The Kansas Jayhawks will travel to Norman on Saturday to take on the Oklahoma Sooners. After dropping back-to-back conference games early on, the Sooners have rebounded with three consecutive wins — including one over archrival Texas — to get back into the race for a spot in the Big 12 Championship Game.
That's light years away from where the 2020 Kansas Jayhawks are.
Kansas is 0-6 on the season, and they're only the ninth team in the history of college football to lose each of their first six games by 15 points or more. They are giving up over 46 points per game while scoring just over 16 points per outing. Suffice to say, most project this weekend's game between the Jayhawks and Sooners to be one of the most lopsided contests we'll see this season.
Kansas at Oklahoma
Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 7 at 3:30 p.m. ET
Spread: Oklahoma -37.5
When Kansas Has the Ball
In terms of individual players to watch, there's not much for Kansas to hang its hat on outside of running back Velton Gardner. He's the team's leading rusher, and he averages 4.5 yards per carry. He does a lot of that on his own, as the Jayhawks' offensive line has been overmatched all season. That figures to be the case again this weekend. That said, head coach Les Miles has nothing to lose at this point. We could see Kansas taking more shots down the field early on in an attempt to stun the Sooners right out of the gate. I also would not be surprised to several trick plays in the first couple of series. Desperation is the name of the game for Kansas at this point.
When Oklahoma Has the Ball
Freshman quarterback Spencer Rattler has settled in and is starting to look like the player many thought he would be right way in his career. He has a talented collection of weapons on offense at his disposal, led by wide receiver Marvin Mims (six touchdown catches). Look for Rattler and Mims to put on a clinic in the first half against an inferior Kansas secondary. Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley is going to do everything in his power to make sure his starters get rest in this game, and the passing attack is how he'll be able to build a big enough lead to get that done. We'll probably see a heavy dose of backup quarterback Tanner Mordecai in the second half, albeit mostly in a game-manager role to preserve what should be an easy win.
It's the same story with Kansas football games in 2020: it's not going to be close. The Jayhawks are struggling to put a competitive product on the field in recent years, and at some point we need to start asking whether or not any coach can turn it around. Kansas has three touchdowns through the air and seven interceptions. On the ground, they've scored eight times. That's less than two touchdowns per game in a conference where many often joke about defense being optional. On the flip side, Oklahoma has 32 touchdowns through six games, and five of those contests came against teams with better talent and coaching than Kansas. This game is nothing more than a tune-up for the Sooners as they get ready to face in-state rival Oklahoma State in two weeks.
Prediction: Oklahoma 59, Kansas 9
— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo!, SBNation, USA Today and Bleacher Report. He is a three-time FWAA writing contest award winner. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.