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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.

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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.”

Comments

bville_hawk 1 year, 10 months ago

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

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Brandon Pope 1 year, 10 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.

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Darius80 1 year, 10 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.

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Brandon Pope 1 year, 10 months ago

One less fan to drag along then I guess.

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741hawk 1 year, 10 months ago

D80. I can see you are hard to please. I see lots of progress in a sport where turnarounds typically take 2-4 years . . . not 2 to four games.

Hope you enjoy the outdoors, 'cause I'll be watchin' the game and enjoying the ride.

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milehighhawk 1 year, 10 months ago

I'd imagine he'd have Crist start (and fall flat on his face) before bringing in MC.

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Ian Ballinger 1 year, 10 months ago

suit yourself. Shame if you end up missing a KU win (not saying will win, but I was very impressed with KU's fourth quarter vs. OSU). It's very risky, Darius, to put so much trust on Cummings when we haven't really seen him all year up until the OSU game in the 4th quarter. Crist may have disappointed fans, but he still has more experience than Cummings. I thought Cummings performed better than Crist in the OSU game, but you don't just drop everything and put all of your trust on a redshirt freshman, especially when you're going up against a team like #10 Oklahoma, at their place! You ease him in there. Like it or not, this is another rebuilding year, only this time things are starting to look up. THERE'S LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL THIS TIME!!

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Nathan Scholl 1 year, 10 months ago

KU football is still better than watching/wasting money on the Chiefs! ;)

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702Hawk 1 year, 10 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.

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Lance Cheney 1 year, 10 months ago

That's exactly what I was thinking back when Matt Tait was making his argument as to why Crist is the best option at QB a month or so ago (he knows the playbook better, and Weis can call virtually any play in the book, and Crist will know it). Would you rather have a QB that can only run 1/2-3/4 of the playbook and be productive with those plays, or have a QB that knows ALL the plays in the book, but still can't execute? I know which one I would pick, and his name rhymes with "Schmichael Schmummings."

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Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 10 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.

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doctorWho 1 year, 10 months ago

I think you're right. Cummings comes in only if Crist starts to dork up the game. Weis is just putting Crist on notice and running a PR campaign more than anything here.

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Krohnutz 1 year, 10 months ago

Wait, your editor just called:

"Cummings comes in only WHEN Crist starts to dork up the game." /fixed

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Tony Bandle 1 year, 10 months ago

No offense, Reuben _J, but what part of our offense does not already have "disaster" written all over it?

I see it as an opportunity for offensive change-ups in mid-game, while keeping the defense off balance. Hey, what the heck is the down side...we lose by another touchdown or two?? I applaud trying anything new at this point.

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Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 10 months ago

I agree Oakville. I suppose I was trying to sugar-coat it. I think Crist starts based on experience alone, and he will remain in if he succeeds in effectively running things..

However, Cummings is either the answer to our problems to some extent, or he was just a kid who had enough adrenaline built up to make a decent run at Okie State.

We'll find out a lot more in this game than against OSU. You're right...it has been a disaster so far. But Weis needs to handle the switch properly; in other words, he needs to be 100% sure Cummings is the play before handing over the reigns entirely.

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Jonathan Allison 1 year, 10 months ago

Weis has left the door wide open for either having a dual QB system or just playing one QB this week. This is a quote from Newell's Cliff's Notes of the Presser...

"Weis says he hopes the first guy plays so well that he isn't tempted to put in the second guy, but he knows that probably won't happen. He says he's fired up with how this two-QB system might look. He joked that he's been drawing up plays in the dirt this week for his QBs."

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Micky Baker 1 year, 10 months ago

OU uses two QBs. It wasn't disastrous four them last week.

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bad_dog 1 year, 10 months ago

It was the week they played K-St...

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Yakihawk 1 year, 10 months ago

You're avatar and screen name make me read all your posts in John Wayne's voice (in my head), not sure how I feel about that.

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Ron Prichard 1 year, 10 months ago

I think you're right on the money with how this will play out. I don't think Weis wants to just throw Cummings to the wolves on Saturday and so I think he'll start Crist and see if he is effective. If so, he'll stay in. If not, he'll switch to Cummings after the second or third series. Maybe he'll switch back to Crist to start the second half if Cummings isn't very effective, then bring Cummings back in the fourth quarter.

The second half is probably a "let's just go with who is hot right now" mentality, but I definitely think Crist will start the game and we'll probably see Cummings around the end of the first quarter or early in the second.

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clevelandjayhawker 1 year, 10 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

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flyingfinn 1 year, 10 months ago

Totally agree, I too would have liked a better record, but this team is way better than last year despite identical records. Just need some more time and more recruits. Lets go Hawks.

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lv_jhwk 1 year, 10 months ago

Careful 'finn... last year's team somehow had two wins at this point. Even withthe losses to Rice and Northern Illinois, I'd agree that this squad has improved over last year.

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jayhawk_4_life2 1 year, 10 months ago

Cleveland,

Thanks I finally have someone on here I can agree with. I agree that Crist has not lived up to the hype however, if you remember the passing game has 3 parts:

  1. Protection -- Watch any game and tell me how many times people blitz KU's right side vs Left. It is astronomical the difference.

  2. QB Play -- Not great but wait for 3

  3. WR separation -- Since the Kale Pick injury against Rice, Crist has struggled to find open WR. I don't just mean his passing which against KSU he missed two bad and against No ILL we all know he missed about 3, one real big one to Pick, however besides those handful of plays, can you find me more WR "open" I think Crist is trying to do the perfect pass now as he sees this offense struggling.

Just would love to see Crist have Full compliment of WRs that can not only stretch (Turzilli) but be COMPLETE WRs and get open on Short, intermediate and long routes.

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akgjenkintown 1 year, 10 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.

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Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 10 months ago

But I believe Crist will be permanently replaced if Cummings proves he is the better option. And it will take more than one quarter in the rain to prove this.

Regardless of his promise to Crist and their relationship, Weis will put the best quarterback on the field.

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akgjenkintown 1 year, 10 months ago

If I was a gambler, I would wager that Crist will not be permanently benched unless he gets injured.

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Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 10 months ago

I would've never guessed he would be pulled against OSU in the 3rd either.

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Joe Baker 1 year, 10 months ago

Weis doesn't owe anyone anything. He's giving Cummings the ball on Saturday against a very good OU team. I think this is Crist's last chance. Also, the question below of who starts next year, Cummings or Heaps is easy...

Whoever earns it or who wants it more? Crist forgot to compete and now his entitled position is in jeopardy. It's not about owing, but who works, earns, and produces. They still get a good seat each game and a great education. That's all they're owed.

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Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 10 months ago

Agreed. Well said.

Nothing is owed...it's earned.

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Ron Prichard 1 year, 10 months ago

Do you hae ANY idea how the well the backups do in practice? Do you have ANY idea if Baty is capable of coming in and playing? No? Then I don't think you are the authority to say Weis OWES them a shot at the job during a game.

For that matter, I haven't heard any players grumbling about playing time or Crist not deserving to play, or Baty being OWED a chance to play, etc. Quite the contrary, this team seems to be about as tight knit as any team in recent memory. Further, I think Weis has shown he is more than willling to mix it up and allow players to play if they are deserving of playing time (not owed, but deserving). Cummings will play, but neither you nor I have any idea how well the backups have done in practice, so you can't say they are OWED playing time.

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Krohnutz 1 year, 10 months ago

"Weis doesn't owe anyone anything."

That multi-million dollar contract begs to differ.

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lv_jhwk 1 year, 10 months ago

Although you don't address it, Chuck, posts like this make me wonder if Weis is the egomaniac so many make him out to be. After all, since the correct decision is so obvious, why wouldn't he do it in order to win games and make himself look better?! Surely his supposedly inflated opinion of himself is more important than any relationship with Crist, right??

Maybe the answer is simply that we don't have any more info than what we see on Saturdays. And yes, that has been enough to show that Crist isn't getting it done. (How you think he's any worse than anyone on the post-Wittemore/pre-Reesing merry-go-round is beyond me though. But I digress.) But had Cummings proven that he was worthy of an opportunity prior to last week? If not, then what good would it have done to put him in then?

If anyone should stay on the sidelines, its Baty. Now that we know the direction the season is headed, what good would it do to burn the redshirt for him?

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vd 1 year, 10 months ago

By making himself "look better" CW will have to admit he was wrong about Crist, or admit he couldn't coach him up to the QB he led us to believe Crist is.

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lv_jhwk 1 year, 10 months ago

And one other thing: what is your age if Zac Wegner seems so long ago to you?!?!

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bad_dog 1 year, 10 months ago

"...Crist is the worst QB I have seen at KU."

Adam Barman.

Great guy, terrible QB.

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Dale Stringer 1 year, 10 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?

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Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 10 months ago

That's only beneficial.

When Weis took over, the projected plan was Crist this year; Heaps the following two.

We've seen that plan shatter this year. Competition is the key to push these guys.

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Ron Prichard 1 year, 10 months ago

How is this a predicament? That's like saying Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Anniston both want to go out with me on Saturday night and I can only pick one. It sucks to be me, right?

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texashawk10 1 year, 10 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.

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Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 10 months ago

That's going to be how it shakes out.

And who knows? Maybe this will give a boost to Crist. A little extra motivation. He knows now that if he doesn't get things done, he will be replaced.

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jhawkrulz 1 year, 10 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 plays...next 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.

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KGphoto 1 year, 10 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.

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Krohnutz 1 year, 10 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.

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Krohnutz 1 year, 10 months ago

On second thought, OU is going to destroy us, so what difference does it make? Yeah, run Crist out there.

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Krohnutz 1 year, 10 months ago

Oh, more importantly....

30 for 30 is about KU tonight!

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

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LeadFarmer 1 year, 10 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." http://www.scribd.com/doc/110180371/10-16-12

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

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texashawk10 1 year, 10 months ago

If you're going to claim something like that, you gotta do better than just linking to the UDK without saying where in the UDK it's at.

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LeadFarmer 1 year, 10 months ago

Want me to pay for your health care too?

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Dirk Medema 1 year, 10 months ago

TX - it looks like it is at the bottom of page 6. It might even be Michael's account and picture and quote. Maybe or maybe someone has created an account and used his pic. Maybe, but if we read it in the newspaper it must be true.

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rockchalkfletch 1 year, 10 months ago

thats not his twitter account, thats a fake. his twitter name is @mikecee4

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LeadFarmer 1 year, 10 months ago

It could be fake for all I know, and I've become increasingly frustrated with the UDK lately for their lack of oversight. I'm just saying what I saw, so if it is fake then the responsibility is on the editors to catch it. But they're students, so not much hope there.

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bad_dog 1 year, 10 months ago

"It could be fake for all I know..."

Yet that possibility didn't stop you from going off on Cummings did it?

You might want to consider farming something other than lead. It is a known neurotoxin...

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KGphoto 1 year, 10 months ago

Why on earth would you believe Cummings would say something like that? And then to come here and start spreading it around. You are a cancer.

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LeadFarmer 1 year, 10 months ago

Because I'm around these kids for most of the day, and I'm sure you were a kid once so I'm sure you've said some asinine things before...just like calling me a cancer. If the President can lie, why can't a 20 year old? By the way, Earth is spelled with a capital E, because it's a name of a place. Now, if your trying to describe the dirt you live on, then you would say "the earth".

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KUsmitty4 1 year, 10 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.

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Charles Bell 1 year, 10 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.

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