Kansas hosts Texas Tech this weekend. Kickoff is set for 2:40 p.m. from KU's Memorial Stadium and will be broadcast nationally by Fox Sports Net.
The game marks the ninth meeting between the two schools with the Red Raiders holding a 7-1 advantage. KU's first win came in the last meeting, a 34-31 overtime victory in Lubbock during the 2001 season.
Texas Tech enters the game against the Jayhawks after smashing TCU 70-35 last week in Lubbock, Texas. The Red Raiders struggled out of the gates against TCU, punting three times, losing two possessions on downs, and turning the ball over twice on its first seven possessions. The result: TCU 21-0 after a quarter and a half. The Red Raiders then found their spark and scored touchdowns on 10 of its last 12 possessions of the game, including a stretch of 56 unanswered points over a 23:56 minute span.
Texas Tech senior QB Sonny Cumbie was selected as the Cingular Wireless/ABC Sports All-America Player of the Week after leading the Red Raiders to nine offensive touchdowns, finishing with 441 passing yards and four touchdowns.
“They have an excellent quarterback who has been in their system and has learned it and adjusted very well to what they do,” acknowledged Mangino.
The Red Raiders who lead the nation in passing offense at 463.3 yards per game.
“They throw the ball a lot in different formations and they have some unusual line splits. When you throw they ball as many times as they do, you get pretty good at it," said Mangino.
Texas Tech also lead sthe Big 12 in pass defense allowing just 166.7 yards per game through the air.
“They are much improved on defense and they have an offense that spreads the field and attacks you at the line of scrimmage, horizontally and vertically,” said Mangino.
“They are going to put the ball up a lot, but you still have to defend the run or they can hurt your with it. They have some good receivers like Hicks, who is playing great football for them right now.”
Sophomore WR Jarrett Hicks has emerged as one of the nation's leading receivers following three games. Hicks, who is the first player in Texas Tech history with three-straight 150+ receiving yardage games, is averaging a national-leading 170.3 receiving yards per game. Hicks also ranks fifth with 8.3 receptions per game and is one of two players nationally with a 200-yard receiving game.
Kansas' defense has shined all season and is led by junior linebacker Nick Reid and senior safety Tony Stubbs who rank first and second, respectively, among all Big 12 defenders in tackles per game. As a unit, the Jayhawk defense has allowed an average of just 12.3 points per game during the 2004 season -- the second-best average in the Big 12.
“I feel good about our defense,” said Mangino. “We have to be assignment-sound, because if we are not, Texas Tech will find flaws and exploit those flaws until we do something about it."
“We'd like our offense to sustain drives and move the chains. I think that time of possession is going to be important in a game like this for our offense, but our defense is going to have to step up and make plays,” added Mangino.
Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach and Kansas's Mark Mangino each share a common thread in their coaching careers - both were offensive coordinators at Oklahoma. Leach served as offensive coordinator during OU head coach Bob Stoops's first season in 1999, while Mangino was the Sooner OC during the 2000-2001 seasons. Mangino was on the OU staff in 1999 with Leach.