Monday, May 2, 2011
Big 12 spring game recap: Kansas
By David Ubben
What we learned:
- Three quarterbacks got pretty even time, but Jordan Webb completed 8-of-14 passes for 108 yards and a score. Quinn Mecham completed 6-of-11 passes for 102 yards and a touchdown, but was sacked four times.
- Webb also led all rushers with 39 yards on three carries. James Sims had 11 yards on five carries and Darrian Miller had 23 yards on four carries.
- Kale Pick led all receivers with four catches for 38 yards.
- The game's biggest highlight: a 53-yard touchdown pass from Mecham.
- The Blue team beat White, 17-6.
- A crowd of 6,000 showed up.
They said it:
- Great to see defensive end D.J. Marshall get back on the field after battling Hodgkin's lymphoma. The fans recognized the significance of the moment, too. He received a standing ovation and had a pair of tackles for loss, including a sack.
- The quarterback competition is headed into the fall, and the Jayhawks will add two quarterbacks in preseason camp, Brock Berglund and Michael Cummings. For now, though, Webb's spring performance gives him the leg up. "If I had to give an edge right now, I would give it to Jordan Webb," Gill told reporters after the game.
- Kansas might have found a big strength on the defensive line. Pat Lewandowski had a huge spring, and former running back Toben Opurum looks like he's coming into his own at defensive end. Both had great days, albeit against backup linemen, but those two still have a lot of room to get better. The skill-position talent isn't there yet for Kansas, and if it's going to win games next season, it'll have to do it by winning the line of scrimmage. Opurum had a sack, as did John Williams. "I think Toben is going to be a guy to be reckoned with in the Big 12," Gill said. "I think he's going to be a guy people are going to be talking about as time goes along." If that ends up happening, Gill's going to look like a genius. Find me another guy that went from a team's leading rusher to an All-Big 12 defensive lineman. Gutsy move that looks like it's paying off for Kansas, which has plenty of quality running backs.
- The same goes for Pick, who had a great spring, and I'd bet is good for 30-50 catches next season. That'll probably be second-most on the team, behind Daymond Patterson.
- Nice day for Darrian Miller to cap the freshman's great spring. He's going to be fun to watch and a nice complement to James Sims' more powerful running style. He gives them a home-run threat no other backs on the roster have really shown. He'll make an impact next season.
- Patterson, the team's leading receiver, sat as a precaution after suffering an injury this spring, but I'd be surprised if he didn't lead the team in receiving once again.
- Keeston Terry and Bradley McDougald both had great springs and look like they've locked down starting spots at safety. McDougald had a couple nice hits on Saturday, a bit of a surprise for a former receiver. Terry came to campus as a receiver, too, but now both will be in the secondary. Combined with Opurum's move, it's clear that Gill's going to do things quite a bit differently than Mark Mangino, if that wasn't already quite obvious.
"It’s up for grabs. I can say today Jordan has been a little more consistent. We’ll go into fall camp, go up to an appropriate time for us to announce who is best to start."
- Coach Turner Gill, on the Jayhawks' quarterback battle.
More Big 12 spring game recaps: