Kansas football gave fans their first look in 2022 on Saturday afternoon at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. The preview kicked off with a brief live practice period before going into a 50-minute scrimmage, but the team didn’t keep score.
The scrimmage showcased a back-and-forth affair between Kansas’ offensive and defensive units. The offense found its rhythm for most of the game, creating a strong passing attack and placing emphasis on establishing a steady run game.
When the defense stepped up, it slowed that run game down and put pressure on the quarterbacks to force turnovers. Sophomore safety O.J. Burroughs' pick-six off freshman quarterback Ben Easters was Kansas’ defensive highlight of the day.
Junior quarterback Jalon Daniels led the first-team offense in both sections of the preview, while redshirt senior quarterback Jason Bean and Easters ran the second and third-team offenses.
Daniels had a solid performance by connecting with his receivers. Daniels believes trust between the quarterback and receivers is crucial to offensive success.
“I feel like as long as we give them a chance, I have faith that they’re going to go up there and come down with the ball,” Daniels said.
Bean showcased his running ability on Saturday while also progressing his passing game. He threw a touchdown to redshirt sophomore wide receiver Lawrence Arnold and had a rushing touchdown of his own.
However, there was another quarterback who had an impressive performance. Before the halftime celebration of Kansas men’s basketball’s National Championship win, senior guard Chris Teahan suited up in full uniform and pads. Teahan took the field before the end of the first 25-minute period and tossed a 65-yard touchdown strike to Arnold.
Teahan’s appearance electrified the crowd. Even sophomore running back Devin Neal said Teahan’s throw caught him off guard.
“I didn’t know that he [Teahan] had that in him, but hey, he’s a national champion and he can throw a football for us, so good for him,” Neal said.
Coach Lance Leipold said he was pleased with the way the players executed and felt that testing them in front of a crowd helps him and the coaching staff fully evaluate players.
“It's a different stimulus, and what we’re looking for and how you handle different things like your focus, concentration, trust and training,” Leipold said. “This is probably the best live evaluation that we can have because of the fans and music playing here.”
The Jayhawks look to continue their progress in summer workouts and fall camp before playing host to Tennessee Tech on Sept. 2.