The 2020 Kansas football season will conclude much like it began, with head coach Les Miles yet again heading into a game week accompanied by some uncertainty regarding the team’s starting quarterback.
Junior Miles Kendrick handled the job exclusively in KU’s 16-13 defeat at Texas Tech on Saturday, but Miles wouldn’t say Monday during his weekly video press conference whether he plans to stick with Kendrick again.
“I think we’ll look at this week of practice and competition and see how it goes,” Miles said, taking a similar stance to what he said about the QB decision ahead of the trip to Lubbock, Texas. “He was very good last week (at practices). We’ll have to see if he continues that pace.”
Kendrick didn’t start for the Jayhawks (0-9 overall, 0-8 Big 12) against TCU on Nov. 28, but that’s when Miles and the staff turned to the veteran instead of true freshman Jalon Daniels. The Jayhawks already trailed by 32 points late in the second quarter when Kendrick subbed in before halftime and needed just four passes to lead a touchdown drive.
Since that series, Daniels, who against TCU made his sixth start of the season, hasn’t taken an in-game snap for the offense.
At Texas Tech, Kendrick finished 17-for-29 passing, for 102 yards, without a touchdown or an interception. Kendrick told reporters during his postgame interview on Saturday he learned during practices leading up to the game that he would start.
“I tried my best to perform for my football team,” Kendrick said.
KU opened the season with senior Thomas MacVittie starting, but even then he split time against Coastal Carolina with Kendrick. MacVittie suffered a shoulder injury in the second half of that loss.
In KU’s following game, the Big 12 opener at Baylor, Daniels made his first career start as a 17-year-old (he turned 18 in late October), and Daniels retained the job before getting hurt in a home loss to Oklahoma State.
Kendrick picked up his first career start at West Virginia with Daniels unable to play. Then Daniels returned to the No. 1 spot for KU’s trip to Kansas State and appeared to be the QB who would handle the job the rest of the way, starting four games in a row before Kendrick supplanted him for the game at Tech.
Similar to last week, it seems either could be considered the No. 1 QB by Saturday, when the Jayhawks are scheduled to play host to No. 23 Texas (6-3, 5-3) at 2:30 p.m. (ESPNU).
On the season, Daniels has completed 50% of his 152 passes, for 718 yards, with one touchdown and four interceptions.
Kendrick has connected on 60.8% of his 120 throws, for 647 yards, and has six of KU’s seven passing touchdowns on the year, along with five of the team’s 10 interceptions. (MacVittie had a tipped ball picked off in the opener.)
After missing a game for the first time in his two seasons with KU football, senior receiver Andrew Parchment won’t be back for the Jayhawks’ finale versus Texas.
Parchment, according to Miles, was unable to play at Texas Tech due to a sickness. KU’s coach said Monday the wideout “will not be with us” this week, either.
Parchment caught 24 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns while appearing in eight games for the struggling KU offense this season.
Previously, Miles has said he hopes to bring Parchment and senior receiver Stephon Robinson Jr. back for next season, with the NCAA giving athletes a blanket waiver for an extra year of eligibility due to the pandemic.
It isn’t abundantly clear at this time whether Parchment would be interested in returning.
Although freshman center Garrett Jones wasn’t able to play for KU at Tech, Miles said the young offensive lineman is expected to be back handling the snaps this week.
Taiwan Berryhill, who had to be carried off the field on a stretcher after colliding with teammate Kenny Logan Jr. on a tackle at Texas Tech, also is expected to play versus Texas, according to Miles.
“He basically got a stinger,” the coach said of what happened to the freshman linebacker. “A very, very significant stinger.”
Miles also thinks sophomore safety Logan will be able to return for the defense later in the week, “as we get closer to the playing date.”
After missing KU’s trip to Texas Tech due to a positive COVID-19 test, defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot isn’t having “any real issues with his symptoms,” Miles reported on Monday.
Miles said Eliot is doing “fine” and has continued to work with the KU staff virtually, over video calls. The head coach said Eliot should be back at the facility by Thursday or Friday.
Safeties coach Jordan Peterson filled in for Eliot as defensive coordinator in KU’s narrow loss at Tech.
According to 247 Sports, KU freshman Clinton Anokwuru has put his name in the transfer portal.
Listed as a defensive lineman on the roster, at 6-foot-3 and 224 pounds, Anokwuru was a three-star signee in KU’s 2020 recruiting class.
Anokwuru, from Richmond, Texas, hasn’t appeared in any games for KU.