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Quarterback controversy brewing in Waco too

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Kansas linebacker Keith Loneker Jr. (47) eyes Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer (12) during the first quarter on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2017 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas linebacker Keith Loneker Jr. (47) eyes Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer (12) during the first quarter on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2017 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

As a freshman last season, Charlie Brewer lit up Kansas for 315 yards and three touchdowns in his first start, leading Baylor to its first and only victory of the 2017 season.

But Brewer hasn't won the job outright. Bears coach Matt Rhule has been using North Carolina State graduate transfer Jalan McClendon a lot as well.

Their statistics are quite similar. Brewer has completed 46 of 76 and thrown for 641 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He has a 60.5 completion percentage and averages 8.4 yards per throw. McClendon, 4 inches taller at 6-foot-5, is 23 of 25 for 307 yards, three touchdowns and one interception and is averaging 8.7 yards per throw.

Rhule shared a glimpse of how he evaluates his decisions.

"I do it all from numbers. Charlie has played 138 snaps and completed 60 percent of his passes and he has led us to eight touchdowns, four field goals, and seven punts," Rhule said. "Jalan has played 78 total snaps and has led us to six touchdowns and is converting third downs at 58 percent. Those are good numbers for both. To try and make the decision off a gut feeling is hard when both guys are producing. I wish both guys could take back their picks, but when you play quarterback that's just what happens. Both guys made good plays and both guys have some plays they wish they could take back."

Rhule didn't tip his hand.

"We feel good about both guys. Both guys made big plays in the game the other day, so it’s not an easy decision to say, 'Hey let’s settle on one guy,' just because of the different skills each guy brings," Rhule said. "I think that’s sort of day by day process for us as we go through this week putting the game plan together to get ready for Kansas. We’ll see if we’re going to eliminate it and get down to one guy each day as we go through the week. ... If we were to play today I think we’d probably play both.”

Given how successful he was last season vs. Kansas and that he has played more to this point, Brewer likely will get the nod if Rhule decides to go with just one quarterback. Kansas? Best guess: Miles Kendrick makes his first start, but it's just a guess.

Comments

Eric Eakins 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Thanks for an earlier than normal opponent article. Interesting take by their coach. Actually find it less satisfying hearing his approach than hearing Beaty's approach. Gives some perspective to our situation. Here's hoping both their QB's make lots of mistakes Saturday.

Joe Ross 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Wondering if Kansas can utilize Stanley and Kendrick in a "wildcat" formation, where Stanley lines up in a slot, but the offense shifts and Kendrick is moved to a receiver. Then utilize a backward pass to Kendrick who then throws the ball downfield.

You could even pretend to be switching quarterbacks. It would require a bit of acting to mimic confusion, but Stanley and Kendrick could both be in the huddle and pretend to hurry Kendrick off the field in the waning seconds of the play clock, only to have him stop short of the sideline, receive the backward pass from Stanley and then throw. Easy trick play.

Or use Kendrick in a bubble screen situation.

Eric Eakins 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Normally on board with your comments but for KU there doesn't seem to be an "easy trick play" and I'm enjoying their efforts at minimizing offensive mistakes approach so far this year. Not sure the coaching staff can be trusted when to call this type of play either. Just when we have some momentum and have a chance to get the score in our favor and wham, pick six and off run the bears with bigger half time lead (PTSD from past seasons hard to deal with ;-)

Joe Ross 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Can't blame your perspective Eric. Fundamentals come first, and I think you're absolutely right about erring on the side of conservatism.

To me, however, say you're at a point where you feel the game beginning to slip away and you are having to look at punting after a 3-and-out. Punting it away might be the prescribed course of action and let you "hang around"; whereas a fake play might actually give you new life in the game. I certainly wouldn't advocate that Kansas put trick plays routinely in games. But sprinkled in here and there, especially if it has the ability to put you back in the game might be worth it. And consider this. We're Kansas. With the state of our program, another loss doesn't really hurt. But if you judge the potential to win vs. Baylor on the road but you have a risk a play to do it, then why not? If you lose, it's kind of what people expect. But weighed against the chance to stay competitive in a game, some people might take the risk.

I can't argue with your perspective at all. This is one of those things where reasonable people can disagree.

Eric Eakins 2 months, 4 weeks ago

We can probably agree on the idea that this game sets the tone for the rest of the season. A win and the team can gain tremendous confidence and have hopes for more. Towards end of close game, all play options on deck. A loss against the other bottom dweller in the conference and hope is diminished for anything more than trying to improve some, maybe get a fluke win and guessing who the next coach will be.

If they were playing OU and lose then there is still hope for more this year but lose to Baylor and there isn't anymore foreseeable victories on the schedule. I hope they don't need trick plays and run it down Baylor's throat like Rutgers. At least I'm excited to see what happens. I was figuring by now I would be trying to do my final outdoor projects before winter and avoiding Saturday TV.

Micky Baker 2 months, 4 weeks ago

I don't know about that Joe. I think we could use deception more often with Pooka and Khalil both in the backfield or one or both shifting to the slots before the snap. It would almost guarantee that we'd get a matchup with a running back on a linebacker. That would work even better with Kendrick at QB because he could option to a run when the linebackers have to spread out. Also have Sims in to run a deep post or straight fly to clear out one of the safeties in the middle and maybe Kerry Johnson or Booker running a deep out to occupy the other corner and force the other safety to stay back or come up, depending upon what the safeties do determines who the ball is thrown to. So many things can happen good or bad though. Maybe just allow Pooka to use his ability to break the big run.

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