s at stake

Momentum. After last week’s loss at Rice, Kansas has one more chance to improve on its 2012 victory total (yeah, it was one) before opening Big 12 play against Texas Tech on Oct. 5. In other words, if KU can’t handle Louisiana Tech, it could be a long season. The Jayhawks can also snap a 22-game losing streak against teams from the Football Bowl Subdivision, dating back to a victory over Northern Illinois on Sept. 10, 2011.

Cheers if ...

The KU defense continues its improved play. Junior linebacker Ben Heeney is turning into a stud in the spine of the defense. A Hutchinson, Kan., native, Heeney finished with a career-high 18 tackles against Rice. The secondary, led by cornerbacks JaCorey Shepherd and Dexter McDonald, also looked like a real-life Big 12 secondary.

Jeers if ...

Charlie Weis calls for more passing plays than rushing attempts. Last week, Rice stacked the box and the KU passing game struggled for the second straight week. Senior running back James Sims still finished with more than 100 yards rushing, and KU would be smart to call Sims’ number more than 20 times this week.

Three things about Louisiana Tech

1 Former East Carolina and South Florida coach Skip Holtz is in his first season in charge at Louisiana Tech, taking over after head coach Sonny Dykes left for Cal last December. Like Kansas coach Charlie Weis, Holtz is a Notre Dame alum.

2 Louisiana Tech defensive end IK Enemkpali enters the weekend tied for first in the nation in both sacks per game (1 1/2) and total sacks (4 1/2).

3 The Bulldogs are well represented in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, with former Chiefs offensive lineman Willie Roaf joining quarterback Terry Bradshaw and defensive end Fred Dean in Canton in 2012.

Key matchup

KU’s receivers vs. their own mistakes: For two weeks, Kansas has been plagued by drops in the passing game. Charlie Weis said KU completed 29 of 31 passes in a practice before the Rice game. He also shook up the starting unit this week. Will it pay off?

KANSAS (1-1, 0-0 Big 12)

Date Opponent Result/time
Sept. 7South DakotaW, 31-14
Sept. 14at RiceL, 23-14
SaturdayLouisiana Tech11 a.m.
Oct. 5Texas TechTBA
Oct. 12at TCUTBA
Oct. 19OklahomaTBA
Oct. 26BaylorTBA
Nov. 2at Texas2:30 p.m.
Nov. 9at Oklahoma StateTBA
Nov. 16West VirginiaTBA
Nov. 23at Iowa StateTBA
Nov. 30Kansas StateTBA

LA. TECH (1-2, 0-1 C-USA)

Date Opponent Result/time
Aug. 31North Carolina StateL, 40-14
Sept. 7LamarW, 27-14
Sept. 12TulaneL, 24-15
Saturdayat Kansas11 a.m.
Sept. 28Army3 p.m.
Oct. 5at UTEP6:30 p.m.
Oct. 19North Texas2:30 p.m.
Oct. 26at Florida InternationalTBA
Nov. 9Southern Miss6 p.m.
Nov. 16at Rice6 p.m.
Nov. 23Tulsa6:30 p.m.
Nov. 30at UTSA2:30 p.m.

KANSAS OFFENSE

P No. Player Ht. Wt. Yr.
WR1Rodriguez Coleman6-3195Jr.
LT77Aslam Sterling6-5315Sr.
LG63Ngalu Fusimalohi6-2310Jr.
C61Pat Lewandowski6-5295Jr.
RG65Mike Smithburg6-3300Jr.
RT79Riley Spencer6-6305Sr.
TE85Trent Smiley6-4245Jr.
WR3Tony Pierson5-10175Jr.
WR11Tre’ Parmalee5-10175 So.  
QB9Jake Heaps6-1210Jr.
RB29James Sims6-0200Sr.
K28Matthew Wyman6-1200So.

KANSAS DEFENSE

P No. Player Ht. Wt. Yr.
DE90Kevin Young6-3287Sr.
NT98Keon Stowers6-3297Jr.
DE96Keba Agostinho6-2277Sr.
LB93Ben Goodman6-3245So.
LB31Ben Heeney6-0230Jr.
LB51Samson Faifili6-0245Jr.
CB24JaCorey Shepherd5-11190Jr.
CB12Dexter McDonald6-1200Jr.
FS33Cassius Sendish6-0195Jr.
SS5Isaiah Johnson6-1210So.
NB27Victor Simmons6-1220Jr.
P1Trevor Pardula6-5212Jr.

LA. TECH OFFENSE

P No. Player Ht. Wt. Yr.
WR5D.J. Banks5-9182Sr.
WR19Andrew Guillot5-9187Sr.
LT77Jens Danielsen6-4286Jr.
LG74Larry Banks6-4315Sr.
C69Vince Cano6-1305Sr.
RG66Matt Shepperd6-2305Sr.
RT72Jeremy Graffree6-3281Sr.
WR1Richie Casey5-11188Sr.
WR36Hunter Lee5-9195Jr.
QB16Scotty Young6-2221Jr.
RB26Tevin King5-6158Fr.
K17Kyle Fischer5-11201So.

LA. TECH DEFENSE

P No. Player Ht. Wt. Yr.
DE98Vontarrius Dora6-4243So.
DT94Shakeil Lucas6-1299Sr.
DT70Justin Ellis6-2357Sr.
DE41IK Enemkpali6-2250Sr.
LB32Mitch Villemez6-2225Jr.
LB47Daniel Cobb6-0225Sr.
CB21Adairius Barnes5-11183So.
FS11Lloyd Grogan6-0207Fr.
SS23Kentrell Brice5-11187So.
NB39Xavier Woods5-11194Fr.
CB13Le’Vander Liggins5-10193Jr.
P43Logan McPherson5-10174Fr.

Rustin Dodd’s pick: Kansas 24-10

Louisiana Tech, playing at home last week, fell 24-15 to Tulane in its Conference USA opener. That’s the same Tulane program that finished 2-10 last season. If the KU defense plays as it did at Rice, the Jayhawks should score enough to win. But if the offense continues to limp along, it’ll be tough to feel too good about a win over Louisiana Tech.

| Rustin Dodd, rdodd@kcstar.com

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