Quarterback battle continues as Weis pushes team forward

The only news on the Kansas quarterback front is that there is nothing new.

For the second week in a row coach Charlie Weis has deferred to talk about the battle between fifth-year senior Dayne Crist and freshman Michael Cummings until his weekly press conference of Tuesday.

Last Saturday in Norman, Okla., it was Cummings who got the start but was rotated with Crist in different packages. Yet both paled in comparison to their counterpart on the Sooners, Landry Jones.

“He’s had a couple of flat games, but when he’s on he’s on,” Weis said of Jones during Monday’s teleconference call. “Unfortunately we got him on one of those nights.”

Weis said Jones had a dangerous combination of strength, accuracy and ability to complete passes.

Jones racked up 291 yards and three touchdowns while Crist and Cummings combined for just 124 passing yards with no touchdowns. Kansas’ only score of the day came from junior running back James Sims with a little over three minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Sims’ score was a reminder of the Jayhawks’ biggest strength on offense — rushing. While the passing game continues to work out kinks and the defense continues to improve, Weis is pleased with the rushing game.

“I do like the fact that they’ve fought till the end of every game, even in the Oklahoma game,”Weis said.

But even with the quarterback struggles, Weis doesn’t place any more blame on Crist or Cummings than the rest of the team. The coach who turned Tom Brady into an NFL superstar says it has got to be a collective effort on offense. Weis said the team’s successes or failures are a group effort, not the responsibility of just one player.

“I think just to hang the quarterback out to dry is not the direction I would take it,” he said.

It’s somewhat of a different sentiment from Weis, who at his introductory press conference vowed to make the Jayhawks a competitive team — and from a competitive standpoint, he has done just that.

Yet this Jayhawks team has come too close to winning games against Rice, Northern Illinois, TCU and most recently Oklahoma state for plain competitiveness to satisfy the first-year Kansas coach. Weis appreciates that players play hard but he is already itching to get to the next level.

“Moral victories isn’t what you’re in this for,” Weis said. “The next hurdle that our program needs to get over is we’ve got to beat somebody. Competing, that’s great, but sooner or later you’ve got to beat somebody.”

It won’t get any easier for the Jayhawks to find a victory the rest of the season. Starting next week with the 23rd ranked Texas, Kansas will face three more top 25 teams Texas Tech,West Virginia  and Baylor, the nations best passing offense.

Weis will be the first to admit the Big 12 is at one of it’s highest levels, meaning competitiveness might be even more crucial at this stage of the rebuilding process.

“I’m new to the Big 12 and I’m just in the grind of going through this schedule,” Weis said. “I just know that anyone outside this conference doesn’t understand the talent in this league. Every week you’re dealing with another set of problems. It doesn’t make a difference who you’re playing.”

Blake is a senior from Chicago, Ill., studying journalism on the news and information track. Read more from .

  • Updated Oct. 22, 2012 at 9:32 pm
  • Edited by Luke Ranker