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Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Notebook: Coastal playing ‘cat and mouse’ with QB decision, too

Kansas linebacker Najee Stevens-McKenzie takes down Coastal Carolina's Fred Payton Saturday night at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium on Sept. 7, 2019.

Kansas linebacker Najee Stevens-McKenzie takes down Coastal Carolina's Fred Payton Saturday night at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium on Sept. 7, 2019.

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Les Miles isn’t the only head coach headed into this Saturday’s Kansas football opener keeping his quarterback plans to himself.

Coastal Carolina coach Jamey Chadwell told reporters during his Wednesday video press conference he has decided on a starting QB, but will not announce the winner of the Chanticleers’ competition publicly.

“We’ll play a little cat and mouse, I guess, with Kansas a little bit,” Chadwell said, adding the mystery winner has practiced with the CCU first string of late.

Coastal’s depth chart lists juniors Bryce Carpenter and Fred Payton as the possible starters versus KU. Both played a great deal in 2019. Payton threw for 1,421 yards with 12 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Carpenter finished with 927 passing yards, eight TDs and two interceptions. Payton rushed 181 yards and two scores, while Carpenter contributed 390 rushing yards and one TD.

When Coastal beat KU in Lawrence a year ago, 12-7, the Chanticleers didn’t pass the ball much. Payton went 6-for-9 for 98 yards and a TD, while Carpenter went 2-for-5 for 21 yards.

Miles, of course, could either start senior Thomas MacVittie or junior Miles Kendrick at quarterback. KU’s head coach indicated this week that both could play versus Coastal.

Covid impacting Coastal?

As of Wednesday, Chadwell said his team will be missing “probably four” players for the opener at KU, due to quarantine, after the program dealt previously with an unnamed number of positive COVID-19 cases.

The coach described the players as “not necessarily starters, but guys that would’ve contributed heavily to special teams and backup roles and some of those things.”

Chadwell said the team had no new positive cases in its first round of testing this week.

Meanwhile, a Kansas Department of Health and Environment list of COVID-19 outbreaks published Wednesday listed the KU football team as a cluster location. Kansas Athletics spokesperson Dan Beckler told the Journal-World the 14 cases referenced on the list include all positive tests from within the program — coaches, support staff, student workers and players — in the past 28 days. He said the most recent round of testing resulted in three players with positive cases and those are the three active cases on KU’s roster.

Per Big 12 protocol, both Coastal and Kansas will have their last rounds of COVID tests for the week on Friday.

Big 12 rolls out new anti-racism PSA

The Big 12 announced Wednesday some specifics of its efforts to confront racism and social injustice, with the help of conference athletes.

A Big 12 public service announcement titled “You See Us Differently,” features more than 40 football players from the league, including KU offensive lineman Chris Hughes.

“You cheer for us on the field, now cheer for us beyond it,” the ad begins.

The Big 12 plans future ads to include women’s and men’s basketball players and athletes form Olympic sports.

Since May, the Big 12 and its institutions have created a diversity and inclusion plan, featuring chief diversity officers, a black athlete council, an internship program and an athlete voter registration initiative.

“It takes all Americans to combat racism, and work toward true equity and social justice,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby stated in a release. “We recognize that using the voices of those affected to articulate a strong message may make some people uncomfortable. The conference supports our student-athletes and we join them in this effort.  If we are to eradicate racism, difficult conversations will play a part. We embrace the opportunity to use our platforms to facilitate the needed dialogue.”  

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