We’ll return to a surprising 3-0 team to continue their run in Week 4

We’ll return to a surprising 3-0 team to continue their run in Week 4

LAWRENCE, KS - SEPTEMBER 02: Head coach Lance Leipold of the Kansas Jayhawks stands with his team before a game against the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium on September 2, 2022 in Lawrence, Kansas.  (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

Coach Lance Leipold and the Kansas Jayhawks are on a roll to start the year. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

The Kansas Jayhawks are 3-0 for the first time since 2009 and are now 7-point favorites at home to Duke in Week 4. This is a Kansas team that has been favored just twice in the past two seasons, going 0- 2 ATS. in those games. In either of those games, however, quarterback Jalon Daniels was the starter.

Public perception: It’s the Jayhawks. Surely, this hot streak must be coming to an end. At least, that’s how I interpret the line move and the open spread falling from 9 to 7. – finishing 1-1 – but I like only one favorite this week.

Why you should back the Jayhawks -7 in Week 4

It’s a duke. The Blue Devils are also on a 3-0 hitting streak for the first time since Week 2 of last season and that included a 52-33 win over Kansas in late September. Daniels did not play in that game, and Duke lost eight straight to close the season 3-9.

Last year, Duke went 0-5 SU and ATS on the road, losing by an average of 30 points while being outscored 210-59. But with a 3-0 record, this must be an improved team, right? It could, yes, but as always you can’t just look at the scores or the win-loss record and call it a day. The details don’t matter.

The Blue Devils have wins so far over FCS teams Northwestern and Temple – two offenses that were ranked 113th and 126th last year with two defenses that ranked 113th and 86th in the FBS, respectively. In those five road losses last season, Duke’s rushing defense allowed 297 yards (7.2 yards per rush) in a 48-17 loss to Virginia Tech and 266 rushing yards (6.3 yards per rush) in a 45-7 loss to Wake Forest.

This early in the season, stats can definitely be misleading. Currently through two FBS games, Duke has a top-10 defense against the run. But those opponents, Temple and Northwestern, were 112th and 84th in rushing offense last year; this year it is 124 and 77, respectively.

The strength of the schedules does not compare. Daniels and this Kansas offense faced tougher opponents in West Virginia and Houston. As it stands, the Jayhawks have a top-10 rushing unit with Daniels, Devin Neal, and Daniel Hishaw Jr. that’s seventh yards per rush with 11 total rushing scores.

A problem we haven’t seen yet but could have: Duke was in the bottom ten in giving last year, and maybe because of the competition it doesn’t seem to be a problem so far. Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, the Jayhawks are top 30 in takeaways, forcing two turnovers each in wins over the Cougars and Mountaineers. Duke is in a “prove it for me” situation.

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