Like I said earlier, I'm not a big spring football kind of guy. I didn't even watch all of our games last year, living out in California there aren't a lot of chances to catch some Jayhawk football. Still, we will take a look at some of the main points of question that could be answered in the Spring Game on April 15th.
The first question we'll take a look at, and most likely the most important one, is who will be our starting quarterback next season?
It's a job completely in the open as of now, with Mangino remaining steadfast that someone will emerge to take the reigns as the starter. That was supposed to happen last year too, with Meier taking over after strong fall practices. Yet, after Meier's shoulder injury the QB position was merely a drawn out game of musical chairs, throwing 3 QB's in the fire including giving up the redshirt of Meier's competition this year, Todd Reesing. The one thing that is good about this situation is whoever emerges, we will have a solid backup plan for a couple of years. They are both sophomores, meaning we will have one of these two QB's start every game for up to three years. Going into spring practice you would have to give the edge to Kerry Meier, he was supposed to be the starter this season and played more than anyone else (especiallly Reesing) last season. Still, with Mangino saying it is an open competition let's take a look at last year's production for both of them.
Looking at Kerry Meier's stats last season, they are hard to read. The most important stat for a QB in my opinion, completion %, stayed fairly consistently around the 55% line, with it dropping as low as 44% (vs. Northwestern State) and 48% (vs. Kansas State) but also rising as high as 77% (@ Iowa State). The Northwestern State game could be thrown out as it was his first game ever as a collegiate, but the fact that in consecutive weeks he could play as good (@ Iowa State) and as bad (vs. Kansas State) is kind of shocking. Another stat to be wary of, he threw an INT in every game except for 3 (@ Baylor, @ Iowa State, @ Missouri) and two of those games (@ Baylor and @ Missouri) he didn't play the entire game. So besides his Saturday of glory up in Ames, he always seemed to make a dumb throw or two that would keep the opponent in the game or get us out of it. He badly needs to work on not handing the game away, that was his biggest problem without a doubt and also somehing he could easily fix. He is my early pick to claim the starting role, at least to start out the year because of his experience, but I wouldn't be shocked if he made enough bad mistakes and lost the job.
Todd Reesing didn't play in a lot of games last year, only appearing in 3 (2 of them in mopup duty @ Iowa State and @ Missouri) but did lead us back from defeat in the one game he saw major action against Colorado. His statistics are actually worse than Meier's in many ways, but his completion % is a little better overall than Kerry's. Like Kerry, he too struggled with the 'mistake' bug throwing a pick in all 3 of his games while throwing just 3 TD's. However, he also ran for 2 more TD's including a thrilling run against the Buffaloes. His play got progressively worse as the season wore on, but he also saw less and less action as it wore on so what he can do in a full game is still left up in the air. He is the fan-favorite right now as he is the underdog after redshirting for the first 8 games last season, but I think his lack of experience will prevent him from starting against Central Michigan on September 1st. I can gurantee you that, barring injury, will see some game action in a couple of games this season, whether it is mopup duty after Meier forges us ahead to a big lead or (the more likely scenario) Meier struggles.
There will be more on this ultimate position battle later on, but for now let's put the QB situation to rest.