Thursday, April 17, 2014
Kansas offense vs. Minnesota defense
QB Todd Reesing doesn't have elite size or arm strength but he's an excellent game manager and is capable of picking secondaries apart when he gets into a rhythm. It's important for Minnesota to force Reesing to get rid of the ball quickly and make it difficult for him to step into his throws by applying consistent pressure. The good news for Gophers fans is that the quickness and athletic ability of DE Willie VanDeSteeg should give Jayhawks redshirt freshmen OTs Jeremiah Hatch and Jeff Spikes some problems. The bad news is that Reesing has a quick release and Minnesota's corners are going to have a difficult time matching up with WRs Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier. Briscoe has the burst to separate from man coverage in a flash and he's dangerous after the catch. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Meier can use his wide frame to shield CBs Marcus Sherels (5-11, 166) and Traye Simmons (5-11, 175) from the ball. As a result, Reesing should help stunt the Gophers' pass rush by getting the ball out of his hands in a timely fashion. It's been an up-and-down year for Kansas RB Jake Sharp, who rushed for a total of just 59 yards on 26 carries in the last two games of the regular season. His inconsistency can be attributed in large part to an offensive line that has struggled to open up holes at times. However, Minnesota is giving up an average of 4.1 yards per carry and its front four has struggled to hold its ground so the Jayhawks should have some success creating running room for Sharp. Look for him to take advantage with his good quickness through the hole and the elusiveness to make the first defender miss when he gets into space.
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