After getting asked a direct question, Doug Meacham responded with a simple answer.
How close is the Kansas offensive coordinator to deciding a starting quarterback?
“Not,” Meacham said Friday.
The answer might not come soon either. Meacham said that it’s possible KU won’t name a starter between junior college transfer Peyton Bender and incumbent Carter Stanley before the team’s season opener on Sept. 2 against Southeast Missouri.
“We’re all kind of conspiracy theorists as coaches,” Meacham said. “You would prefer to not let them (Southeast Missouri) dial up a gameplan, because there’s film of Bender out there at Washington State and there’s film of the other one (Stanley). Why give them a heads-up on it? That’s maybe a small piece of why.”
Even if KU’s coaches won’t say it publicly, Bender has to be considered the favorite. The 6-foot-1 junior, who previously played for coach Mike Leach at Washington State, has often been lauded for his quick release and strong arm.
Stanley, meanwhile, helped give KU a spark late last season while starting the last three games. His strengths include making quick decisions and improvising outside the pocket.
“Really, I think we’re just enjoying watching those guys battle,” Meacham said.
The two, as of now, are splitting the repetitions in practice, according to Meacham. Once a starter is named, that player will be elevated to get about 70 percent of the team’s snaps.
Uncertainty at quarterback has been a constant through coach David Beaty’s three seasons at KU. Montell Cozart was named the starter in 2015 before quickly losing the job, as Deondre Ford and Ryan Willis rotated into the position. Beaty also didn’t announce a starter before the 2016 season opener, shuffling Cozart and Willis in the first contest before shifting in later games among the trio of Cozart, Willis and Stanley.
Cozart (Boise State) and Willis (Virginia Tech) both transferred from KU in the offseason.