Preview: KUs defense a solid group

Kansas (5-2, 1-2) heads to Lubbock this weekend on a two-game losing skid,
licking its wounds after being dominated at home by Oklahoma.
School Location: Lawrence, Kansas
School Colors: Blue, Crimson
Series Record: Texas Tech leads 10-1
Record: 5-2, 1-2 Big 12
National Ranking: No. 39 (Rivals120)
Head Coach: Mark Mangino (Youngstown State, '87); 50-42
at Kansas (0-3 vs. Texas Tech)
Defensive Coordinator: Clint Bowen (Kansas, '94)
Base Defensive Formation: 4-2-5
When: Saturday, October 31, 2:30 p.m.
Where: Jones AT&T Stadium (59,011)
TV: ABC-HD (Regional)
Radio: Texas Tech Sports Network (Affiliates);
Sirius 121; XM 141; Jayhawk Radio Network (Affiliates)
On The Line: Kansas' defensive line is a battled-tested bunch,
all but two players -- starting defensive tackles John Williams (6-foot-4,
309-pounds) and his backup, Richard Johnson, Jr. (6-foot-2, 281-pounds) -- on the
two-deep are juniors or seniors. This experience is reflected in the stats, as
the Jayhawks boast the nation's 16th-best rush defense (98.29 yards per game)
and are top thirty in both sacks (2.71) and tackles for loss (6.86) per game.
Defensive end Jake Laptad (6-foot-5, 258-pounds) is the headliner of this group
and has already registered 5.5 sacks and eight tackles for loss to go along with
his 29 tackles. He only started Kansas' last six games of the 2008 season but
still led all linemen in tackles (38), sacks (7) and tackles for loss (8.5). His
backup, Maxwell Onyegbule (6-foot-5, 258), is also extremely effective.
Williams is an interesting player in that he began the month of October as an
offensive lineman. Prior to the Jayhawks' game against Colorado, he was moved to
defensive tackle and inserted into the starting lineup. Williams dominated over
the last two games (one tackle) but he has equipped himself well enough to stay
on the field.
Linebackers: Junior Drew Dudley (6-foot-2, 232-pounds) and true
freshman Huldon Tharp (6-foot-1, 215-pounds) are both first year starters in
Bowen's 4-2-5 scheme. Dudley, a classmate of Texas Tech receiver Detron Lewis at
College Station (Texas) A&M Consolidated, is second on the team in sacks (3) and
tackles for loss (7.5) and tied for first in tackles with Darrell Stuckey (54).
Two weeks ago, against Colorado, Dudley logged 14.5 tackles and two stops behind
the line of scrimmage.
Tharp worked his way into the starting lineup for Kansas' Big 12 opener against
Iowa State and has remained there ever since. He has registered 8.5 tackles over
the past three weeks, with five of those coming last Saturday against Oklahoma.
In The Secondary: Safety Darrell Stuckey (6-foot-1, 205-pounds)
is one of the best safeties in the Big 12 and is midway through his fourth
season as a starter. He was the Jayhawks' only first-team All-Big 12 selection
in 2008 after collecting 98 tackles (second on the team) and five interceptions.
Over the last three weeks, Stuckey has logged 24.5 tackles; on the year, he is
tied with Dudley for the team lead in that category (54).
True freshman D.J. Beshears (5-foot-9, 175-pounds) made his season debut two
Saturdays ago against Colorado and logged his first career start a week later
against Oklahoma. He struggled at times against the Sooners and was flagged
twice for pass interference, but still led the team in solo tackles (6) and is
expected to get the start against Texas Tech.
Quick Hits
Despite the lopsided, 35-13 final score, Kansas only gave up 337 yards
of offense to Oklahoma last week.
In their only Big 12 win of the season (41-36 over Iowa State), the
Jayhawks gave up 512 yards of offense. In their two losses, they have given
up 322 and 337 yards.
Kansas is tied with Baylor for ninth-place in the Big 12 in turnovers
gained (12) on the season; they lead the conference, however, in fewest
turnovers lost (10).
Jake Laptad is fourth in the Big 12 in sacks (5.5).
Jayhawk opponents have entered the redzone 24 times (No. 50 in NCAA)
this season and have scored 83-percent of the time (No. 61 in NCAA).
Kansas Alumni in the NFL: Anthony Collins (OT, Cincinnati); Derek Fine
(TE, Buffalo); Justin Hartwig (C, Pittsburgh);
Moran Norris (FB, San Francisco); Aqib Talib (CB, Tampa Bay).