Sure, the Jayhawks were one fourth down stop and a minute and a half from pulling off the big upset, but compared to where things were a year ago. In multiple games, the defense under coordinator Dave Campo have held teams in the explosive Big 12 to season lows in points and yardage.
The game against Texas was just the latest example of the improvements from a year ago. For the third time in conference play, the Kansas defense held a team to season lows in total yardage and points. In 2011, there were games that were over by the end of the first quarter.
Fast forward to this week against Baylor.
Robert Griffin III may be gone, but the Baylor offense is still as deadly as any in the nation, let alone the Big 12. Kansas coach Charlie Weis put it perfectly, when he cited that the Bears 3-4 record is a product of turnovers rather than the team not being as good as last year's 10-3 Alamo Bowl winning team.
In 2012, led by new quarterback Nick Florence, the Bears ride a four game losing streak to arrive to Saturday's game with the Jayhawks at 3-4, 0-4 in the Big 12. Consider that the losing streak began with a comical 70-63 shootout loss at West Virginia. Make no mistake, the Bears still can light it up and that's just the challenge Kansas will face Saturday afternoon in Waco. On the season, they average 569 yards a game (396 pass 173 rushing), good for third nationally and just over 44 points a game.
Baylor likes to spread the defense over the entire length of the field. On Tuesday, Weis noted that it's something he hasn't seen before. The translation is that the Bears will look to hit Kansas with short passes across the field.
However, Weis warned that Florence throws as nice of a deep ball as anyone in the country and can be very accurate as well. Through seven games, he's completed 65% of his passes for 2,652 yards with 22 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The conventional thinking is that a shootout favors Baylor, strongly.
For the Jayhawks, they must counter that with a game plan similar to last week against Texas. They must control the ball and the clock with their solid rushing attack led by James Sims, who Weis said is probably the best running back in the league.
If they are successful, they can win a tight lower scoring game. It would be Kansas' first win in Waco since the start of the Big 12 conference. It would also be the first conference win in almost two years.