(Sports Network) - A pair of teams seeking their first Big 12 win of the season come together in Lawrence this weekend, as the Colorado Buffaloes meet up with the Kansas Jayhawks at Memorial Stadium.
The Buffs got off to a solid 3-1 start, but it has been all down hill since the beginning of Big 12 play. Colorado has dropped its past four games, all against league foes, and that includes a 43-10 beating at nationally-ranked Oklahoma this past weekend. Colorado is now two games under .500 overall, and is currently riding a 15-game road losing streak.
The Jayhawks also enter the weekend with a four-game losing streak, with each setback coming in league play. Kansas has had little success overall with just two wins and the team was recently defeated, 28-16, at Iowa State over the weekend. It was clearly the most competitive league game for the Jayhawks, who suffered each of their first three Big 12 losses by at least 35 points.
As for the all-time series, Colorado owns a 42-24-3 advantage over Kansas and that includes a 34-30 triumph in Boulder last season.
The Buffs got very little going against Oklahoma last weekend, gaining just 263 total yards in a lopsided loss. QB Cody Hawkins struggled under center, as he completed an awful 17-of-44 pass attempts for 187 yards and a TD. Hawkins has stepped in for injured starter Tyler Hansen, who will miss the rest of the season with a ruptured spleen, and he has thrown for three TDs and an INT thus far. Scotty McKnight, the team's leading receiver with 36 catches, was Hawkins' top target a week ago with five receptions for 84 yards and a TD. Rodney Stewart turned in a decent effort in the loss to Oklahoma with 85 rushing yards on 19 carries, and he paces the squad with 737 yards and five TDs for the season.
On the defensive side of the ball, Colorado also had issues last Saturday, as Oklahoma rolled up a whopping 635 yards of total offense. The Buffs, who entered the weekend allowing 241.4 passing ypg, were shredded for 488 yards and four TDs through the air. The defense failed to even record a single takeaway and come up with just one sack, while allowing Oklahoma to go 8-of-17 third downs. It was obviously a poor performance from a defense that has allowed at least 26 points in each of its past five outings. Michael Sipili logged 14 tackles in last weekend's loss and he now tops the roster with 63 stops for the year.
QB Quinn Mecham made his first career start for Kansas last weekend and threw for 149 yards and a TD in a losing cause at Iowa State. The junior college transfer completed 22-of-33 pass attempts, as he replaced Jordan Webb and Kale Pick, whom both were out with injuries. Webb has started for a majority of the season, but wasn't all that effective with just seven TDs against six picks. He is listed as questionable for this weekend. Daymond Patterson, the team's top target with 44 receptions, had six catches in last weekend's loss, while freshman RB James Sims hauled in the lone TD pass. Sims also rushed for 60 yards on 19 carries and he leads the Jayhawks with 435 yards for the season. The Jayhawks though, haven't really had much success on offense this season, averaging a measly 16.1 ppg.
The Jayhawks' defense continues to struggle against the run, as Iowa State rolled up 232 yards and three TDs on the ground last weekend. Kansas is now allowing 210.4 ypg on the ground, with opponents averaging 5.1 yards per carry. The unit has also allowed 18 of its 30 TDs on the ground. The pass defense hasn't been all that great either for Kansas, which has recorded only two INTs, while allowing foes to convert 66 percent of their throws. A lack of pressure hasn't helped either, as Kansas has managed just eight sacks. Steven Johnson currently leads the defense with 62 stops for the year and he had seven tackles last weekend.