LAWRENCE, Kan. – It’s not the usual game between Kansas and Duke on Saturday afternoon.
When most people think of Kansas and Duke in sports, the prestigious basketball powerhouses are the first thought. The history between the two programs is enough to bridge the more than 1,100 miles between the two universities.
But this football season will be something a little different. Both teams started 2022 3-0, making their new head coaches look like geniuses in the process.
Duke’s Mike Elko is in his first season as head coach after years as a defensive assistant, most recently at Texas A&M; he succeeded David Cutcliffe after a 14-year run at Durham. KU’s Lance Leipold is in his second year at Lawrence after a 2-10 2021 season that ended with a historic win at Texas.
Leipold’s quick turnaround from the Jayhawks put him in high consideration for the opener in Nebraska.
The Blue Devils shut out Temple and went on the road to upset Northwestern before heading home to beat North Carolina A&T.
They are led by quarterback Riley Leonard who has a completion percentage of over 70% so far this season.
Outside of the Jayhawks’ win over opponent FCS Tennessee Tech, their victories over West Virginia and Houston were shocks to the college football world.
Quarterback Jalon Daniels is slowly becoming a household name as a dynamic dual threat. 803 total yards and 10 total touchdowns put Daniels in the spotlight and the catalyst for Kansas’ first 3-0 start since 2009.
While offenses have shined for both teams, defenses may be the units that make this game a points fest.
Both defenses average more than 300 offensive yards per game (348 for Duke, 382 for KU).
If last year was any indication, this will be a high-profile game at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.
The Blue Devils beat Kansas last year 52-33 while racking up 607 total rushing yards against Kansas’ 530 yards.
The Jayhawks led 24-21 at halftime before a Duke comeback resulted in a 21-3 third-quarter run in favor of the hosts who ultimately decided the game.
Kansas’ last undefeated start to the season was in 2009 when Mark Mangino started the season 5-0 but ultimately finished the season 5-7 with a Big 12 victory and Mangino resigned after the season.
With a Big 12 victory already under their belt, if the football Jayhawks can win more than six games at a bowling game, the basketball team may have to wait a little longer for their turn under the spotlights this winter.
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