LAWRENCE, Kan. — This is not the usual Kansas and Duke Saturday afternoon matchup.
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 fill the 1,100+ miles between the two universities.
But this football season will be something a little different. Both teams have 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 a head coach after years as a defensive assistant, most recently at Texas A&M; he took over for David Cutcliffe after a 14-year run in Durham. KU’s Lance Leipold is in his second year in Lawrence after a 2-10 2021 season that ended with a historic win at Texas.
Leipold’s quick turnaround of the Jayhawks has put him in high consideration for the opening at Nebraska.
The Blue Devils have shut out Temple and went on the road to upset Northwestern before coming back home to beat up on 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 FCS opponent Tennessee Tech, their wins over West Virginia and Houston have been 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 has Daniels in the spotlight and the catalyst of Kansas’ first 3-0 start since 2009.
While the offenses have shined for both teams, the defenses may be the units that make this game a points fest.
Both defenses average allowing more than 300 offensive yards per game (348 for Duke, 382 for KU).
If last year was any indication, it will be a high scoring a game at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.
The Blue Devils beat Kansas last year 52-33 while racking up 607 yards of total offense 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 that ultimately decided the game.
Kansas’ last undefeated start to a season was in 2009 when Mark Mangino began the season at 5-0 but ultimately finished the season 5-7 with one Big 12 win and Mangino resigned after the season.
With one Big 12 win already under their belt, if the football Jayhawks can make a bowl game win more than six games, the basketball team may have to wait a little longer for its turn in the spotlight come winter.