There are few players on the Kansas roster that know the history and importance of the Border Showdown like Jordan Webb. As a prep standout at Union High he admitted Missouri was the team he grew up watching.
"All of my friends have been talking about this game for a really long time and everybody is really excited about it," Webb said. "It is one of those games that is important to everybody especially the guys from Missouri. With everybody on the team you can feel the importance and as the week goes on the emotion."
Last week Webb got to play during the fourth quarter in the Jayhawks loss to Oklahoma State. Getting those reps after coming off an injury could help knock the rust off.
"I think it did it was nice to get back in there and get playing time," Webb said. "I think it is something that will really help."
When asked how the injury is doing Webb lifted his left shoulder and moved it in a circular motion. He said is back to full strength.
"I feel 100 per cent now," he said. "It isn't bugging or bothering me in any way. It won't be an issue. I'm just glad it is back to normal."
No rest for the linebackers
If you watch the defense during the second half you will notice the one position that rarely gets a chance to rest is the linebackers. The depth at linebacker has been an issue with the starters usually going the distance.
As the game wears on the linebackers have to be playing with tired but Steven Johnson said it makes it more of a challenge.
"Sometimes it can be tough," Johnson said. "This past game we were on the field in the third quarter a whole lot. Every time I looked up at the clock there was maybe a minute that had gone by. It was rough but at the same time we love playing the game. We would never take it back. I try not to get worried about being tired and focus on making a play."
Young showing versatility
Kevin Young entered the season as a defensive end. Against Oklahoma State the Kansas City product got a chance to slide over and line up as a defensive tackle.
Young got preparation during practice the week of the Oklahoma State. He wasn't any hints if he would play the same position against Missouri.
"It was part of the game plan last week. I don't know it is permanent, but if it is I will anything to help the team out. I'm comfortable playing both of them. We'll just see how the game plan works out."
After just one game Young saw a difference from playing on the edge to moving inside.
"They have advantages and you have yours," Young said of against going bigger linemen. "You will be going up against guys that are stronger and you will be taking on double teams. But you can go in there with more speed because they aren't used to seeing as much of that. So if you can use your speed that is an advantage for you."
More news and notes
- One of the challenges the defense will face this week is trying to contain tight end Michael Egnew. He is one of the pass-catching tight ends in the country.
"He's a big part of their offense," said Phil Strozier. "Mizzou has always had a good tight end. We've faced Chase Coffman in the past and he was really good. We've had our experience with their type of tight ends. We have to keep a body on him and know where he is."
- The game will give two former teammates a chance to face each other. Richard Johnson graduated from Jeff City in the same class with Terrell Resonno who plays defensive line for Missouri.
"We always talk week to week and see how each other is doing," Johnson said. "It's been cool and I keep in touch with him. We talk about common opponents we face and the offensive lines."