(Courtesy of KUAthletics)
Kickoff: Saturday, 3:35 p.m. ET (FSN)
Spread: Kansas by 10
Watchability: Kansas (120th) and Rice (111th) ranked in the bottom 10 of total defense in 2011. The Owls didn't show much improvement in 49-24 loss to UCLA in a game in which the Bruins racked up 646 yards of offense. This game should be high-scoring, so if you like offense, tune in.
Shining stars: Kansas: S Bradley McDougald had two interceptions, six tackles and a pass breakup in KU's opener against South Dakota State. Dating to last season, it was the second straight game McDougald had an interception. Rice: LB Cameron Nwosu set an NCAA record against UCLA with three PAT blocks. He also had nine tackles and an interception. Kansas coach Charlie Weis said he's not worried about Nwosu blocking any of KU's kicks, as he thought all three of Nwosu's blocks were against low kicks.
Who could steal the show: Kansas: RB Taylor Cox ran for 121 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries in his debut as a Jayhawk. Rice allowed 343 yards rushing against UCLA, and the Jayhawks' best offense in their opener was when Cox or fellow RB Tony Pierson had the ball. Rice: Dual-threat QB Taylor McHargue led Rice with 95 rushing yards and 172 passing yards against UCLA.
You going? Ranking the road trip: Kansas had 46,601 come out for the opener and nearly filled Memorial Stadium. In the last couple years, most have left by halftime, and Weis has joked that he'll fight anyone who leaves early. Weis has brought some enthusiasm and hope back to the program and Memorial Stadium wasn't such a depressing place to be in the opener. If that's not enough of an endorsement -- KU football, it's not that depressing anymore -- this is likely the last game KU will be favored this year, so it could be one of the only times KU fans witness a win in 2012.
Magic number for Kansas: 2. The number of Kansas tailbacks who rushed for more than 100 yards in the opener, the first time Kansas has had two backs go for 100-plus yards since Sept. 2007. UCLA was able to dominant the Rice defense with a balanced attack, and the Jayhawks can take some pressure off QB Dayne Crist by feeding Pierson and Cox early.
Magic number for Rice: 0. The Owls did not score a point in the second half against UCLA and getting off to a fast start against Kansas could be key. With a struggling defense, the Owls will not be able to afford any long droughts against Kansas.
The game comes down to: Defense. The team whose defense is able to get stops, particularly early, should come out on top. The Kansas defense looked improved against South Dakota State, but that was against South Dakota State. Of course, there's nowhere to go but up after finishing dead last in total defense last year.
Prediction: Kansas 41, Rice 31
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from Big 12 bloggers C.J. Moore and Patrick Southern, follow @CBSSportsBig12 on Twitter. You can also follow C.J. (@cjmoore4) and Patrick (@patricksouthern).