Originally published October 16, 2012 at 01:43p.m., updated October 16, 2012 at 10:02p.m.

Weis: Both Cummings and Crist will play against Oklahoma

Kansas University quarterbacks Michael Cummings, left, and Dayne Crist will both play on Saturday at Oklahoma, KU coach Charlie Weis announced on Tuesday. "I owe it to my team, and I owe it to all the Kansas supporters to put the best product on the field. I think Michael deserves an opportunity to play," Weis said, though he did not divulge which QB would start against the Sooners.

Kansas University quarterbacks Michael Cummings, left, and Dayne Crist will both play on Saturday at Oklahoma, KU coach Charlie Weis announced on Tuesday. "I owe it to my team, and I owe it to all the Kansas supporters to put the best product on the field. I think Michael deserves an opportunity to play," Weis said, though he did not divulge which QB would start against the Sooners.


It was an answer, only in the fact that we now know that Kansas University quarterbacks Dayne Crist and Michael Cummings both will play Saturday, when the Jayhawks travel to Oklahoma to take on the Sooners at 6:05 p.m.

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Charlie Weis

Kansas coach Charlie Weis talks to reporters on Oct. 16, 2012, four days before his team's game against Oklahoma.

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Who will start? That’s still anybody’s guess, and, in a way, that’s exactly how KU coach Charlie Weis likes it.

“I’m obviously not here to let (OU coaches) Bob and Mike Stoops know the order and how many plays,” Weis said. “We know that they’ll be getting ready for both guys and the fact that they do things a little bit differently.”

According to KU quarterbacks coach Ron Powlus, there remains a significant difference in the depth with which Crist and Cummings understand KU’s offense. But Powlus said he first noticed things beginning to click for Cummings at the end of spring practice and added that, through heavy studying, the red-shirt freshman had done a lot to close the gap since then.

“It’s one thing to know the playbook,” Powlus said. “And it’s another thing to execute the play. And that’s what experience does for you.”

Weis said he expected OU’s defense to have different plans for both Crist and Cummings, which makes sense, considering Weis does, as well. But while their obvious differences — Cummings is more mobile and brings better energy and Crist is more experienced and has better size — lead to some basic answers about how each will be used, Weis’ gameplan sounded anything but basic when he discussed it vaguely during his weekly meeting with the media Tuesday.

“I have a whole bunch of things in for this game,” Weis said. “We can’t just go vanilla and sit there and figure we’re gonna slug it out and that’s gonna work out to our advantage.”

When asked if playing Cummings would limit what pages he could flip to in the playbook, Weis was more frank.

“Not with what we’re doing,” he said. “As a matter of fact, I’m fired up about this, to see what this stuff looks like. I mean, I haven’t been sleeping very well, but I’ve been drawing (plays) in the dirt for the last 48 hours.”

The Jayhawks reached this point, of course, because of Crist’s struggles and the brief but bright spark that Cummings provided in relief during last week’s loss to Oklahoma State.

“I owe it to my team, and I owe it to all the Kansas supporters to put the best product on the field,” Weis said. “I think Michael deserves an opportunity to play.”

The two-QB system, however, is more than just a service to Cummings, who missed time during his senior year of high school because of a knee injury, red-shirted last season and has played around 25 minutes of football this season.

“I think it keeps Dayne from going totally in the tank,” Weis said.

Both QBs were informed on Monday night that they would be playing. They also learned one other piece of information that may help their focus.

“They’re not gonna talk to the media this week because I’m not gonna make this into any bigger distraction than it already is,” Weis said.

As a general philosophy, Weis does not appear to be a fan of the two-quarterback system. But with the Jayhawks at 1-5 overall and 0-3 in the Big 12 and his offense struggling, it seems as if the first-year coach is willing to throw it all out there and see what works.

“Let’s hope that whoever goes in first plays so great that it makes it impossible for me to want to put the second guy in,” Weis said. “But I have to think that in a 60-minute game, there’ll probably come a time when I say, ‘OK, let’s flip over to this other package.’”

Injury update

Linebacker Tunde Bakare is back to full speed after missing last week’s game because of a head injury. In addition, tailback Tony Pierson, who has missed the past seven quarters because of an elbow injury also appears closer to a return, said Weis.

Senior wide receiver D.J. Beshears (shoulder fracture) is out for “an extended period of time,” and senior wideout Daymond Patterson (head injury) is listed as questionable for this weekend against OU.

Willis on the rise

While injuries have taken their toll on the Jayhawks during the past few days, a few other players have taken steps to more playing time.

Linebacker Jake Love, who started in Bakare’s place last week and recorded 12 tackles, is listed as the starter at Sam linebacker and junior Darius Willis, is listed as a second-string defensive end behind senior Toben Opurum.

“He got beat out by a bunch of guys,” Weis said of Willis, last year’s starting middle linebacker. “Instead of whining and complaining, he went down to show team and then he just went hard and hard and hard. And now he’s put himself in position to be in the two-deep and get on the field.”

Last week, Willis was in on three tackles. Entering the game, he had just two for the season.

“It’s one thing having a motor; it’s another making plays,” Weis said. “He’s disruptive. He’s helping us.”

Doherty to punt again

After missing last week’s game, junior Ron Doherty is expected to work as the Jayhawks’ punter this week against Oklahoma.

Doherty is averaging 40.5 yards per punt on 21 attempts. With Doherty out, sophomore Sean Huddleston handled punting duties and averaged 40.8 yards on five kicks but struggled with hangtime.

Sophomore Nick Prolago holds the starting spot as KU’s place kicker for the second straight week, with Doherty listed as the backup. Doherty is 5-of-10 this season on field goals, and Prolago, who also kicks off, did not attempt a field goal last week and was 2-for-2 on extra points.

Proud coach

The Jayhawks aren’t celebrating too much, but it continues to be clear that the Jayhawks took a lot out of last week’s close-call loss against Oklahoma State.

“As miserable as I was after that game, that’s the first time I was ever proud of our team,” Weis said before correcting himself. “Actually, it’s the second time. The first time was when I got their grades last semester. And it’s the first time since that 3.0 grade-point-average where you could see any true pride in the locker room, even though they had lost a game.”

OU loaded

Weis talked Tuesday about the number of future pros on Oklahoma’s roster compared to the number on his roster.

“Yeah, they have a bunch,” Weis said. “And they have ‘em on both sides of the ball, too. ... It’s night and day. Let’s be practical. If they play their best game and we play our best game, they win. Because they have good coaches and they have good players. But I’m counting that that’s not the way it goes. I’m counting that we play our best game and they don’t.”


JHWKDW 1 year, 6 months ago

Man since Charlie Weis had some experience in the NFL, maybe he ought to look at 2 teams in the NFL that are using a 2 QB system San Francisco, and the NY Jets!

The Jets are totally sucking using the 2 QB system with Tebow and Sanchez! And it is causing trouble in the locker room. And causing Sanchez to worry about his job instead of just doing his job.

San Francisco 49ers are using the 2 QB system with Kapernick and Alex Smith. I watched that Thursday night game, and saw him throw a int instead of throwing it away on a playnear the end zone.

Point is with both teams when you got 2 QBs in there it messes with the QBs and messes up the rhythm of the team go with 1 QB and stick with it!


Charles Bell 1 year, 6 months ago

It is really sad to be a person of color and a KU football fan. TG was given two years to turn around a program that had just lost seven straight games and its whole starting offense. This is the Big Twelve. TG beat a top twenty team his first year and lost at Iowa State by 3, Baylor and RG3 by 1 on a questionable call and to Missouri by 14 in their last four games of 2011. I played college football and know improvement when I see it. The whole offense was coming back including the quarterback that is currently starting at Colorado. I really have empathy for those who say this team is more improved than last years team. This team will not win another game and next year will be no different because Weis is a fraud. It takes a real inbred to suggest anything different.


Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 6 months ago

Fans have to REALLY be "patiently, and accurately analytical" after the OU game. Sooners are capable of putting 50+ on us, and so far this season, it would be a shocker to see our offense get more than 3 TDs. SO, try not to let the W/L result be the only factor in judging KU's QB play. Best thing is do what coaches do, and breakdown the QB position on every play: On every unsuccessful pass attempt, what did the O-line do?, was any blitz not picked up?, was it an errant throw?, or a poor route?, or just bad hands?, or QB give up on play too soon?, or QB hang in pocket too long? Get into the details--as we have seen absolutely every one of these mistakes present in EVERY game since Day 1. The "eye" test hasnt worked for Crist, and it may not work for Cummings if he plays in a manner to surpass his size and inexperience. I sincerely hope BOTH KU QBs play well and we see more of Weis' play-innovations bear fruit for us (win or not).


KUsmitty4 1 year, 6 months ago

Weis could start cummings but what would the point be? This is not going to be a game so why not let Crist struggle most of the 1st half to really justify making the switch. Let him get some reps against OU's 2nd string and maybe get his confidence up going into the Texas game that i think we will be able to put up some points in. The last thing we want is OU tearing Cummings a part early.


sillys 1 year, 6 months ago

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LeadFarmer 1 year, 6 months ago

I don't know why this is news-worthy. Anyone with a brain knew after last game that Cummings would get more playing time. I just wish he showed a little more humility and pride when on twitter. When the University Daily Kansas asked "How do you feel about the 'woo' in the Rock Chalk Chant?", Cummings tweeted "it's wack, and doesn't work! Just like Dayne Crist's decision making."

Way to not let James Sims' spectacular performance get to your head Michael. #PracticeHumility #PracticeScreenPass


Janet Scott 1 year, 6 months ago

Laughable. Throw Captain Kangaroo into the mix, and it gets real interesting.


Krohnutz 1 year, 6 months ago

Oh, more importantly....

30 for 30 is about KU tonight!

7pm CST.... Have to DVR that thing.


Krohnutz 1 year, 6 months ago

So we haven't seen enough of Crist to decide whether or not he should be playing? Am I the only person that sees the futility of this? Crist's last chance? Ehh, that should have been against Rice.

For the record, Bob Poopes and the Sooners run the score up. Poopes would run it up on his grandma if he thought it would get him an extra vote in the poll. Saddest part is, it usually does.


KGphoto 1 year, 6 months ago

The idea of letting Crist continue is nice and all, I like the kid, but remember he's done next to nothing to deserve another chance. He had a couple moments against TCU, then he had a couple moments against K-State followed by a devastating stretch of 3 interceptions. That's 6 games with only a couple of nice drives. 23 quarters of football with only 3TDs. That's futility.

Crist is just too easy to figure out. The defense gets a feel for the weak spot, kind of like a pack of wolves, and it's over.

Simply put, a mobile QB is harder to defend than a non-mobile QB. You see it every week. Oklahoma couldn't figure out the ultra-elusive Collin Klein, but had no problem dismantling the more pocket-happy David Ash.

Kansas is no different. We can't stop dual-threat QBs, but look fairly competent when facing a more traditional pocket passer.

For now, we are the team with the smaller, slower, less talented players. The only way to be competitive is to keep the defense guessing. With Cummings the CBs will always have one eye on the WR and one on him. The DEs will always be worried that he could slip away and run, so they can't pin their ears back. The LBs have to sit back an extra second and diagnose.

I don't mind putting Crist in there for the screens to Pierson and the hitches to Pick, but as soon as that momentum slows, it's Cummings time.


jhawkrulz 1 year, 6 months ago

Don't mean to betoo negative, but at OU we will struggle no matter who the QB is.

I still think the Cristl hasnt lived up to expectations, but before you run Crist off, remember that next year we will be running a similar offense with Heaps. If the players learn to execute the year there will be more consistency. Remember there are 11 offensive players. This year KU might be more competitive with Cummings, but if heaps is the qb next year...the team might be better with crist laying the foundation.


texashawk10 1 year, 6 months ago

Honestly, I think starting Crist and giving him the first 2-3 series to get the OU crowd settled into the game and then bringing in Cummings is the best way to keep Cummings from crapping his pants when he comes in. Crist has played decently on the first few drives of most games this year so why not take advantage of Crist for the couple of drives he is useful for and then bring in Cummings after that. That to me seems like the best way to set Cummings up for success in this game and then start him the following week at home against Texas and the rest of the season.


Dale Stringer 1 year, 6 months ago

So now we could have a new predicament. What if Cummings wins the starting job for the rest of the year... who starts next year?


Ferd Magellan 1 year, 6 months ago

That's the perfect way to handle it, Coach. Not that my opinion matters. :)


Charles Logan 1 year, 6 months ago

Weis, Weis, Weis...... Is still pushing for Crist. He owes it to Cummings, he owes it to Baty, he owes it to the fans, He owes it to everyone. To put Crist ON THE BENCH. And leave him there.

I knew,....shoot we all knew that Crist is gonna play NO MATTER WHAT.
The thing Crist does best is hand off the ball to the running backs. Baty can do that! If KU is gonna use 2 QBs I'd rather see Cummings, & Baty. Playing Crist is not "Putting the best product on the field" Coach.

I don't mean to sound harsh, but Crist is the worst QB I have seen at KU. He frustrates me more than Zac Wegner did!!! ( If any of you have been KU fans long enough to know who he is. LOL)

Weis is playing Cummings because he knows that if he doesn't he will have major explaining to do... I also feel that Baty isn't going to see any playing time because Weis doesn't want people to see that we have 2 QBs availible that are both better than the 5th year senior.....


akgjenkintown 1 year, 6 months ago

At least we know that Weis is a man of his word. You don't think that Crist came to KU thinking he was ever going to compete for the starting job. They ran off the other quarterback and the rest of the contenders had no game time experience. Weis must of convinced Crist that he would be utilized and developed in a way that would help him improve his chances of making it to the NFL. Although that does not seem likely at this stage, Weis is at least sticking to his word. My guess is that Crist will at least start the rest of the games this season and that Cummings will be used to change the pace.


clevelandjayhawker 1 year, 6 months ago

I think all of expectations were too high, looking back it was easy to "drink the koolaid" but out side of half of our O line and RB we dont really have any above average units. Also we are a couple of plays away from being 4-2, specifically a kicker; that would have changed the feel and possible outcome of three games, plus we wouldnt have to go for it on 4th down as much, which is no longer a suprise.

Crist hasnt played perfect, but I feel like if he had one more year to grow and a couple recievers who are over 5'11 he would be having more success. Also Right Guard has been an issue on plays. Im all for Cummings but I think this is a great strategy and forces both QBs to perform well or to not play. I would like to see us throw out of the "Jayhawk formation" sime too.

Lets pull the upset and see what happens, I know moral victories dont mean anything for the record books but even so I will take them, we need something to build on from the last two years. I am just happy to see some of the adjustments we are able to make in the game and at half time, TG was horrid at adjustments. Rock Chalk


Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 6 months ago

This is a fine strategy. And honestly, I don't foresee a dual-quarterback rotation. I'm guessing Crist will start and get a few series. If that proves ineffective, Cummings is your guy.

At least, I hope we're not attempting the proverbial dual-quarterback system. That has disaster written all over it.


702Hawk 1 year, 6 months ago

I don't think the problem with our offense is that they have to few plays but they have too many. That is what Cummings is bringing to the table. Let's run easy plays perfect instead of complicated ones poorly. Our players are not NFL guys that don't have anything else to do but run plays in practice all day long. Keep it simple and be happy with short throwing yards. Plus Cummings is a lot better at getting receivers open because he will move for them. I do feel for Crist, he didn't have the teammates to make him a standout player at KU. He does seem like a great guy though.


Darius80 1 year, 6 months ago

Ridiculous. So we'll alternate between productive drives (Cummings) and wasted opportunities (Crist). Sounds like a winning strategy. Another freed up Saturday. Raking and bagging leaves > watching KU football.


Brandon Pope 1 year, 6 months ago

I will be more interested by who runs the second offensive drive on Saturday. Reason being that the first drive is always a toss up for us given how Weis likes to start games with a wrinkle the defense isn't ready for. That makes the second drive more like the "start" in some cases.

Not surprised both will play. Weis knows he can open any part of the playbook he wants with Crist on the field. I would like to see Crist in for plays where QB skill isn't required such as handoffs and maybe quick swing passes to Pierson. When you need QB skill such as throwing the ball downfield, or read option stuff, I want Cummings in.

Use Crist only when Cummings doesn't have the reps to be comfortable running that package or when the QB will not be required to make a play and I will be satisfied.


bville_hawk 1 year, 6 months ago

I'm okay with all this. Also, FIRST, fwiw.


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