Carter Stanley, the third quarterback on Kansas depth chart, finally got a chance to start on Homecoming against Oklahoma State and he made the most of it.
Granted, it was still in a loss as the Jayhawks fell 48-28 and the Cowboys put up 568 yards of offense. But it wasn’t Stanley’s fault OSU scored touchdowns of big plays of 42 and 64 yards in the first half and Justice Hill racked up 189 yards on the ground.
But Stanley kept KU in the game, leading the offense to two fourth-quarter touchdowns that kept the score within 13 points. He was extremely efficient, connecting on 75% of his throws (24-32) for 247 yards and three touchdowns. He also got Steven Sims Jr. going, connecting 10 times for 89 yards and a touchdown.
And that’s worth talking about, because those numbers for Stanley stand out among the most impressive recent performances by a Kansas quarterback, even going back to when the Jayhawks were going bowling on a regular basis.
Stanley became just the third Kansas quarterback since 2000 to complete at least 75% of his throws for 245 or more yards and three or more touchdowns.
The other two Jayhawks to do this? That would be recent KU Ring of Honor star Todd Reesing and Bill Whittemore. Reesing did this four times between 2007 and 2009, while Whittemore accomplished this in 2003. But that’s the list in 18 years. Three guys and six occurrences. Stanley’s game Saturday was also the first time those numbers came in a loss.
Stanley’s 7.7 yards per attempt wasn’t exactly eye-popping, but it was still better than any Kansas quarterback had posted so far this season (with more than one attempt). If you’re curious, Bender’s best mark this year is 6.2 YPA.
But what Stanley was able to do was keep the offense moving forward when, again, a large focus of Oklahoma State’s defensive plan was to shut down Pooka Williams and the run. It’s a credit to Williams that he was still able to break free for a 60-yard touchdown to nearly eclipse 100 yards yet again.
Beaty wouldn’t comment on the quarterback situation moving forward, and plenty of questions have been raised about why Stanley is just now getting an opportunity outside of the end of a game when it is out of reach. Seems like doing something only two other players in 18 years could accomplish warrants the starting job for another week.
But I guess we’ll have to wait and see.