We are four days from opening kickoff against Indiana State, and Kansas coach Les Miles has yet to name a starting quarterback.
In the depth chart released on Monday, Miles listed two potential starters: JUCO transfer junior Thomas MacVittie or senior Carter Stanley.
Although no starter has been named, one guy sticks out as the best candidate for the job: MacVittie.
Because of how loaded Kansas’ backfield is with running backs sophomore Pooka Williams Jr., senior Khalil Herbert and junior Dom Williams, and because of Miles boasting about the “potential” of the offensive line, the Jayhawks will be best suited with a game manager at the helm — someone who won’t turn over the football.
Although Stanley has shown the ability to do just that, statistics suggest MacVittie may be even better at it.
Last season at Mesa Community College, MacVittie threw 16 touchdowns and only 8 interceptions with a pass efficiency of 126.8.
On the other hand, Stanley has thrown 13 touchdowns and a lackluster 14 interceptions in his career with a passer rating of 113.9.
MacVittie could also take the Jayhawks’ run game up another notch because of his athleticism. Coming in at 6-foot-5, 225 lbs., he is the bigger, presumably more durable body. Last season, MacVittle ran 41 times, recording 252 yards and 4 touchdowns.
When asked about what he’d bring to the table as a starting quarterback, MacVittie pointed to his dual-threat capability, among other traits.
“I think I’m pretty versatile with my passing ability and my running as well. People might not know too much about me but that’s kind of my secret is that I can run pretty well,” MacVittie said in an interview from Kansas football Media Day. “Other than that, just my leadership and understanding of the offense. I’m going to get the offense in the right position for the right play every time.”
MacVittie has also received praise from his teammates for having a high football IQ. Senior cornerback Hasan Defense said MacVittie knows how to take good care of the ball.
“MacVittie, he’s one of those system guys,” Defense said at last week’s media availability. “He’s real smart. He knows what throws to make, what throws not to make. He’s one of those guys, he’s not going to force the ball. He makes really good decisions with his ball. Sometimes I try to bait him on my own just to see if I can get him to throw one out there, and if he’s not for sure, he won’t throw it, so that’s a good sign for him.”
Additionally, starting MacVittie makes fundamental sense given where Kansas is as a program. Choosing him as the starter could provide stability to a program entering a new era because he has an extra year of eligibility over Stanley.