KU coach Les Miles gives final takeaways from Week 1 win
Kickoff: 6 p.m. Saturday
Where: Booth Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, Kansas
Radio: WHB (810 AM) in Kansas City, KFH (1240 AM) in Wichita
Line: KU by 7
I picked Coastal Carolina to win this game in my preseason predictions, so the question is whether anything in the last two weeks requires a re-thinking of that belief.
Coastal Carolina dropped its home opener to Eastern Michigan 30-23, which obviously isn’t a great start. A closer look, however, shows that the Chanticleers were haunted by losing the turnover battle 4-1, and studies would tell us that particular statistic is one of the least predictable on a week-to-week basis.
KU, meanwhile, won its first game, though not impressively. The Jayhawks failed to establish a consistent run game against Indiana State in a 24-17 home win, which has to be concerning considering that will likely be a main offensive focus under new coach Les Miles.
One major wild card: Coastal Carolina’s crazy week. After evacuating Conway, South Carolina to avoid Hurricane Dorian on Monday, the team has stayed in Greenville for four days, practicing in various locations while also being welcomed in by both Furman and Clemson.
It’s weird to say this, but Coastal Carolina can actually be considered somewhat used to this type of change; the team spent three weeks away from campus because of Hurricane Florence last year, and during that time, it went on the road as an underdog and defeated Louisiana 30-28.
KU’s all-Big 12 running back Pooka Williams will return following a one-game suspension, which is obviously a positive for the team. His presence alone means the Jayhawks’ offensive ceiling should be higher than a week ago.
Overall, though, my thoughts haven’t changed enough about these teams to switch my selection. If Coastal Carolina can avoid turnovers, I like its chances to pull off the mini-upset in Lawrence.
Coastal Carolina 27, KU 24
Last game prediction: Kansas 31, Indiana State 21 (Actual: KU 24-17)