Kansas Football Non-Con Schedule 2018 Preview

With Kansas football approaching in a few months I wanted to take a dive into this year’s non-conference schedule.

I’ll be doing a breakdown of each game by looking at the previous years stats, returning players and their 2018 recruiting class.

GAME ONE

Nicholls State (FCS) @ Kansas

Stat Kansas Nicholls State Advantage
Total Offense 329 YPG/25 TD’s (120th of 130) 402.5 YPG/35 TD’s (37th of 123) Nicholls State
Points Per Game 18.7 (120th of 130) 28.3 (42nd of 123) Nicholls State
Turnover Margin -1.42 (127th of 130 -1.08 (112th of 123) Nicholls State
Total Defense 468.3 YPG/68 OPP TD’s (117th of 130) 352.2 YPG/37 OPP TD’s (46th of 123) Nicholls State
Points Allowed Per Game 43.4 (129th of 130) 25.2 (55th of 123) Nicholls State
Returning Production 91% 91 Returning Players Even

Summary:

At first glance this doesn’t look like a good match-up for Kansas as Nicholls State holds the advantage to nearly every stat category. What the stats do not account for is the fact that Nicholls State is an FCS school. It’s hard to compare their stats to Kansas’ stats and accurately draw a conclusion as the competition just isn’t the same as it is at the FBS level.

Having said that they’re still a very good team and definitely won’t be a push over. As you can see they have a solid offense and defense, and they return a large portion of their production from last year. I see this game being close at the beginning with Kansas being able to pull away towards the end.

Score Prediction: 35-17 Kansas

GAME TWO

Kansas @ Central Michigan

Stat Kansas Central Michigan Advantage
Offensive Efficiency 19.5 (122nd of 130) 32.9 (108th of 130) Central Michigan
Points Per Game 18.7 (120th of 130) 28.5 (64th of 130) Central Michigan
Defensive Efficiency 27 (110th of 130)

 

49.5 (65th of 130) Central Michigan
Points Allowed Per Game 43.4 (129th of 130) 27.5 (71st of 130) Central Michigan
Special Teams Efficiency 33.4 (124th of 130) 42.1 (108th of 130)

 

Central Michigan
Returning Offensive Production 91%

 

27%

 

Kansas
Returning Defensive Production 92% 49% Kansas
Recruiting Class Rank 61st 122nd Kansas
Strength of Schedule 4.23 (33rd of 130) -4.80 (98th of 130) Kansas

Overview:

I feel like this is Kansas’ best shot at a road win this year and will possibly even be the best shot they’ve had the last eight years. Central Michigan did lead Kansas in the offensive, defensive and special teams stat categories but that’s not considering the fact that Kansas will be returning 91% of it’s production and have a significantly better recruiting class. Along with that Central Michigan is only bringing back 27% of their offensive production and 49% of their defensive production.

I see this game starting slow at first with how horrible Kansas has been on the road and how new a lot of the Central Michigan players will be. Either way this will be a close game all the way through and it’ll be primarily dominated by the defenses. I give the edge to Kansas on this type of defensive game with how much of their production they returned on defense and the players in the 2018 class that can make a difference right away.

Score Prediction: 17-13 Kansas

GAME THREE

Rutgers @ Kansas

Stat Kansas Rutgers Advantage
Offensive Efficiency 19.5 (122nd of 130) 25.6 (113th of 130) Rutgers
Points Per Game 18.7 (120th of 130) 18 (121st of 130) Kansas
Defensive Efficiency 27 (110th of 130)

 

48.3 (69th of 130) Rutgers
Points Allowed Per Game 43.4 (129th of 130) 28.3 (77th of 130) Rutgers
Special Teams Efficiency 33.4 (124th of 130) 49.4 (67th of 130) Rutgers
Returning Offensive Production 91%

 

60%

 

Kansas
Returning Defensive Production 92% 81% Kansas
Recruiting Class Rank 61st 57th Rutgers
Strength of Schedule 4.23 (33rd of 130) 6.15 (16th of 130) Rutgers

Overview:

This has all the makings of a trap game for Kansas. If they do what they should and take care of business against Nicholls State and Central Michigan they’ll be coming into this game 2-0 for the first time under Beaty. That may sound good but as we’ve seen Kansas can be scarier when they come out “confident” as opposed to coming off a loss. I’m not saying confidence is bad but for Kansas it’s seemed to cause them to lose focus and not be as prepared.

As for the stats, once again the opposing team leads most categories. The problem Kansas will have with the Rutgers is they’re significantly better than Central Michigan and they don’t lose as many players, meaning they’ll have a lot more experience. They also have a better recruiting class per 247 sports.

I see Rutgers coming out and punching Kansas in the mouth as they sprint to an early lead. As we’ve seen in the past Kansas isn’t a team that reacts favorably in those situations so I believe it’ll be enough that it’ll be too big of a hole to dig out of.

Score Prediction: 27-13 Rutgers

Summary:

Kansas comes into the year returning a large portion of their offensive and defensive production and they play a favorable non-conference schedule. I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t finish it with at least a 2-1 and potentially even a 3-0 record. I think the main factor with the last non-conference game against Rutgers is whether or not they let the confidence and momentum from starting 2-0 carry them or drag them down by losing focus. Either way I think there should be some optimism if not for the conference schedule at least for the non-conference schedule.

Resource Links:

Returning Production

Non-Conference Schedule Ranks

ESPN College Football Stats

FCS College Football Stats

FBS College Football Stats

Recruit Class Rankings

Nicholls State 2018 Returning Roster

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4 Replies to “Kansas Football Non-Con Schedule 2018 Preview”

  1. I like your predictions here and I hope they’re right on at either 2-1 or 3-0, for the team’s sake. However, if this goes as predicted, when do you think Beaty gets fired? After 3 losses in a row to Baylor, Oklahoma State and West Virginia at presser on Monday 10/8/18? Sooner/later?

    1. If Beaty makes it through non-conference play I’m guessing he won’t be fired until the end of the season unless he gets blown out against any teams not named OU. Thanks for the comment by the way!

  2. What’s your opinion on Nicholls State possibly being better than CMU. Obviously CMU took it to us badly in Lawrence last year in a game that I unfortunately was at to see Bowen’s defense outta position time and time again. Of coarse CMU is on the road this season and Nicholls is at home but It’s not like going into a 30,000 seat MAC stadium that probably won’t be full should be all that intimidating. I think there is a chance we lose to Nicholls and beat CMU.

    1. That’s definitely possible. Nicholls State returns a lot of players and they played a close game against Texas A&M last year. They’re a very good FCS team. The crazy part of this non conference schedule though is Kansas can go 0-3 just as easily as they can go 3-0. But I do have to say I’d be very surprised if Kansas does lose to Nicholls.

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