Upcoming scrimmage expected to be critical stage in KU football QB competition

Kansas quarterback Carter Stanley clutches the ball as he prepares to throw during practice on Tuesday, April 10, 2018.

Six practices into preseason camp, the Kansas football team still has a three-man quarterback competition on its hands, with Thursday morning marking just the second session in full pads.

As repetitions remain split between Peyton Bender, Carter Stanley and Miles Kendrick, their head coach, David Beaty, is eyeing an upcoming scrimmage as a likely moment of separation.

“After Saturday, we should know a whole lot more,” Beaty said. “It will be about a 135-, 140-play scrimmage.”

The fourth-year KU coach earlier this summer outlined a plan to cut the QB race to two quickly during the preseason.

Asked if he hoped to accomplish that following the team’s first August scrimmage, Beaty began by responding that he would “like to” do so.

“Like I said, we won't trim it just to make everybody happy,” Beaty clarified. “We're going to trim it when it naturally occurs. It's not about happiness. It's about doing the right thing. It's about doing the right thing for that Jayhawk on our chest. We can't work off emotions and just perception. We got to work off reality. I feel pretty comfortable Saturday will tell us quite a bit. So, hopefully, I got some more news for you.”

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Kansas quarterback Peyton Bender (7) throws during an open practice on Saturday, April 28, 2018 ...

Practices up to this point have included some game-like situations, with 11 fully-padded players battling against one another the past two days.

According to redshirt junior Stanley, the repetitions have been distributed “pretty even” between the trio of QBs in those scenarios. He said the three contenders had not been told yet whether that would be the case for Saturday’s scrimmage.

“I think that scrimmage will do a lot for us. It’l be good for us,” Stanley predicted. “We’ll be able to move the ball down the field and do some drives, so it’ll be good.”

Stanley also said reps have remained “pretty even” for the quarterbacks in terms of how many snaps they are taking with the first and second units.

Sophomore Kendrick, who transferred to KU from College of San Mateo (Calif.) in January, anticipates the scrimmage taking on a fresh feel for many of the players, including the QBs.

“Obviously, it’ll be intense. Guys will be excited a little bit more with a game atmosphere,” Kendrick said, before sharing his plan of attack. “For me, it’s just stay even keeled, cool, calm, collected and take care of the football. And, really, just use these last couple days to get better and improve and get ready for the scrimmage.”

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Kansas quarterback Miles Kendrick drops back to throw as he is protected by Kansas offensive ...

A redshirt senior, Bender said all three potential starters will have to prove themselves to their position coach and offensive coordinator Doug Meacham as the competition inches toward a conclusion.

Bender admitted reps can feel “limited” with three players rotating in and out. So each time a QB gets a chance, he has to show the coaches: “You know what you’re doing. You know where to go with the football.”

Even though the three-QB race that began in the spring will finish soon, Bender doesn’t think the competition itself feels too different.

“It’s kind of the same format every day. We all get our individual reps and we just have a rotation going. Just, when you’re in there, you’ve got to make the most of it,” Bender shared. “We go for a four- or five-play series and are just rotating. So sometimes, it’s tough to get into a rhythm, but that’s how it can be in the game. You could just be thrown right out there.”

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John Fitzgerald

*“It’s kind of the same format every day. We all get our individual reps and we just have a rotation going. Just when you’re in there you’ve got to make the most of it,” Bender shared. “We go for a four- or five-play series and are just rotating. So sometimes it’s tough to get into a rhythm, but that’s how it can be in the game. You could just be thrown right out there.”*

I'm not a coach by any means and Beaty obviously knows more than me, but I don't like this. You can't convince me this is beneficial to the quarterbacks and I get the sense they don't like it either.

2 months ago

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Jeff Coffman

It's interesting that Beaty practices 4-5 plays and then switches QBs. It reminds of the past few years, where a QB plays 4-5 downs and punts, turns over the ball, or is replaced. Practice what you plan on doing I guess.

2 months ago

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Jeff Coffman

Enough already...he said he was going to work through a quick decision and he won't, we all knew it. Basically if the line is shaping up well, Bender will be the QB. If it does not, we will need either Kendrick or Stanley to step up because of their ability to leave the pocket.

2 months ago

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Kevin Robert Fest

My guess is that it comes down to who throws the least interceptions during the scrimmage.

2 months ago

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Eliott Reeder

“Obviously, it’ll be intense. Guys will be excited a little bit more with a game atmosphere,” Kendrick said.

Accurate statement considering there will probably be about the same amount of fans in the stadium this Saturday as during the rest of our home games this fall.

2 months ago

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Eliott Reeder

Speaking of which... will this scrimmage be open to fans???

2 months ago

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Jay Scott

New KU Sports subject - Coach plans on having 11 players on the field during games.

KU Sports crazies - They're doing everything wrong! Fire everyone! Hire Belichick or Saban!

2 months ago

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Jay Scott

Does anyone remember who it was that suggested almost a year ago that Gary might win more often than the KU football team in the coming 12 months?

Correct. It was Jay Scott.

2 months ago

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Al Martin

Chicken Little.

:-)

2 months ago

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Dirk Medema

It will be exciting to hear what happens in the scrimmage for all the new players as well as the QB's. Always have to temper results, because you want to see improvement on both sides of the ball. Still good to be getting closer to September.

2 months ago

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