What's at stake
The winner could easily go on to win the Big 12 North. A K-State win keeps the Cats in prime position. A KU win has the Jayhawks back in the race if they can win out.
KU will win if...
Todd Reesing does not turn the ball over. It's pretty simple. If Reesing protects the ball during the last three games, the Jayhawks are unlikely to be 5-3 right now. It's not totally unreasonable to say they could be 8-0. But that's in the past. Reesing needs to get back on track, and he'll get his chance against an exploitable K-State pass defense.
K-State will win if...
Grant Gregory throws for close to 200 yards. By now, the Wildcats have shown the ability to run against anyone. But when they are at their best is when they use that rushing attack to open up the passing game.
Three things about KU
1. The Kansas defense is tied for 11th in the country in sacks, averaging three.
2. In the Jayhawks' three losses, they have not rushed for 100 yards as a team. They reached that mark in each of their five wins.
3. KU has given its opponents the ball on its side of the field seven times in the last three games, resulting in six touchdowns.
Three things about KSU
1. Daniel Thomas needs 98 rushing yards to reach 1,000 for the season.
2. Under Bill Snyder, K-State is 13-4 against KU and has won eight in a row in Manhattan. Former coach Ron Prince was 0-3 against the Jayhawks, 0-1 in Manhattan.
3. K-State's defense has allowed a total of four touchdowns in its past three home games.
KU kickoff coverage unit vs. K-State kickoff return specialist Brandon Banks. The Jayhawks take pride in not giving up touchdowns in the return game, and nobody is better at it than Banks. KU coach Mark Mangino said he just has to hope that kicker Jacob Branstetter can boot the ball deep into the end zone. Otherwise, his coverage unit will have to show great discipline to stop Banks.
J. Brady McCollough's pick: Kansas, 27-24
Mangino has lit a fire underneath the Jayhawks, who have always played their best when they're riled up.
Kellis Robinett's pick: K-State, 27-23
The Jayhawks have not been good about protecting their quarterback or avoiding turnovers lately. K-State wins when it creates turnovers and gives the offense a short field.