Not only was Kansas’ 24-17 victory over Indiana State the first of the Les Miles era, it also served as the coming out party for junior wide receiver Andrew Parchment.
The Iowa Central Community College transfer hauled in 8 catches for 121 yards for Kansas, including a 32-yard diving snag in the third quarter.
There was a lot of controversy surrounding the quarterback position heading into the game, but it was senior Carter Stanley that started and finished the game for the Jayhawks. He was able to complete 20 of 29 passes for 241 yards and two touchdowns, and he didn’t throw an interception.
Parchment and Stanley were on the same page throughout the game. He called his chemistry with Stanley “the Florida connection.”
“He’s from Vero Beach, and I’m from south Florida. We have a lot of mutual friends,” Parchment said. “I always tell Carter, whenever he’s in trouble, he can count on me. He can throw it anywhere, and I’ll make a play for him."
After the game, Parchment said there was a little “extra emotion” to go with his stellar performance. Prior to the game, he talked to his mom and reflected on his playing career. Up until this game, Parchment had been a journeyman, playing for three different colleges.
“My mom just reminded how much hard work I put in,” Parchment said. “For me, college football has been a rollercoaster of emotions. From NIU, I decided to go to JUCO. After JUCO only playing four or five games, then coach Miles took a chance on me to come here. I’m just blessed to be here.”
To go with Parchment’s career day, he also completed a pass for a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter on a trick play. Parchment, who said he played "some" quarterback in high school, received an end-around flip and shed a tackler, before connecting with junior tight end Jack Luavasa.
“I always begged coach Miles to give me a passing play this whole entire spring, so he just told me, ‘Be patient. Be patient,’” Parchment said. “We’ve been working on that play every single day leading up to [today]. I knew he was going to call it – it just happened to be the two-point conversion.”
Parchment also flexed his versatility, as he was the recipient of many jet motion touch passes, which he managed to turn into big plays.
After the game, Miles had some encouraging words for Parchment.
“Parchment I thought just played lights out,” Miles said. “Next time I see him, I’ll try to give him an MVP award somehow.”
Before the touchdown that set up Parchment’s two-point conversion, the Jayhawks found themselves in an all-too-familiar sight – down one point following an Indiana State scoop and score. Despite being down, Miles said the players remained confident in themselves.
“You have to have that,” Miles said. “In the unity council, the leadership, the three captains and coaches – they have to have that. It has to come from inside them, and it did.”
The refusal to quit shows a sign of something Kansas hasn't had in years: confidence.