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A trigger man who can return Kansas football offense to 21st century

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FILE — Washington State quarterback Peyton Bender (6) throws the ball during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Oregon State, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, in Pullman, Wash. Bender signed with Kansas in December 2016, as a junior college transfer from Itawamba Community College. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

FILE — Washington State quarterback Peyton Bender (6) throws the ball during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Oregon State, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, in Pullman, Wash. Bender signed with Kansas in December 2016, as a junior college transfer from Itawamba Community College. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

We’ll know the Kansas football offense has rejoined the 21st century when a quarterback throws for 300 yards on at least a semi-regular basis.

Todd Reesing was the last KU quarterback to do so and junior-college recruit Peyton Bender, enrolling for second semester and competing with Carter Stanley for the starting job in the spring, could become the next.

During Reesing’s three seasons as starting quarterback at Kansas (2007-09), the Jayhawks threw for 300 yards in 20 games. Reesing alone reached the milestone 17 times, including eight in his sophomore season, the Orange Bowl season.

Reesing had more 300-yard passing games as a sophomore than 10 different starting quarterbacks have combined for in the seven seasons since his departure.

Nobody reached the milestone in either 2010 or 2013 and no Ryan Willis is the only quarterback to have done it twice.

The six 300-club entries:

2011: Jordan Webb threw for 316 yards in 70-28 loss to Oklahoma State.

2012: Dayne Crist totaled 303 passing yards in 20-6 loss to TCU.

2014: Michael Cummings led a near-upset with 332 yards in 34-30 loss to TCU.

2015: Ryan Willis threw for 330 yards in 30-20 loss to Texas Tech.

2016: Willis threw for 348 yards in a 24-23 loss to TCU.

2016: Carter Stanley rang up 302 passing yards in 34-19 loss to Kansas State.

Playing for Itawamba Community College in Mississippi, Bender averaged 303.7 passing yards per game. He threw 21 touchdowns and four interceptions and was sacked once. Bender finished his one-year juco career by throwing for 354 yards and 466 yards in his final two games. His season-high effort of 566 passing yards came in the fourth week of the season.

Bender, whose quick trigger suits him to the Air Raid offense, spent his first year out of high school as a redshirt in Washington State coach Mike Leach’s program and was second on the depth chart as a red-shirt freshman. He grew up in Georgia but played his high school football in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Still not excited about Bender? He stayed loyal to Kansas when Georgia tried to steal him.

Caption this Frank Mason photo

Kansas players Frank Mason III, left, LaGerald Vick and Mitch Lightfoot are pictured on a catamaran on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 at Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. The team was given some free time after practice to enjoy the beach.

Kansas players Frank Mason III, left, LaGerald Vick and Mitch Lightfoot are pictured on a catamaran on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 at Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. The team was given some free time after practice to enjoy the beach. by Nick Krug

Kansas point guard Frank Mason and Villanova shooting guard Josh Hart both have strong cases for national player of the year honors. The fact that Mason has a rap song in his honor, written and performed by RedHead, will neither help nor hurt his chances.

Since Mason is that famous, it’s time for a caption-writing contest for the above photo, shot by the Journal-World’s Nick Krug.

I’ll go first:

“Mitch I’m, Mitch I’m Frank Mason.”

Your turn.

Comments

Jeremy Morris 1 month, 2 weeks ago

"How many times did you hear Bruce Weber whine during the game the other night?"

Dillon Davis 1 month, 2 weeks ago

I'm confused, is there like a copy and paste error going on here? Why do we have a picture of Frank Mason on the beach at the end of a football article??

As far as the football article goes, I'm sorry Tom. You can preach and preach and throw stats out about why Bender will be different than past transfer QBs but it won't sway me, personally. I refuse to get my hopes up about an unknown, especially when Stanley finished the season as strong as he did. I hope you're right, but not betting on it.

Jonathan Allison 1 month, 2 weeks ago

The header did give the football article vibe, but this is Keegan's Lunch Break blog. So the same rules don't apply.

Tom Keegan 1 month, 2 weeks ago

I understand your caution, but I'm not going to hold the failures of Dayne Crist and Jake Heaps running Charlie Weis' offense against Bender. Every team needs two good quarterbacks because of injuries and for the first time in years, I'm confident Kansas has two good ones in Bender and Stanley, the order I predict they will be listed on the depth chart. Bender has a quicker release and by all accounts they both have quick football minds.

Skyler Owen 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Is anybody else wondering if their are going to be any replacements for Jason Phillips ? And any thoughts on Sonny Dykes firing from Cal is this a possible OC for HCDB???

Tom Keegan 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Beaty is going to be the OC, so Dykes will not be heading this way. I would keep an eye on Klint Kubiak returning as WR coach as a possibility. Beaty liked him.

Michael Maris 1 month, 2 weeks ago

I mentioned last week on the possibility of Kubiak possibly coming back as the WR's coach.

How about Ed Warriner eventually making his way back to Lawrence (I know he just took the job at U. of Minnesota). But, if Coach Yenser was to leave (some where down the road, not that I'm pushing for it at all). It might be another reunion of the 2008 to 2009 years. Coach Beaty, Warriner and Bowen again. Never say never.

Brad Farha 1 month, 2 weeks ago

This really caught my attention -- "Still not excited about Bender? He stayed loyal to Kansas when Georgia tried to steal him." Count me as excited.

Tom Keegan 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Yes, and I'm told by those who would know that Leach wanted him back and other Pac-12 schools were interested as well.

Dillon Davis 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Much like other schools were interested in Crist and Heaps. We were not their only suitors.

Jay Beakum 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Who else was interested in Crist or Heaps? I remember being surprised that more teams weren’t going after them.

Matt Tait 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Pretty sure Crist ultimately picked between Kansas and Delaware. Don't remember much about the others going after Heaps before he came to KU.

Ken Schmidt 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Caption this: "At KU I walk on water, here, I got about this far..."

Jerry Walker 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Can one of the LJW writers do a definitive story on the number of scholarship players the Hawks will have next year...I've read conflicting reports from the staff.

I know it is a moving target but it would be helpful to know how much progress we're making in digging out of the hole left by Charlie Tuna. It seems like we're making progress in the quality of our recruits but depth...in the second and third stringers...is a major step in getting the program turned around.

Craig Goscha 1 month, 2 weeks ago

1 “Wade, Pay attention….”

2 “Yo, Coach Beaty."

4 “Show me that silly hand sign again".

5 “Odell, This Justin. Sterling example of how you dress when you Cruz the beach. Roger that?” - Frank

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