Kansas Jayhawks (1-2)
Last game: Lost, 20-6, to TCU at home
Last meeting with Northern Illinois: Kansas 45, NIU 42 on Sept. 10, 2011
Key offensive players: Dayne Crist, Sr., QB; Tony Piersen, So., RB; Daymond Patterson, Sr., WR
Key defensive players: Bradley McDougald, Sr., FS; Greg Brown, Sr., CB; Josh Williams, Sr. DE; Huldon Tharp, Jr., OLB
Observations: The Jayhawks actually lead the country in turnover ratio, but those turnovers haven't translated into victories. TCU lost four fumbles against the Jayhawks, but Kansas was only able to score six points.
The Jayhawks feature a strong running game with Piersen and Taylor Cox averaging close to six yards per run. Kansas' rushing attack will also be boosted with the return of junior James Sims.
Doeren's take: "We have a 16-game home winning streak that we're defending this week. We get to go at it against a Big 12 football team, so I think there's a great opportunity for people to see a really good game here."
Key stat: Kansas has lost 13 consecutive games on the road.
The view from Lawrence: NIU opened up as a 10-point favorite. The Lawrence-Journal World's Tom Keegan writes that a MAC team isn't supposed to be favored against a Big 12 opponent.
• The Jayhawks have had success running the ball with Piersen and Cox. The Journal-World's Matt Tait writes about how excited Kansas is to have Sims back in the fold as well.
• Keegan writes about Kansas offensive guard Randall Dent, who made the switch from defensive tackle over the summer.
— Steve Nitz, firstname.lastname@example.org