University of Kansas

KU’s David Beaty doesn’t commit to starting QB for Oklahoma State game

Kansas quarterback Ryan Willis
Kansas quarterback Ryan Willis AP

Kansas quarterback Ryan Willis’ job appears to no longer be secure.

KU coach David Beaty was asked during Monday’s Big 12 teleconference whether Willis — who has committed seven turnovers the last two weeks — would get the first snaps during Saturday’s home game against Oklahoma State.

“Our competition is always open,” Beaty said tersely. “Just because you started doesn’t mean you’re going to finish it.”

Turnovers have been the biggest issue for the Jayhawks offense this season. KU has 22 giveaways, the highest mark in the nation despite the fact about half the schools have played one more game than the Jayhawks.

“Any team would be frustrated with the turnovers, particularly when we believe most of those, if not all of them, are preventable,” Beaty said. “When they’re preventable, you’ve got to do a good job of looking inside and making sure that you’re giving yourself the best chance to be successful on both sides of the ball.”

KU started the season with a rotation of Montell Cozart and Willis at quarterback. Cozart, though, hasn’t played the last two weeks after Beaty announced before the TCU game that Willis would be his starter.

Willis was KU’s no-doubt No. 1 QB the last two games, which included a 24-23 loss to TCU in which he threw for a career-high 348 yards with three interceptions and a fumble.

The Jayhawks’ 12 interceptions through six games are the second-most of any FBS team. For reference, no Big 12 team threw more than 15 interceptions last season.

Oklahoma State is on the other side of the stat this year, as quarterback Mason Rudolph has two interceptions in 231 passing attempts.

“That’s key for any offense in the country is making sure you manage the football game,” Beaty said. “That quarterback doesn’t always have to win it, but he certainly can’t lose it.

“That’s something that we have to do a better job of is being better managers of the game. We certainly could learn and take a page out of (Rudolph’s) book, because he’s done a nice job of that.”

Moos earns award

KU punter Cole Moos was chosen Big 12 special teams player of the week after averaging 50.4 yards on eight punts in the Jayhawks’ 49-7 loss to Baylor. Moos’ day included punts of 82 and 73 yards.

Kansas coach David Beaty talks about his team's offensive struggles in a 49-7 loss to Baylor on Oct. 15, 2016.

Jesse Newell: 816-234-4759, @jessenewell