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Monday, November 8, 2004

Swanson out, Nielsen in for UT

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Once again, an unexpected, unforeseen, unavoidable injury has cost Kansas University's football team a starting quarterback.

KU coach Mark Mangino confirmed Sunday that an undisclosed injury Jason Swanson sustained against Colorado was indeed serious -- enough to make John Nielsen the announced starter for Saturday's game against Texas.

"It doesn't look good," Mangino said of Swanson's injury. "He's certainly not going to play this week. Talking to our medical staff this afternoon, he's probably finished."

Swanson suffered the injury -- apparently to his right shoulder -- in the first quarter of KU's 30-21 loss to Colorado on Saturday, after taking a hit upon throwing an incomplete pass. Swanson stayed in one more play -- another incomplete pass -- before leaving for good.

Mangino said the injury was "similar" to the one suffered by Adam Barmann one week before against Iowa State. In that game, Barmann scrambled for a gain of four yards before his right shoulder jammed into the turf. Like Swanson, Barmann stayed in for one more play before leaving for good.

He's not expected to play again this season, though Mangino said Barmann was progressing.

"Adam Barmann is doing very well," Mangino said. "If this was in midseason, he would have an opportunity to return. But the chances of that happening now are probably less."

Which makes Nielsen KU's third starting quarterback in three weeks, with Brian Luke slated to back him up. Nielsen passed for 183 yards and a touchdown on 21-of-31 passing against Colorado and will look to be more effective Saturday after getting a majority of the snaps in practice this week.

"He's a very smart guy," Mangino said of Nielsen. "He understands what's in front of him. He's a sound passing quarterback. Not great arm strength, but he gets the ball where you need it most of the time."

Nielsen, a preferred walk-on, came to KU in 2003 after two seasons at Palomar Junior College in San Marcos, Calif. He passed for 33 yards against Kansas State last year after Bill Whittemore went down with injury and played at the end of KU's 63-14 victory over Toledo earlier this season.

"He'll study the game plan very carefully," Mangino said. "He'll study Texas very carefully, and we'll do the things he's capable of doing to make him successful."

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Texas time announced: Big 12 Conference officials announced Sunday that KU's showdown with Texas will kick off at 11 a.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium. It will be televised on Fox Sports Net.

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