Monday, October 10, 2005

Kansas’ quarterback situation still muddled


Even after watching tape from his team's shoddy offensive performance in Saturday's Sunflower Showdown, Kansas University football coach Mark Mangino didn't announce any changes to correct his quarterback conundrum on Sunday.

"We're not going to spend a whole week working it out," Mangino said. "A day or two, and we'll go with who we feel is best."

It still seems likely that the two leading candidates for KU's signal-calling spot are Adam Barmann and Brian Luke, despite their combined struggles Saturday. Mangino said he would not officially rule out playing true freshman Kerry Meier at some point this season, but he suggested it was likely the freshman from Pittsburg would not see the playing field.

"I don't want to say an absolute decision," Mangino said of not playing Meier -- who early in September underwent treatment for Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, which is caused by an abnormal conduction circuit in the heart.

"I do want to point out that the two weeks he missed on the practice field are part of the situation," Mangino continued. "He experienced a traumatic situation. Physically he's fine, but it's taking him awhile to bounce back in all areas. If he was ready to play, we'd play him. But right now it's not in his best interest to play."

Barmann, Luke and Marcus Herford are the only KU quarterbacks who have played this season.

Barmann -- who started Saturday's game, but was replaced early in the second quarter by Luke -- was 3-of-8 passing for just 17 yards, and he had a fumble in the fourth quarter deep into K-State territory.

Luke -- who also had a fourth-quarter fumble when the football bounced out of KU's end zone for a safety -- was 4-of-13 for 86 yards in the air against the Wildcats.

Herford -- who accounted for a 24-yard reception on a razzle-dazzle play -- does not seem a likely starter considering he has thrown only three passes all year and has not played for an extended period in any of KU's five games.

Mangino, reiterated Sunday that the quarterback woes were not his team's only offensive problems.

"Watching the tape today, I would say that it was all 11 players on offense who contributed to the subpar performance that we had," said Mangino, whose team compiled 236 offensive yards against the Wildcats. "You can't really blame one player or say one player created the poor performance that we had. We were not good assignment-wise or fundamentally. And the disappointment lies in the fact that this was probably our least productive game on offense in the last three seasons."

¢ Dominating D: While Mangino might have been offended by having to watch KU's offense again on tape, he reiterated how proud he was of the Jayhawks' stellar defensive performance in Manhattan.

"Anytime your defense plays that well you should win," said Mangino of the Jayhawks, who limited K-State to just 182 offensive yards and recorded 16 tackles for loss. "We're talking about a defense that created 73 yards for loss. That's incredible."

¢ Talib's transition: Mangino said freshman Aqib Talib, who switched from safety to cornerback Saturday, played well against the Wildcats and improved the secondary.

"We recruited him as a corner, but we were concerned about safety with Rodney Harris left," Mangino said. "Now that he has kind of gotten his feet wet with playing time, we thought it was the appropriate time to make the move to corner.

¢ Heaggans back?: Mangino said Greg Heaggans, KU's all-time kick-return leader, "has been trying to work his way back into the groove."

"We thought we should give him an opportunity because we haven't been quite as sharp on the return unit," Mangino said of Heaggans, who played for the first time this season on Saturday and had a nine-yard return. "But I can't say it's definite (that Heaggans would become KU's primary return man)."

¢ Slash Gordon?: Junior standout Charles Gordon saw his most action on offense this season against the Wildcats, hauling in two passes for 14 yards and throwing a 24-yard pass to Hereford.

"The situation with Charles is the punt returns. He's doing such a great job, but it takes so much out of him," Mangino said. "We would like to work Charles more on offense. We have to assess that at this point."


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.