What caught my eye at Tuesday's practice: Oct. 16


KU quarterbacks Dayne Crist (10) and Michael Cummings (14) catch a quick break during Tuesday's practice. KU coach Charlie Weis said both would play this weekend at Oklahoma but did not divulge which would start.

KU quarterbacks Dayne Crist (10) and Michael Cummings (14) catch a quick break during Tuesday's practice. KU coach Charlie Weis said both would play this weekend at Oklahoma but did not divulge which would start. by Matt Tait

Not a ton of news from today’s practice, but since KU is in the middle of figure out its quarterback situation, I spent most of the day watching the way things unfolded at that position.

I didn’t get to watch them run any live offense or anything like that, so this will not be a breakdown of what Michael Cummings can do or did versus what Dayne Crist can do or did. Besides, don’t we know that by this point?

It will, however, be a breakdown of how these two are handling what KU coach Charlie Weis dubbed earlier today “a distraction.”

In a word — well.

There did not appear to be any animosity or anything different between Crist and Cummings today. They went through drills the same way, worked together, laughed at times and even seemed to help each other out whenever possible. We’ve heard all year that this is a close team and that these guys are genuinely interested in how they can help the team, regardless of what specific role they play. Crist and Cummings are proof that those words are not just lip service.

By now, I’m sure you’ve all heard or read that Weis plans to play both QBs this weekend at Oklahoma. He did not divulge who the starter would be and kept a tight lid on how the snaps would be divided. But, reading between the lines, I have to believe that Weis has a doozy of a gameplan in store for the Sooners this weekend, one with all kinds of new looks and wrinkles.

For most of the week, I had been leaning toward the vibe that Cummings would get the start, but now that I know — or at least have been led to believe — that both WILL play, I’m leaning more to Crist.

Here’s why:

If he starts Crist, he knows what he’s getting. So do the rest of us. I’m sure the thinking is, ‘Why not see if he’s hot and can move the ball in the first and second quarter the way he did against Kansas State or even, at times, Oklahoma State. If he doesn’t, then you go to Cummings, who already has shown what kind of spark he can provide off the bench.

If Weis starts Cummings and he struggles, I’m not so sure going back to Crist would provide the same lift.

Make sense?

So, as of 5:37 p.m. CST Tuesday, put me down for Crist starts but Cummings plays more. I’m sure I’ll be updating this position throughout the week.

Now, as for what else caught my eye at Tuesday’s practice, here’s a quick look:

• As expected, senior wide receiver Daymond Patterson was nowhere to be found. Weis said earlier in the day that DP would not practice today and that he was questionable for Saturday because of a head injury. Senior wideout D.J. Beshears also was absent. Beshears is out for an extended period of time because of a shoulder injury that required some type of medical procedure Monday.

• Good news on the injury front came from sophomore running back Tony Pierson, who looked closer to full-speed and went through drills with a much smaller brace on his left elbow. Pierson remains a question mark for Saturday, but it looks like he’s closer to playing than he was a week ago at this time. The “brace” that he wore today was merely a small flap that covered the joint and some type of small wrap above and below it.

• As for how Crist and Cummings handled reps, I was not allowed to stay for that, but Weis said earlier in the day that Cummings would lead off one drill and Crist would lead the next and that both would get equal work in each. Not the grandest detail, but interesting nonetheless. One other thing that’s interesting is that it sounds as if the team knows what the gameplan will be with these guys. As expected, Weis has been very clear in explaining to them that they are not to discuss it with the media this week, so don’t expect anything to leak that way. I’m not.

• Finally, the Coach Weis song of the day was “Dancin’ in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen.


VaJay 5 years, 8 months ago

I'm in full agreement to start Crist. I think it will suit Cummings to come in once a flow of the game has developed. It would be great to see a few new wrinkles - for once: a pass play out of the Jayhawk formation!

hawk316 5 years, 8 months ago

Agreed. I think you're right on point, Matt. Crist should start with Cummings brought in if a spark is needed. Who knows? The new competition from Cummings may just elevate Crist's game.

Jim Erickson 5 years, 8 months ago

Disagree... I don't like this idea. I think Crist, at this point, only starts if he is miles ahead of Cummings which he is not. Cummings needs to at least get the majority of the snaps. Crist is a 5th year mercenary so there is no benefit of sticking with him if Cummings is close to the same talent level.

Frankenhawk 5 years, 8 months ago

I want to see Cummings start but AFTER this game. Like the article says, I was afraid after thinking for awhile that Weis would put Cummings out there knowing OU is going to eat us up, and then turn around and say "I told you so". This should prevent that some. We are going up against a great team this weekend so everyone needs to be ready to give Cummings a pass if he doesn't play all that well.

Yakihawk 5 years, 8 months ago

Hey Matt,

Josh Ford showed he's a great athlete with his special teams play early on, why isn't he getting any looks at wide receiver? I may have missed him being in the the game, I have to watch online (DSL, it's like watching someone play TecmoBowl on a 1981 Zenith) so it's hard to tell who's on the field.

Ron Prichard 5 years, 8 months ago

I would give you a run with the Bills and Jim Kelly and his receivers/RB (can't remember his name, but he was fast) with the run and shoot O. Deep plays almost every time. The best part about the Bills was Bruce Smith (I think) on D. A quick little back, down and forward move on the controller and he would be able to get past the block and get to the QB or RB on almost every play. I think we're talking about the same game. Technically it was TecmoSuperBowl (with the horizontal screen). I think TecmoBowl was the first game (vertical screen?)

Dave McClain 5 years, 8 months ago

"Dancin in the Dark" as the song selection! Coach certainly has a sense of humor!

Reuben_J_Cogburn 5 years, 8 months ago

At this point last year, Gill was saying he'd basically stick to the gameplan and not change anything up for different competition.

Drastic difference between this staff and the last two abysmal years. Weis is cooking something up with what he has at his disposal. Maybe it will work, maybe it won't. But he knows he has to do something different each game with the talent level he has, and he's putting every asset into action.

It's called adaptation, and it was a foreign idea to Gill. Keep supporting this staff and this team, fans. They will reward it....I promise.

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