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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Keegan

Keegan: Dayne Crist’s miss costly

A pass to Kale Pick falls just out of reach on a fourth-and-17 attempt in the second half of KU's 30-23 loss to the Northern Illinois Huskies on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012, at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb, Ill.

A pass to Kale Pick falls just out of reach on a fourth-and-17 attempt in the second half of KU's 30-23 loss to the Northern Illinois Huskies on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012, at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb, Ill.

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Another week, another loss, another day Kansas University senior quarterback Dayne Crist found himself answering questions about his role from the wrong end of the game’s pivotal fourth-quarter play.

This time, it wasn’t a Crist turnover, like either the late interception against Rice on an ill-advised 50-50 pass or the fumble late in the TCU game with his team threatening to cut the lead to a touchdown. Instead, it was a play Crist didn’t make, a play that looked so easy, a would-be touchdown pass he didn’t come close to completing in Saturday’s 30-23 loss to Northern Illinois at Huskie Stadium.

On a fourth-and-17 play from the 29 with KU leading by three points with 10 minutes left, senior receiver Kale Pick somehow broke wide-open, too open to miss. Crist missed him by a country mile. It almost looked as if he appeared so startled to see Pick alone that he rushed a panicked throw.

“I don’t know if it caught me off-guard too much,” Crist said after the game. “I mean, it was a little surprising coming up and seeing it because it shouldn’t have been there.”

That response might have revealed a little bit about the fifth-year senior quarterback who transferred to KU for one season after graduating from Notre Dame. Some athletes are better at sticking to the plan. Others perform well on the fly. Statistically one of the nation’s lowest-rated starting quarterbacks, Crist does not do his best work improvising.

On an afternoon when the right side of the offensive line broke down late in the game, Crist was sacked four times. He completed just 10 of 26 passes for 147 yards. On the season, he has a low completion percentage of 50.5, has thrown two touchdown passes and four interceptions.

With one-third of the season in the books, I figured the time was ripe to ask the question that had to hang in other heads as Kansas lost a two-possession lead for the second time in three weeks: Is Crist this team’s quarterback throughout the rest of the season, regardless of his performance?

Head coach Charlie Weis answered my question with one of his own: “Is this the quarterback controversy question?”

“Yes,” I answered.

And he answered in such a way as to take the air out of the controversy. He didn’t grow defensive. He didn’t try to blame Crist’s bad plays on others. He gave his honest assessment of the situation.

“I think that when we go back and watch (the game film), if there’s reason to replace the first guy with the second guy, you go ahead and do it,” Weis said. “It doesn’t make any difference what position they play. I think if the second guy were close enough to the first guy, sometimes that decision would be a lot easier, but there is a big separation between the first guy and the second guy.”

The second guy, according to the depth chart, is strong-armed red-shirt freshman Michael Cummings, the third guy sophomore dual-threat Turner Baty, a junior-college transfer.

If either one of them were to get a serious look, the two-week break in the schedule would be the time to make it happen, but Weis doesn’t sound like a coach ready to make a change.

Senior linebacker Anthony McDonald teamed with Crist in high school in Southern California and at Notre Dame.

“I’ve been around him for 10 years,” McDonald said. “I know how he responds. He’s the best quarterback I’ve ever been around.”

One-third of the way into his entire Kansas career, Crist hasn’t resembled someone who would inspire those words, but he hasn’t run out of chances.

In the second half, when the protection broke down, particularly on the right side of the line, Crist completed four of 15 passes for 39 yards and was sacked three times. Nobody would have remembered those misfires had Crist hit Pick on a play that would have given Kansas a 10-point lead with 10 minutes remaining.

One less Crist throw against Rice and one better Crist throw in the Northern Illinois game and Kansas might be 3-1 instead of 1-3.

Comments

Steve Brown 1 year, 7 months ago

I am not being funny, dead serious, perhaps a current eye exam is in order. depth perception seems off kilter.

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John Percival 1 year, 7 months ago

This picture and the look on Cale's face sums-up KU football.

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Matthew Pyle 1 year, 7 months ago

No wonder Crist lost his starting job at Notre Dame. The guy is extremely inaccurate passing; even with time. This is so disappointing.

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Steve Jacob 1 year, 7 months ago

It going to get much worse, KU should get some beat downs in October.

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Randy Bombardier 1 year, 7 months ago

With decent qb play KU could be 3-1. So, if Crist is not making the plays, at what point don't we look at Baty of Cummings? Is Coach afraid of starting next year with a quarterback controversy with Heaps having to beat out one of those two? Surely not. But if that is not the issue, what is? It would be real easy to jump all over this as a fan base but let's hold off. What if there are some five-star quarterback prospects out there watching to see how much investment is given to "the man", that quarterback on which so much depends. What if this is about how much patience and training is given to that guy? What if there are a bunch of potential 5th-year guys watching to see how we treat our 5th-year guys? Ultimately, we have to trust this coach and only after a number of years be able to issue judgement. I said it with Gill, so I will certainly say it with Coach Weiss, give him time. We don't see what he sees. We don't know what he knows.

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wildjayhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

Can't wait for the KU-KST. game, KST- 73, KU 3.

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Andy Tweedy 1 year, 7 months ago

I drank way too much of Tom and Jesse's Kool-Aid! I'll never do that again!!! But man, this Jake Heaps guy sounds like the second coming of Joe Montana.

I really hope I don't get fooled again...

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Loomer 1 year, 7 months ago

If Weis is too bull headed to recognize what is working on the field and stay with it to win a game, Rome never will be built.

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danmoore 1 year, 7 months ago

Bottom line, the players on opposing teams are better than ours. Give Coach Weis a chance. Rome wasn't built in a day.

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Dan Harris 1 year, 7 months ago

"One less Crist throw against Rice and one better Crist throw in the Northern Illinois game and Kansas might be 3-1 instead of 1-3"

If,shouda,could've.candy and nuts...

Crist is not the answer. My 10 year old boy could have made that throw to Pick, hell my grandma could have made that throw! I have waited 4 games to give Crist some time but his time SHOULD be up. We might as well give some of the guys that will be here next year some experience. I sure don't think they could do any worse at this point.

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yates33333 1 year, 7 months ago

How damn old is Bill Snyder? He looks ready to embalmed, and he is still the best coach west of the Mississippi? He ought to re-retire. Preferably before two weeks.

Just a thought. Can't we cancel the K-State game this year due to the forthcoming elections?

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Chris Bruning 1 year, 7 months ago

so much seperation from the 1st guy to the 2nd guy huh? well lets prove it in gametime situations and not practice. Lets see that 2nd guy in a game, maybe Dane performs well in practice and not in games, maybe cummings is ready to play live.

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Sparko 1 year, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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CHEEZIT 1 year, 7 months ago

They need to have a walk-on try out for a kicker. Everybody seems to be getting it in the end zone but us. Get somebody from the soccer team!!!

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bville_hawk 1 year, 7 months ago

Hey, look everybody, you have to crawl before you can walk. We have been competitive in every game and have been in great position to win 3 or the 4 so far. Our goal this year has to be play hard for 4 quarters and hopefully be competitive on the score board. We are achieving those 2 goals so far. Sure, it is frustrating to lose games when we are leading in the 4th quarter, but that is part of the growing process.

Hopefully before this season is over we can still manage to win a game or 2 that we aren't expected to win. We're close. Don't forget yesterday was on the road to a team that hasn't lost at home in at least a couple years.

A football program is a big ship, it won't turn on a dime, but ours is most assuredly coming around and heading in the right direction.

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CHEEZIT 1 year, 7 months ago

Did anyone notice that Jordan Webb scored the winning touchdown for Colorado to beat Mike Leach's Washington State Cougar's?
Just saying!

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RogersState80 1 year, 7 months ago

WHY DO WE CONTINUE TO EMBARASS THE STATE OF KANSAS AND THIS UNIVERSITY? WHY TO WE CONTINUE TO TRY TO PLAY FOOTBALL? WE WOULD BE BETTER OFF DOING AWAY WITH FOOTBALL AND BUILDING A NICE PARKING LOT WHERE THE STADIUM IS. IM TIRED OF LACK OF PARKING ON CAMPUS. I WOULD RATHER HAVE PARKING THAN FOOTBALL.

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okiedave 1 year, 7 months ago

If KU can keep it close with the Big XII teams, I will be satisfied with this season. I am just fearful that keeping it close with NIU, Rice and TCU does not necessarily translate well against KSU, OU, TX and OSU. We are going to see what kind of heart this team has in the next couple of weeks.

What troubles me is that in 2013 we will field an inexperienced quarterback. That does not translate well for Weis in 2013.

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jayhawkinATL 1 year, 7 months ago

Time to quit dwelling on Crist's high school laurels!!!

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citizen1 1 year, 7 months ago

I bought the proverbial cool aid, and the after taste is very bitter. There is a reason Dane Crist is not at not at Notre Dame. It is apparent in his play the last 4 games.

The only question is when will Coach Weis admit Dane is not the great quarterback he was hyped to be. He is not the savior of this team.

Coach Weis is going to have to make a gut wrenching decision regarding Dane.

The only question is, are the reserve quarterbacks any better?

I hate to give up on the Jayhawks, but it is time for the administration & coaching staff to put a product on the field that is worthy of both attendance, continued donations & continued seat purchases in the future.

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jayhawk47 1 year, 7 months ago

If Weis wasn't so stuck on Crist and change QB we might have a chance. Don't know how he ever became a 5 star QB.

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hawkfan20 1 year, 7 months ago

It sucks that we're going to be at a significant QB disadvantage in 11 of our 12 games. I don't think there were many that expected that. It's really hard to win when our QB play is so bad. If KU has Jordan Lynch at QB, KU wins this one in a blowout. It sucks when you have midmajors that run circles around us at the QB position. Crist just doesn't have the mental makeup of a winner. I like him as a person, but I've never seen someone panic so much when a guy is wide open. Learn to take a little off the throw and just complete it like Klein does. You don't see Klein throwing rockets on every single pass. Crist is making the game harder than it is.

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Steve Jacob 1 year, 7 months ago

Anyone nervous about Jack Heaps? Like Crist, billed as a 5-star QB out of high school. Granted he has a full year of practice and two years left, but still I worry, especially when it seems Weis is going the the desperation JUCO route next year.

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Jason Keller 1 year, 7 months ago

I don't know why no one is mentioning special teams in any of this... Am I the only one who sees our kicker consistently kicking the ball to about the 10 or 15 yard line, allowing their offense to start at the 35 every time? How can anyone with NFL experience tolerate such utter incompetence.

Right now, there are at least 10 young men in the KU student body who can consistently kick the ball further than what we have now. Hold a tryout and make a guy prove he can kick it into the endzone or close to it dozens of times. From there, evaluate who would be our best shot in making a tackle if it came to that but really who gives a crap about that. Then, give him the scholarship and kick this other guy off the team.

I might get blasted for this because anytime you point at special teams it is usually at only a guy or two but come on people. The kicker we had at my high school was better than this guy. Jesus, I just don't understand how there is no one else on this team who can't kick it to the endzone. I'm not saying I could but then again I didn't get a scholarship for it.

Its funny for me because unlike alot of you, I've played this game. You all talk about Crist's missed throws and other things that look bad but what I can promise you is that as bad as that is, its nothing compared to the kicking situation. When coaches watch our film, they laugh their butt off at our kicking team trying to cover a kick that was received on the 12 yard line. It is far and away more embarassing than Crist missing a couple throws with several D-lineman right on top of him.

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hawkmaster 1 year, 7 months ago

OK, I think we all agree that KU is a much better team than it was the last 2 years, and Weis/Campo are to be credited for that...but its time to take the next step.

Given Weis' unwillingness to change QBs, maybe he is repeating his mistakes at ND - - big ego, inflexible, plays favorites with "his" recruited players.

A number of concern:

1) KU runs the "Jayhawk" offense with Matthews mostly responsible for marching them down the field, then Weis inserts Crist in the red zone and he eventually misses Pick on the wide open pass in the end zone. Why not give Mathews and the Jayhawk offensive scheme a chance in the red zone?

2) Its 1/3 into the season, the excuse that Crist is still rusty is not valid. Cris is who is, a very limited almost zero dimensional QB because he can't run or throw, or make good decisions, especially for a 5th year senior. KU had 3rd and a mile to go for a 1st down in the last possession in the game and he tries to throw a 6 yard sideline pass!!

3) I'm not buying the Weis argument that Crist is significantly superior to the 2nd string QB, so that is why he sticks with Crist. First, if these QBs are that bad, what are they doing on KU's roster. Second, I think Weis is afraid that one of these other back-up QBs will look better than Crist, and that will cause everyone to question Weis' judgement.

4) My main last concern. Did the defense finally wear out from being on the field too much in the 4th quarter, or did they just get frustrated with no help from Crist/Weis on the offensive side. At some point, I truly believe that players start to feel there is some favoritism shown to Crist that is not shown to other players, he is Weis' boy, he gets more do-overs and is allowed more excuses for failure. When another player is yanked for missing a tackle, and Crist remains in the line-up losing games, I think it begins to wear on team morale. At what point do you lose the remainder of this team or do they begin to feel that Weis' plays favorites with all of his former ND guys despite their obvious shortcomings?

5) Bill Snyder must be salivating to get a shot at KU in 2 weeks, it won't be close to a fair fight if the status quo continues.

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troutsee 1 year, 7 months ago

Crist must be benched. The fans are not behind him and surely his teammates must be choking back any demeaning remarks about their QB. It was clear to me that this guy did not have it in the South Dakota State game. Yet, here we are, 3 games later with the same or worse results.

Also, our defense should be ashamed. They folded in the 4th quarter against Rice and they folded again in the 4th quarter last Sat.

Our kickoff teams continue to suck.

In fact, it is hard to find a lot of positives here. It looks like to me, Charlie should spend the next two weeks getting another QB ready to playing and honing the Wildhawk or whatever you want to call it.

Somewhere, Gill and Webb must be smiling. I feel sorry for Crist. But, he is a good example of the Peter principle, a hell of a good high school QB but did/does not have what it takes to play at the college level. Bench him now, Charlie, or this season is down in flames.

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CO_Hawk 1 year, 7 months ago

This season is done. Attention now has to turn to how we improve the program down the road. We need to see who will lead this team after Heaps gets his one year. Start rotating Cummings and Baty in with Crist with the hopes one of them can start towards the end of the season.

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Steve Corder 1 year, 7 months ago

We will find out what kind of coach CW is this year. If CW isn't having some doubts today about his QB then I'd be shocked. He' probably wrestling with that bear more than anyone knows.

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AirCapJay 1 year, 7 months ago

Charlie's system is designed for pros. We don't have any pros on our team. Charlie needs to realize this and design basic plays for the players he has. When receivers complain about how they can't memorize the routes, you need to tone them down.

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Layne Pierce 1 year, 7 months ago

If there is little hope for this season, then splitting the time up, is the way to go. If Crist has a great game against KSt, then will you all change your mind. One factor that may be at play is the complexity of Charlie's offense, which he definitely believes in. I recall when Larry Brown was bringing KU basketball back to life, there were lots of people who thought he should play this person, or that person, and the point was, Larry knew where he was going and he had a plan in mind. He was right, the critics were wrong.

This is probably going to play out in that way. Remember, There is already an annointed qb for next year. Perhaps Charlie truly believes that Cummings and Baty have a long way to go in learning the system.

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WindmillGIANT 1 year, 7 months ago

If our backup QBs are so mobile, why not let them run the wildcat that way they can get game experience, actually add the threat of a pass to the wildcat, and not necessarily immediately pull Crist without seeing what the other guys look like in an actual game. Is it too much extra practice or things to learn for the backups to be able to run the wildcat?

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hotrodm 1 year, 7 months ago

Split time at quarterback with Crist and Cummings against K-State. Maybe even give Baty a try. Charlie, you need to find out who performs the best at quarterback, you can't find that out with Cummings and Baty sitting on the bench. Maybe a little in game competiton will get Crist going.

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jhawkln 1 year, 7 months ago

NJ I totally agree, the KSU game will be Crist's last stand. What sucks is that we are going to waste a bye week and 2 weeks of practices to prepare Crist for his last game as a starter when they should be getting someone else ready. It is really going to suck in 2 weeks. Dayne's stats before he gets yanked at KSU being down 34-7 in the 3rd quarter- 7-20, 95 yds passing, 2 ints. I like Charlie and the direction of KU football, IF he gives up on Crist. I hope he doesn't ride this pony off the end of the pier this year or he will lose a lot of credibility as a 'good ol football coach' who puts the best players on the field. There is no way our backups are that much worse!

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RogersState80 1 year, 7 months ago

The game ball goes to the KU administrators! Thank you so much for firing Mark Mangino who won the ORANGE BOWL. You clearly made a good choice by hiring and firing Turner Gill. Now you have chosen to hire this Notre Dame reject who can't beat anyone except some team from South Dakota. I guess you will fire him also. Maybe next time you have a coach that leads us to an Orange Bowl win you will think twice before firing him. Nice job!

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billhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

I'm not sure what controversy there is. If you don't have a chance at the playoffs (bowl game) don't you give the quarterback that has the potential to help the team next year a shot?

I remember Mangino finally giving Reesing his shot and look how well that turned out. Wasn't Joe Montana the third string quarterback at Notre Dame?

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nuleafjhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

Wow. Where to start? This article is just plumb full of kindling ..... we'll just take them in the order that they appear:

"Statistically one of the nation’s lowest-rated starting quarterbacks, Crist does not do his best work improvising."

* No need for the word "Statistically". Or " Improvising ".

(Regarding Weis) He didn’t try to blame Crist’s bad plays on others. He gave his honest assessment of the situation. “I think that when we go back and watch (the game film), if there’s reason to replace the first guy with the second guy, you go ahead and do it,” Weis said.

  • If the second guy is worse than the first guy, hand him an armful of towels or a tray full of Gatorade cups because he shouldn't be in uniform.

"I’ve been around him for 10 years,” McDonald said. “I know how he responds. He’s the best quarterback I’ve ever been around.”

  • Dear Lord, THINK before you talk Anthony. Or else hang around better quarterbacks.
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JakeBarnes 1 year, 7 months ago

To KU coaches and QB. Sometimes you have a problem, sometimes you are the problem. KU needs to burn its playbook and get one geared to a modestly slow football team with a mediocre QB. It also needs a place kicker and special teams discipline. The new playbook needs to develop genuine deception plays. The flea flicker is something Amos Alonzo Stagg invented isn't it??????

If anyone saw any improvement this game from the last game please let me know. I will appreciate it.

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Janet Scott 1 year, 7 months ago

I'm shocked Charlie hasn't in four KU games made Crist the pro equivalent of Tom Brady. Afterall, wasn't that the drunken hype this summer? The Pilsbury Dough Boy possesses more mobility than Crist, and Santa Claus has more football ability and a more accurate arm than this Crist. KSU two weeks from now will destroy KU: Crist will be playing the role of Custer.

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BringBackMark 1 year, 7 months ago

At the risk of being blasted for putting too much on Crist, the bottom line is this guys a 5th year senior transfer. If he was a true freshman, red-shirt freshman, sophomore, or maybe even a juco transfer, I'd say stay with him and work the kinks out. The reality is that we just blew our last chance for a win. Crist is gone after this season. We've got, what was a highly touted duel threat QB. sitting on the bench in Michael Cummings. Even if he's not the future starter, we might as well groom him as a backup.

Weis is going to lose this team after about 3 butt kickings in the next 3 games. That's understandable since the defense, and most of the offense, has played well enough to win at least 3 games if not all 4.

I remember a game in 2006 when an unknown true freshman named Todd Reesing came in late in the Colorado game and led KU to a surprise win in the 4th quarter. He played in several games the rest of that year and was less than impressive. The next year....well you know.

Yes the defense had breakdowns, and yes, the offensive line had breakdowns. Bottom line is our 5th year senior captain had ample opportunity to make the plays necessary to win at least two of the last three, if not all three. I'm tired of it and I think all fans should be. It's time to look to the future and start building not patching.

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JHWKDW 1 year, 7 months ago

Folks, I think it is time for Coach Weis to junk the Dayne Crist experiment. Coach Weis Im still trusting in you, but you are dead wrong on this guy. He is missing the small plays, the one plays he should be making. Im not asking for him to throw 400+ yard games or play out of this world football, but execute the small things Crist. Geez you are a 5th year senior. Sit him down for a game at least.

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Dirk Medema 1 year, 7 months ago

After a 1st and 10 at the NIU 22 with over 10 minutes in the game and a tie score, we ran 11 of 13 pass plays inthe last 4 series to end the game. Last week, we were told it was because we were SO far behind (2 scores with a quarter and a half to play), but that is definitely not the case this week, and the 30% completion rate to end the game is even worse than last week.

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Dirk Medema 1 year, 7 months ago

Two things even more telling than the over throw toward Pick were the 2 balls thrown completely behind the TE on a little cross in front of the LB's - the first time with Ragone and the second time with Mundine. That should be the easiest thrown known to man with no one even close either, and Dayne's not making the throw. Are we really supposed to believe that the other QB's would be completing less than 50% of their passes? Maybe they don't know the playbook as well, but blind squirrels can practically cplete as many passes.

Along those lines is point number 2: We were at our best in DeKalb when we were runing the Jayhawk. In our case, it is even like playing a man short, because Dayne isn't a decoy for anything. Are we really supposed to believe that Christian is the only player that can run the Jayhawk package? (No.) Let Cummings or Baty run that package, and maybe throw a pass out of it to the 11th man than really is a threat to catch the pass.

Sorry, I'm not buying the country mile line.

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riverdrifter 1 year, 7 months ago

Collge version of Matt Cassel. Can't play. We'll see if Charlie can admit his mistake and move on. I have my doubts.

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Pitthawk34 1 year, 7 months ago

Lets be honest KU should not be a safe haven for that for a golden dome ex QB. That beimng said it was nit like we were going to be good anyway so hope for the best and maybe pullt out one more win and cross your fingers for the next 2 years. I like Charlie so much better than you who. Im just glad people are pissed because 15 years ago no one would care. That philosophy is what lead to our current day issues...past AD's not giving a you know what.

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Mr_C 1 year, 7 months ago

I don't know how good he looks at practice, but he's a total dud at game speed. Slow reads, slow AND poor decisions, missed throws, and the only person in the stadium who is slower on his feet than I am. Sorry Charlie, he's gotta go.

We have nothing to gain by continuing to play him, but we do have other players that could use the reps. And, let's face it, he has nothing to gain by continuing to start. His dream of playing in the NFL is just a joke. Let's try to win, or at least try to get a QB ready to win next year. This guy has pretty much killed this season. The competition only gets better as the season progresses... Crist hasn't improved much at all, and shows no signs of turning that around.

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Jayhawk1116 1 year, 7 months ago

In the article about Turzilli, Weis said something to the effect of "As a player, you can't be afraid to take the starting spot from a senior". My question is will Charlie be too afraid to take the starting spot from Crist? I expect he'll keep him until midway through the 4th quarter of the K-State game when we're down 52-6 and Crist has thrown 3 picks and fumbled twice. But then start him the next game. I think you gotta heed your own advice, coach.

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TexasHawk44 1 year, 7 months ago

Crist has been a complete dud. No point in playing him at this point. We can't beat a drum right now, and he is gone after this year. Let others take the reps. A loss will still be a loss.

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Doug Cramer 1 year, 7 months ago

Tom - excellent job with asking that question. It needed to be asked.

Crist is big and has a great physical body to be a QB. But he just doesn't get it done...and he won't get it done.

Let's be honest here...we're not going to a bowl game. Lets get either Cummings or Baty some time behind center.

One last item...I don't believe Coach when he says that Crist is that much better than Cummings or Baty. I just don't buy that one bit.

Hey Ralster - you on board with bringing back Mangino yet ? LOL

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