The Kansas defense will face their toughest test of the season when they travel to Baylor on Saturday. The main reason is the Robert Griffin, who is a dangerous, dual-threat quarterback.
It is tough to prepare when facing an athlete like Griffin so the Jayhawks are preparing the defense the best they can. Wide receiver Rod Harris will be playing the role of Griffin this week on the scout team.
For Harris it isn't easy because he must do a lot of work to mimic Griffin the best he can. Before the Georgia Tech game Harris played the role of Joshua Nesbitt.
"He watches a lot of film to prepare," said defensive coordinator Carl Torbush. "It will get us prepared for what we will see this week."
The Jayhawks went through practice on Sunday before getting Monday off. Tuesday afternoon will be the first full length practice the defense gets a look at Harris imitating Griffin.
"We might punch him up a little bit but he won't get hit," Torbush said with a laugh. "He'll try to outrun them to the edge or make a move up top.
Griffin presents challenge for defense
There isn't anybody that understands the problems that Griffin can cause more than defensive coordinator Carl Torbush. Against Georgia Tech Torbush had the defense prepared with a scheme to stop the triple option. Playing Baylor the defense will have to use an entirely different scheme.
"Schematically, you need to understand if you make a miss on Griffin, instead of being a ten yard gain it is going to be a touchdown or a long play," Torbush said. "You can not just sit there and worry about him. If you put three or four guys on him they have wide receivers that can take it to the house in one on one situations. Also we need to get more pressure on the quarterback than we have been able to do game in and game out."
Latest injury update
The Jayhawks appear to be heading into the game without a lot of new injuries. Kale Pick suffered an injury against New Mexico State that will sideline for him for three weeks. Getting defensive end Tyrone Sellers could be a big help to the defensive ends.
"Calvin Rubles is probable," said Kansas head coach Turner Gill. "I know he came out of the last game with an ankle injury but I don't foresee it at something that sets him back in practice. (Defensive end Tyrone) Sellers is questionable. He's going to practice today and through the rest of the week. I anticipate him playing, but we'll see how it goes. It all depends on how he performs this week."
Baylor game important for different reasons
For some players getting the chance to go back home and play in front of family and friends makes the Baylor game big.
"It is going to be very important because a lot of our players are from Texas," said Lubbock Smith who is from Texas. "A lot of us are looking forward to going and playing in Waco. It is going to be important for recruits to see that we can go to Texas and go beat (Baylor)."
For others just the fact the Baylor game starts off Big 12 play makes it another important contest.
"It's definitely exciting because these games are what matter the most," said Jordan Webb. "Every game is important, but when you get to conference play those games take a little more meaning."