Kansas football offensive coordinator Brent Dearmon named junior quarterback Miles Kendrick as the starter for the Jayhawks' upcoming game against West Virginia Saturday.
“We told him that he is our guy this week,” Dearmon said.
While Kendrick has received ample playing time this season, Saturday will mark his first career college start. In his two games this season, Kendrick has statistically been the best Kansas quarterback, throwing for 246 passing yards and a 60.5% completion percentage. He has also thrown the only two Kansas touchdown passes this season.
The Kansas offense has struggled overall, ranking last in the Big 12 in both total yards (296) and points per game (14.7). This week will be a challenge, as Kansas faces off against a West Virginia defense that is ranked first in the Big 12 in yards allowed per game (268 yards).
“It’s been tough but we're not complaining about it,” Dearmon said. “We've just got to show up, we've got to put our hard hat on and we've got to get better every day.”
Junior wide receiver Takulve Williams said Kendrick was named the starter heading into the bye week, which has given Kendrick time to build some chemistry with the offense.
“I feel like the last week of practice was great,” Williams said. “[Kendrick] is starting to get to know his receivers and stuff, like what I like to do and what [senior wide receiver Andrew Parchment] likes to do.”
Dearmon and Williams also acknowledged the offense's lack of explosive plays in the passing game this season. The longest completed pass by Kansas so far this season was a 37-yard pass by Kendrick to senior wideout Kwamie Lassiter II against Coastal Carolina.
“We’ve got to do a better job of scheming to get the ball in [our receivers'] hands,” Dearmon said. “We've got to do a better job of protecting so the QB can get the ball in their hands, and the QB has got to give them a catchable ball.”
The offensive line group is another area Kansas is looking to improve moving forward. Even though the line hasn’t performed well, senior offensive lineman Api Mane is optimistic the group is heading in the right direction.
“The past few weeks we have just been trying to fix our mistakes and individually everyone has to improve on their own craft,” Mane said. “We've just got to keep fixing those little mistakes to make us a better and more improved O-Line.”
Senior quarterback Thomas MacVittie has been cleared to play this week, and the health of freshman quarterback Jalon Daniels is still questionable. Dearmon said the starting quarterback position moving forward is still in question.
“I don’t think anyone has lost the job," Dearmon said, "but what I tell them every day is no one has gone out there and won the job. I like the direction we are going with those three.”
The Kansas offense will look to get back on track in a road matchup with West Virginia Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m.