Posted October 27, 2017 11:21 am - Updated October 27, 2017 05:13 pm

Know the foe: Kansas State at Kansas

Who has had the tougher job, Bill Snyder or David Beaty?

Beaty is in his third season as the Kansas football coach with a 3-28 record and one Big 12 victory. He’s the third consecutive KU coach with dismal results following Turner Gill and Charlie Weis after a good run by Mark Mangino that included an Orange Bowl appearance.

There have been good years at KU and that’s the difference in the programs, says Snyder, who took over what was deemed the worst program in the history of college football in 1989 and turned it into a perennial bowl participant during his College Football Hall of Fame career.

“I don’t know that there’s any program that has been or will be in the situation that was at Kansas State at that particular time,” Snyder said. “Kansas has had some success in the past; they’re not the losingest program in the history of college football. They are going through some difficult times right now but they’re not where we were, I don’t think.”

As the Wildcats and Jayhawks meet in the Sunflower Showdown on Saturday in Lawrence, Snyder is among the coaches Beaty looks to for inspiration in his difficult task.

“You look at guys who have done it throughout their careers and Bill is one of those guys that you certainly look to,” Beaty said. “I think you look to a Frank Beamer, the way they started at Virginia Tech … people think about all those bowl games but it didn’t start out like that.

“I look to (KU basketball coach) Bill Self when he was back at Oral Roberts. He and I have had many conversations about building something and it’s a process and not an event. It doesn’t happen overnight and there are no guarantees that you’re not going to step backwards before you step forward, but that’s where courage and belief in your plan and staying the course is the thing you have to do. We’re committed to getting this thing right and we have a great opportunity this week.”

KANSAS OFFENSE: The Jayhawks have been shut out their past two games and had only 21 total yards in last week’s loss at TCU.

“If we’re thinking they didn’t get points on the board in the previous two ballgames that they’ll be a little bit easier, then we’re making a major, major mistake and we’ll find ourselves in serious trouble,” Snyder said. “They didn’t score a touchdown against TCU but we didn’t either. That should send a message.”

The Jayhawks average 345.3 total yards a game (120.6 rushing, 224.7 passing) behind quarter Peyton Bender and running back Khalil Herbert, who ran for 291 yards against West Virginia.

“We have to be able to run the football in this conference,” Beaty said. “This team we’re about to play, I believe they are second in the conference in the run game and one of the best running teams I’ve ever had to play year in and year out. We have to be able to match that and run the football offensively.”

KANSAS DEFENSE: This unit was expected to give KU a chance to stay in games with defensive end Dorance Armstrong, the Big 12 preseason defensive player of the year, tackle Daniel Wise, linebacker Joe Dineen and safety Mike Lee.

The Jayhawks rank No. 9 in the conference, giving up 507.8 yards a game, and are last in scoring defense at 52.2 points.

“They have some very fine players, and players we’ve played against and know what their capacity for good performance happens to be,” Snyder said. “Their defense is well put together. I can appreciate the way they play.

“When you’re not doing well collectively it tends to wear on you a little bit – we’re experiencing that, as well – but they play hard. They have good physical talent. They have some speed and can run around the back end. They have some experience at the linebacker position that has been on the field against us the last two, three years. They have edge rushers who have some range to them and can disrupt passers. They have the capacity to be a good defensive football team.”