We’re now less than 48 hours away from Kansas University’s annual spring football game at Memorial Stadium and thanks to the incredible forecast for kickoff at 1 p.m. Saturday (77 degrees, 10 percent chance for rain) at Memorial Stadium, I’m guessing this year’s event will draw a solid crowd.
The weather is not the only reason to come out though. Far from it.
Saturday’s game will give KU fans a chance to see plenty of elements of Charlie Weis’ third Jayhawk team.
We’ll be there with our usual team to provide all the coverage you could possibly want, but while we wait for kickoff, here’s a quick look at some of the most intriguing story lines.
- Quarterbacks will be live — Weis said earlier this week that the only player who would be wearing a red, no-contact jersey in the spring game was senior wide receiver Tony Pierson, who finished 2013 on the bench because of concussion issues. Because of that, the quarterbacks will be in line to take some hits, which should give everyone a terrific indication of which guy looks the most comfortable in KU’s new offense.
- Nick Harwell will be playing — After almost an entire year of hearing about what kind of a difference maker the Miami (Ohio) transfer can be, Harwell finally gets a chance to show what he’s got. He’s been the unquestioned leader at this position throughout the offseason and his precise route running, solid experience and great hands make him an easy choice for this team’s go-to receiver.
- Reagan told not to hold anything back — Weis said last Tuesday that he and new offensive coordinator John Reagan had a discussion this week about how much of the new offense they should unveil at the spring game. Weis’ instructions to Reagan were simple: Don’t hold anything back. Call the plays as you would normally call them. You won’t see everything, but you’ll get a fair look at what the KU offense, version 2014 looks like.
- Fun and exciting format — Weis made a big deal about a new format that should add some competitiveness to this year’s game. The players have not been told what it is yet, therefore neither have we, but if Weis’ excitement level about the new wrinkle is any indication, it sounds like it will be worth sticking around for the entire game.
- Life after James Sims? — With four-time leading rusher James Sims now gone, the door is open for KU’s other running backs to step into bigger roles. As of today, senior Brandon Bourbon and junior Darrian Miller appear to be the top two candidates to take the carries that went to Sims. On Saturday, we should get a decent look at whether they’re up for the challenge or if KU will need to seek help from senior Taylor Cox, juco transfer De’Andre Mann or incoming freshmen Traevohn Wrench and Corey Avery.