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Matchups to Watch: TCU vs. Kansas

The Horned Frogs will face the winless Jayhawks under the lights Saturday evening

NCAA Football: Kansas at Texas Christian Timothy Flores-USA TODAY Sports

With all the craziness and unprecedented events the COVID-19 pandemic has brought us this fall, one thing has remained consistent: The Kansas Jayhawks are a very bad football team. Currently 0-7 on the season and winless in the Big 12 Conference, Kansas has seemingly taken a step back in the program’s second season under Les Miles.

The Horned Frogs (3-4) will look to even their record on Saturday evening, when TCU and Kansas will battle under the lights in Lawrence. TCU recently had its final bye week of the season, and the Horned Frogs must win their final two games to finish with a positive record this fall. TCU hasn’t recorded back-to-back losing seasons since 1996 and 1997, when the Horned Frogs played in the WAC under then head coach Pat Sullivan.

TCU has lost to Kansas only once since entering the Big 12 in 2012. That loss came in 2018, when quarterback Mike Collins compiled 384 yards and three touchdowns as the Jayhawks upset the Horned Frogs 27-26 in Lawrence. Despite winning three games in each of their last two seasons, Kansas has been horrendous this fall, allowing an average of 48.4 points on defense and committing 1.7 turnovers per game on offense.

A competitive game would be disappointing from the Horned Frogs, who should be able to cruise over the Jayhawks as every other team in the conference has thus far. Regardless, here are three key matchups to watch this weekend.

Darwin Barlow & Zach Evans vs. Kyron Johnson

Johnson has been a bright spot for a mediocre Kansas football team this season, totaling a team-leading three sacks as well as 31 tackles through seven games. The 6-foot-1, 230-pound linebacker will look to help stuff the TCU rushing attack, which will hopefully be headlined by Darwin Barlow and Zach Evans on Saturday.

Quentin Johnston vs. Kenny Logan Jr.

The Kansas cornerback has been a leader in the Jayhawk secondary, leading the team with 50 total tackles while adding the team’s only two interceptions. Logan also has three passes defensed and one forced fumble. He’ll likely be tasked with covering TCU wide receiver Quentin Johnston, who has been limited to only two receptions over his last two games.

C.J. Ceasar II vs. Kwamie Lassiter II

With Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson taking over TCU’s No. 1 corner role in the absence of Noah Daniels, Ceasar has been elevated to a starting role opposite THT after Kee’Yon Stewart was knocked out of the lineup with an injury. Kansas has struggled to find consistency quarterback and offensive line play this season, but Andrew Parchment and Lassiter are big-time playmakers when given the chance to make something happen. Lassiter leads the Jayhawks with 324 receiving yards this season.