Kansas Jayhawks vs. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs Free Pick 9/21/13
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (1-2) at Kansas Jayhawks (1-1)
NCAAF Football: Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 12:00 pm (University of Kansas Memorial Stadium)
The Line: Kansas Jayhawks -9 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
Storyline: After last week’s season-opening victory against South Dakota, things were looking up for Charlie Weis and the Jayhawks. The win didn’t provide much of a barometer, but after finishing with three wins in the past two seasons and 1-11 last year, the misery of KU football seemed like it could be on the wane. That notion was short-lived, however, wiped away by Jake Heaps’ pick six in Kansas’ first possession against Rice Saturday night, ultimately a 23-14 loss. Louisiana Tech, meanwhile, let one slip away against Tulane Saturday, taking a 24-15 loss on the chin after leading at the half.
The Breakdown: The loss to Rice kept alive a couple of KU’s more dubious streaks of 20 consecutive road losses, dating back to September 2009, and 22 straight losses to an FBS team. And the road ahead looks nothing but dicey, with Saturday’s game against La Tech maybe the last winnable game on the slate for quite some time. Games against Texas Tech, TCU, Oklahoma, Baylor and Texas follow, before the season wraps up with games against Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Iowa State and Kansas State. Needless to say, if the Jayhawks have any hope of exceeding their one win total of last season, they can ill-afford a loss here. Sr. RB James Sims continues to be the lone standout for the KU offense, rushing for 109 yards on 19 carries against Rice. The Jayhawks managed only 270 yards of total offense and Jr. QB Jake Heaps finished just 13-of-28 for 157 yards and 1 touchdown with one interception, but a good number of dropped balls contributed to an inadequate passing game. Defensively, the Jayhawks surrendered 370 total yards, 157 and 1 touchdown rushing to Sr. Rice RB Charles Ross.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
La Tech conceded a half-time lead and 17 unanswered points to Tulane and the game was out of reach by the third quarter. Without Soph. RB Kenneth Dixon 100% back from a knee injury he suffered last season (He carried 4 times for -5 yards) and a god-awful passing game that saw Jr. QB Scotty Young complete just 9-of-28 for 108 yards, the Bulldog offense couldn’t come up with any answers in the second half. Defensively, there was some notable play. The La Tech pass rush was relentless, sacking Jr. Tulane QB Nick Montana six times, 2.5 by Sr. DE IK Enemkpali, and the Bulldog defense as a whole recorded four turnovers and 11 tackles for loss.
Betting Trends: Kansas is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games, 1-12 SU in its last 13 games, 1-5 SU in its last 6 games at home and the total has gone under in 4 of KU’s last 6 home games. La Tech is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games, 17-6 SU in its last 23 games, 1-4 SU in its last 5 games, 1-4 ATS in its last 5 road games, 10-3 SU in its last 13 road games and the total has gone over in 6 of its last 8 road games.
Rick’s Pick: The line in this one opened up at -9 for KU and I just don’t see it. Heaps has really underperformed for a guy that started at BYU as a true freshman and it makes you wonder if he’s maybe lost something along the way. Even in the win against South Dakota, 10-of-20 for 110 yards is vastly underwhelming, especially considering the level of competition. And La Tech, if nothing else, has proven they can get to the quarterback. At this price, the points and La Tech are the better play.
Follow me on Twitter @SCPRick