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Big 12 spring game recap: Kansas

4/26/2010

What happened:

  • Kale Pick threw a late 37-yard touchdown pass to lead the Blue team to a 14-10 victory over the White. (Worth noting: he also threw a touchdown pass for the White team. Spring game rules: Love them. Colons as well, apparently.)

  • 12,500 fans showed up.

What we learned:

  • As noted this morning, Kale Pick made himself the clear favorite with the game-winning score to Christian Matthews. But he also threw a pretty deep ball down the right side for a 72-yard score to Chris Omigie. Pick was frustrated that most people thought of him as just a runner when spring began. Consider that idea officially dead. Except Pick still gets to keep his 4.5 40 time. Of course, the contest is hardly over, but he's planning on asserting himself this summer with his receivers. "We don’t have great timing yet, but it will come this summer," he said.

  • Jordan Webb threw the other touchdown pass, a nice throw to tight end Tim Biere into a tight window while he was under pressure. Webb emerged as the other candidate this spring, and had a decent day throwing the ball (8-of-13, 46 yards), but also threw an interception.

  • Applying that pressure? Kansas defensive ends, who had a field day on the quarterbacks without actually planting any of them into the Kivisto Field turf, of course. Spring means no contact for the quarterbacks, but Kansas quarterbacks were sacked nine times in the game, including two by Quinton Woods and Kevin Young.

  • But what does that mean for the offensive line? They bring back all five starters, but give up nine sacks to a relatively unheralded defense? Probably not a great sign, but again, it's spring. Kansas was 11th in the conference in rushing last season, and gave up 25 sacks, second-most in the conference. Sometimes improvement is assumed, but it doesn't always happen. (See: Kansas 2009 season.) The offensive line will have to show some improvement before it gets penciled in as the strength some see it in Gill's first year.

  • On a related note, nice days for running backs Angus Quigley and DeShaun Sands, who both carried the ball seven times for over 30 yards, surpassing four yards per carry. Disappointing day for sophomore Toben Opurum, who ran for just 16 yards on the same number of carries. "There is no clear-cut guy," Gill said of his running backs. "We’re going to keep this thing competitive. We do have some competitiveness at the running back spot and a lot of different areas."

They said it:

“It was pretty simple. We were just running our base plays. We didn’t get too exotic. We wanted to see execution.” -- Kansas coach Turner Gill on his offense, which ran only 30-40 percent of the playbook.

"I think it’s part of a clean slate, and we’re disappointed by last year. Nobody’s happy about that. We’re doing whatever we can to not let that happen again ... It’s been a big factor. I was sick watching those bowl games over the break. I couldn’t watch all of them. I watched a couple, but I was just sick after we didn’t make it." -- Senior receiver Johnathan Wilson, on last season's failures as a motivator for the spring.

"We just got a lot of new terminology. People at new positions and just different faces that weren’t there last season. But I think things are going along nicely." -- Sophomore running back Toben Opurum, on the changes with the new coaching staff