TX - Kansas hasn't won a non-conference road game during the regular season since 2003. The return of a key offensive player could help change that.
Bet College Football Week 2
Star receiver Dezmon Briscoe could be back Saturday night for the 24th-ranked Jayhawks, who look to open with consecutive wins for a sixth straight year when they visit UTEP.
Oddsmakers from online sports book SPORTSBETTING.com have made
Kansas -11 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 80% of bets for this game have been placed on
Kansas -11 (View College Football bet percentages).
A preseason All-Big 12 selection, Briscoe was one of four
Kansas players - and the only starter - held out of the Jayhawks' 49-3 season-opening win over
Northern Colorado last Saturday.
The junior, who set a school record with 1,407 receiving yards in 2008, was suspended throughout spring practice for a violation of unspecified team rules.
"Briscoe and (defensive tackle Jamal) Greene's suspensions were related to the spring,''
Kansas coach Mark Mangino said. "They knew that part of the stipulation would be not playing in the first game."
Kansas amassed 547 yards behind quarterback Todd Reesing (two rushing touchdowns, two passing TDs) and running back Jake Sharp (21 carries, 123 yards) against
Northern Colorado without Briscoe, this contest might not be as easy.
Though UTEP is coming off a 5-7 season and a 23-17 opening loss to Buffalo at home last weekend,
Kansas has lost its last three non-conference road games since winning 42-35 at
Wyoming on Sept. 13, 2003.
The Jayhawks lost 37-34 at then-No. 19 South
Florida one year ago Saturday in their last non-conference contest away from home.
"Going on the road, we are going to see the character and makeup of this team," cornerback Chris Harris said. "It is a pretty hard step to go on the road."
Reesing, who hails from
Texas, has thrown a touchdown in 19 straight games for the Jayhawks, who've scored at least 31 points in their last five true road contests.
Sharp, meanwhile, is 67 rushing yards shy of 2,000 for his career.
Kansas is really something," UTEP coach Mike Price said. "They're not just a lot better than
Buffalo, they're a whole lot better than a bunch of teams in the country."
This is the Jayhawks' first meeting with the Miners, who are 3-44 all-time against ranked opponents including nine straight losses since beating then-No. 25 BYU 14-3 on Nov. 1, 1997. Despite UTEP's struggles versus ranked schools, the Jayhawks are taking a cautious approach to the game.
"It is very, very important, especially UTEP," said
Kansas linebacker Justin Springer, whose brother Jeremy is a starting linebacker for the Miners. "It is going to be a crazy atmosphere over there and it is going to be fun, but it is very important for our team."
This will be the first of three trips to the state of
Texas for the Jayhawks, who visit Texas Tech on Oct. 31, and No. 2 Texas on Nov. 21.
"I think we are well prepared to play on the road and our players are looking forward to it," said Mangino, who's 46-41 at
Kansas and one win shy of tying Glen Mason for second on the school's all-time list. "Our players are looking forward to getting on the road, because as you know, if we want to have success in the conference, we have to be able to win on the road."
Senior Donald Buckram rushed 14 times for 108 yards last Saturday for UTEP, while junior receiver Kris Adams caught nine passes for 98 yards against
Adams was second in Conference
USA with 14 touchdown receptions last season.
Bet College Football Week 2
Posted: 9/8/09 11:05PM ET