Tom Keegan: David Beaty didn't name KU's starting quarterback; Peyton Bender's parents did

Kansas junior quarterback Peyton Bender fires a pass during a preseason practice on Monday, Aug. 7, 2017.

In trying to prevent Southeast Missouri State from finding out the identity of the starting quarterback for Saturday’s season-opener, Kansas football coach David Beaty lapsed into double-speak on the Big 12 conference call. That left a significant portion of the fan base wondering if he knows what he’s doing at QB, wondering if the Jayhawks are headed for the same old story at the most important position on the field.

Let me help to settle some of those fears about the third-year football coach. He does know what he’s doing, he just sounded as if he didn’t in trying to guard a secret.

So let me clarify just what is happening with the trigger man in Doug Meacham’s offense. Beaty knows the identity of the starting quarterback, so do I, and there is no way that changes by Saturday.

His name is Peyton Bender, a junior-college transfer who started his career at Washington State, where he lost a close battle to Luke Falk, a bona fide Heisman Trophy candidate this season. Recruited to Kansas by Kenny Perry, Bender features a quick release, a long history with the Air Raid Offense, and an arm that is both accurate and strong enough to make all the throws. He has a confident air about him without displaying even a hint of obnoxiousness that quarterbacks often carry.

Even if Carter Stanley had not injured his hand, Bender would have been the guy, so if it’s ever revealed that Stanley suffered a hand injury, nobody should think Bender won the job by default.

As for Saturday’s backup for Bender, well, can’t help you there. I don’t know the extent of Stanley’s hand injury, whether it’s something that will keep him out of the opener, or even six weeks, or however long.

Beaty isn’t the first coach to try to hide injuries. It behooves him to have Southeast Missouri prepare for both Bender and Stanley. Every opponent must be treated with equal respect, so it shouldn't freak anybody out that he's in secrecy mode for the opener.

Beaty’s injury policy now involves simply stating whether a player is unavailable. Stanley is not listed as unavailable this week, which of course is not the same as saying he’s available, in much the way that a “not-guilty” verdict doesn’t necessarily mean “innocent.”

“We also have a third guy in Tyriek Starks who actually also had a really nice fall camp,” Beaty said on the call. “It’d be nice to get to a point some time to be able to get him live reps to see what he can do. We were pleased with his progress also throughout fall camp.”

If Stanley isn’t available, even though he’s not yet listed as unavailable, then keeping Bender healthy becomes the No. 1 priority for an offensive line that can best be described as both improved and still young.

It’s best if Starks gains his first game experience when Beaty can afford to play him — in other words late in a game that already has been decided — rather than when he has to play him because the first two quarterbacks aren’t available.

As long as Bender and Stanley don't ever miss the same game with injury, KU should have its best quarterback play in years, but quarterbacks do suffer injuries at a high rate, so depth at the position is looking a bit tenuous at the moment.

Comments

Dirk Medema

Was there a story about Stanley?

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Jim Stauffer

No, Keegan is trying his best to alienate Beaty apparently. He knows Beaty doesn't want that info out. He and Benton Smith will soon be getting their info 3rd or 4th hand.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Brett McCabe

Actually, he's probably trying to help Beaty out. There are only two ways to dampen pre-season interest in KU football this year: 1. Player injury/departure, 2. Staff-induced drama.

It's disappointing to see the offensive staff committing the same sins as last season by creating unneeded drama with the depth chart. It didn't work and it didn't help last season, so why are we doing it again?

The surest sign of better things to come is when you start doing things better. The offensive coaches can start doing better by reducing the amount of drama queen factor that we have to endure this year.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Skyler Owen

I don't know if I'm just out of the loop because I am not part of the twitter world, but what did Peyton Benders parents do? The title is kind of misleading. I'm guessing they said something ion twitter?

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Chris DeWeese

I agree. A rather incoherent article.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Brent Cagle

I think that's just a cute way of revealing the starting QB in the headline. He's saying Peyton's parents are the one who named him, when he was born.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Skyler Owen

Ok I get it now....I misinterpreted that, still seems like a very open ended title little confusing...I assumed peyton told his parents and they responded with something on twitter glad this is not the case!

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Benny Armstrong

This is yet another instance of Keegan trying to be way too cute in his writing and failing to provide a readable article/blog.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Steve Corder

The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Robert Brock

Man, I sure hope that KU can pull out the stops and beat mighty Southeast Missouri State.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Justin Kruse

Gonna be tough now that they know our starting QB!

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Austin Lopez

I'm starting to think Keegan has a crush on Bender....

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Phil Leister

So Bender's parents factor into this how?

And Stanley is injured? And Keegan writes this article like we all should know that?

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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John Fitzgerald

If Stanley is in fact injured I hope it's not serious. We WILL need 2 quality QB's this year.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Brett McCabe

Who is to say Starks isn't a quality quarterback?

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Dillon Davis

The fact that he has been here 2 years and is still 3rd on the depth chart says a lot I think

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Brett McCabe

Go tell Baker Mayfield he's not a good quarterback. Or Josh Allen. Or Tom Brady. I don't know where Starks ranks, but Beaty went through 3 QB's last year and didn't find an effective starter until he got to number 3, which makes me think there may be an issue on the evaluation side. And don't forget, the all-time great coach Mangino couldn't even identify Reesing as a starter until Meier was injured. College coaches are notorious for missing the mark on QB evaluation (Dayne Christ, Jordan Webb, Montel Cozart).

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Aaron Paisley

Starks was a first year guy stuck behind a bunch of multi year players last year. Now he's a 2nd year stuck behind a 4th year and a 3rd year guy. Still not all that concerning that Starks is behind more experienced players.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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John Fitzgerald

I didn't say he wasn't, I'm just saying we need two. And honestly we haven't seen much from him. But if you have more info than the rest of the KU fans or KU Sports Journalist's, then please share.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Brett McCabe

You do remember that the guy you've been fan-boying about all summer came out of camp as the third-string quarterback last year, right? Ring a bell?

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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John Fitzgerald

Did you forget to take your meds? You need to chill.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Dale Rogers

So much for keeping the opposition guessing. The fabulous media does it again.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Brett McCabe

It's a sad day for KU football when disguising our starting QB from SEMO is even considered a thing.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Dale Rogers

Granted but my point is that if a coach desires to keep it quiet then the media should honor that in my opinion. There are some things the media should not hold back on but this isn't one of those.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Jeremy Morris

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Barry Weiss

This is just bizarre to me, from the article, to that actions of the coach. Good grief, this is a non power conference team, are we really that down that we need some tactic like this to gain an advantage? This just seems cheese ball to me. And I agree, the headline of the article led me to think the parents said something that indicated their son was the starter, not who gave him his name. More cheese ballerey.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Dirk Medema

Consider it encouraging if you do have to do a double take on the title and at least one paragraph in each article. Keeganismitis is not to be trifled with.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Clarence Glasse

LOL!
RockChalk

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Thomas Green

I'm not a journalist or a football coach, so my comments don't come with any real experience. That said, I would agree with most here, this seems odd on all fronts!

I don't see the need or any meaningful advantage in not naming the starter. Especially for this particular opponent. I also don't see any journalistic scoop by writing this article in this fashion. If Beaty isn't just playing games-at least in his mind-this might really tick him off! It all seems quite petty or even downright screwy!

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Dennis Mahorney

Keegan articles are generally long on drama, and short on facts. Another weird one.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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